Saturday, March 21, 2020

Festival Underground 12

   Hey lovelies. How are you today? Continuing my telling of concert/band experiences from these past couple months, this time I will bet writing about two bands that are pretty special. The next one is VERY important and dear to me. If you read my last post, you'll remember reading a second about Into The Sea. 
   I first heard about them when they were announced as an opening band for Escape The Fate. I checked a couple of their songs, realized they sang in English, that they were from Saltillo (an hour away from Monterrey), and that they sounded great. But to my misfortune, I didn't pay them the time they needed for me to really get into them before the concert. I was too obsessed with learning every ETF lyric I could so I knew every word at the concert.
   That night at the concert they played first before Frida, the other opening band. I didn't know any of the lyrics, names of the songs, or band members. But when I heard them play, it was like something clicked. Something felt right hearing them play and watching them on stage. There is only one other band that I connected with the same way,although I haven't seen them live, and that is As It Is. After that, I made sure to follow them on all of their social media and I listened to every single song.

   A couple of weeks after the concert they created a Facebook group and invited everyone that liked the page. I don't know if it was because I accepted the invite first or what, but I was made moderator automatically by the group. I messaged the band page asking about it and if they had any rules. They messaged me back and said it was an accident, but that I could stay on if I wanted to. I , of course, said yes and offered to help with any social media or marketing. I thought of post ideas and now do my best to keep the group active. On the bands first post I commented that I saw them at the ETF concert and couldn't wait to see them again. They commented back and said they were going to be playing here in Monterrey again at Festival Underground in Cafe Iguana on December 8th.

   Long story short, they liked the way I interacted with the group and after a bit the bassist DM’ed me asking if I would be up to helping them with their social media. I can't find a word to describe the exact way I felt. I was excited and surprised. I never expected them to actually want me to help them. Why would they? From what I could tell, I was just some fan. I thought I was being weird, offering to help. There was this moment after I listened to the voice messages and after I told my mom, but before I actually answered him that I felt like I was in one of those cheesy band fanfictions. Ya know, where out of nowhere the girl somehow gets noticed by her favorite band and eventually meets them, even though all odds are against her? Like that.
   So when I finally responded, we talked a little about what I would do, I made sure to let him know I am still in school and we sort of agreed to meet at Festival Underground.

   Festival Underground was the first time I went to Cafe Iguana. It was 40 bands playing on 4 different stages from 1 to like 11pm. All local bands and all rock or alternative. My parents, brother and best friend all went with me. It was supposed to be a family event, so why not. I don't particularly like being around a lot of people, but in regards to the music and I guess the style of the crowd, I was in my element there. I know other people my age that like the same music and bands as me, but I'm the only one that really got into dressing darker and always wearing band shirts. I was always the odd one out like that, but I felt comfortable at that event. If any of you ever feel like the odd one out because of the way you dress or something you like, DO NOT CHANGE to fit in with the crowd. I promise you that you will find other people just like you at some point. Be you and do or like what makes you happy.
   We got to the event at the beginning because I didn't want to miss any bands. A few bands I saw that I liked and didn't know about before were You Suck!, Between Cycles, Landers and Mision Kepler. I recommend any of these, a couple are really just now starting out and don't have any material out yet, but the others you can look up on youtube.

   Okay, finally getting to where I actually met Into The Sea. Me and my family had gone next door for pizza at this place that Cafe Iguana has called Pizza Iguana (how original, right?). We went back at like 4:30 and the band WAS THERE. We went back in, walked around for a bit and I saw them watching another band. It was the bassist Athanel (who had messaged me about helping them out) and the guitarist Kike. I was terrified. I am so ridiculously shy and was nervous because I was worried that I would fumble over my words or that they would think I was too weird. I mean, I am weird, but I don't necessarily want other people to think or know that. My mom almost literally pushed me to go introduce myself. I walked up to them, tapped on Athanel’s shoulder, they turned around and we said hi. After that I wasn't so nervous anymore. We all went back over to where the rest of the band was and where they had their merch set up. We chatted for a little and talked a bit about what I would help with. I bought some merch, a shirt and a CD. They had to leave and go set up because they played at 5:15.

   Watching them this time around was completely different. At this point I knew the lyrics and I had made a connection with some of the songs. It was amazing seeing them live and I don't want to wait to see them again. I'll leave the link to my YT here so you can see some of the set.

   This is Athanel, the bassist and the one that contacted me about helping. Honestly he is kind of inspiring for me. He not only has the band, but also his own barber shop and is an architect. I plan on studying medicine in college. I want to specialize in Psychiatry or Chinese Medicine and open my own practice someday. Sometimes I try to wrap my head around how I am going to do this. I already struggle in Prepa, how am I going to survive college? Then I think about how if he can do all that , maybe I can manage this one thing and be successful like him.

   Next is Kike. Later that night after their set, we were all just standing around literally doing NOTHING. I felt so freaking awkward because I didn't know what to talk about and no one else was saying ANYTHING. I don't remember if something got said beforehand, but he told me “don't get a boyfriend, they're from the devil”. I laughed it off because even though I've tried before, I can't seem to get a boyfriend anyways. Two seconds later he is hugging me. Like wrapping his arms around me hug. I was shocked to say the least because I am not used to people just grabbing onto me like that. It took me a moment to realize who it was and to hug him back. It was so sudden, it even surprised my mom who was sitting to the side and asked me later what it was about. Thinking about it now, I kind of want to hug him again because he is really sweet when you meet him. He is also in another band that is from Monterrey called Inferzenal (hence the t-shirt). Y'all will read about them further down.

   Here are all of us including the drummer, Jorge. I haven't really talked to him much, but he was nice when I met him and he makes really cool drum related videos that he uploads to YT. When I was in elementary school in the US I wanted to join the marching band so I could learn the drum and then the same after we moved and wanting to get to Prepa, so I find his videos interesting.

   If you haven't noticed yet, we are missing something very important to the band in the picture. The singer! I didn't know at the time that that was the singer’s last show with the band. He left pretty quickly after the set, so I didn't get any pictures with him. No worries, though. The singer from their last album, Clarity, was coming back to the band. Pretty much what happened is the band started with the singer from this last show, he left and the new one came in and recorded the album , did a tour and I'm not sure what else, then that singer left and the original one came back. Now the second singer, Luis, is back and they just released a new song and video with him. It is their first song in Spanish and is perfection. I love it and have been listening to it on repeat. Check it out here. The first time I listened to the song when it premiered, I got a little emotional because of the meaning in it. I feel identified with the lyrics and this band and the people in it mean a lot to me. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Luis yet, but I've heard awesome things from a friend that has known him for a long time.

   The thing with the album Clarity, the album that Luis sang on, is that there are songs that are very important and meaningful to me on it. The first song by them that I really got into was Let It Burn, specifically the lyrics “ embrace your pain, so you can be your own hero”. Any of you that have read what I write since the beginning know that a long time ago I would harm myself and unfortunately it left the faintest of scars. They really aren't visible unless you are looking for them up close. The problem is that I know they are there. Back in September when I got my first tattoos, I thought about using the opportunity to cover them up. It sounds ridiculous, but I wasn't mentally ready to cover them up. I had spent so much time trying to accept my depression and the results of it. Those little lines are a reminder that I made it through that rough time. I learned how to embrace my pain and one day, while listening to Let It Burn, I felt ready to let it go. I don't know when or with what I will put over them. I just know that when the time comes, I won't be afraid.
   The second song that has helped me through some hard times is Endless. I have moments, I'm sure just like so many other people, where I feel completely and utterly alone. I often feel like I'm searching for something or someone to fix me up. Especially when things aren’t the best at home or school, I listen to this song and I feel better.

   I swear this wasn't supposed to be so depressing. These are just things that have been on my mind for a while and I wanted to get out. Some people may think that they are just some band. They mean so much more than that to me, to their other fans and I hope they know that.

   On a different note, I met and saw for the first time live Inferzenal. They are from Monterrey and opened for Sleeping With Sirens in 2018. I didn't get to go to that concert because i had just paid school fees and didn't have any money. I started listening to them because Kike is in both bands, so I checked them out. They are the first band I really got into that sang in Spanish. Their songs are the first ones I enjoyed singing along to in Spanish. For me, that was big. I had tried for a long time to get into music in Spanish and just couldn't. Maybe a cover band and whatever my dad listens to, but I never truly became a fan. They were the first. The first song i heard from them was Incapaz, their latest single.

   The singer Crow and the then drummer Alan got to Cafe Iguana around the same time we did. The funny thing here is that at some point before I had bought merch but after bands had started playing, my parents started talking to Crow while watching a band. I'm not sure where I was at that time, but my parents and Crow seemed to really hit it off, so I guess that's cool. I had told my parents about this band and they remembered. My dad was trying to buy me a shirt and cd while I was watching a band. He didn't know what I wanted so my mom pulled me away and I sadly missed the set of a now good friend because of that.

   Let's talk about a very wholesome moment with this band. After they found a shirt in my size and I picked what CD I wanted, I asked them to sign it. They were also handing out bracelets if you followed them on their social media. Alan told me this and I told him I already did, so he asked red or black and tied it on me ( I still have it on 3 ½ months later). Obviously throughout this whole encounter I had to speak out loud and I'm assuming my accent was really heavy that day, because Alan asked me if I knew Spanish very well or something like that. I asked him if he was saying that because of the accent and told him that English is my first language. He told me that I could speak in either, that they all understood (English). That moment was golden for me. My accent is one of my biggest insecurities. Part of why I hate trying to interact with people here most of the time. Back in Acuna I was bullied and mocked over my accent and here people think it's something cute and treat me trying to say difficult words like it's a game. Any of you that are bilingual know that it is not fun when you trip over words while simply trying to get a sentence out. It felt wonderful not having someone question me over it, just accepting it and letting it be. I don't know why, but left the band and now they have this really cool and sweet guy named Chris that's half Mexican and half Swiss (I think?).
   Right after this I went to the bathroom and changed shirts. This was all before Into The Sea showed up and that is why in all the pictures I have the Inferzenal shirt on. I'm thinking they liked that I asked them to sign my CD and that I changed shirts because after their set, they signed one of the set lists and gave it to me. Kike gave me one of his picks too. I was so excited over this that I hugged them.

   This is the end of a very long story. Take from it what you will. I do want to tell you all one more thing. Don't be afraid to try. If an opportunity for anything positive presents itself to you, grab it! But don't beat yourself up if you don't feel ready to. Everyone does things on their own time.

   Goodbye, for now, friends.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Escape The Fate 18-10-19

   Hey everyone! I hope all of you are doing wonderfully and are living your best! I abandoned this thing. Again. Sorry about that. 😅 My last post was a sort of run down of what was happening. This one isn't going to be that way.

   I want to start telling you all about the various concert/band experiences I have had. I always knew that I would enjoy going to concerts, getting to hear my favorite songs live, watching bands play in person and that completely satisfying and happy moment right after and sometimes days after, where everything feels okay. Like I've mentioned before and the base of starting this thing, music helps me handle my depression. Just like so may other people and maybe just like you. I would compare the energy at a concert to smudging your house. It cleans you of all the bad vibes for a while. Putting it simple, concerts make me happy.

   My first concert EVER was on 18-10-19 for the band Escape The Fate. I had mouthed off several months before to my parents, saying wouldn't it be awesome if a band I like came around my birthday. I never expected it to really happen and even less thought I would actually get to go. I've listened to this band for a few years , off and on. Some of their songs mean a lot to me. I took a friend with me, who then was barely more than a kid I knew from school, but is now the closest thing I can call my best friend.

   The show was AMAZING. Two bands opened for them. Into The Sea and Frida (this will be really important later on). I was about 2 people away from the stage and when ETF came on, I was just shocked. I had fun all night, I sang, I screamed along with everyone else. I felt different. The adrenaline rush of the whole thing was new to me, being that excited.

I managed to get pictures with and meet a couple of them before they had to leave.

   This is Robert, he's the drummer in the band. He also happens to be Hispanic and Native American just like me, so that's cool. He was outside the stage area ready to take pictures and meet fans right after their set was over. I was grinning so hard (again, the adrenaline rush of the whole thing). I asked him if I could hug him and he said yeah, sure, but that he's all sweaty. It was so gross, but I didn't care. I had my friend take a picture of us so I could remember this exact moment.

   I also got to meet their guitarist, Kevin “Thrasher” . He had done a contest on Instagram giving away tickets for their tour. My mom commented but trying to get VIP, along with a little bit of my story. She got noticed and won the free entrances, but it didn't really matter since I already had general admission tickets. So my mom messaged him, still trying to get VIP (if you're reading this, I love you mommy 😘). Unfortunately, I didn't get VIP, but I got to meet him anyways. After meeting Robert, we were nearly kicked out of the venue by the personnel and waited around outside. A couple minutes later, Thrasher comes out to meet fans and I barely got back in there to meet him. I told him that I was the crazy lady's daughter that kept messaging him. AND HE REMEMBERED. We actually got to talk a little. He asked me about how I ended up in Mexico, if I liked it here, that kind of stuff. He hugged me TWICE and even hugged my friend for coming to the concert with me and told him to take care of me.

   And finally, after meeting them two, me and my friend waited a few more minutes outside before we got an uber. More than anything, I wanted to meet the other guitarist, TJ. The band came out to get in the shuttle to go back to their hotel and I saw him. For those that don’t know me in person, I am incredibly shy, I have a hard time interacting with people and I hate feeling like I'm being a bother. But I saw TJ and I yelled his name to get his attention and walked up to him, and asked him to write out these lyrics for me so I can get them tattooed. Just listen to this song and you'll see why they're important to me. He had his hands full of stuff and had to shove it off on someone else to be able to do this for me. It meant so much though because he could've said no and gotten into the shuttle. I am still proud of myself for swallowing my nerves and doing that. And that was it. The band got into their shuttle and I ordered the uber to go home. It was definitely an unforgettable experience that I will always hold close to me because it was my first concert and the beginning of me finding where I fit in.

   As of this moment I have now went to a couple other concerts and music events. I always thought that Monterrey didn't really have a music scene until this concert, because I hadn't gotten out enough to know. But now I know and there are some amazing bands here that I will be telling you amazing people about in the next few weeks.

   That's all for this time friends. Stay safe, take care of yourself and never forget that it's okay to not be okay.