GUEST BLOG: Ryne – LSOE2016 adventures!
It’s hard to explain the loss. I’m sitting at my apartment in a dining room chair, with a signed edition of Mothball Mint in front of me, and plenty more items to the side, still reeling over the fact that my last summer on Earth has finally come to its end. Maybe it was Kevin asking if he’d ever see us again. Maybe it was finally driving out of Indiana, Trunks blasting (“There’s some good stuff in here,” Jim had said) that finally made it so apparent I had to come back next year.
My roommate and I had attended RTX in Austin, TX with high hopes that this summer would be our greatest. That fragile place between independence and true adulthood was upon us, when we had money to spare and the freedom to travel without hangups. This truly was our Last Summer on Earth, and we would spend it as such.
Our trip began by meeting Anna Hullum, the costume designer of Roosterteeth, a BNL fan and the inspiration behind my recreation of Captain Dynamic’s signature suit. She not only fueled my drive to test my skills at the sewing machine, but to meet the band personally, and with her confirmation that the suit was ‘awesome’, I was more determined than ever to impress.
I also met Shannon McCormick, the man who, among many other incredibly impressive roles, portrayed Captain Dynamic’s nemesis ‘The Great Face’. I was personally cosplaying as the villain myself and it seemed, once again, impressed those I had spent so many months working to imitate.
From RTX, we hitched a flight back to Nashville and caught a magical moment after hours of walking around town: Barenaked Ladies’ soundcheck.
It was heavily distorted by nearby alleyways, traffic, and construction just across the road, but we were practically kids at
Christmas. It had been a year since they had performed at RTX, a year since we’d been lucky enough to see them perform from a distance. Within the next two hours, we were inside and ready for whatever #LSOE2016 could throw at us.
Picture us, two young twenty-somethings, about to see their first real concert. The excitement doesn’t get much higher than that, I’m sure anyone who has ever attended one can attest. What we weren’t prepared for was the white suited brilliance that was Howard Jones.
We were completely unprepared for this absolute wave of amazing tracks and singles from Howard, assisted by Robbie and Jonathan, who were incredibly talented as well. The crowd at Nashville, however, was lacking enthusiasm. But as Howard taught us, things would only get better. This wasn’t out only stop on the tour. Cincinnati proved to liven up, with a very Jones-centric fanbase, and by the time we hit Indianapolis, we took the time to meet Howard himself after a very impressive crowd reaction on the final city of our tour-along. A handshake and very welcoming smiles later, we were sealed as fans for life. Can’t wait to see you again, Howard, come tour the US soon!
OMD, much like Howard Jones, were a bit before our birth year, but I was surprised by the talent I heard. Paul’s vocals were incredibly moving, Andy’s dancing both mindless and melodic. Again, by the time we had hit all three cities, we were singing along with the setlist despite never knowing a single just days beforehand. Kevin Hearn joined the band with great enthusiasm during “Maid Of Orleans” and the addition was given much crowd approval. To OMD, again, please tour again soon!
Barenaked Ladies… how did I ever prepare for them? Between the overwhelming generosity of Jim, Kevin’s kind words, the enthusiastic conversations with Ed, and the attentiveness of Tyler during what I suspect to be a hectic tour, I felt nothing but lucky to be there. Not only were the songs everything we’d ever wanted, we drove home from Indianapolis with the setlist and determination to come back the next year. So many young faces were there to hear Snacktime. Kevin joked about an album for seniors dubbed Naptime. Ed publicly bashed Jim’s canoeing dry bag. Tyler announced the weather for us. We may have got
rained on a bit, but Jim helped to name my roommate’s bass “Solaire” and suggest which chords to practice. We surprised Kevin with a copy of Mothball Mint, now signed and spoken of.
There are many things I want to do in life. There are many things I still have time for. Meeting the band in person, after 20 years of hearing, hoping, watching, waiting, and wishing, was phenomenal in its own way. Wait for us next year, okay? We’re coming back for another Last Summer, and I can’t wait to see you all again.
Thank you for all you’ve done.