So, I will edit my posts to change their real names for fictitious names and a few other points that might help identify them.
I, personally, don't care what the naysayers think because we did nothing wrong and we were very respectful of Clay and of his and the other idol's privacy. Even going into the bus was no violation because we were INVITED (without ever asking to be) by people who had that bus as their temporary home too. We didn't invade anybody's privacy.
This was one of the most exciting experiences in my life and I will not be ashamed of it.
Hi everybody, I am still very tired and have no voice left after 5 concerts in 9 almost sleepless days.
It was all SOOOO worth it though.
I still cant believe it all happened to little old me. These kinds of things REALLY never happen to me. But this time I was BLESSED.
This is more of an account of our experience then each concert and, for that reason, I am posting it here in Clay Place.
This is really long and I will start since our experience in SLC and Boise but if you already have read about those, jump down to the SACRAMENTO AND S. JOSE part.
First, Infatuaiken and I went to the SLC concert on 8/23.
WE had planned A LOT of things to increase our chances of getting to a M&G or to meet Clay somehow.
I ordered NC BBQ from a NC restaurant through the Internet. Had it shipped to my SO. CA home overnight and carried it in a cooler, on a plane to SLC. We also had a gourmet basket for Jerome and a book/Clay-favorite-food basket for Clay.
We saw Brian (Clays hairdresser) by mere chance, earlier in the day at a mall across the street from our hotel, we approached him, got pictures with him and mentioned our gifts to Clay and the necessity to get them to him before the show since they would not let us in the arena carrying a cooler with BBQ. Brian promised he would give the heads up to Jerome and told us to be at the arena for the M&G. He seemed very flattered for having been recognized and was very sweet during the whole conversation.
We got to the arena before it was time to the M&G and one of the 1st things we saw was a Van from a hotel arriving. Well, to count our 2nd lucky strike of the day, who was in the Van right by the window, right in front of us? Yes, Clay was our first sight after arriving at the arena.
We went and found the will call location, got in and started waiting for a chance to see Jerome and give him our 2 gifts to Clay and the gift we brought him.
Not much later Jerome appeared and people started running towards him. We stayed where we were, waited for a chance, got his attention and Michelle, who was holding the basket for him told him that we brought him that gift. He was flattered but I really dont think that just the gift would have done it. Then I asked: Did Brian talk to you about us and the BBQ? Then, his eyes lit up and he said: Yes, he did!!. Then he proceeded to talk to a few more people, came back to us and told us to wait that he would be right back.
Well, he did come back and came bringing 2 shiny, pink, coveted wristbands. We just about died of so much happiness. We were going to see Clay. For me, it would be the second time since I got backstage (because of a sign I had) on the Indy concert, while Clay still appeared in the room.
The M&G is very rushed but it is still wonderful to be in front of Clay for those 30 seconds or so, exchange a few words and get his autograph with a nice dedicatory saying your name and all my love, Clay Aiken.
The SLC Clay concert was wonderful as all others and, since there were quite a few empty seats on the 1st row, we decide to move up from our 3rd row seats to the first row, almost center (just a bit to the left, which is the good side). We were REALLY lucky again since all the other seats that had been empty, filled up before intermission, but nobody claimed the 2 seats we took for ourselves.
After the show there was no chance to see the Idols getting into the bus and we just went back to the hotel to try and rest before the drive to Boise.
We got the rental car in the morning and drove to Boise. We didnt even try to go to the M&G there. We had 3rd row seats but found 2nd row available at the box office and decided to buy them and move up one row.
The show was great but the arena was half-empty (tickets were not sold through ticketmaster) and the crowd was hard to get going. Michelle and I decided to stand up and cheer as much as we could for the first performers, Charles and Julia, who were performing to a totally cold crowd. Rickey was able to get most people to get up but throughout the whole show, the audience was not the most energetic.
OMC still got a great and loud reception (loudest than anybody elses) and everybody always stood up and screamed when he was up.
After the show, we went to the area where the buses were and waited. The buses were in plain site and we could see well as the Idols were coming out. Finally Clay appeared with Ruben and the crowd went crazy (for Clay). Security was trying to get Clay to walk to the buses going around the last bus on the 1st row and into one of the 2 parked behind the 4 that were lined in the front.
Clay saw and heard the crowd, broke away from security and came to the make shift fence made of yellow tape to greet, thank and shake the hands of the fans. He is such a sweetie.
People did not leave the location until the buses left and were shouting "we want Clay" much of the time.
I drove back to the SLC airport right after everything was over and we flew back to LA. No sleep at all and I went to work right after arriving home.
SACRAMENTO AND S. JOSE
Thursday, 8/28, finally arrived and we were more then ready to do it all again.
We originally had a round trip flight from LA to S. Jose on Saturday and back on Sunday but since we decide to go to the Sacramento show on Thursday too, we thought it was best to rent a car, drive up to Sacramento on Thursday for the concert, spend Friday sightseeing in S. Francisco, drive back to S. Jose for that concert, return the car at the airport and take our return flight to LA so that we could go to Anaheim. For the ones who don't know the area, Sacramento, S. Jose and S. Francisco are all less than an hour away from each other.
We did exactly that. Michelle and I were in one car and 4 other friends were in another. We arrived in Sacramento in time for the M&G. We did not bug Jerome but we asked him to let us in to that M&G but he did not go for it. We did get a picture with him but that was all we got.
We went to the restaurant where the Claymates were meeting, had a great time and went back to the arena. The show was great again.
The audience was a lot warmer than the last one in Boise, and the arena was decently but not totally filled up.
At the end of the show, Michelle caught a hand towel that Kim C. used to dry off Clay's sweat and threw to the audience. Ruben had used that towel earlier, but it still had been on Clay's face.
After the show we watched the Idols get into the buses and left to go eat something. After that, we started driving to S. Francisco to get a hotel there.
To make the story short, we ended up at the Pan Pacific hotel in S. Francisco. We got a large suite for the 6 of us and went to sleep at almost 3 am.
In the morning, Michelle, Rita and I went down to the Hotel restaurant for breakfast. Some time after we were there, we saw Ruben crossing the Lobby. So, we figured that they were all there. It seemed like a gift from God.
In another few minutes we saw somebody else that we knew was part of the Tour at the entrance of the restaurant and he was staring more at me than at the menu right outside the restaurant. I commented with the other 2 and we were a little worried that he was recognizing us and could be mad for us being there for thinking that we were stalking the Idols or something like that.
He sat at a table from where he could still see us and occasionally looked our way again.
In a little while, the waiter came over to us and said: The gentleman over there is asking if you were in Sacramento last night.
OMG, we almost froze. We said, that we were but that we didn't know the man asking and asked the waiter if he knew why the gentleman was asking that. The waiter had no idea and, we found out later, told the man that we said no.
When we left, 2 of us (at this point one more had joined at the restaurant) approached the man and asked why he was asking if we had been in Sacramento. He asked if we werent at the AI concert the night before. They answered that we were and asked how he knew. He said he knew because he saw us there and that he worked for the Tour (actually he had a very important function in it). At this point, Michelle and I who had already exited the restaurant, realized that we could missing something and went back. He was being very nice and talking about possibly giving us M&G passes for Anaheim and that we could ask for him there.
We all exited the restaurant and walked over to the elevators. One of them opened, he entered and we asked if we could go up with him since we were on the 15th floor. He said, of course, please and we went in. In the elevator he looked at me and said: I specifically recognized you, because I was standing right in front of you for most of the night. At this point I mentioned the coincidence of them being there in the same hotel and that Michelle and I were spending that day in SF before going to the S. Jose concert the next day (the others were returning to LA later that same day). When he heard me mention S. Jose, he said that if the two of us were going to the S. Jose concert he would give us his CELL PHONE # so that we could contact him in the arena to give us M&G passes. The elevator stopped on his floor (12th) and he asked us to follow him so that he could write down the # for us. He went into his room, where we got in but stayed right by the door. He wrote down his cell number, gave it to us and proceeded to look for something else. We were unsure if we were supposed to wait for something or leave and asked about it. He said that he was just looking for his notebook to get the phone # to the production office at the S. Jose arena so that if he were not able to answer the cell phone for some reason, we would still be able to get a hold of him in the arena. He found it, he gave it to us, we thanked him and left.
When we finally got to our room we could scream and jump. We could not believe what was happening. At this point, Jenny who had not been to the restaurant and did not meet our hero (as Michelle and I decide to call him), was thinking about not returning to LA that day and staying there the night, even though she was not going to the S. Jose concert, so that she could have a chance to maybe see the Idols and even Clay and also she and her daughter could have a chance to also meet him and get the passes too. The other 2 decided to return to LA anyway and the 4 of us (I, Michelle, Jenny and her daughter, Sandra) stayed.
We spent the day shopping and sightseeing and went back to the hotel in the evening. Some of the items we bought were bracelets for all the idols with their names and a nice, fancy box of chocolates for OH (Our Hero) as a way to thank him for his kindness to us.
At night, we decided to go to the hotel bar at the lobby to see if we got lucky to see anybody. After an hour there nothing was happening and we decided to go get something to eat somewhere else since the dinner menu at the hotel restaurant was extremely expensive.
Michelle and I went to the room to get our jackets (it was FREEZING in SF) and while we were gone, Jenny saw Kim C. And Trenyce and saw them tell somebody else or somebody else tell them (not sure which) that they would meet them there at 10 pm.
We decided not to go anywhere and just order a pizza but it took too long and we had to cancel it because, meanwhile, OH came down to the Lobby and waved at us a soon as he saw us.
We had the gift we got him with us (just in case). Jenny wanted to meet him so she approached him, gave him the gift and they came in our direction. He was very flattered. He commented that he and some of the Idols and crew were going to a dance club across the street and asked if we wanted to go. We were flabbergasted but held back the amazement.
Will continue in one minute on a second post, the best is yet to come