Thursday night Mike and I have our first concert in LA. It’s not just a concert – it’s an event called Design for Humanity. There’s art, fashion, a DJ, live bands, and food trucks. Mike and I are here for the music. Doors open at 7pm, but Imagine Dragons don’t perform until 8:45. Until then, there’s a DJ. I had work earlier and was then out running errands in horrendous traffic (shocker), so we don’t arrive until 8.
They run a tight ship. First we have to walk through a metal detector to enter Paramount Studios. Then we wait in another line to have our tickets scanned and receive a general admission bracelet. Further along, a police officer checks our ID’s and we’re given over-21 bracelets. And we’re in. The studio lot is awesome; great place for an event. It looks like a little, clean section of New York City has been blocked off just for us. (No skyscrapers, though.) It’s almost like a town, with big, fake buildings and streets and sidewalks. Not really fake, I guess, but these buildings are basically shells with not much inside. The area makes a circle, with a building in the middle, so to make our way to any of the three stages, we just continue walking around the circle.
First things first: drinks. I figure there will only be beer, but there’s an entire bar with about seven bartenders in action. We easily walk up to one. “Do you have drink tickets?” No. “You have to get your drink tickets first.” She nods in the direction behind us and we see no end to an incredibly long line. Of course it couldn’t be that easy. We’re in a stand still when a guy comes up to us – us being everyone in our general vicinity – to inform us that there’s another area selling drink tickets. We follow him over further away from the entrance, and sure enough, a ticket lady sits behind a table with no one in her line. Score. Beer tickets are $5 and drink tickets are $7. I get four drink tickets and Mike gets three (he’s the driver tonight). There’s a whole new slew of bartenders over here, so we walk right up to one. Vodka tonic for Mike, vodka soda and cran for me. I take a sip. Wow, I think I’m drinking vodka on the rocks. Better than not strong enough!
Mike figures out where Imagine Dragons are playing and wants to walk right over. Hold up, I need to eat something, stat. On the drive over I must have said, ‘I’m starving,’ at least three times. There are food trucks galore. I love food trucks, but the lines for all of them are so long. I settle on the Green Truck. Everything’s organic. Mike stands with me for a second but decides to walk around and check out the scene. Two girls get in line behind me. I don’t see them – just hear them. One is talking to the other about how cool she is. “Yea, you are really cool.” I can’t tell if they’re going to be really annoying or actually cool. I keep my head down and slowly turn to just look at their feet. Flats. No heels. OK, maybe they are cool. I have never seen so many girls at a concert wearing heels in my life. This is an event for art and fashion, too, so I guess it’s not your typical concert. Now I start to listen in. “Why are there so many girls here? I’ve never seen so many girls at a concert.” I turn around and decide to join in. Yea, and heels. I can’t believe these girls in their incredibly high heels. “I know! Who wears heels to a concert? They’re so stupid.” Yea, I like them. I take their picture for them and we introduce ourselves. Robin and Janet. Two cool girls from a town about 30 minutes north of here. They’re my kind of people. Just as we’re talking about the massive amounts of girls here, Mike walks up. And this is my boyfriend, Mike. Mike has figured out where every band is playing. Imagine Dragons are about to start on the other side of the circle. He’s going to find us a spot while I get food. Do you want anything? He walks up to the front (since I’m still far away) to check out the menu. “Yea, get me a hot dog.” OK. I talk to Janet and Robin while I wait.
When I finally can see the menu I decide on a hot dog, too. It’s organic, after all, and easier to hold in one hand with my drink in the other. I can hear Imagine Dragons in the distance playing. Oh no, I’m missing it! And they’re playing Round and Round, I love that song. This is taking so long. I hear another song I love – On Top of the World. This is really starting to suck. Mike finally comes back to wait with me and my name is called. Two hot dogs on hamburger buns. That’s it. A plain dog on a plain bun. They don’t even have ketchup! This better be the tastiest hot dog I’ve ever had. I think they weren’t prepared for the crowds. I hope they don’t usually serve it on a hamburger bun. I throw some spicy mustard and chipotle sauce on my plate. Quick goodbye to Janet and Robin and Mike and I run over to Imagine Dragons. The dog is subpar – nothing compared to the Dogtown Dog truck. Those guys have the best hot dog I’ve ever eaten.
But I’m watching the band and all is well. The lead singer is really playing to the crowd – he’s very entertaining. They end with their new radio hit, It’s Time. Fucking love this song. When they finish, Mike and I head over for a drink from the bar, then it’s on to the Walk the Moon stage. These guys are good. The lead singer is also playing the keyboard and drums – but they’re like, electric drums or something. He has these huge pink drum sticks. He’s all over the place. I’m into every song.
When Mike bought the tickets for us a while ago, I only really knew the Lumineers. Since then, I’ve been listening to all the bands non-stop and they all rock. Walk the Moon also ends with their radio hit – Anna Sun. OK, we need to get a good spot for the Lumineers. They are definitely our favorite band of the evening. We quickly walk around the circle to the stage where they’re performing. There are port-a-potty’s next to the stage so we get in line.
We’re finally at the front and I’m next. I make eye contact with a guy across the way. He’s got on black pants, white T-shirt, black suspenders, and a black hat. He looks like he could be from the Lumineers. I keep looking at him and he walks over. “Hey, would it be possible to cut?” Yes! It would. Are you from…? Are you from…?
That’s what I asked him. I don’t know what happened. I guess if he was from the Lumineers, I should recognize him, and he if he wasn’t, I might offend him. I don’t know. But I don’t complete my question and he answers, anyway. “Yea, I’m with the band.” That’s awesome! “Are you guys sure it’s OK?” Absolutely! “What’s your name?” I’m Lindsay. We shake hands. “Jeremiah.” Really nice to meet you, we love you guys. He says thanks and shakes Mike’s hand, too. Then some stupid guy walks up to Jeremiah. “You don’t have to use these bathrooms, there’s bathrooms for VIP around the corner.” Jeremiah says thanks anyway, and follows the guy. I continue talking to him even though he’s gone. OK, no problem, you can still cut in front of us if you want!
Mike and I excitedly talk about our encounter when Jeremiah is suddenly in front of us again. “I’m sorry but would it still be OK if I cut in front of you.” Yes! Wait, only if you get a picture with me. “Yea, sure.” Some girl walks out of the bathroom so I tell him to go first, and we can get the picture after. Mike quickly takes our picture and Jeremiah thanks us again. I think I tell him good luck or something. I’m so excited.
Mike uses the bathroom first and then finds us a good spot to the right of the stage. I find him, and now am giddy with anticipation. There’s Jeremiah! He’s the drummer! I know him! I’m a little mad at myself for not telling him my favorite song – Dead Sea. And Heather wants them to play at her wedding. I totally should have asked him.
The Lumineers are phenomenal live. They change some of the songs to make them more upbeat and easier to sing along. They even do a Bob Dylan cover – Subterranean Homesick Blues, which is one of my favorites. I used to know all the words when I memorized it in high school (in the same way I memorized We Didn’t Start the Fire), but I’ve forgotten over time. They do not end with their popular Ho Hey, which I appreciate. They play it right in the middle of their set. Every song sounds amazing. I already can’t wait for them to come out with a second album and to see them again.
It’s already almost midnight when the Lumineers are done. We still have the Joy Formidable to see. Mike doesn’t really care about staying, but I’d like to see a couple songs. I get my last drink. While waiting in line, I spot Sophia Bush from One Tree Hill. I’m not a fan of the show, but the twins are obsessed. Mike, take a picture of her. “Who is she?” She’s from One Tree Hill. OK, and now Sophia sees me staring at her. I stop looking in her direction and Mike tries to snap a picture but it comes out blurry. I text Christine the next day and tell her. “Is she even more beautiful in person?” I usually think people look smaller and thinner but she looks just like she does on TV. “Lol she’s just so pretty.” I didn’t realize you had such a crush. Dork.
Mike and I are pretty far back from the main stage, but I don’t have people touching me and I can see the band, so I’m happy. Mike goes off to take some more pictures and I sing along to the Joy Formidable. Mike comes back, ready to leave. I just want them to play my favorite song – Austere. And it’s the next song they play. Too perfect. This is probably the coolest concert I’ve ever experienced.