Hahaha, I love the double meaning of the title of this post. I really did need a vacation, some time away, and a little adventure...I needed to breathe. But at the same time, my trip to North and South Carolina truly was inspired by my favorite band, NEEDTOBREATHE, and a new friend named Deah. Rewind to December-ish when Deah and I were becoming friends through various Need related sites, and she realized I had not been to the east coast. Thus came the prompt, "You should come to Charleston for a home show!" This became a little seed planted that once watered by looking at flight prices and acquiring a friend to come with me bloomed quickly. By January, it was decided that I was going to spend about a week in the Carolinas and see three Need shows, two of which were in their home town of Charleston. I was beyond excited, and well, anxious for the next three months to come so I could GO!
Fast forward to last week...Stephanie and I are all packed and ready to embark on this long anticipated trip. I have all my outfits picked out, the Cheetos (aka perfect midnight snack) ready for Joe, and the headband for Bo's wife. We make the drive to LAX, and get there 4 hours early! It was a late night flight, so we were anxious to get on the plane so we could try and sleep...and because of that, this happened... Eventually we got on the plane, and began the time warp three hours ahead of SLO time to the far away land of the Carolinas. Neither of us slept well, and I am not a happy camper when I don't sleep. I tried to take a nap in the Atlanta airport, with some success, but it just wasn't enough. We got to Charlotte three hours before we were supposed to check into our hotel. This is when the Hyatt in Charlotte began to win our hearts by letting our desperate-for-a-nap selves check in early so we could look normal at the concert later that night!
After a delicious two hour nap, Stephanie and I woke up and began to get ready. Soon, Deah and Ashleigh joined us and made me envious of their earlier acoustic show with Need. Stephanie and Ashleigh quickly discovered how much Deah and I love Need...they started out not knowing names, but by the end...haha...We got all dolled up and headed for the closest restaurant, which ironically ended up being some Mexican restaurant with steep prices and slow service. We scarfed our food and booked it for the venue so we could get in and start meeting people! I was looking forward to this show because I knew I was going to meet a few friends I had made online, including Tennessee and Elaine. The four of us quickly spotted familiar faces, including Need's tour manager, Tyler. Deah and I went up and introduced ourselves. I had been following Tyler's blog (because I am a blog nerd), and had commented a few times. I explained that and shared that I was the Respirator for SLO. He asked about the size of the venue, which I shared was too small...you could tell he was mentally preparing for that show, as he has never been there before. We chatted a bit more before he had to run off and do important things. Shortly after that, we met Susan, the amazing photographer who did Need's photo book. She was really sweet to talk to. Then I spotted Patrick (aka Secret Guest from a webchat a few months back). Deah and I walked up to him and said, "So, rumor has it that you are the Secret Guest...", to which he replied, "Mayyybeeee". He laughed and admitted it, and we introduced ourselves. We asked him about his random squiggly line shirt (which Tyler had also been wearing), and he said it didn't mean anything, but that there were only two. We also asked if Ashleigh could be added to the meet and greet for that night and maybe Sunday. He told us that he might be able to do Sunday (which didn't end up happening).
Matt Hires began to play, and Deah, Stephanie and I waited near the merch booth to go to our meet and greet. Ashleigh hovered around there, waiting for us to return. Soon, Patrick came and told us that we needed to get into groups of 5-6...we joined Tennessee and her mom and friend, and got in the back of the line so we could be last! We joked about the pink sunglasses Tenn got for Seth to wear and impatiently waited our turn. Eventually, we were the last group, and we found it hilarious that the door we were going through was an emergency exit only. We joked that it was indeed an emergency. Patrick took one look at our group and told us he was going to have to separate us...such a tease! Finally it was our turn!
I walked out to Bo and Joe, while Deah apparently walked up to each one, shook their hand and then waited at the end of the line...hee hee...she is what we refer to as a breather freezer! Stephanie played paparazzi as I gave Bo the headband I promised for his wife. He laughed a little at the fact that it came in a heart shaped box. I promise, that was not my idea! I found it hilarious when Bo told me he recognized me from Twitter, when I had only joined the week before! I asked Bo about the "Something Beautiful" video, which my friend Tim and I entered an entry for. He laughed and said he had been working on it right before the meet and greet. He asked me if it was the video with the beach scenes and when I said yeah, he responded with "yeah, we're not gonna use that video..." I am pretty sure I lightly smacked his arm and replied "BO! Don't tease me like that!", to which he said, "nah, we are gonna use it" and smiled. I shared with the guys that Stephanie and I had traveled overnight to come see them, and they were impressed. I told Joe I was really excited when they added SLO to the tour, because it wasn't on the original list. Then I told Joe that when I met him in San Francisco, I forgot to get a picture with him...because we talked so much! Bo looks at me, says "ohhhh...." and slides over, gesturing me to get in there and take the picture. Joe goes "oh really?" and smiles, and we get the picture you see here. Deah joined me at some point here, and I asked Joe about his tattoos. In the webchat, he said he had 4, whereas only 3 are visible...plus, he was getting another one. So, I asked where the 4th was (his ankle), and what his new one was going to be (a tree with roots going into the hebrew tattoo...which I love...it means "the Messiah makes the soldier"). I moved down the line and talked with Bear and Joe a little about what they were going to do in SLO, and why they were going from L.A. to San Diego then up to SLO. While talking to Bear about girls getting tattoos because Deah was talking about getting one (Bear encouraged her to go with a full sleeve...haha), Joe called Stephanie over to talk. Stephanie asked him about his beard, and I jumped in somewhere in this to overhear him say that he wanted to let it grow till the end of tour...if he could stand it. Stephanie goes on to tell him about a guy we saw at the airport who had a crazy beard...and points out that this guy was bald. I found this hilarious because Steph didn't know that Joe is also bald. He just wears hats all the time. I later gave her a hard time about pointing this detail out. We then got a few group shots and I manage to high five Seth as they go. I didn't even talk to Seth, nor did that really bother me. He had refused to wear Tenn's sunglasses, which made me sad. Bear rocked them though, and made me smile. I had a great time talking with Joe and Bo!
We went back inside and after trying to push our way through a very grumpy crowd, found ourselves near the sound booth. Deah was invited to stand inside the sound booth by Tyler, while I sadly stood just outside it. I was not cool enough, I guess! And I certainly was not going to invite myself. It was fun though, because I knew what songs were coming, and had a decent view of the stage. I met a couple who met through the breather site and were getting married in two weeks. So sweet. The guys played an amazing set, and wound down to their acoustic set, where they moved up to the balcony. Bear told the crowd to be quiet so he could sing over everyone and if anyone heard someone talking, they should punch em in the face. I thought that was pretty funny. People were not moving very quickly out of the way on the balcony, and I grew impatient, saying they needed to move. Tyler told me to hold on...haha, I guess I was being impatient. You can watch the video of this performance here.
The crowd eventually thinned and we decided to leave. Ashleigh voted to stay with Steph and I for the night instead of trekking back home, so we grabbed her stuff. On our way back from that, we saw Jenna, Breather Prez, and chatted for a few minutes. Bear was taking pictures with people, which I thought was sweet of him. We somehow managed to find our way back to the hotel and into bed for a wonderful night of sleep...here ends day 1...