Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meeting Maroon 5

As most of you know I have been working for a month now to try and get a phone or face-to-face interview with Maroon 5. The sad news is that there are many complications that happen to prevent interviews from taking place, and unfortunately I was unable to obtain that interview. The good news is, instead of an interview I am excited to say I met the band one-on-one before their concert last night and was able to watch the whole show on the side of the stage. Even though there is no interview, I want to share my amazing experience with our audience.

The story began when Rachel, one of Maroon 5’s public relations representatives, who tried for a month to set up the interview. She worked so hard and I am so thankful to have someone put in that much effort on my behalf. It certainly gave me the perspective of what someone in her role goes through when it comes to the challenges of scheduling. The day of the interview, the drummer had an emergency before their show in Rochester, NY, so they had to cancel all interviews for that day (eight total!). We tried to reschedule but with the band's tour and other scheduled appointments, it became impossible. While I was taking a test, right before the concert, I received a “missed call” on my cell from Rachel. What a great voice mail – her message said that while she couldn't get me an interview, she in fact had pulled some strings and got me a quick meet and greet before the show! I was bummed that I wouldn't have a chance to ask the questions we prepared, but I immediately became both excited and nervous to meet MAROON 5! Arrangements were made for me to meet the band's tour manager.

Of course when you’re waiting for something so exciting to happen time passes as slow as it possibly can. I walked (a.k.a. ran with excitement) over to the loading gate to make my appointed meet time with Shawn, the band's tour manager. I called Shawn, as instructed, and since the band was meeting with those affected by the April 16th shootings, there was a bit of a delay. He said he would call me or meet me when they were done. More waiting...but there was a guy smoking a cigarette outside. Since you never know whom you are going to meet – we began to chat and it turned out that his name was Teal and he was a crew member for the band. We talked all about what it was like to be on tour and how he got the job. One of the most interesting facts he told me was about the entourage that travels with the band, which includes a yoga instructor. Teal had to get back to work and other crew members came and went and I took an opportunity to speak to each one. Everyone was so friendly and it was a real bonus to speak with them. Finally, a woman came out and asked if I was looking for someone. I told her I was waiting for Shawn and she took me back stage with her.

I was waiting at the doorway to the stage when all the sudden 6 men slammed opened the door and ran in all pumped up and messing around with each other. I did a double-take and was like, wait wasn’t that Adam Levine (not believing what I was seeing)? The tour manager said, “Well there they go, you want to go say hi?” He introduced each band member to me individually and then some of the band went out to watch the opening act and the others went to get ready. I walked over to the side of the stage and was able to hang out with James and Jesse. We talked about what I was studying and what they thought of Virginia Tech. It was great they were so down to earth, and in the end, it wasn’t nerve-racking at all to speak with them. They all thought it was so funny that people think our school looks like Hogwarts, from Harry Potter. When it was time to go out on stage they were all right next to me and I watched as they walked out in the dark then you could just hear everyone going nuts.

The show itself was amazing! They played every song you would want and expect to hear, including an acoustic version of “She Will Be Loved”, which was my personal favorite. They also brought all of their own light sets, which was amazing with the music. I got to see everything going on back stage from the testing of guitars, to making sure band members didn’t trip over their wires. It was an incredible experience. Shawn was also personable and friendly and he kept telling me I could stay as long as I wanted and asked how I was doing. Of course, I stayed the whole show! At the end of the show, they ran off and had people waiting to give them towels and anything else needed. Then they went on for an amazing encore and it was over. My phone died before the show so I was unable to take any pictures with the band or during the show on stage, but I still have the memories and a guitar pick to remember the concert by.

It’s almost impossible to describe how amazing the show was and how amazing the band is, not to mention the opportunity to have this experience. They really are normal people with amazing talent and I have to say meeting them in person and being so close to the behind the scenes activities, sure beats a telephone interview any day!

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