Your #PopCultureProfessor got to see the whole lay out backstage, including the line of young, hot women being led to Wiz's dressing room, pounding with the base all night--and I don't just mean music. I hung out in what was dubbed "the garden room" with the straight-edge, vegan drummer, Andy Hurley, and some family, friends, and yes, his P90X trainer and her assistant, also on tour. Those guys like to keep in shape, especially when spending a grueling 13 or more hours on a tour bus every other day.
Andy had just gotten out of the showers; there were only three available backstage at what is known as Lakewood Ampitheatre, just outside of the airport in #ATL. Andy came out, half naked but almost completely covered in ink. He was like a walking canvas. And the nicest, most unassuming guy for someone who just rocked 18,000 people hard for two hours.
Hurley's straight-edge lifestyle means he doesn't drink or do drugs...not even caffeine! And he's not into promiscuous sex either. As Hurley entertained family and friends, Wiz Khalifa's head of security, Breezy, came breezing in. He zeroed in on me right away and made a bee-line to shake my hand and introduce himself.
Breezy grew up with Wiz; the two are very tight. And that's why Breezy had a run in that night with the security folks hired by the ampitheatre. Oops! It was quite a big deal. Luckily, my boy was there to help. The dressing rooms are located off the garden room. People were kind of wandering around. Everywhere. Lakewood has open lawn seating, But it also has covered seating. That's where I was. In the VIP section. I sat in a seat but could have been on the floor if I wanted. Sitting in the seats, though, offers an audience perspective I like to get at these events. I even do it at #ComicCon. Talk to the fans. See what they like. What they don't. And at this concert, everyone was really, really happy. Especially after Wiz invited fans to light up and threw out giant, blow-up blunts for the audience to toss around like beach balls.
Wiz kicked off the show at 7:55pm Eastern on Friday, June 17, 2015. I sat in a row with his family and friends. We were all dancing and singing. But the majority of the mostly white audience, with the exception of those in "the pit" in front of the stage, were barely moving a muscle. But boy, can Wiz rhyme! And when he took his shirt off, revealing what is an amazing body, I almost started speaking in tongues like a revivalist preacher on a hot night after a snake bite. That's him in the picture insert at the start of the concert with the Taylor Gang. They turned it up for #ATL!!! I had a great time with Wiz and the Gang, both on and off stage.
Wiz may be known for smoking pot, but he's actually quite brilliant. And like many creatives, uses drugs to feed that creativity. Because, "...when you feel good, you can move your life in incredible directions." That's what Wiz said. Given his career, I'm not questioning his wisdom! I did ask, however, if he would like to join my future tour, perhaps in a city like Denver, to discuss the legalization of marijuana. And yes, light up with me on stage. I've never done a single drug in my life. Ever. I'm already working on a whole different frequency than most. Drugs have no appeal for people like me. But I do believe that citizens have the right to make their own choices. And Wiz agrees! We'll see if we can work something out for next year. Stay tuned!
My backstage pass did not include the tour buses, but of course, I have these killer boobs, lol, and they tend to help me get in places. Especially when it's Pete Wentz doing the inviting....
The Zummer gang were loading up the trucks and buses because right after the concert, about 1:30am Eastern, they all were driving to Raleigh, North Carolina, the next stop on the tour. I had VIP backstage parking as well. My car was behind the buses. It wasn't a long walk, but my boy hooked me up with a sweet golf cart and even sweeter driver to get me there. As we drove, A blonde Pete Wentz was stepping off of his tour bus. I waved. He smiled. And the rest is history, folks!
There were a number of buses. Most had a total of eleven people on board. My boy's bus carried seven. The buses were what you might expect them to be like. A little tight, but roomier than I thought they would be. Definitely more comfortable than riding in the family mini-van to Wally World. The beds were a pretty decent size, too....
Overall, I had a really great night! Even met a bunch of fan-girls who did a #PopCultureProfessor APPROVED video shout-out to #FallOutBoy--which I posted on Twitter before I left the parking lot. The girls and I belted out almost every song together. I felt the music crash through me and keep my heart beating, even if it's no longer entirely whole.
"Thanks for the Memories," "Let's Be Alone Together," "Uma Thurman," and of course, "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark," were among some of my favorites. I had seen #FoB in concert in #NewYork in 2013. They blew me away. When my boy on tour and I met up at Starbucks in May--though he wanted me to note he prefers Dunkin' Donuts--he invited me to the concert; it was with a kind of "aw shucks" attitude, as if I was far too sophisticated to be a fan or know the music at all. My reaction took him by surprise. In a good way.
Age is just a number, y'all. Good music transcends all boundaries. Probably why I met a nice young policeman while there. My entry was supposed to be at the dressing rooms backstage but a new girl driving the carts took me to the front instead. With the rest of the 18,000 fans pouring in. Whoops! I kind of stood there, not knowing what to do. Mr. Blue-Eyes-In-A-Blue-Uniform saw me, asked me if he could escort me to my seat. He wasn't security; he's a policeman for the City of Atlanta. But that's just how we do things in the Dirty South. Kindly. And with great respect.
If you ever get a chance, go see my Boys of Zummer! They totally ROCK. In more ways than one.
Oh, and you want to hear more about what happened with Pete Wentz??? It's like my grandmother used to say, "We can't always get what we want, now can we???"