Did I just make a Muse pun? Why yes, yes I did.
Hello there Toonsters, Musers and Spooksters! (That's what I'm calling my followers, as they consist of people who love cartoons, Muse, and horror!) So this newest blog entry is about, you guessed it, my MUSE adventures of 2017! Let's get started, shall we?
I first saw the leaked tweet from a Muse Twitter account. I think Muse had posted on their website and then removed it, but fans are quick, and soon the tour dates exploded. My friend from the UK spied it as well and shared with me, and I saw a couple people post on Facebook about it. I looked and gasped with delight. THEY WERE COMING TO ATLANTA AGAIN! The last time they were in the USA, during the Drones tour, they hadn't near the Southeast. Now, normally I would have saved and made another trip to NYC or somewhere to see them then, but I was actually already working on saving for my big LONDON Trip for The X-Mas Files Movie premiere, a full length feature movie I animated! (Read about my London adventure here!)
I was beyond excited! Then I looked- They were also going to be in Florida two times! Florida is my childhood home I grew up in (Well, specifically Daytona Beach). I had considered Florida during their 2nd Law tour, but my friends and I opted for NYC instead (My first time to NYC!) at the Madison Square Garden. This time, I wanted to see them in Florida! (I'm currently marking off all the places I've seen Muse in!) So, without any hesitation, I bought tickets for all the shows. For West Palm, I actually didn't see any for pit, plus my oldest nephew (who's 26), wanted to road trip with me, so I bought him an extra seat ticket for West Palm. My husband couldn't take off of work for just a weekend, plus, he's not a big of a Muse fan as I am, nor does he like crowds. I've dragged him to enough Muse shows anyway, so I let him sit this one out. I was super excited. Road Trip to see MUSE!!!
As it came closer to the Florida shows, turns out my nephew was unable to take off of work. Shoot! I somehow had a feeling that would happen. Then I realized, this would be my first solo road trip vacation! How exciting! New experiences, and a vacation all by myself! This was going to be quite a journey!
Time drew closer and I was getting more excited for my Florida trip. Then, Muse announced that they were releasing a NEW SONG called "Dig Down" just a couple of days BEFORE their kickoff!! What timing, that meant they would be PLAYING THAT SONG!!!! And I would be there for it, the very first time they played it LIVE! (Actually not the VERY first time, as I later heard they had a private gig in Orlando.... but close enough right?!) Hotel booked, bags packed, late on that Thursday night I was ready to go. I said goodbye, got in the car, and started my adventure. I had 10 hours on the road ahead of me, by myself. Red Bulls, water, and snacks packed, I put MUSE on my Spotify Playlist. The first song I played as I drove: Take a Bow, in honor of Takeabow19, Home of the Muse Spoof.
I'd arrived in Florida pretty early that day. West Palm Beach! I couldn't check into my hotel just yet, so I did a little exploring. Checked out the beach and local shops. All the while, I carried around my Muse lanyard and a sharpie, in hopes I would run into them. I've been their loyal fan for nearly 15 years, I was really hoping this year would be my time, maybe running into them at the beach, airport, restaurant, just somewhere. A couple of times, I thought I did see them, but alas... just wasn't time yet...
I checked into my hotel Friday afternoon, tired but not really sleepy. I was too excited for the weekend ahead. I stayed at the Rodeway Inn. It was decent, but I'm pretty sure my room was haunted, haha! If you believe in that kind of stuff, I'm actually going to make another blog post regarding the supernatural and your subconscious. I spent the rest of that evening relaxing and chatting online with friends. Tomorrow was the first Muse show!
The day had arrived! Now, normally I would have been to the concert super early, but this time I had seat tickets. I didn't have to worry about being there first and where to be. So I took my time in arriving. I even went to the West Palm Beach Zoo during the day! I remember thinking, how refreshing it was to be on a solo vacation. I love vacations with my husband and with friends, but this time I was flying solo. I didn't have to adhere to anyone's schedule but my own. I made a mental note, "I'm going to take more vacations like this" Traveling solo is a wonderful experience, a great time for self-reflection and growth!
Concert time! I made my way in, full of excitement. I sat down in my seat and looked at the seat next to me, a little saddened my nephew couldn't be there. He had really wanted to go but just couldn't take off work. I even tried to give away the seat ticket, online and at the venue, but most people had their tickets. Oh well.
I also went to the Merch table, to buy a shirt for the memory. I knew I wouldn't be able to the next day, as I would be gunning for the pit. I got the coolest looking one, and I made sure to get the tour dates on the back.
The concert started with PVRIS. "Not bad" I thought. I'd never heard of them before this tour. 30 Seconds to Mars came on! I've always loved their songs, and seeing them in concert just made me want to listen and follow them more. They were pretty epic! Jared Leto was funny as hell. He likes to spin a lot, and he looked so FAB! He strutted out in a King's Robe haha! I chatted with the couple next to me, they were super nice! Then Muse came on and we all went crazy! They started their set with DIG DOWN! YAY!!! They also played one of my favorites I was dying to see Live- The Handler! The Globalist was amazing too. Okay, it was ALL AMAZING! The funniest part to me was, one minute people were dancing and singing, then suddenly the playback of "New Kind of Kick" came on, and you could hear the wave of confusion fall over the crowd, there were head tilts and a few of us dancing!
I went back to my car and it was COVERED in DUST from the parking lot. I decided to make the most of it.
I barely slept that night, anxious for the Tampa show, but man I slept sooooo good! I checked out that morning and made my way toward Tampa. I wondered if I should go straight to the venue or check into my Tampa hotel first. My arrival time was close to 1pm. Then I got a Twitter message, asking if I was going to the Tampa show. Yes, I exclaimed! It was one of my online Muser friends and he was going to the show too! I was excited to meet him in person! He said people were already there, so that made my decision, I was going straight there! He said there were only about 20 people so far. I zoomed the 3 hour drive over, (Stopping along the way to pick up markers and paper to make a sign!) parked and headed over to the queue and recognized him with the red hat and shirt he said he was going to wear. We greeted each other like old friends. Musers really are the friendliest bunch. He introduced me to some of his friends. I was so excited! I'm a very outgoing person too, so I had no problem introducing myself to the people around me. I met two other friendly guys, then over in the wristband line I met Crystal and her husband. The place was a little disorganized. VIP over here, wristbands over there. Do we wait here or there? We were all scattered! Whew! Crystal was showing me her unique Muse tattoo on her arm. I recognized Butterflies & Hurricanes right away. I noticed it was tear shaped. She explained it meant "A Universe trapped inside a tear", a Muse lyric from MK Ultra. "How clever!" I thought. It was a stunning and beautiful tattoo. Really made me want to go get mine I'd been planning for a while now.
Suddenly a Radio show host announced that they were going to do a GIVEAWAY MEET AND GREET WITH MUSE!! Could this be my time?? I wondered. I really really hoped! Crystal and I made a deal, that if I won, she would be my plus one, and vice versa. (I was there by myself and her husband wasn't that big of a Muse fan) I was excited. My Twitter friend entered too, and would take his buddy. I thought it would be so cool if both people in our group won, then we could all go! We entered, grabbed our spot in the pit, then went back out to hold our breath and see if we won. I had made a sign, "Muse I've been your fan for 15 years I want to meet you!" The guy drew the names. I was praying super hard. Nope, someone else won. Anxiously and taking a chance, I went up to the winners and asked if they had a plus one. One girl said she did. Another girl was actually starting to consider, between me and another Muse fan that had the same idea as me. "No, take your friend in the pit!" The radio show host exclaimed, so she did that instead. Me and the other Muse fan looked at each other in disappointment. Just wasn't my time yet. Another lady came up to me and said "If I had won, I would've given it to you" I nearly got choked up, she must have seen my sign or saw me deflate after not winning. Either way, it was such a sweet and amazing thing to say.
Disappointed but still full of excitement, we all made our way back to our spots. This was the closest I've ever been, even closer than the Resistance tour! I saved up all of my phone battery just for Muse. 30 Seconds and PVRIS were great as usual, but when MUSE came on, It was like being transported to another world!! Matt was right in FRONT OF US!!
We had all been there for hours and that made it all worth it! The rock legends were just a few feet away from me! During Isolated System, I saw Dominic the drummer at his drumset. It got a little quiet, and I YELLED "I LOVE YOU DOMINIC!!!" and a couple of other people "Woo'd" and I saw him SMILE AND WAVE!!!! He waved at me! I nearly passed out and died right there. I was acknowledged by Dominic freaking Howard.
I had a sign that said "Dominic, Drumstick?" on it. I held it up between sets. I saw him glance at it a couple times. Then, toward the end, he walked over in my direction. He made EYE CONTACT. He threw the drumstick. It curved. I jumped up and grabbed it! But another girl grabbed it as well, and a third one! I gripped onto that drumstick like I did when was holding onto Aerial Silks. I wasn't going to let go! "He threw it at me!" She screamed at me. "He threw it to me, let go!" "I had the sign!" I yelled back. The third girl was only slightly holding on, as if she was hoping one of us would drop it. Suddenly security broke us up and grabbed it. I showed him my sign and said it was for me, the other girl said he threw it at her. For whatever reason... Security gave it to her!! I couldn't believe it, my heart shattered in a million pieces. Not only that, but she held it and smiled at me smugly. I was devastated, I couldn't believe it. Why did my luck work out like this? What did I do wrong? I nearly fell onto my knees and burst into tears. I texted my Twitter friend who was in the seats, that I was upset and he said he'd be right over. My Muser friends consoled me. One girl, whom I met online later in a Muser group, said she saw the whole thing and even went to security to tell them that the drumstick was clearly for me, but security didn't care. Posting in the group made me feel better, they said Dominic means well, but doesn't have the best aim, and others said it took them a few shows to get one.
After the show, me and my Twitter buddy actually tried to look around the venue to see if we could catch the guys after the show. We saw a back area where it looked like they would exit, but security told us they left already and we couldn't stay. My friends and I went our separate ways. I trudged in the parking lot alone, with mixed feelings. So happy I saw Muse, a bit upset about the drumstick... and very very tired. I walked and walked. Trying to beep my keys to find my car, I couldn't find it. Ugh, of all the luck. Suddenly someone from a car yelled something at me. I awkwardly turned around. Being a young lady out by myself, being yelled at from a strange vehicle isn't something you want. But the voice sounded familiar, so I warily walked over. It was two guys from earlier, my new Muser friends I had met in the queue! I breathed a sigh of relief and told them I was looking for my car, and they very kindly offered me a lift to find it. I stated I was parked near porta-potties (I knew this because immediately upon arrival that's where I headed). We drove around for a few minutes and finally found my car. It was closer to the dumpsters. "No I swear it was near the porta-potties!" "You know a dumpster isn't a proper place to use the bathroom!" We all had a great laugh about that (which makes for a hilarious inside joke now) I went straight to my hotel at Ramada in, checked in, and passed out with wonderful Musey dreams of my day.
The Florida trip was overall AMAZING. All the Muse goodness definitely cancelled out the disappointments. I'd texted my friend in the UK practically the whole time, keeping him updated on everything. He cheered me up when I was down, inspired me, wishing me lots of luck, all sorts of things. (You know who you are!) I love my Muser friends and he's one of the best! :)
After the Muse Trip, since I was 2 hours away from my hometown, I made that my next stop (That's yet another blog entry in itself, and I know most of my readers are here for the Muse details!) So let's move onto the Atlanta show!
I'd had about a week or so before the next Atlanta show. I've been eyeballing these new pink goggles I found online from a place called GloFX. They were pink and kaleidoscope. I love my older pink goggles, they are like my signature accessory- I've work them when I first met Angus Scrimm, Jason Mewes, Victoria Price. They've come with me practically everywhere, even skydiving. I got them at Dragon Con a few years ago. But, the strap was getting loose, and the part in the middle was a little snapped. I didn't want to lose them. So I decided to upgrade get a new pair just in time for the next Muse show!
Ohhh man these goggles were trippy and fun! They were sure to turn heads (And they did the first day I wore them out to Atlanta the day when I went to the World of Coke!) Was I looking for Muse? What do you think? :P
Concert day!! That night before, I noticed that MuseFansUSA was doing a Snapchat for every city. I noticed they hadn't picked someone from Atlanta, so I messaged them, asking if I could do it, I had pit tickets, and they said yes! (I remember messaging them around Christmas time, they did the Muse Christmas Secret Santa and I was part of that as well!) Sweet! So during the day, I introduced myself and snapped away!
I got ready for the day. I wore my gray Muse 2nd Law shirt from NYC, a rare Muse Uprising necklace I bought from a girl at a Muse concert in the park, a purple skirt, bright colorful leggings, a colorful fanny pack, winged shoes, and of course my kaleidoscope goggles (Such a Kitsulie look, right?!).
Later that afternoon, Kayla (Aka @ConcertFlotus on Twitter) messaged me on Twitter, asking when I was arriving. We were Muser friends on Facebook but never actually met in person yet. I said I'd be there at 1 and she said there were only about 20ish people there. Reminded me of the Tampa show. Oh! I should also mention, I had called the venue the day before, asking when parking opened. They said 4:30. I asked, could I still arrive and wait somewhere. They told me no. But, I know Musers, and there were going to be there early. So I left to get there early anyway. Kayla informed me where to park and that's exactly what I did!
I'd stepped out the car and walked up. "Julie!!!" I heard, I looked over, it was Kayla with all her friends! I went over and hugged her and introduced myself to the rest of the crew. They said to write a number on my hand. I was number 29. What a cool idea! That way, people could get up and wander and go to the bathroom and gas station, and not worry about losing their place. Everyone of course was super awesome and friendly. I took some snaps. I recognized one of the ladies there- She was at the show in Tampa, and she recognized me as well. Learned that she came from Australia and has been at EVERY SINGLE Muse show this tour! That's dedication, I want to be like her! Kudos to you fellow Muser!
We waited and waited. It even rained, but we didn't care. Most of us had ponchos or umbrellas, snacks and music, portable chargers, chairs, just chatting and having fun.
Finally the gates opened and we could go in. Kayla and her other friends had fast pass so they went into another lane. The lines were so disorganized and they were worried they wouldn't get in first, even though they paid extra for the fast pass. As much as I wanted to get in ASAP, I was hoping security knew what they were doing and would let them go first. They did, whew! When it comes to Muse, we don't mess around! (I wish I had seen the fast pass, I would have snagged that myself too!) I hung out with a guy in an astronaut suit and his girlfriend and friend. He let me wear the helmet and I got to live my dream of being an astronaut at a Muse concert.
We were having a blast even before we got in, haha! That's just how we roll! We all got inside. Many people were already at the barrier, the fast passers. I was trying to decide to either be at the barrier, or behind a couple people toward the center. I opted for the center because I knew they would walk out on the center stage a lot too. I couldn't wait, Muse again! Wheee!
Once Muse came on, I was transported to another world. I snapped and took my own videos, but I was mostly entranced and living in the moment. Even when I took a video, you know how sometimes you look at the video while you're taking it? I was videoing, but looking straight at them. I could watch the video anytime. I was watching them real in front of my face again. They walked out onto the center stage a lot. Everyone around me was singing and dancing, but also very courteous of the people around them. We always said "excuse me" if we bumped into each other. Everyone was rocking but so polite! There was only one annoying drunk fellow, he was really sweaty, and kept talking during a song, and when he was behind me, got WAYYYYY too close for comfort. Luckily, he wanted to leave and security took him out. A couple people even clapped, apparently he was annoying quite a few people. He wasn't mean, just really drunk and not self aware, I think. No matter, I was having a blast. I even put on my Kaleidoscope goggles a few times, and saw THREE MATT BELLAMYS! Can you say heaven?! Not to mention I got a nice healthy dose of Matt Booty when he came onto the center. I won't say no to that! XD
The whole setlist was like a dream. Time is Running Out, Knights of Cydonia, The HANDLER, Dead Inside, Supermassive Black Hole. Nearly perfect. One day I'd love love LOVE to hear Dark Shines live. The whole thing was amazing. During Starlight everyone was singing their hearts out, me and the guy next to me even did a selfie video singing (Whoever you are, I'd love to see that vid!) I was in another Musey world. My heart was filled with complete joy. The magical energy from Muse and the crowd. The wonderful music, the mind blowing visuals... Everything about it was just astounding.
Toward the end, I held up my sign. Dominic came over again. He looked very tired, almost out of it. He sort of tossed the drumstick. The heck Dominic, are they made out of boomerang or something?? I still love you. It flung to a couple people behind me. I then saw them reach down and high five a couple people, like 5 people down from me, I reached but they were already making their way to the other side of the center stage. SHOOT! So close, yet so far. That's OK. I know he acknowledged me in Tampa, and probably this one, but he looked pretty tired by the end. I actually have a really funny animation idea about the whole thing, haha.
So that's my Muse adventures! I've now seen them in Florida, NYC, New Orleans, and a bunch in Atlanta, probably 10 altogether now! They only get better with every single show, and I love them even more with each passing day. I can't help it. Non-Musers think I'm crazy, Musers understand. Our ass belongs to them.
After nearly a decade and a half, I've been dying to meet them so badly. I feel like I'm always SO CLOSE, yet SO FAR. Once, they were 15 minutes from my house at a Go-Kart arena and I had NO IDEA! Now the missed drumstick, the hopes and expectations of winning a meet and greet. But you know what? It's okay! Life is full of unexpected surprises. I'm always positive and try my best to be a good person, no matter what life throws at me! Even if life is testing me, I will continue to be the best me I can be, and I know I'll be rewarded beyond my wildest dreams. I know this because my life has been pretty epic so far. I just know life is waiting for the right moment. Maybe I'm meant to meet them with certain people. Maybe I'm meant to become so well-known with my art, they'll want to meet me, or maybe I'm meant to work with them in some way! Who knows. Like they told me on September 26, 2012:
Realize that you cannot control everything. Enjoy the chaos.
That's exactly what I'm doing! Life is an adventure!
Thanks for TOONing into my latest Blog! Speaking of Toons, Stay on the lookout for a very special Muse fan video coming later this week! #MuseToons will also be coming to a YouTube near you this Summer!
Blue skies! Enjoy the Chaos and Stay TOONed!