So I decided to take the time to write a personal review of my experience at the LeATHERMOUTH XO record release show... which was on Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 7 pm "sharp," at Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ. Sorry, I have no pictures, but I can share words. And be forewarned, this isn't all about the show... it's about how the day went and what the fan environment was like and how I felt, as well as the show. And it's really long and rambly because... well, that's what I do. But I can guarantee you, if you read the whole thing, it's like you were there. hahaha.
Okay let me just say, the things I go through for this band! (Okay, yes, it would be more appropriate to say "this man." Shall we bring out the tattoo? http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y164/lastnightilie/bunnytat1.jpg
) As soon as the show was announced, I started lamenting the possibility that I could not go, asking for rides, seeing if I could drive myself, and learning about train schedules. And of course spending some of my last dollars I have on that CD, wristband and ridiculous shipping charges. It turns out everything worked and I got a ride from my good friend Shannon of Massachusetts, who happens to come here for LeATHERMOUTH shows all the time. But fellow fans understand our pains, right? These lyrics, these shows, they exemplify something intangible that we almost can't live without once we know of it. For once, you feel understood, you feel avenged, you feel like you belong. And then you're like, "God I wish I could thank the person who gave this to me!" and oh look, you can! He stands there waiting patiently for you to say whatever you want to him. Ahhh, the most amazing thing. To everyone who hasn't experienced it yet, I hope you do... even though it's addicting and terrible for your health, don't die without it. lmao.
Okay, so Tuesday is my day off from college. I was just hanging out in my dorm. I did have about seven homework assignments, but I didn't care. I decided to write a letter to Frank instead because it felt necessary. The gist of it was, "I think you're amazing because..." I listed 5 reasons. Like I have to tell anyone but him why he's amazing, hahaha. For kicks, the number 5 reason was "Who, me? Amazing?" But yeah. The rest of the letter was basically, "friends all over the world from Skeleton Crew. Thank you. You inspire me to stand up for myself. You inspired me to start a nonprofit organization. LeATHERMOUTH makes me feel understood. Thank you. Thank you again." You know, haha. Anyway, by the time I'd finished writing it, it was 3:30 and Shannon was outside. We got lost a few times once we were in the area (that section of NJ is very odd), but I found our way with my skillz and we got there around 4:30.
The line was kind of long, but I have friends who got there mad early. Heh. I went inside to get my CD, then I went back inside with my friend Marissa because it turns out we're both addicted to collecting music and we had nothing else to do! It was pretty comical. LeATHERMOUTH was sound checking. There were a good amount of people failing miserably at pretending to look through music but actually watching the soundcheck. Marissa and I were totally immersed in browsing, though. I was like in heaven looking at all the music. (Why don't we have any good record stores in north Jersey? :[ ) In fact, I couldn't even see the stage from where I was standing, and I was just vaguely nodding my head to the beat. I have a problem- did I mention I'm not allowed to shop in record stores? Yeah, but it was okay because I didn't have any money on me anyway. But while I was doing that, I saw Frank on the other side of the room looking through records, and I was just like, to myself, "Okay sorry but this is epic." So then I went outside because really, I didn't even have any money! And I pretty much stayed out there until doors.
We made friends with these people who came all the way from Vancouver, Canada, who were really nice, tbh, so we were having silly conversations. But there was this obnoxious snob behind us who was "drunk," but I still think she was faking it. I'm not going to mention names, even though everyone who was there knows who I'm talking about. I don't like her, but some of the people with her, I actually do like. Anyway, she was pretty hypocritical, I think her spiel went something like this: "...fucking annoying, they're all just here because, 'OMG, FRANK EAR-OH!' [don't know if the mispronunciation was intentional - she was pretty stupid] And then some people say, 'oh LeATHERMOUTH is a good hardcore band!' but they're really not... he just wants to say, 'oh I'm sad' and complain. It's like, you have too many friends, you have too much money, you have a huge house, shut up. But everyone is obsessed with some retarded fat smoker." I'm only repeating these things so you can get a feel for how I was feeling. Remember, this was on line at a LeATHERMOUTH show, so... I could very well have capped that bitch right then and there, but you know, I held back. I was just really confused because she was claiming that Frank was nothing special, nor was LeATHERMOUTH, yet she'd been waiting for- "I think it's ridiculous that we have to wait six hours just to get a CD!" [Hun, no one told you to wait 6 hours, and honestly, you're waiting to see the show up close, not for the CD.] She went on to brag about how in touch she was, which I also found odd since she hates him so much. "I have Frank's email address, I email him all the time! Everyone's bragging that they were in the new MCR video, bitch, I was in Helena!" So I think ultimately, she is madly obsessed with My Chemical Romance, but hates obsessive fans? That's what I got from it. That's all well and good, and I can even accept the fact that she is mentally challenged and doesn't get the meaning of LM, but really, she didn't have to personally insult Frank, that made me angry. Then she was like on top of me, trying to get in the door first, and I was like, 0___o ew.
Oh! And he popped his head out for like one minute because Jamia was bringing in coffee and he was holding the door. But this girl didn't notice and kept rambling on and on, and like, right at that moment, she was like, "And I would just say, 'I LOVE YOU FRANKIE!'" and he was like 0_0 and it was just reallyyy funny. We were all laughing and she just kept going, "oh hahaha, I'm from Canada, I'm so funny!" Like, she had no idea what we were laughing at, it was priceless. I would have kicked her ass, though, if he had heard any of those terrible things she said about him.
When we finally went inside, we went into the first aisle. (Yeah, at Vintage Vinyl, the CD rack is the barricade, and you squeeze into aisles to watch the show.) The, um, snob went off to the side, though, and I felt kind of discouraged that Frank did know who she was and proceeded to sing to her part of the crowd a lot. It's okay, though, he didn't know - and it's better that he doesn't. The show was REALLY good. I was standing behind Marissa. I couldn't really see over her (or anyone's) head, but she let me lean on her back so it was all good, hah. Frank was crawling all over the CDs, standing on them, writhing, being amazing, being Frank. Watching this band play is really a beautiful thing, though. It's so, like, cathartic, I mean for the audience as well as the band. I could watch them all day. It's pretty hard to sing along, as always, he changes up verses and puts in different repetitions and leaves things out. That's part of what makes it amazing, though.
In the beginning of the show, Frank said something like (really my memory sucks - none of my quotes are exact), "Wow! I'm kind of surprised so many people showed up. Welcome to the LeATHERMOUTH record release show for XO. We've been a band for awhile, but this is our first CD. It took... three years for it to come out?" And he kept saying "I wish you guys were closer" or "Why are you guys so far away?" Uh... while Hambone was changing basses and Frank had to stall, he was like, "So... does anyone have any questions?" and the only interesting thing was, "Where did the mustache go?" I think he said, "It turned into a beard and spread all over my face like a disease." And then Snob kept complaining and at one point he was finally like, "shut UP." haha and it made me laugh. Uh, and then she was like, "If you're not from this country, go home!" And Frank had on this shocked face like at how rude that was, and then he was like, "Oh, you're a REPUBLICAN aren't you?" and that made me laugh too. (I just wanted to say I think that was really bitchy of her. I know how lucky I am that the person I admire most in the world happens to live in my backyard. Sure if I lived in Canada I would NEVER be able to come to Jersey for a show, but since I don't, I have no right to complain or tell people what they can or can't do. I love my S//C peeps all over the world.) Then she rambled more, and he said, "Thanks, you guys are really making this easier on me." Then she was like, "Shut up and sing!" And he was like, "hm, shut up and sing," like he was thinking about what he could sing or something... and then Hambone was like, "ok I'm ready," hahahah so they went back to playing.
At some point he stopped standing on the CDs and said, "Ahh, I'm so sorry if I broke anything. But everyone, don't follow my example, please do the exact opposite of what I did and support this store because it's so great that in this virtual world where everything's at your fingertips and no one really knows each other, we still have places like this. Really, I'm sorry if I broke something. I'll... wash dishes if you want?" (I love how Frank thinks he's still poor. HAHAHA.) And then at the end of the show, well, before the last song, he went into a speech thanking us: "Really, thank you so much for coming, everyone. I've wanted to play shows for my whole life, and every single one is amazing. Even the hardest times on the road are the best ones, and when you come out and support us, you're helping me to live my dream, so thank you so much. And I know it's hard to understand what I'm saying sometimes in this band, but I always think you should learn what a band is all about before you go to their shows and support them, so you can go on our website and read the lyrics, or if you want to buy the CD, the lyrics are in there too. Thank you so much!" It was just pure sap, Frank speech. LOVE.
Then for the signing, I tried to be the last person in line because I thought I could have more time to talk to him, if I somehow found the courage within me, but first off, some of the first people in line did a loop and went to the back of the line to talk to him twice. (I think that's why they started taking our wrist bands after we talked to the band.) And second, when we finally got to the table, it was just really awkward. All five of them looked like they didn't belong up there, hahaha, and they didn't speak much unless you spoke to them first. Hambone did look over the table at my feet to say, "Oh, good to see you've got them both on still." (In case you don't know, I lost a shoe at the last LM show and he helped me find it, hahaha.) Then Eddie was asking me my S//C username, and he thought I was Rachel (bowwowwoff), but I told him my username and he was all confused, lmao. I kind of ignored Rob and James because I didn't know what to say to them, and when I got to Frank I was speechless. That always happens. I was just like, "I wrote you a letter" and shoved it over to him. He was like, "Thanks!!!" and took it and shoved it in his coat pocket, and then he was like, "*smirk* Nice LeATHERMOUTH hoodie." I still couldn't talk but it made me giggle a little bit. (I was wearing an underOATH hoodie, with like their logo on it that's like the LM one.)
Someone told me that when she went up, she said, "There was hardly any spit this time" and Frank was like, "I know, you guys were so far away!" And she said, "You might feel better if you spit some water on me now." And he was like, "Noo, I don't want to make a mess, they're being so nice here!" HAHA. I thought it was funny. I love that guy, really, too much for my own good.
And so ended another great night! I can't wait for the next one, haha. I really wish I could know what he thought of my letter. I was really open and honest, so it wound up sounding pretty cheesy, but I allowed it because I figured he can appreciate it lol.