Monday, May 18, 2009

"Look how close I've come"

Saturday was one of the best nights of my life.

Waiting outside the club for the doors to open for the Ben Lee concert, I heard a man behind me say, "Excuse me," as he unloaded gear from a nearby van into the club. Behind the van I spotted a certain curly-haired male Aussie exiting a car. I left my place by the door and walked towards him--unsure of my plan.

"Hi Ben!"

"Hello," he said in his adorable accent.

[Awkward silence.]

"I'm really excited for the show tonight!"

"Oh cool. Thanks for coming."

[Awkward silence.]


"Aw, cool. Thanks."

[More awkwardness...]

End scene.

Wow, not my best work.

Anywhoodle. Andrew met up with me after the embarrassing small talk with one of my favorite musicians, and we claimed the best seats in the house for ourselves and some friends who were about 20 people behind us in line. I sipped on a drink that tasted like a melted blue popsicle while I enjoyed the opening act, Low Vs. Diamond.

Immediately following the band's last song, Ben Lee took the stage. He paid special attention to our table... making lots of eye contact and telling us, "Just flip the tables over. It's cool. I own the place."

We refrained from trashing the place, which is a little more than I can say about Ben. (Kidding.) He was way more animated than the last time I saw him perform four years ago. At one point he climbed on top of our table and somehow managed to avoid spilling everyone's drinks... though he was less than an inch away from dancing on top of Bri's pizza...

Throughout the show, people shouted various song requests, but he ignored them all. At one point he said, "Sorry. I love you guys. But I'm playing whatever I want."

Paying homage to his punk rock days, Ben played a song from within the audience.

I don't really understand why performers are so weird about song requests in general, but I can understand wanting to stick to a set list that you thoughtfully crafted. So party on, Ben. Even if you didn't play one of my favorite songs in the entire world, "Gamble Everything For Love." I still love you.

"Hey, I just want to let you guys know--I don't really do encores. If you want to get the full rock show experience, maybe I can turn around for a minute and you guys can clap or something? Or I can just do a stage dive?"

Okay, when I'm standing two feet from anyone who declares their intention to dive off the stage on top of me, I get a little nervous. Thank God he spared my life and jumped off our table on to the people behind us. Phew. I could be writing this post from a full body cast if he wasn't so kind. (I mean, the dude's tiny... but maybe you've heard... so am I.)

After the show, the club emptied quickly. Bri and I asked Ben if he would mind getting a picture with us. Grunting a little bit, I hoisted myself up on the bar next to him.



Sara McGinness said...

That is so cool!! I love Ben Lee but I've never seen him in concert. I am a little jealous right now, it sounded like a great show and you got to meet him.

Maxie said...

seum that's awesome! I'm all for celebrity encounters. Next up: ellen, right?

Arlynn said...

Whateves... you guys totally look like BFFs : - )

Fun night!!!

Lindsay said...

Mermanda, this post just made my day! I've seen Ben Lee in concert at least five times and each time I get totally giddy in a middle school kind of way. The fact that you were even able to say a few words to him without giggling like a crazy person makes you a rockstar in my book.

Lauren said...

It could have been worse. You could have been like "Hi...OMG MARRY ME I LOVE YOU!"

Now that would have been a bit embarrassing.

Still, it's awesome that you got to talk to him. :)

Pretty Unfamous said...

Yum!!! Chilly blue drinks are my faveeeee

Anonymous said...

So funny. One time I met Vanilla Ice. Maybe I should write a post about it. HA!

Unknown said...

That sounds like such a fun night and concert. Ben Lee's music is amazing.

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Back in the day when he was with Claire Danes I served them both coffee. She was all uppity and hiding her face, but he was totally cool and chatty. I would "serve him coffee" any day.

Lily said...

very awesome! I love Ben Lee! :)

Kyla Roma said...

That sounds like so much fun! You've got connections, very nicely done! =)

Hillary said...

I knew I loved you before I read this post, but knowing that Gamble Everything for Love is one of your favourite songs makes me love you that much more.
You should be glad that I wasn't with you when you spotted Ben, I'm pretty sure that I would have walked up to him and licked him.

ria said...

this is pretty frickin' sweet

sarah marie p said...

Whoa! Sooo cool! Love that you got to talk to him and take a picture later on -- and he was giving you the look during the show! Lucky lady! And the dancing on the table?! Wowzers! I had no idea Ben Lee was such a party animal! Craziness! I love that he's like -- I'm playing my set list. Deal with it! And "I don't do encores." He's Ben lee! What an awesome night!!!

stealthnerd said...

Hm, suddenly super jealous I'm not in the 'Burgh!

I loooove Ben Lee and I'd have been bummed if he had skipped "Gamble Everything for Love" too!