There And Back Again On the Road with Vertical Horizon

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It’s been 13 years but being able to see my favorite band in concert never gets old. It’s like being a kid in a candy store but this eye candy is fat free LOL! In the 13 years I’ve followed Vertical Horizon a lot has changed, I’ve got older, wiser and most recently noticably thinner at least if you ask the band members. However, there is one thing that hasn’t changed my appreciation and fondness for a band that changed the course of my life because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today, They have inspired and motivated me with their music, kind words, advice, best hugs ever and just the fact that they are real, genuine people who love what they do, they just happen to be rockstars but they certainly don’t act like them. They are the most humble, talented, funny and sweetest bunch of guys I’ve ever met. If you asked me 13 years ago if I ever thought I would be working for them, I would say no. I never saw them coming but I have been given the privilige and advantage to have some truly unforgetable experiences. 

My latest tour incarnation started in Falmouth, MA at the Barnstable County Fair. It always seems the road to concert glory is filled with some adventures and this time was no exception. A Jersey girl, I make a a deal with myself every year that whenever VH is on the East Coast I will make it as many shows as possible as North as New Hampshire and as down South as Virginia and I have done both in the past. This time it wasn’t as far.

 

Falmouth Ma, is beautiful though the language they use and direction leave a lot to be desired, they a rotary is what we call a circle in jersey or a roundabout is what we consider a jug handle. They also like to name roads that are really highways so you’re looking for a road that no longer exists.  With traffic and some bad weather to contend with it took almost 6 hours to get to our hotel and just had enough time to drop off our stuff and make it to the venue with little time to spare. We got to the venue and it was definately a county fair, complete with Pony rides, candy apples and fried confections. After settling in at the merch table, and running into Vertical Horizon’s guitarist Donovan White for some comedic banter and hellos it was time to try to find something edible that wouldn’t pack on the pounds. I settled on a grilled chicken gyro and a small salad.  After talking to some fans new and old, it was time for the show to start.  In the years since I started selling merch for the band, I’ve always had an interesting view and a rear view is not neccessarily a bad one. You get to be in on all the action. Having a lot of family and friends in the area lead singer and Vertical Horizon founder Matt Scannell played songs new and old and some with deep significance and meaning.  From their singles, “Everything You Want” and ” You’re A God” to the their latest single ” Broken Over You” off their latest release  Echoes From The Underground they rocked the crowd with energy, charisma and killer guitar solos from Matt Scannell and Donovan White. There were some poignant moments like when lead singer Matt Scannell dedicated a song he wrote for a soldier and the troops called ” A Song For Someone”  , the funny thing about it was though was the security guard turned to me and a friend and asked if I was the soldier he was talking about. I guess I hustle for the muscle and it’s finally paying off. I told him no it wasn’t me but was flattered.  Another nice tribute was lead singer Matt Scannell’s tribute to his dad when he sang a song he wrote for him, it has a great line in the chorus that goes ” All I want is for you to have a life, you love and live, take from me all I have to give because you are in my heart.” I love that line and it’s exactly how I feel about this band. The set list was rounded out with some other great tracks from the new album including “Lovestruck” a romantic, sultry sound with elements and reminsces of Peter Gabriel.  It was a great show.

The next stop on the tour was Mohegan Sun where the band plays a show every year in the “Wolf Den.”  Mohegan Sun is like an adult Disneyland, filled with beautiful sights,sounds and shops. It’s serene and tranquil and feels like you’re stepping into another world. The rooms are amazing and it smells incredible, the staff is the nicest bunch of people you could ever meet and some of them very attractive as well.

It took about 3 1/2 hours to get to Mohegan from NJ but when we did the staff was kind and welcoming and attentive and made sure our every need was attended to or addressed.  When I had to pick up the merch to bring it to the wolf den, a cute bellhop flirted with me the entire way, and when he was worried he might get in trouble because he’s not supposed to be on the casino floor he said ” They won’t be looking at me, but the pretty lady to my right”. I might have blushed just a little but it felt good and I felt beautiful in my dress.  Of course he had to be bald, I attract them like flies to honey. They kept popping up all weekend.  I decided Mohegan would be my cheat meal day since I try to keep my diet clean otherwise. I decided my “cheat” meal would be fried clams and fries and it was so yummy in all of it’s fried deliciousness. Thank goodness we had a lot of walking to do. After a yummy dinner. we headed to the slots and played a for awhile and won some then lost some but it was just in time for us to head to the “Wolf Den” to set up. We heard the band soundcheck, and talked to some friends. After letting people, in the wolf den fans new and old came up to the table to check out and buy merch and they all remembered me from years past. It was a nice feeling to know that what your doing means something and the reactions and actions of both the fans and the band confirmed that.  The energy in the “Wolf Den” is electric, and the band loves to play there and has a strong New England following so they are truly loved there. The band sounded amazing and it was a great night. However, the goal to exercise or use the pool never transpired somehow time and exhaustion just get the best of you. When you go on tour, you need to allow for detours and most of the time you don’t get to eat right, sleep right or exercise right, if you get to do it at all. However, it was amazing night and I felt sexy and beautiful for the first time in a long time and was treated with kindness and respect from not only the band and crew but the wonderful staff at Mohegan Sun. We didn’t have much time to revel in the excitement however, because the next day we were headed home to Jersey where Vertical Horizon was going to rock the Golden Nugget casino.

 

The next day after a leisurely breakfast we headed home to make the three hour trek to Jersey for the show. On the way there, we hit some traffic and bad weather and a few wrong turns later, it took us five hours. Once we found the hotel, we checked into our room which was very nice.  Then it was time to head to soundcheck, I was meeting some friends who were going with me and was pysched for a great night and that’s just what it was. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

I met up with my trainer and friend Danny who also brought a friend along to the concert. I wanted him to come because we have the same taste in music, and wanted him to see why I love those boys so much and he has helped shape and get me where I am now. So this was a little thank you.  Once we met up,we heard the guys soundcheck, got our tickets and backstage passes. After soundtrack, the guys came and met with Danny and his friend and took pics and chatted with all of us. Apparently, I might be too skinny for some of them because joked with Matt Scannell twice and said he didn’t even see me when I walked past him twice and guitarist Donovan told me at some point you just have to stop. I am finally happy with where I am at but want to be a powerhouse of muscle. I do appreciate all their compliments and concern because I know it’s coming from a genuine place and they care. They are the sweetest bunch of guys. After soundcheck we went our seperate ways and had dinner and played some more. Lady luck was not on our side and we didn’t win anything but it was a great night for music.

From the first song, the energy was electric and the crowd loved VH and it was nice to be a spectator and fan again for awhile. The acoustics were great and the band sounded amazing,  Some of the highlights of the night for me, were the intro to “You’re A God” it’s one of my favorites. Donovan White’s solo during ” Broken Over You” and ” The Lucky One” because in the end that’s what I am.

Although it wasn’t originally scheduled, the band decided to do a meet and greet because the fans loved them. They were so sweet, taking pics, signing and talking to each fan. After my merch duties were over, I said my goodbyes to the guys and got hugs and thank yous from all the band and crew.

After leaving the venue and my friends, I met with some other friends to try to win some money back in the casino when I ran into guitarist Donovan White, drummer Ron Lavella and sound tech Jay. We got to chatting about the concert and what a great show it was and then Jay brought up that they wanted to see Kiss and Def Leopard that would be a great show. That’s when the hilarity ensued and I had to break the news to them that Kiss was playing the same night at Boardwalk Hall and alas they had missed it. The looks on their faces of shock and disappointment was hilariousluy heartbreaking, Donovan hit the floor in disgust, It was one of the funniest spectacles I’ve seen in a long time. This is one of the best tours I’ve been on and it can only get better from here. I wouldn’t trade anything for the experiences I’ve had and am so greatful to have people like them in my life. To the Vertical Horizon band and crew, thank you for your kindness,generousity and caring. They will forever have a place in my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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