Hello, internet. Tis’ I, Alesandra! I am back with yet another story/glimpse into my life to share with you all.
So last night, I saw one of my all time favorite bands in concert for the very first time: The Wombats. 🐨 (I know that’s a koala, but that’s the closest emoji to a wombat) Anywho, let’s get started with this story, shall we?
Alright, so let’s just say that the start to my day was…interesting. I intended to get to the venue super early. (I’m talking 9am but I decided that I’d arrive at 1pm instead.) However, I fell asleep doing my hair the night before, so I woke up at about 7am in a panic because I had no idea how the frizzle-frazzle my hair was going to air dry by 7pm without looking crazy. This also foiled my plan to get to the venue ridiculously early because looking good is important, ya know? Thankfully, my wonderful madre brought me a hair dryer so it didn’t take me so long to finish doing my hair.
Moving on to more relevant things, I managed to get ready in time to make it to the venue by 4pm. Of course since I am somewhat of a concert junkie, I considered this to be “late” and seriously thought I would end up being rows back in the crowd during the show. (The mere thought of this broke my heart because I adore The Wombats and I really wanted to get as close as possible during my first concert experience with them.) My dad thought that this was absurd, considering the fact I was nearly 4 hours early. He was kind of right. Haha
The Calm Before The Storm✨🌤✨
(The venue, Raven Tower that has an actual tower.)
While waiting in line, I met this cool guy named Kevin who drove FIVE HOURS for this concert. He’s new to the concert scene and was treating himself to a weekend of shows. Absolute insanity. I love it! His red, heart-shaped sunglasses and pink, blue, and yellow patched polo shirt were also very cool as well. Besides Kevin, I also met some lovely ladies named Mariela and Angie who were very friendly. We all passed the time by sharing our various concert stories.
One of the perks of getting to a show early is being able to get a sneak peek of the set list via soundcheck. As I waited, I got to hear snippets of “Give Me A Try” and “Greek Tragedy.”
Once 7pm hit, we were allowed into the venue and I ran-walked all the way to the barricade, remembering to save a space for Kevin. Everyone in that general are talked about our favorite bands and how crazy the concert experience has become lately. Eventually, the intermission music ended and the only opening band came onstage. They are called Mona and they are AWESOME. (Also, we had a Tord sighting. He popped up off and on sidestage to watch Mona’s set and quite frankly, I don’t blame him. They’re awesome.)
(Head’s up: I only captured snippets of songs because I wanted to live in the moment.)
After Mona totally #rekt our lives, we had a 30 minute intermission before The Wombats were to take the stage and completely change my life. During this time, we could see the members of the band backstage as the dressing room door opened closed. Apparently Mighty Murph was getting his hair done. Haha We also got glimpses of Tordoise and The Magnificent Danosour. The crowd did a sing-along to “1901” by Phoenix and I knew right there and then that I had found my people. Eventually, the intermission music dwindled and the crowd fell silent.
The lights dimmed and the dressing room door that we had been watching so carefully opened once again. There exited Dan, followed by Murph and Tord. The crowd went absolutely bananas, myself included. The Wombats had arrived. They went straight into their song “Give Me A Try” as I felt all the previous stress that I had felt from that week slowly wane into nothingness. It had been a long time since I had been to a concert but in that moment, I knew I was home.
During the second song, Kevin threw a Texas flag with “The Wombats” written on it that one of the photographers of the night had given to him before the show for that sole purpose. Murph recognized what it was and commented on it. Tord placed it on the amp behind him and they continued their set. The guys had a quick friendly banter with the crowd which included Murph mentioning that it was the last day of the Glitterbug Tour, so if they sounded less than subpar by the end of the night, he apologized in advance. After Murph’s disclaimer, the guys started playing quite the dramatic intro to a song that sounded quite familiar. I automatically knew what it was without even hearing the studio introduction. I’ll just show you all rather than telling you:
Yupp, they played “Moving To New York” a.k.a my everything song. By “everything,” I mean that it’s my go-to song for whenever I need to fully immerse myself into a world of music in order to be inspired. It allows me to completely forget everything that’s going on around me and to dream. That song has instilled a sense of hope within me that I never want to let go of. It is for that very reason that “Moving To New York” is very dear to my heart. It’s probably the song that I play the most on my guitar when I practice, to be honest. I absolutely adore it. (Not to mention the fact that it was the first song that I ever heard from The Wombats. That part where the drums kick in after the guitar intro in the studio version nearly gave me an out of body experience the first time that I heard it. No joke.)
The guys went through a few more popular tunes such as “Tokyo,” “Emoticons,” “1996,” and “Kill The Director,” which is another personal favorite of mine. (I kid you not, it just started playing on my Spotify shuffle after I typed this…)
Murph accidentally introduced the next song as being a song about having a threesome, only to correct himself by saying that “Curveballs” is about having a threesome…then the band started playing “Curveballs.” (I’d be lying if I said that isn’t one of my favorite tracks off of Glitterbug, so that little factoid doesn’t really change how I feel about the song.)
After one particular song ended during their set, Kevin shouted “THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!” to which Murph responded “Thank you. You’re all beautiful.”as he made direct eye contact with me and held it for a moment. He said something else after that (I think something about us being soft???) but I didn’t catch it because I was hit by the feels train.
The next song that they played was “Greek Tragedy” and about halfway through the song, Murph made his way over to my side of the stage and reached out for my hand. It took a moment for me to process the fact that he was reaching for my hand specifically, because he had come over to my side of the stage so frequently during the show that I wasn’t expecting that. I reached out and intertwined my fingers with his as other fans around me began to frantically reach for his hand. He held on to me for a moment before letting go. (Night=Made) Not too long before their set ended, The Wombats brought all of their friends, opening band, crew, and loved ones onstage to thank them all for their hard work and support. They made a toast to the last day of tour and went on with the last couple of songs.
A few more songs in, I expressed my love for Tord the Lord by shouting “WE LOVE YOU, TORD!” to which he looked up and gave me the most precious smile. (I love Tord. That man is like an energizer bunny when he’s onstage. Real talk, if I had nearly as much energy on the daily as Tord has onstage, I would never need sleep. Ever.) Not too long after this, the guys left the stage and left us to chant for an encore. Eventually, Murph returned to the stage to serenade us with “Isabel.”
Right after “Isabel,” Tord and Dan joined Murph back onstage. “We’re going to play a couple of more songs for you if that’s alright,” Murph said before they jumped into “Let’s Dance To Joy Division.” (Ok, am I psychic or what, because that song just came on shuffle after I typed that…) The guys then proceeded to destroy the stage…both literally and metaphorically.
They played this:
…and then they literally tore the stage apart. Murph threw his guitar through Dan’s drumhead as he and Tord helped Dan throw parts of his drumset everywhere. All that I could think of as I watched them destroy the stage was “DISRESPECT YOUR SURROUNDINGS.” (What’s hilarious is that when I spoke with Dan after the show, he said that was the first time that Murph had done something like that with his guitar. He also said something along the lines of “That’s definitely going to cost more than $100.” That poor guitar. Bless him. Haha) Before the chaos, the band took an end of tour selfie with the crowd. They thanked us all for coming and told us that they couldn’t have dreamed out a better crowd to end the tour with. After shattering my life into a million magnificent pieces and resurrecting it as a euphoric bliss, The Wombats exited the stage once more. Kevin and I waited around momentarily for any setlists that were left, but to no avail. However, this nice staff guy gave each of us one of Tord’s picks. I then headed to the merch table.
The Aftermath 💥🎸✨
(The stage at the end of The Wombats’ set.)
After the show, I went to The Wombats’ merch table and bought some buttons. The members of Mona stuck around to meet fans, so I briefly got to speak with their guitarist, Alex. We introduced ourselves and spoke about their set and what it was like touring with The Wombats. Alex said they The Wombats are really nice guys and that they even took him bowling! How sweet is that? As our conversation came to an end, we took a selfie and parted ways. I then met up with Angie and Mariela again. We decided to wait to see if The Wombats would come out to meet fans. While we waited, I witnessed some truly adorable bromance between the members of Mona. Alex slow-danced in circles with one of his bandmates while singing “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley. Not too long after that, I spotted Dan in the now mostly empty venue.
(Me and Alex from Mona)
As we headed in his direction, Tord and Murph also came into view, surrounded by fans. Angie, Mariela, and I got in line to meet Murph but since the guys were somewhat dispersed and my ride was already at the venue waiting to pick me up, I went up to the guys one by one. Angie and Mariela were nice enough to let me go ahead of them in line because I was in somewhat of a rush. When Tord finished taking pictures with a couple of fans, I called his name and he turned around to say hello. We talked about the show and he told me how he and the band had been touring for 18 months. I told him I bet that he was ready to go home. He looked off into the distance to ponder for a split for a second before looking back at me and responding “Actually…yeah!” He also mentioned that he had no idea why they hadn’t been to Texas in so long, aside from festivals. We took a picture together, as well. I wished him a safe trip home before asking for a hug. We hugged and I walked back over to Murph to wait to get the chance to speak with him.
(Me and Tord. If you look closely behind us, you can see a wild Murphbat in his natural habitat.)
When I met Murph, he hugged me as we said hello to each other and he said “Thank you for giving us so much energy up there,” much to my surprise. I had briefly made eye contact with Murph and Tord a few times during the show as we enthusiastically sung their songs but I didn’t think either one of them had actually noticed me as an individual. (Besides Murph grabbing my hand…I guess that does count. Haha) I told him it was no problem and that The Wombats are one of my favorite bands. I also told him that when I got my Fender (a.k.a my baby) for Christmas, “Moving To New York” was the first song that I played on it. (Looking back, it was technically the second song that I played on it in the store but it was definitely the first song that I played on it when I took it home. My bad, Murph.) Murph thanked me for coming out and I asked him for the band to please come to Houston again soon. He said they would. 🙂 We got a selfie and I said goodbye before walking over to Dan to say hello.
(Murph and myself. As you can see, Murph is quite tall. Also, yes, I am wearing a fanny-pack. Don’t judge me…)
Dan looked up from his conversation with Kevin and said hello to me. Being the awkward person that I am, I went in for a hug at the same time that Dan went in for a handshake. We both laughed as we hugged. I talked to Dan about how this was my first time seeing The Wombats live and how I enjoyed it. He seemed really excited as he told me how Murph had never done anything like “that” before. “That” was Murph throwing his guitar through Dan’s bass drumhead in a true rock n’ roll fashion. As previously stated, he also said “That’s definitely going to cost more than $100,” and if I remember correctly, he said that Murph’s guitar is named “Old Blue” and according to Dan, it has been through worse. Apparently, it’s gone on various adventures to the repair shop. He also explained that he was afraid that the show would be cancelled at first because they weren’t sure if they could do their usual live setup on that stage. Apparently the original venue, White Oak Music Hall wasn’t big enough, so they had to move nextdoor to Raven Tower. He said that they had to drill holes into the stage to make it work and Kevin and I were both amused because we most definitely heard drilling before the show. Now we knew why. We told Dan and he confirmed that that is what it was.
Dan was really nice and seemed to be the most talkative of the trio. He, Kevin, and I went on to talk about how we all feel an invisible twinge of pain when our instruments suffer any form of damage that most people don’t seem to understand. I told Dan I’m also the same way with my sketchbook. (Seriously, if you’ve bent the pages as you flip through them, I’ve more than likely had a mini heart attack while watching you do so.) I wanted to stay and talk more but alas, I needed to head out. My ride was waiting for me outside. I asked Dan for a picture and we selfied it out before saying goodbye. I also asked him for the band to come back to Houston and he said that they would soon. (I’M STOKED.) I told him goodbye and to be safe getting back home. He thanked me and I headed towards the entrance of the venue outside.
(Me and Dan. Shoutout to that guy who’s photo-bombing us in the background. That’s like the 5th time I’ve been photo-bombed in a picture with another musician…haha)
As I was leaving, I heard someone say “I love your lipstick!” I turned around to see Vince and Jordan from Mona. “I could literally see your lipstick from on the stage, Vince continued.” (I had been wearing my favorite blue lipstick…in fact, my entire outfit from eyelids to converse was blue, minus my black skinny-jeans. I was originally going to go to the show dressed as a Glitterbug, but I ended up being all blue instead…Close enough.) “Thank you,” I responded. “Is it cool if I get a picture with you,” I asked. Vince and Jordan eagerly agreed and we snapped a quick selfie. “I try,” I continued, “Well at least sometimes, I do. Haha” “Well it works for you,” Vince said. “I like how you did all blue,” he added. Jordan agreed. I thanked them again and told them how much I loved their set, to which they thanked me. We spoke for a bit and then I said goodbye and headed into the night.
(Vince, Jordan and I. These guys were so sweet, ya’ll. Please check out their band Mona.)
And with that, one of the most magical nights of my life came to an end.
You know how the first line of “Moving To New York” says: “I’ve just had the craziest week?” Well, I’ve had the craziest past few months. I hadn’t been to a concert and ages and last night was the closest to myself that I’ve felt in a long time so I’d like to take a moment to thank The Wombats for that. Thank you for continuing to make music that inspires me to continue to dream and fills my heart with hope and a sense of wonder. It reminds me of who I am and who I want to be. I hope I can be that person one day and will be able to create something with my art and my music that can instill such a euphoric feeling in someone else and inspire them to do the same.
And to those of you who read this all the way through, thank you so much. I know that I write a lot, but I try my best to include every detail so that I can immerse you all in my stories so you can feel as though you were there with me. Thank you again and have an awesome week!
Much love always,