Saturday, August 18, 2012

That time I met Incubus

A few weeks ago, I was on the subway home after a long Monday when I got a text from Sammi, one of my best friends from high school. "I WON MEET & GREET FOR INCUBUS!" the message screamed at me. "One of these passes is for you!"

Now, Incubus is one of my all-time favorite bands. They were one of the first rock acts I got into, they were the headliners of the second concert I ever attended (with Sammi, of course) and it was an article about the band that made me first start pondering a career in music journalism way back in the day. So needless to say, the promise of meeting the guys was cause for much celebration—followed by even more anxiety. I've met musicians that I admire before, and I've even interviewed some of my favorite bands, but there's a big difference between groups that I've listened to for a few years and Incubus, the band that somehow found me when I had barely figured out what kind of music I liked. And as I transition into an official adult, I'm finding that their songs seem to only become more relevant. Suffice it to say, they are pretty much my musical gods. There was no way my inner fangirl was staying clamped down at this meet and greet.

Things didn't start feeling real until Sammi and I picked up our VIP passes:

Oh, we fancy huh?
Before I knew it, we were walking with a group of 10 or so other eager fans to the backstage area. The guys were waiting for us at a table, and we proceeded to move down it in a typical autograph signing fashion. I feared that I'd clam up and have nothing to say, but DJ Chris Kilmore was first, and he was so friendly that he immediately put me at ease. He wanted to know what kind of nicknames there were for Chrisanne, and when I said I usually just go by my full name, he dubbed me "Cran." That's right, I have an Incubus-approved nickname. Let's make this stick, guys.

Obviously I knew this was going to be the case, but they were all SO NICE. I wish I could say that I dazzled them all with my sparkling wit and humor, but it all went by so fast, and I was a bit overwhelmed. But I managed normal conversation and kept from peeing my pants with excitement, which is really all I could have asked for.

The real highlight for me was meeting Brandon Boyd, because his lyrics have meant so much to me over the years, and he is such a talented human being. (My inner fangirl needs to mention that he is also just really pretty and his voice makes me melt into a puddle of drool.) I told him and guitarist Mike Einziger about being inspired to go into journalism by that article, and Brandon started asking me about my writing. He just has this way of looking at you when he talks, like he's really listening because he is so genuinely interested in the conversation. You think after 20 years in this band, he just might not give a shit anymore, but nothing could be further from the truth.

He also told me my name was really cool, so you know, there’s that. Thanks Mom and Dad for giving me a guaranteed conversation starter.

No big deal, just shaking the hand of a man I've worshipped since I was 14.
Then it was time for some group photos:

Please note Sammi giving Brandon bunny ears in the first one. Also, let's just zoom in on this part, because it is going to be my wallpaper forever:

And just like that, it was time to go. As we were leaving, Brandon hugged me, gently rubbed my back and wished me good luck with my career. (You guys, he's so sweet! I die.) The guys waved goodbye to us and I somehow held myself together until we were out of their presence.

I'm pretty sure we looked like this afterward though.
As for the show, Mute Math opened, and while I only know a few of their songs, I liked what I heard. And obviously, Incubus was amazing, as always. Seeing them live always makes me reflect on that first time I saw them all those years ago, and all the other bands I’ve gone on to see live since. I’m reminded why I love music in general, and why I spend such large amounts of money going to shows. Plus having Sammi by my side through the whole thing just made it perfect. I hope in another ten years, we're still going to shows together and singing along at the top of our lungs.

The world's a roller coaster and I am not strapped in. 
Maybe I should hold with care, but my hands are busy in the air. 



  2. Also, we will def be going to shows and ROCKIN out for the rest of our lives!

  3. I can't even express how jealous I am. I have always wanted to do one of these meet and greets. At least i know now it will be worth it!! happy for you!!