Friday, February 3, 2012

You've traveled so far, love, now all of the stars are aligned...

(WARNING:  This post has absolutely nothing to do with nail polish.  It DOES, however, document what were quite possibly the most amazing 24 hours of my life.  Also, it is very photo- and video-heavy.)


These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed.


Tuesday, January 24:  My best friend Rebecca's husband exposes me to this...





It is love at first listen, and I haven't fallen this hard for music since I was a teenager and was first learning who I was and what sort of music spoke to me and defined who I was.  I immediately download the only two Gotye albums currently available.  I.  Am.. In.  Love.

Friday, January 27:  The opportunity to win tickets to see Gotye perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live is posted on Gotye's website.  As my best friend Rebecca lives in LA (where JKL is taped), I inform her of the opportunity.  She is notified the same day that she has won.  Unfortunately, we also realize that she only won one ticket.

Sunday, January 29:  Rebecca emails Gotye's PR person, Travis, who had notified her when she won.  She inquired whether it would be possible to take someone else.  She was nervous about going alone, and wanted to take her husband.  Unfortunately, Travis could not help her, but promised to let her know if her request could be accommodated.  Later that day, he emailed her to let her know that someone HAD dropped out, and put her husband on the list.

Monday, January 30:  Everything I see is overcast with green, as I am SO jealous of Rebecca and her husband.  When I arrive at work that day, I begin fiddling with airfare prices just for shits and giggles.  I am surprised by the (all-things-considered) affordability of flights.  I am seriously considering going.  I inquire of her husband as to whether he'd be willing to let me take his spot.  He sweetly informs me that it will make Rebecca VERY happy for me to come; he will be delighted to give me his spot.  (Also, he is getting sick.)  I begin to seek the approval of my boss to take two days off this week to fly to LA on a whim.  I...am...APPROVED.  My flight is purchased Monday evening.  Before I buy the ticket, though, Rebecca emails to Travis to make sure that I can take her husband's place.  He happily agrees to, as someone is nuts enough to fly from Tennessee just for this occasion!

Tuesday, January 31:  Travis informs Rebecca that someone ELSE has dropped out, and he has added her husband back to the list.  As the Gotye song goes, "All of the stars are aligned."

Wednesday, February 1:  I fly from Nashville to Chicago to LA.  Rebecca's husband picks me up from the airport, we pick up Rebecca from work, and all three head to Hollywood to wander about until the taping call-time of 6:45.  (This includes a meal at In-N-Out.  Hells.  Yes.)  I've flown all that way and am not about to get a crappy spot at the taping, so we toddle on over to wait in line at about 5:15. The rest of the night goes as follows.

When we arrive at the back of the studio (in the parking lot behind the JKL studio, where the outdoor mini-concert stage is set up), there is already a short line.  We stand for awhile.  There's a fence defining the concert area, and fortunately there are a few holes in the fence.  Sound check commences, and I get my first glimpse of Gotye.


We are wristbanded (after some confusion over our lack of tickets) and branded "Priority" along with a smaller group of people than the other folks waiting in line.  We are allowed into the audience area first.

When we enter the actual staging area, we and our hundred+ other friends find ourselves in an area behind caution tape, about 50 feet in front of the stage.  Apparently, more lighting decisions need to be made.  Once they are made, we are informed that we must walk slowly toward the stage, never crossing a very cool, kinda cute security guard, lest we risk being kicked out.  The caution tape is lowered, and we walk slowly (as instructed by Mr. Cool) towards the stage, and find ourselves at the very front of the audience, right at the fence (which we leaned on; a blessing to our tired feet) which is parallel to the stage.  Oh my God.  I'm going to be just a few feet away from Gotye/Wally.

There is a large screen at the back of the stage area.  During sound check, I learned that it would display some of the animations and graphics from Gotye's uber-creative videos.  During the time that we waited for him to appear, though, it would display what was going on during the taping of JKL.  Earlier in the evening, while peering into the staging area, we'd seen a trailer with a llama in it, so we knew that animals would somehow be a part of the show.  Little did I know, a sloth (MY VERY FAVORITE ANIMAL) would be a part of the evening's events.  Indeed, during a segment called "Guess What Animal Is On Guillermo's Head," a two-toed sloth was placed on Guillermo's head.

At last, cameramen and people began to appear in the staging area in front of our head.  At last...Gotye.

If you've never been to a taping of any kind, you should know that there is so much more that goes on than what you see.  A chubby bald man in a suit appeared as everything was being set up.  He informed us that cameras would be on us, and we would be instructed by him to go batshit crazy, even when was nothing going on.  So we did.  We clapped and screamed our asses off.  It wasn't much of a stretch for me, as I was so excited.  Jimmy Kimmel came to the edge of the stage and did an introductory blurb.  I thought I'd be seen on camera, but alas, we were just on the edge of the camera's view.

Gotye did five songs:  Heart's A Mess, Somebody That I Used to Know, State of the Art, Eyes Wide Open and Only Way.  I knew, of course, that "Somebody That I Used to Know" would be the one to air.



The first four songs were done in that stop-and-start way that tapings are done.  However, when the fourth song was completed, the camera crew went away and Goyte, as Wally put it, "had the stage to ourselves."  At that point he geared up for "State of the Art."  It's a REALLY interesting song.  The segment I filmed is very bass-heavy, so it's tough to hear, but stick it out (til about :38).  Wally came ALIVE during this song.  I can't blame him...it's SO damn fun.  Unfortunately, it really left me wanting more!!!

video

Husband and Rebecca had been quite ill, and I was under strict orders not to hug them.  Nevertheless, when the taping had ended, I could not help myself.  A group hug ensued.  I was so excited, Rebecca felt compelled to conduct a post-show interview.  I was basking in the glow.

video

Unfortunately, that's the end of the show.  We headed on out of the taping area, through a parking lot, where we discovered the animal handler from the show chatting with someone.  I was busy posting my Facebook status update about how I'm basking in the post-show glow, and my mental process went something like this:

"That's the animal handler.  The animal handler is surrounded by animal carrier boxes.  The animal handler had a sloth.  There's a sloth in one of those boxes.  CAN I SEE THE SLOTH?!?"  The last sentence I actually asked of the handler.  She, in her odd way, gave me permission to look at the sloth.  After peering in several pet-carrier-type boxes, I found...the two-toed sloth.  I may not be as bad as Kristen Bell, but nearly so.  Sloths...I....I love them.  At this point, I lost my shit.  I went all Elaine Benes on my BFF and her husband...I was slapping them and jumping up and down, squeeling, "Holy shit, y'all....I just saw...GOTYE...AND A SLOTH...IN AN HOUR!!!!"

Here's the long and short of it:  I landed in LA at about 1:00 PM on Wednesday.  I flew out of LA at about 11:00 AM on Thursday.  And it was about the most amazing 24 hours of my life.

I saw Gotye.  I saw a sloth.  I saw my best friend.  I saw my best friend's husband.  My best friend's husband's family welcomed me into their home, as they so sweetly always do.  One of my best "new" friends took me to the airport, gave me sweets and shared breakfast with me.

I am...SO BLESSED.  I love life, however much it may peeve me.  I love music.  I love my friends. 

LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE.

4 comments:

  1. Ah I had so much fun! I'm so so glad you could make it!
    You forgot to mention how the Jimmy Kimmel people had no idea who Travis was and we had a moment of "Um did she just fly from Nashville to listen to Gotye outside a fence?!"
    Spur of the moment Rachel is epic. <3
    Miss you!!!

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  2. Epic. Epic. Epic. The whole thing was just...well...EPIC! Thank you!!!

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  3. I'm so glad you and Becca had so much fun and you were able to go :D Sounds like you had a blast!

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