Bamboozle 2012 – Day 1
On Friday morning – after a minor car repair- with excitement in our hearts, snacks in our bags, and an awesome Bamboozle mix in the CD changer; we began the 3 hour drive to Asbury New Jersey…
The weather was perfect, the roads were clear… we arrived at our hotel and picked up our Bamboozle Survival Kits – little backpacks with all kinds of neat goodies! (Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, ponchos, tiny binoculars, mini first aid kits…) We changed out of our sweaty “travel clothes” and got ready to head to the beach!!
When we got there – the line was already crazy long…. but we had to go to the box office to make sure our wristband chips included our VIP upgrade – which they didn’t…we needed to cut loose those boring old blue wristbands and get some shiny new silver VIP wristbands!! Sweeet!! The girl also informed us that there was a special VIP entrance…bonus!!
After grabbing some delicious sausages on rolls…. we headed toward the front gates to inquire about this VIP entrance. I asked an official looking security guard and he gestured to the other side of the festival grounds…. so we headed in that general direction…
On the way there, we passed by an entrance for one of the stages…and because we’re at a music festival – I had invoked my “keep an eye out for musicians” super power…. and…. there, right beside the side walk at this entrance… stood 2/4 members of Armor for Sleep (Ben and PJ)!!
Time for a back story:
Matt has introduced to me to a lot of great music since we’ve met – the first of which was The Academy Is… which has been one of my favorite “smaller” bands…. when they toured in 2007, they toured with another band Matt introduced me to – Armor for Sleep… so in preparation for that tour – I got to listening to them…and I fell in love with their songs. I love the lyrics, the guitar riffs, and the whole package!! They’re awesome!! When I saw them open for The Academy Is… they did not disappoint!! They were one of the reasons I was so excited for bamboozle…to see them again…especially since they’ve actually broken up as a band and this was their last performance together. Alas – when the schedule for Friday night was released — Armor for Sleep was playing at the same time as Incubus…my favorite “big” band of all time…. so I had a tough decision to make…..
Back to our quest to find the VIP entrance…
After some indecision, we stopped and I asked if they would mind taking a photo with me…. of course – they were awesome and didn’t mind at all…they actually came across as being flattered and humbled by the request…. which was great!! So… off we went – me floating on cloud nine…
We turned a corner to see if the next entrance was where we needed to be, or if the person “guarding” that entrance knew where the VIP entrance was…and there was a bus parked outside the entrance…. as we’re walking up I think, well – that guy with the long hair looks like Brandon Boyd from the back…. and that guy standing with him looks an awful lot like Ben Kenney…. I tell Matt that I think this is Incubus’ tour bus…as we get closer, my suspicions are confirmed…I turn to Matt and say “Oh my God!* It IS Incubus! He just keeps walking… by the way — I am wearing an Incubus shirt… Here is what went on in my head – from what I remember:
The crazy-fan within me: “Man, I should really go and say hi and ask for a photo….”
The introverted, super polite and contentious me: “You shouldn’t bother them… you don’t want to look like a lunatic!”
Crazy-fan: “that is BRANDON BOYD!!! Right over there…. I could spit on him he’s so close!!”
Polite me: “No – don’t do that…. you’re not even sure if you’re supposed to be here…if they’re here, chances are you’re in the wrong area”
Crazy-fan”: **Keeps walking and staring and smiling…like an idiot
Polite me: “They probably noticed your shirt and are grateful that you didn’t harass them”
Crazy-fan: “Well, we won’t be let in at this gate, so when this nice gentlemen at the gate points us in the right direction, we can go back and ask for a photo…”
Polite me: “That seems reasonable, they probably already spotted you and are prepared, so they won’t be caught off guard and feel bombarded with your silliness!”
We ask the gentleman “guarding” the entrance if he knows where the VIP entrance is…and he says he’s not sure, but since we clearly have wristbands, that we can just go in….. this is a whole hour before the gates officially open!!!! We didn’t want to push our luck…so we just went in, and I didn’t try to go back to meet Incubus…. as we’re going in and I tell Matt that I can’t believe we walked by Incubus, he finally gets it!!! That is was them…and he tells me that if he knew he would have stopped…. *face palm!!* [This isn’t the first time I’ve been super close to Brandon Boyd….. check out the photo at the end of this post…My friend took the photo, and my head is on the left…. (with red hair and I’m wearing a grey/pink jacket)]
So – in we walk – I am floating on cloud 9…. having just run into 4/9 members of the 2 bands I wanted to see that same day – who happen to be playing at the same time…. also – bonus…we get to case the whole festival grounds before everyone else gets let in!!! We also stumbled upon a little acoustic set that was being performed for some people who won early entrance…. more on this performer on Day 2’s post.
Once everything was officially opened we went into the VIP area to check what signings and meet & greets were happening there that day — lo and behold… Armor for Sleep will be “hanging out” there later in the day!! Stoked!!!
We had some drinks and walked around a little…. caught some of Mike Posner’s set (he sings a song I have been known to enjoy – ‘Cooler Than Me’) ..then we headed back to wait for the Armor for Sleep guys in the VIP bungalow!
They arrived and were hanging out near the entrance…. checking everything out…. we were just sitting, not exactly sure what to do…when Anthony ran out… so I said to Matt that we should find out if he’s coming back … so I
bravely nervously walked up to Nash, the drummer, and introduced myself and asked if Anthony was going to come back… he assured me that he would…. and then he introduced me to the girl standing with him, Anthony’s girlfriend. Then we chatted a bit, Anthony returned – I met him… PJ came over, Nash introduced us – he remembered “meeting” me earlier… we chatted some more…and kind of just hung out for a bit. Then we took a picture and I spoke to Ben a little about how I was going to watch them over Incubus because I would have other opportunities to see Incubus perform.
Then we headed out to try and get a good spot at the stage where they were going to perform…. I was super excited and happy and oh-so-glad that I
plucked up the courage boldly went and asked Nash if Anthony would return. We got to see most of the We Came As Romans set – I recall them being pretty good… but I was still in la-la land after having met the Armor for Sleep guys – who I felt like I knew already because we had watched their DVD “Armor for Sleep: Comprehensive Guide to Touring” the night before. I went over and purchased one of their farewell t-shirts while we waited for The Receiving End of Sirens (TREOS) to start their set.
TREOS was really great!! I’m not very familiar with their music, but I really enjoyed seeing them live and will definitely be playing them more…. they’re no longer together – haven’t been for years – but still perform every year or so. (Didn’t get any pictures of them…think I was still floating on a cloud after hanging out with Armor for Sleep.)
Then, while we were waiting for Armor for Sleep to go on, I could hear Incubus begin their set….. my heart broke…. it was SO weird, being torn between two bands like that…. but – boy was Armor for Sleep worth it! It was AMAZING!! I am so glad that I got to see them perform together one last time – they did announce one final headlining show in NYC in July, but I won’t be able to make it to that. It still makes me super sad to think that there will be no new Armor for Sleep music in the future!! 😦
[Just for fun – at the end of this post – I’ve included 2 pics I took at the 2007 Armor for Sleep show I saw…. the photos are poor quality… but they are all I have….]
We did leave their set a little early (we missed their last two songs) to catch the end of the Incubus set…. which was great…. I got to see Incubus perform my favorite song – ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Sick Sad Little World’. [Update: Incubus were great… I saw them in 2007 at a very small intimate club, so it was fun seeing them perform for a much larger crowd too… but def. prefer the smaller venue!]
It was the perfect end to a perfect day – well, almost perfect, it would have been perfect if we could have watched both Armor for Sleep and Incubus’ entire sets. But, throw in a hangout session with the Armor for Sleep boys and walking by Brandon and Ben (And I believe Jose was standing in the doorway of the bus) and it just about makes up for the coinciding sets.
After that – we headed back to the hotel to rest our feet, give our ears a chance to recover and stop ringing after the Armor for Sleep set, and get ready for a very long Saturday!!