“What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?” Lewis, the young photographer, didn’t realized who he was asking. Ben and Platz, bassist and drummer, have tried some weird shit. And then some. “Crispy pig’s head. For sure” answered Platz, easily. “The insect larva in Korea was weirder than the Balut” countered Ben. By the end of this fifteen minute long answer, the catering hall had all but cleared out. Google “balut” and you’ll know why.
I was side stage during the show, watching Lewis weave in and out of the crowd, climbing stairs and flimsy-looking scaffolding to get the perfect shot. Radioactive is the blow-out hit for every concert (obvi) so the guys always end with it. They rushed off stage to sneak behind the curtain and catch their breath before popping back on stage for a surprise encore. Platz, our drummer, runs off stage and before disappearing behind the curtain, walks over to Lewis and hands him his show drumsticks. It’s hard to capture the pure disbelief and overwhelming joy that streaked across his face. His jaw fell so hard, I thought it might actually hit the floor. “He’s fan-boying out” said his friend Mr. Combover.
Fan boys weren’t the only ones enjoying the night. There were two girls, couldn’t have been older than 12 or 13, constantly standing and looking at each other, looking at the band, and screaming. This was clearly the best night of their pre-teen lives. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say they listened to the entire rock album while they got dressed and did each other’s make up. If their parents were there, they were clearly banished to a section far enough away that no one would guess that these girls were chaperoned. They kept looking at each other for reassurance that yes, in fact, this was the best night ever and yes, the lead singer did, in fact, make eye contact with them. I pointed out these two to the lead singer’s wife who, like me, could totally relate to this teen-girl freak out. “We have to do something for them” she plotted. A few moments later, she returned to with two signed photographs of the band and walked right up to them and handed them over. Much like Lewis, the overwhelming euphoria covered them. And us. We’re all fans of something and this night, I was a fan of the fans.