Monday, 31 March 2014

I WILL NEVER FORGET. I WILL NEVER REGRET. I WILL LIVE MY LIIIIIIIIFE!!!

The Sydney show :)
Oh my goodness. Just when I thought a perfect day couldn't get any better. We were let into the venue almost immediately after the Meet and Greet, and Bec, Hela, Jessie, my mum and I went to stand on the barrier on Shannon's side. The wait for White Lies wasn't as long given that it was already pretty late due to the Artifact screening, which was good because I was sky high. I just wanted to sing and dance. They played the same set which isn't bad, but once again I only wanted Mars. No other band in the world could have sounded good to me in that moment. I only wanted Mars. While White Lies were playing I had a look around the venue, and was happy to see that a bit fuller than it was in Melbourne. It still wasn't sold out, but it was better.
Once White Lies were done the lights came on and the stage was set up for Mars. My heart skipped a few beats as they unveiled the triad and pulled Shannon's drumkit closer towards where we were standing. Hela and I passed the time by going over the details of the day in excruciating detail. It was awesome.
Suddenly the lights went out and we heard Jared start to sing Birth. The crowd went wild and surged forward, and I got a little crushed (side note: I've been playing "count my Mars bruises" and I'm up to fifteen. Haha!) Tomo came out, Shannon came out, and then Jared came out swinging that baseball bat. He tossed it to the side as Birth ended and launched straight into Night of The Hunter. Hela and I were jumping around and going nuts, and I felt more alive than ever before. I honestly do not understand why people do drugs. They should just by concert tickets. Preferably Thirty Seconds To Mars concert tickets.
After Night of the Hunter, Jared started chanting "THIS IS WAR. THIS IS WAR." I couldn't contain my joy as I was so worried that they were going to cut it. I was screaming and singing along and dancing like crazy even though every inch of my body was aching. When it was time for the balloons I saw a very familiar face walking towards me...It was Karan's son Zack! He looked so happy and so freaked out, haha. Hela and I kept screaming "Zack! Zack!" and he just stood there and grinned at us until he released the balloons. It was so cool. What an amazing experience for him.
After This Is War they sung Search and Destroy. My stomach dropped a little and I could only pray they hadn't cut Kings + Queens. I hoped it would be next, but next up was Conquistador. I adore that song live. It freaking ROCKS. HEY, HEY, SAY A PRAYER...
There was a slightly extended delay between Conquistador and the next song, and I held my breath the entire time. Then...Shannon started banging his drums to the rhythm of my heartbeat and Kings + Queens began. Hela and I both screamed and she hugged me because she knows how much that song means to me. She even screamed "This is your song!" Love you, Hela.
After Kings + Queens ended, J started talking to the crowd. Shannon was sitting at his drumkit and and looking around, when suddenly his eyes locked on mine. His face broke into a grin and he pointed at me and Hela and he waved and smiled at us. Hela grabbed me and yelled "Oh my God!" and my mum shoved me so I turned around to look at her and she was smiling at me. I said "Did you just see that?!" and she laughed and said "I certainly did." Amazing.
After Jared had finished talking to the crowd he introduced the next song by singing a line and having us sing it back to him. I know some people take issue with how much "crowd participation" there is at every Mars show, but honestly, I freaking LOVE it. It is so amazing. It fills me up like nothing else. The next song was Do or Die, and I sung it so loud that my throat began to hurt. Worth it, haha. The only negative was this horrible girl behind us who was pushing and elbowing her way to the front. She was really hurting the girls who were directly behind Hela and me, and the security guards were no help at all. Seriously, what's the point of even HAVING security?? They are useless. I feel so bad for the girls directly behind me. They were so nice and that girl was being so awful.
After Do or Die, it was End of All Days, then the acoustic set. Jared was hilarious in the acoustic set, saying that he'd heard a review about the Perth show had the title "Jared Leto gets inappropriate." His response? "Well don't say I didn't warn you. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck motherfucking fucking fucking fuck." Apologies for swearing, but you know... :p
During the acoustic set he played Hurricane, a piece of Attack and The Kill. Then Shannon and Tomo came on for Bright Lights. I freaking adore Bright Lights live (I say that about almost every song. I adore every song. I adore THEM.) All three of them look so happy. Especially Shannon on his little drumkit. I love how he goes and dances near the triad when it's not his turn to play :3
After Bright Lights the stage went dark and we started hearing voices. The guys had left the stage so at first I thought maybe something had gone wrong and we were hearing their side mics. However, once I started to concentrate on the voices I realized they were talking about dreams and the importance of music. We were hearing interviews. It makes me wonder where they were from...The Into The Wild Tour DVD, perhaps? (Ps, I forgot to mention in my Artifact post that J said it was the bane of his f-ing life and that he has been working very hard on it. It is coming...Soon. Naturally. Tehe :3) Everyone was looking around in confusion when suddenly Shannon ran onto the stage...In a unicorn onesie. A UNICORN ONESIE, YOU GUYS. Tomo came out IN A GIRAFFE ONESIE and the two of them began to play the opening notes of Closer To The Edge. As the first verse was about to start, Jared came out IN A CROCODILE ONESIE. YOU GUYS. HELP. HELP ME. It was THE BEST thing EVER. They were extremely hyperactive and happy and they gave the best damn performance of Closer To The Edge that I have EVER seen. It was SO GOOD. I MEAN ANIMAL ONESIES. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL. GOD I LOVE THEM! My absolute FAVOURITE moment was when J jumped up on Shan's drumkit in that freaking onesie...I've always loved it when he does that, but this made it even better. This band, you guys. This band. Only Mars would play an epic rock song in freaking animal onesies! I love them so much that it hurts!
Once Closer To The Edge was over they left the stage for a minute and then returned in their normal clothes (well, normal for Mars. Which is probably weird for everyone else :p) Shannon and Tomo started to play the intro to Up In The Air and Jared began to choose people for the stage. Once everyone was on stage and Jared started to sing, I saw two familiar faces dancing beside Tomo...Karan and Zack! After a few moments Jared went over to them and pulled Zack out of the crowd and walked him down to the end of the catwalk. He put his arm around Zack and sung the rest of the song with him. It was truly incredible. I can't even begin to imagine how happy Zack must have felt, and how proud Karan would have been. We all sang as loud as we could until unfortunately, much too soon, the song was over. The guys all came to the front of the stage to say thank you and wave goodbye, and then they were gone. As I watched them leave, I felt a bit sick in the stomach at the thought of there only being one show left. How exactly does one come down from such an incredible high? I guess we'll have to find out. I am not looking forward to that.

I can't remember where I even got this picture. I don't think I took it, but everything is a blur right now so I don't know. If it's yours or you know who I can credit it to, please let me know. Xo

Title Lyrics: 'Closer To The Edge' by the giraffe, the unicorn and the crocodile. Adorable little goofballs :3

You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.
Ps, to top off the night, when we returned to the hotel my mum pulled out two copies of Artifact signed by Jared. Reni had given them to her when I was getting my wristband. I had no idea we were getting them. So so awesome!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

One night to remember...

Artifact in Sydney :)
Our flight to Sydney left at 7am, so my mum and I had to be out of my aunt's house by 5am. It was a hectic morning and I was so insanely exhausted given that I'd slept for less than an hour (no, really). I spent the car ride over trying to sleep, but being unable to because of my nerves. I'll have to admit that I was very apprehensive about the Artifact screening, as the last one had hit me so hard. I was scared of connecting with Jared's words so intensely again, as silly as that sounds. I don't even know why. Maybe because it hurt...But it also didn't. I don't know.
When we got to the airport I couldn't help but laugh as I saw a Mars tee on practically every second person. I love how dedicated we all are. Only the Echelon would be out in full force at 6am after having danced their asses off just the night before. We all looked bleary eyed and exhausted, but super excited about what was ahead of us.
Once we were seated on the plane and awaiting take off, I heard the word "Hurricane". My Mars senses (like spidey senses only SO much cooler) are finely tuned, so I knew someone was talking about Mars (they have a song called Huricane, in case you don't know). I stuck my head through the gap in the seats and saw that two of my friends -- Lucy (@lucygrie) and Niargo (@niargo4MARS) were sitting right in front of me, discussing the Melbourne show. We laughed at how the Echelon are EVERYWHERE (for real; we are taking over the world) and talked about our experiences so far. I had my (SIGNED!!!) copies of The Mars Project books so I handed them to the girls and let them flick through (but not actually read them because the stories are private). Niargo had submitted a beautiful artwork for Volume Two,  so I was glad to be able to show her how I had used it and how it turned out. Needless to say, she was very happy.
After a bit more catching up, I started falling asleep. I think I only slept for about 5 - 10 minutes at a time, but it was enough to get me through the rest of the day. Thank goodness.
Once we arrived in Sydney, my mum and I rushed to our hotel to check in. We knew we wouldn't have time to come back to hotel to get changed between Artifact and the band Meet and Greet, so we each took a spare set of clothes and went to my friend Karan's hotel (Alibi_1710). She was staying directly across from the show venue, and had been kind enough to say we could get changed there after Artifact. Along the way to her hotel, my mum and I also picked up Jenno (@JennoVonMARS) and randomly bumped into Hela (@helagee), so we all decided to go to Artifact together. We dropped off our stuff at Karan's and caught a taxi over to Dendy cinemas.
The line was pretty insane by the time we got there and we waited to check in. I got to meet even more of my Twitter friends for the first time in real life, which is just so amazing. I adored seeing the variations in the types of people who were there, all brought together by one incredible band. I'll never get tired of saying this: They are NOT just a band. No no no no.
When it was our turn to check in Reni recognized us again and didn't even take our tickets. It's a cool feeling to know that someone on the Mars crew knows us well enough to just wave us through like that. We got our wristbands for both the Artifact screening and the band Meet and Greet before going inside to wait.
As in Melbourne, I was really only there for the VIP component with Jared, as I've seen Artifact thirty billion times and own three copies (the original download from VyRT, the limited edition download from VyRT and the DVD) [Updated to add: I now own FIVE copies :3 Thank you for the signed DVDs, Jared!!) However that being said, I still absolutely loved every minute of it. I could never ever get tired of watching that documentary. If you haven't seen it already...What the hell are you waiting for?? I also loved that Jared bought us all popcorn and bottles of water again. He is just too adorable.
Once it was over, the people with general tickets left and we waited for Jared to arrive. Reni came in and ran through the rules, and I noticed that Emma and what I assume to be her family were sitting along the back row right next to us. Very cool. Emma is Jared's "bigger and better brain", if you don't know who she is. She is a crucial member of the Mars crew.
Suddenly the doors directly behind us opened, and in came Oscar winner Jared Freaking Leto. He walked straight past us and we all took a moment to catch our breath. He sat down in the middle of the stage and thanked us all for coming. He then started telling us about Artifact, and as in Melbourne, asking if we knew what it was about. I really wanted to yell out "dreams!" but I am too shy for that. Gah. Maybe I should have done it. (Spoiler alert: the answer is dreams.)
Jared scanned the crowd, looking to see who had come along, I imagine. His eyes stopped on our row and he started smiling, then he said "I see you up there, buddy! The little blond haired kid!" He was talking to Zack, Karan's son. Zack was so overwhelmed and Karan was so happy. It was such a beautiful moment. It's amazing how something so simple can mean so much.
Jared then went through a similar overview of Artifact as he did in Melbourne. It was just as amazing the second time around, in case you were wondering. Then it was time for questions. Once again people asked really decent questions, and not a single person mentioned shampoo. Thank goodness. Somebody asked a question about fear and doubt, and once again his answer hit me straight in the guts: You have to do it anyway. There is no reward if there is no struggle. You just have to do the work.
Someone else asked an interesting question about how we can make sure that we are supporting the BAND and not the record companies, and he said by coming to the shows. He said that's the best way to do it; keep believing and keep coming out to see them play. (Always, Jared. I'd follow Mars anywhere and everywhere if I could). He also said some interesting things regarding how they get paid for album sales and views on YouTube (spoiler alert: they pretty much don't) and said that soon music videos will only be available on Vevo because that's owned by record companies. He had some very interesting insights about that. He's such an intelligent and well-read man. Let's just love him forever, okay? Okay.
After a few more questions I saw Zack's hand shoot up, and Jared called on him immediately. Zack asked where Jared thinks he would be if he hadn't won the lawsuit, and Jared said that he doesn't know but he's thankful that everything worked out as it did. Zack's voice was shaking but he did so well. I am so happy for both him and Karan.
There were a few more questions which covered a lot of things we've heard before:

Why the name Artifact -- it's an Artifact of that time;

Why the name Sisyphus Corporation -- it relates to the Greek myth of Sisyphus who was condemned to roll a boulder up and down a mountain and get nowhere, and 'corporation' because Jared thought it would be funny. "Now WE'RE the corporation!"

He also told this really sweet story about how he went to visit an actress who had been through something similar to Mars' battle with EMI. She had fought the system and won, so he and Emma went to Paris to visit her and get some advice. She was an elegant old lady (in her 90s, Jared said), and she had arranged a little afternoon tea for them...Of cheese hors d'oeuvres. If you don't know, Jared is a vegan (or a 'cheagan' as he calls it because he cheats sometimes) He said he wanted to tell her that he doesn't eat cheese, but she was so excited to share them with him and Emma, and she kept saying they were her favourite food...So he ate them anyway. This is the man who has repeatedly said that cheese is "disgusting" because it's like "sucking on a cow's booby." But he ate the cheese to be polite and pretended to enjoy it. Good grief I love him. Like really. I wish all the people who complain about his every move had been there to hear that story, because it shows you exactly what kind of person he is. He is wonderful. No one will ever convince me otherwise.
But I digress...
There was a girl down the front who did not stop talking the entire time, so she got told off by Jared. Threatened, actually, because she kept back-chatting. "Look just stop it, okay. You don't want to see the dark side come out." Is it wrong that I loved it? Haha.

After the question time was over, it was time for pictures. Once again I was lined up near the back so I could go last. He was very sweet to everyone, and recognized some of my friends which was awesome. He commented on Rob's tattoos (YAY ROB!), recognized Zack and told Karan she was the best mum in the world for bringing Zack over for his thirteenth birthday, and recognized my mum. Then it was my turn. He recognized me as well and said "Hey you! It's good to see you again." I smiled and said "Can I have a hug please?" to which he replied "Sure!" and wrapped his arms around me. I sort of collapsed into him and rested my face against his chest. (HELP). I have no idea if I was smiling or not in the picture, but when it was over I had the biggest grin on the planet. I thanked him and went to meet my friends and my mum, where we all freaked out over what had just happened while we made our way over to the venue. After all, the night was just beginning...


Sometimes we must fight in order to be free.


He bought us all popcorn and water. He is too lovely for words.
Fun fact: This was all I ate that day. No wonder I lost nearly four kilos that week :p
UPDATED TO ADD: I just remembered something else. Someone asked about the 'Into The Wild 'Tour DVD, to which Jared replied that it is the bane of his f#%king life and that it is coming...And we all yelled out "SOON!!" Haha. I love it :3

Title lyrics: Night Of The Hunter by Thirty Seconds To (I want to swear here :p) MARS

You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.

WE ARE THE KINGS...WE ARE THE QUEENS...

Oh my God.
Oh my God.
Oh my God.
That is all I can say today.
Oh my God.
It's 1:17am and I've just come back to the hotel after the Sydney show (Thirty Seconds To Mars, in case you haven't been paying attention). I have to be up in less than 4 hours, but I'm desperate to write all this down. And I know a lot of you want this (I love you for it, by the way), so I'm going to do my best...
Today was my third Meet and Greet with the band. I went to the Artifact screening in the morning (there's a post about that, too) and was rushed and stressed to get to the Meet and Greet venue in time. I was traveling with my wonderful friends Karan, her son Zack (who is 13 and awesome) Jenno, Hela and of course my mum. After the screening and the Q + A with Jared, we only had a few minutes to get back to Karan's hotel, change into clothes suitable for the pit and get into line. Jared was actually in the car behind us for a little while, so we weren't overly stressed about getting to the venue in time as we knew nothing could start without him.
Once we got to the hotel, we quickly got changed and went across the road to the venue. There were still people being signed in, but as we had been checked in by Reni at Artifact, we just went straight inside. We went to buy some merch and then it was time to go inside for the Meet and Greet.
We were last to get inside so we were standing right at the back. Reni came in and explained the rules (as always) and then the guys came in. They were in really funny and goofy moods, and were so full of energy. During the Q and A time Jared surveyed us again, this time asking us about which songs they should drop from the setlist in favour of adding The Race or Northern Lights. He suggested This Is War, Search and Destroy or Kings and Queens. I voted for Search and Destroy, but really, I'd be so sad it see it go. I wish they could just play every song at every show. Someone suggested that they just play a longer set, but Tomo said the curfew was very strict and it was very expensive when they go over time.
Jared also asked us about VyRTing the Carnivores Tour, and wanted to know if VyRTing the Hollywood Bowl again would stop us from watching it given that they did that last year. We all said no. He asked us if we liked Linkin Park, and wanted to know if he should sing some LP songs on the Carnivores Tour (YES YES YES YES). Someone asked if they could bring the Carnivores Tour to other countries, and J said they would see how it goes in the US first. He said there are "a lot of personalities and egos" involved, which could affect how it all goes. He spoke about the possibility of coming back to do Church of Mars in January, which I will be praying for every single day. Please, Jared. Please.
Jared mentioned the audience in at Melbourne show, and commented that they were very 'mellow'. It made me a little sad to know that he had felt it, too. It also confirmed what I suspected: He went out into the crowd during Closer To The Edge to try and get people excited. He also told us that he had broken his guitar on stage that night (which is so funny because Hela and I had just been saying that something was wrong with Artemis!) and mimed what had happened; he had tried to pop a balloon, his guitar got stuck inside it and he broke a string trying to get it back out again. I saw the whole thing from where I was standing in the seats that night, although at the time I didn't know what was happening. It was really funny to watch him tell it.
Throughout the Meet and Greet Shannon kept looking over towards where we (my mum, Bec, Hela and I) where standing, but he had his sunglasses on (of course) so we couldn't tell if he was looking at us or not. Bec and I kept looking at each other like "WHAT is he DOING to us??" It was very distracting...Not that I'm complaining!
After a few more survey questions about which album we discovered first and which songs they should play on the Carnivores Tour, it was time for the signing. This time I had my copy of A Beautiful Lie to be signed, and my mum had my copy of 30 Seconds To Mars (Or 'Welcome to the Universe', as Jared calls it). Once again the guys were being super sweet and making sure to make eye contact with everyone and say "Thank you". When it was my mum's turn Jared said "Hello again!" to both of us as he signed our covers, and Tomo said to me "Thank you for your support. We appreciate it." When Shannon signed my mum's CD she dropped it, and Shannon put his hand on her arm and said "Are you okay? You got it?" I was standing there staring like "HE'S TOUCHING HER" and she DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE! So undeserving. Haha. When I stepped in front of Shannon he looked up at me, grinned and said "It's so good to see you! Thanks for coming out again!" He held out his fist towards me and I just kind of stood there in shock like an idiot, so he kinda chuckled and said "Pound it!" I recovered my senses enough to give him a fist bump and he laughed and gave me my CD. I said "thank you!!" and literally ran over to my mum and Bec and told them what happened. Up until that point I had been planning to ask Tomo for a hug in my picture, but after that, I needed a Shannon hug. NEEDED ONE.
I was all jittery and excited in the line for the picture, and I was hoping I had the courage to ask Shan for a hug. After my mum had her picture taken I stepped up to Shannon and stopped and said "Can I please have a..." and I wasn't even done asking when he said "Surrrre!" and grabbed me and squeezed me against him. Like literally grabbed me. He had his arms around my waist so I put my arms above his and we stood there for what felt like an actual hour. I just kept thinking "Oh my God. What is even happening. He smells so amazing. Oh my God." My face was pressed up against his and his glasses were pushed into my temple, so I imagine his glasses are probably skewed in the picture. The hug lasted my entire life and then he finally let me go. He said "thank you" as I was walking away and I said "thank you so much!" I literally ran outside to tell my friends what happened, and as I did Hela followed me out (she was behind me in the line) and said "He just did not want to let you go!" I was so happy she said it before I had even said anything about it, because it confirmed (in my head, anyway) that the hug was extremely long compared to the other pictures I'd had so far. He held me so close for what was probably only like 30 seconds, but felt like an eternity. Oh my God.
When I was out in the line and talking about how amazing he smelt, I said "I feel like I can still smell him!" That's when I realized...I COULD still smell him. I smelt like him. The people around me may or may not have started to sniff me. I may or may not have started to sniff myself. You can't prove anything.
Once everyone had their pictures taken we got back in line to go into the venue. I started writing this post immediately (naturally) and committed every single detail to memory...Because oh my God, you guys. Oh my God.

OH MY GOD.
I cut me out again, which also means that I had to cut Tomo out :( I'm sorry, Tomo. I still love you!!


Here's Tomo in that pic :3 I could never leave him out :)


Title Lyrics: Kings + Queens by Thirty Seconds To I LOVE THEM SO MUCH IT HURTS.

Title Lyrics: Kings + Queens by I LOVE THEM SO MUCH THAT IT HURTS.

You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.

Pray to your God, open your heart; whatever you do don't be afraid of the dark...

The Melbourne show :)
 
After the Meet and Greet, we were able to go into the arena. This time my mum and I were in reserved seating as my aunt and my cousin were coming to the show as well. I had a last minute change of mind and asked Reni if I could switch to the pit, and she said that was fine with her but I'd have to ask the venue co-ordinators. Unfortunately, however, I was told the floor was sold out.
 
In all honesty our seats were pretty terrible, as they were super high and at an strange angle. I could see just fine, but I was worried if I tried to jump and touch the sky, I would break my neck. I saw a lot of empty seats on the next level down, so I asked a nearby guard if I could sit there so I could dance without dying. He said that was fine, so once White Lies began to play, my mum, aunt, cousin and I moved. However, another guard came and told us that we weren't allowed to sit there (despite it being empty), so we were told to move across to another section on the same level. Then about ten minutes later the first guard came back and said we had to go back to our original seats. I reminded him that HE said we could move, and at first he denied he did, then he mumbled something about being a borderline braindead moron. I can't be sure that's what he said, but it seems pretty likely...
 
At this point I was frustrated and angry because all the people in the seats were sitting on their asses and I had nowhere to go crazy. I didn't want to annoy people by standing in front of them, but I also knew there was no way in hell that I could just sit down for a Mars show. I mean IT'S MARS. If you aren't going to go crazy, why even come??
 
After White Lies were done and the lights came on, I noticed that the pit wasn't even half full. I went to ask a different guard if I could just go dance at the back, but she said no (even though pit seats and floor seats were the same price. Bloody hell. Also, what the hell, Australia?! Where were you??) I was getting really upset, but as I walked up towards my seats I saw two girls down the bottom of my section jumping around and going nuts (though there was no music yet. Ha!) One girl was in a Speedy onesie (Speedy is a zebra in the short film for Up In The Air, for those who don't know), so I knew they were Echelon like me. I went up to the seats and I told my mum I was going to ask to stay with them while she sat with my aunt and cousin.
 
Now I've never ever done anything like this before because I'm actually really shy and anti-social (ha!), but I went down to the girls and said "This probably sounds totally weird, but you look like you're going to go crazy tonight, and I want to go crazy tonight, so can I stay here with you?" They both kind of stared at me for a second and then grinned and said "Of course!!" I was so happy and relieved that I almost cried. Thank you so much girls, if you ever come across this.
 
We introduced ourselves and found out that we were friends with the same people. We are all part of the crazy Australian Echelon, which is kind of hilarious considering how easily I picked it. Our friends were in the pit, so we jumped around and waved to them until the show started. The girls also told me that the guards had been screwing them around too, so they had just gone down  to the bottom of the section without asking so they could do exactly what I wanted to do: Jump and touch the sky.
 
As soon as the lights dimmed and the opening notes of Birth started, I forgot all about the dumbass security guards and my irritation. We started going insane (which was even funnier because hardly anyone in the seats were even standing up) and just having the time of our lives. The setlist was the same as Perth, but it was just as amazing. It was a very different experience being in the seats, and in retrospect, I am glad I had the chance to stand back a little and just watch it all unfold. The crowd as a whole was pretty disappointing, as the only people really going nuts were the people in the pit. The vast majority of people in the seats didn't even stand up once. Fools. Jared kept asking if we were all okay, and even went into the seats during Closer To The Edge. I really believe he did that to try and get people excited, and I feel so bad that he had to do that. Come on, Australia. We can do better.
 
One thing that was really awesome about being in the seats was watching Jared work the pit crowd. They were there to have the best night of their lives, and he made sure  they did. He only had to make the smallest gesture to get everyone down there (and a few of the true believers in the seats) to do whatever he wanted. Jared says 'jump' and you jump. Jared says wave your arms back and forth and you do it. Jared says 'scream' and you scream. There is very little he couldn't get us to do, to be honest. It didn't matter how tired or sore I was; if he said jump I did it. He once sang that he will start his own religion, and in a way, he has. Our maniac messiah...He sang a song to save us all. (By the way -- Yes this is a cult).
 
After some hilarious moments and epic songs, the show was over much too soon as anything related to Mars always is. When the lights came on I got quite a few judgmental looks from those who remained seated the entire night, but I couldn't have cared less. I thanked the girls who had let me go crazy with them and we all went down to meet our friends. Together we dissected the night, reviewing all our favourite moments and experiences. A few of my friends were on stage for Up In The Air, so it was awesome to share their excitement and joy. When it was time to go I found my mum, aunt and cousin, and walked out towards the car. My aunt and cousin were a bit like "well okay then" (they don't live on Mars...Poor souls), but my mum really enjoyed the show. Surprisingly I fell asleep on the car ride home, and had the sweetest dreams ever. I was too tired to blog when we got back AND my mum and I had to be at the airport in four hours, so I slept for 23 minutes (ha!) until my alarm told me that TODAY TODAY TODAY had arrived, and it was time to go to Sydney.
 
Sydney. Oh my Lord...
 
 
 
 
 
Title Lyrics: Night Of The Hunter by THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS. Naturally :3

You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

THIS IS WHO I REALLY AM

Melbourne:
Soundcheck
Meet and Greet
A life-changing show :3
This is the life on Mars.
I'm currently on my way to the airport at five FREAKING AM to catch a flight out to Sydney...For the next Mars show :3 I've probably slept for about 26 minutes, but I'm wide awake and running purely on adrenaline. And I do mean purely...I haven't been able to eat a decent sized meal since last Saturday. My emotions live in my stomach, and when I have too many emotions (or feels :p), I can't eat. And boy have I had too many feels lately. I mean my God.
This probably won't be as detailed as I'd like as I didn't write it immediately after the show. I was too tired to think clearly, and yet I was too jacked up to sleep. Damn you, brain. Pick one. But I am going to try and write down everything I remember, both for me and for you. I know how you all enjoy these posts...The enormous spike in my page views told me :3 Thank you for that, by the way. Xo.
Yesterday was the Melbourne Mars show. It was extra special for me because I had bought a ticket to sound check. For those of you who don't know, sound check is where you get to go listen to the band rehearse before the show. This may sound uninteresting (I mean why would you want to watch anyone practice?!) but really it's one of the most awesome things on the planet for two reasons:
1. It's Mars. I could listen to them sing nursery rhymes and be completely rapt.
2. Sound check is a lot more informal and interactive than the show itself, AND lately the guys have been playing old songs, which is my only chance to hear them live. I mean really, Girl With Words. What the hell were you doing with your life before you found Mars?!
Check-in for sound check started at 2pm, but we didn't actually get in until about 4pm. While we were lined up outside the doors we heard the guys sound checking...For the sound check. Ha! Only Jared would sound check before sound check :3 Good grief I love him. Once the doors finally opened we all ran inside and crowded around the stage. There weren't many people there at all, so it was no challenge to get onto the barrier. I chose to stand down on Shannon's side because...Well, because I don't know what big bro is doing to me lately. He's so magnetic. I could watch him play all day. (I should probably mention that Shannon is Jared's older brother, and the drummer in the band. For those of you who don't know).
Unfortunately I can't remember all the songs they played during sound check, as they did a whole lot of little pieces. I think they may have opened with Revenge...But I can't be sure. I DO know that they played this awesome little mash-up of From Yesterday, Attack and A Beautiful Lie...It was SO GOOD. Jared was saying he wanted to play a mash-up of old songs on the Carnivores Tour in August and September, so he was throwing around ideas. It was positively enthralling to watch them work and feed off one another. I could do that all day. Can they just set up a constant live stream in the Lab?? Please???
They also played pieces of a few songs from their self-titled album (their first album), which was so so cool. Although nobody was really singing along, so Jared was laughing and saying that people always pretend to love the first album, but nobody even knows the songs. They played pieces of Buddha for Mary, Capricorn, Fallen, The Mission and 93 Million Miles. Jared couldn't remember half the lyrics though, so he kept mumbling and making things up. Shannon also couldn't remember the beat in a few songs, and Jared couldn't remember how to play a few songs, so Tomo had to teach them. Adorable little goofballs :3
At the beginning of sound check I felt like I wanted to film, but every time Jared looked in my direction I felt really guilty, haha. Like I was wasting the opportunity. I gave my phone to my mum and asked her to film, but when he started mocking people for just standing their watching everything through their screens, I put it away. Dammit, Leto. Don't you realise that we just want to treasure these moments forever??
I did, however, get THE MOST EPIC THING ON CAMERA EVER. THE KILL. FULL BAND. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YEARS. OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS. IT WAS A TOMO CAPS MOMENT. I think the actual recording sucks because I was dancing along and letting go (which was really difficult to do at first, given that we were in a lighted room with like 40 people mostly standing still) but all I wanted was the audio. The Kill changed my life. To be perfectly honest, having it full band was worth the price of the sound check ticket all by itself.
Jared then played pieces of the new unfinished songs "Heaven" and "Searched For You". It makes me wonder how many songs he's written for album number five, and when we can expect to see that come about. Hmmm...
ALSO, JARED RAPPED. It was that "back in the day when I was a teenager" rap that he's done before. It was so damn funny! Even though I felt guilty for recording, I wish I had recorded THAT. I could watch that on a repeat loop for the rest of my life! Well not really...But you know :3
They also played The Race, and Bart came out to play. Jared kept questioning Shannon about the beat in the verse (is it one hit or two?) to which most of the crowd called out "It's two! Trust us, we know." Haha. Shannon and Tomo were having secret conversations on their side mics, and Jared was being all goofy and adorable. After they worked some things out, they played The Race. I'm inclined to say that it was the last song for sound check, but I don't know for sure...It all a bit hazy right now! Either way, sound check was amazing. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you go to one!
After the guys left the stage, the people with Meet and Greet packages went to line up. We didn't have to wait very long before we went inside the M+G room, which was much larger than the one in Perth. And rightly so; there were so many people there. We went in and sat down, and Reni gave us the rundown of the rules. Then Shannon and Jared walked in, and everyone started clapping and cheering. They were still in a playful mood, so the Q and A session was really hilarious. Although it was Jared who was asking us questions; he didn't take any from the audience. It was still completely awesome, though. I love seeing his mind work. He was asking questions about when we found the band, how we found the band (someone yelled 'Xbox!' so I yelled 'SingStar!', and he heard me which was cool :3 But he couldn't hear what I actually said, so he asked someone in the front to repeat it) He was asking a lot of questions about coffee, which leads me to believe a certain someone may be forced to VyRT whether he likes it or not (seriously, he looked so unimpressed :p). Jared said a few things in an Aussie accent ("BUDGIE SMUGGLER!") and commented that there was a lot of white people in the room and it was scaring him. Ha! I was soooo tempted to yell out "we're black!" (my mum and I), but I wasn't sure how it would be received so I didn't. (We are actually black, by the way. Just so you know :p)
After a few more funny moments and surveying by Jared, it was time for the signing. I changed my mind about what I wanted signed at least eighteen times while I was standing in line, but I eventually settled on my This Is War CD and I got my mum to have them sign my Love Lust Faith + Dreams CD. They were all so sweet during the signing, making sure to look every person in the eyes and say "Thank you" as they signed their item. Shannon thanked me twice because I think he forgot that he already had...Not that I'm complaining :p
Next up it was time for the picture. I had been debating where to stand, but my legs made the decision for me and I ended up between Jared and Shannon. Whoopsie :p Since they were in such a goofy mood I thought it would be a good time to ask for something a little different (to what I've seen) so I asked them if we could all make triad fingers. Jared said "Surrrrrrrre!" and did it straight away, and Shannon said "Sure! But I don't know how!" and Tomo said "Me either!" and they both proceeded to make weird triangles with their fingers. Jared and I laughed and Jared tried to show them ("Come on man, it's just like this!"), but I have no idea if they got it. I literally skipped away when the picture was taken, completely high on life. The Artifact screening the night before had left me feeling a little bit hollow (not in a negative way, just in an I NEED MORE way), but seeing them again restored me. We were standing near the exit so we got to say goodbye as they left to go get ready for the show. I got a smile from Jared and Shannon and a high five from Tomo. My life is pretty much complete.
I'm already scared for Brisbane...What the hell am I going to do without them??
Fly to America to see them. That's what :3

The (infamous) triad alert picture. I cut me out because I don't want my blog/social media to be linked to me in real life (it's dangerous, given that I am a teacher). I've seen this pic EVERYWHERE now...It's pretty cool, really. I don't mind if you steal it; just leave my name on it :p (That's my Mars Twitter account) It's my favourite M+G pic of all! <3
Title lyrics: 'The Kill' by Thirty Seconds To COULD YOU BE ANY MORE AWESOME?!

You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

And how can I stand here with you, and not be moved by you?

Would you tell me
How could it be
Any better than this?
Yeah...
1:25am. I've been home from the Artifact screening in Melbourne for a little while now, but I needed time before I was ready to write this. As it is, I'm not sure I'm ready now. Tonight was...Intense.
Before we continue I do want to point out that other people's views on tonight may vary. They probably will. You know when you're tainted by something and you put your own perspective on things?? Yeah. That.
For those of you who don't know, tonight was the Artifact screening in Melbourne. If you haven't seen it (what the heck is wrong with you), it's the story of the battle between Thirty Seconds To Mars and EMI during the making of Mars' third album, This Is War. You can read more about it here. Personally I have seen the film at least five thousand times, so for me, tonight was about the VIP component of the screening: the Q and A with the filmaker, Jared Leto. Also known as Bartholomew Cubbins.
I expected to be slightly less anxious about meeting him tonight, but alas, it was not the case. I felt just as sick as in did in Perth; perhaps even more so because this time it was to be only him. Shan and Tomo do not participate in Artifact screenings. I ended up dragging my mum into the city much too early, which worked out well as it meant I got to spend the day with more of my Echelon friends. There's something so special about that. It's an amazing thing to be surrounded by people who understand you and who feel the same way you do. I love you guys.
After a day of chatting and minor stalking (seriously Tomo, don't post the name of your restaurant on Instagram :p), we caught a taxi and headed down to the cinema. The VIP line was already quite long by the time we got there, but once check-in started, it moved quickly. Reni remembered my mum and I, so that was pretty cool. We got our wristbands and went inside the cinema.
The wait between VIP check-in, GA check-in and the actual film was pretty excruciating given the state of my nerves. We filled the time by catching up and "officially" meeting some of our friends on Twitter. Some people don't believe you can be friends with someone you only know online, but I call shenanigans on that. When the Echelon get together, it's like going to a family reunion. It's a beautiful thing. I got to meet some of my closet friends in 'real life', and I got to meet some of the people who participated in The Mars Project books. It was wonderful.
After a while Reni came in and gave us the rules for the night. They were much the same as Perth: hands up, don't ask about his hair because it's silly, try to ask interesting questions, no personal cameras. Then the lights dimmed, the opening notes of Escape began, and for the next 103 minutes I honestly forgot I was even seeing Jared again. I was so caught up in the film. If you haven't seen it, you are missing out. It's not just for people who love Mars. It's for any person trying to do something special with their lives. Go watch it. Now.
Once Artifact was over, all the people with GA tickets left and only the VIP people remained. Reni came back and told us how things were going to run (where to line up for our pictures with Jared etc), and a few minutes after she was finished we heard a small sweet voice saying "testing" into the microphone. A moment later Jared entered the room, and everyone clapped and cheered. I found it increasingly harder to breathe, but what else is new? He sat down in the middle of the 'stage' and began talking about Artifact. He told us a little about the creative process, about the struggles they faced, and asked us if we knew what the film was about at its core. A few people called out things like 'corruption', 'greed' and 'sticking it to the man', and he agreed with all that, but he said that ultimately the film was about dreams. It was about betting on yourself, no matter what.
He then opened the floor to questions. Unfortunately I can't remember everything that was asked and everything that he said, but overall it was a wonderful Q and A session. I felt he was very open and honest with us all, to the point where I really saw him as an actual human being for the very first time. That probably sounds super weird, but remember, I've always said that he was like a mythical creature to me. I saw him as living on his own plane, almost. Untouchable. Tonight made me really realise that he is a person. He is fragile and beautiful. That only made me love him more.
I wish I had a recording of tonight, because he said so many things that I needed to hear. That we all need to hear. He spoke about remembering the possibilities in life, and about reaching for your dreams no matter what. He spoke about prioritizing your time, and doing whatever is necessary in order to reach your goal. He said that he once knew an elite athlete who said that the reason he wins is not because he's naturally better than the other athletes, but because he is willing to bleed. He is willing to suffer a little for his dream. Jared said he believes in that, too. You do have to suffer and make sacrifices for what you want the most. He said the main reason people don't get to live their dreams is because they don't believe they can. He reminded us that the first step is believing you can, and being compelled beyond a reasonable doubt. Be compelled beyond a reasonable doubt. I'm just repeating it because it's so true. There's so much failure involved in pursuing a creative life. If you aren't compelled beyond a reasonable doubt, it isn't worth the heartbreak. He gave us some examples of his failures and heartbreaks, reminding us all that he is not 'special' or 'genetically blessed'. He just does the work. He does whatever is necessary in order to be great.
There were a lot of good questions that yielded brilliant answers from J. Some of the answers were sad -- like when he spoke about having to sacrifice relationships to be on tour -- but they were all so honest. Raw. I don't know of he was tired and that brought out the honesty in him (as opposed to the adorable goofball we often see in interviews), or if he's just always this candid in Artifact screenings, but I feel like this was the closet I've ever been to seeing the real him. Of course I have no basis on which to judge that or even try to decide who or what is the real him, but it felt like he was the most himself that I've ever seen. It was amazing and humbling at the same time. He spoke about the pressures and difficulties of his life, and said several times that as much as people want to be him, they likely wouldn't last more than a week. I'm inclined to agree. I don't know how he does all he does. He is amazing and inspiring like I can't even explain.

After a few more questions, it was picture time. I wanted to be at the end because I didn't want 100+ people to see me take my picture, so I went up to the very back of the cinema with my mum, Kim (@morefunthanwork) and Fiona (@Fionavarr). As I moved closer to him I practiced what I wanted to say, as I knew I needed to thank him for signing The Mars Project books. My heart was thumping so loudly I'm surprised he didn't hear it, but when it was my turn I managed to say, "Thank you so much for signing my books in Perth." He smiled and said "that's okay", but to be honest, I highly doubt he knew who I was or what I was talking about. That's okay, though. I don't mind. I'm grateful I got to say it; that's all I wanted. He put his arm around me and pulled me into the view of the camera, then gave a thumbs up as the picture was taken. I'm quite sure I'm staring at his hand in the picture because...Well because reasons. Some of you will get me.
As soon as I left the room I heard everyone yell "bye!" and I knew he was gone. I found my mum and my friends, and although they were all excitedly chatting away, I felt kind of...I don't even know. I was happy, but I wasn't on a high like I was after Perth. Not because it wasn't an amazing night -- it was -- but because it was an intense night. Perhaps not for everyone, but certainly for me. I spent the train ride home talking to one of my closet friends about the night (you know who you are Xo) and wanting to listen to Alibi on a repeat loop (but I forgot my headphones. How horrible). When I got home I sat in silence and thought about his words for a while, until I finally felt ready to write about the night. And now here we are. As I type I'm listening to Everything by Lifehouse because I feel that sums up how I feel perfectly. How can I stand there with him, and not be moved by him? Could you tell me how could it be any better than this?
Yeah...




Title lyrics: 'Everything' by Lifehouse

You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I AM HOOOOOOOME!!

My God. So many tweets. You guys are AMAZING :) Sorry if I didn't reply to everyone; I did my best! I wanted to write this down before my memories started to fade.
After the Meet and Greet, we lined up and waited to be let into the venue. I just have to apologize to Bec, Rob and my mum for spending the entire time going over the details of the Meet and Greet. Sorry, girls. Thank you for putting up with me :)
At about 5:45pm, we went inside the venue. Bec, my mum and I chose to stand on the barrier in front of Shannon's drumkit, and Rob went to stand on the barrier around the catwalk. I'm really really happy with where we were standing, as nobody was particularly pushy or rude. I was worried about being squished if we'd chosen the catwalk, so I'm glad we didn't. Also, Shannon freaking Leto was like two metres away from me. So there's that :p
The opening act was a band from the UK called White Lies. Fun fact: My mum and I saw them at the airport yesterday. I saw people with band gear and I said to her "Why couldn't that be Mars?" and then didn't really think much of it again. It's funny to think that some people would have been really excited to see them and we didn't even care. Sorry, White Lies fans.
White Lies were pretty okay, but they weren't Mars so I just wanted them to finish. Again, sorry White Lies fans. Their sound reminded me of She Wants Revenge, so I'm sure by the end of the tour I'll probably like them. But today, I was ready for them to be done by the third song. Haha.
Their set finished at about 8:15pm, and the lights came back on for the stage to be set for Mars. The crew unveiled the giant triad at the back of the stage and my heart swelled up into my throat. This was happening. I was about to hear the songs that were the soundtrack to my life live. The security guards were handing out water and taking out fainting girls (but not me: go team!), and Bec and I agonized over the time. By 8:45pm we getting really excited as we knew Mars would be on soon. Suddenly the lights went out and the opening notes of Birth began to play. I can't even find the words to express the joy I felt in that moment.
Tomo ran on stage as Jared was singing, and the crowd went wild. Then Shannon came on and the crowd went even wilder. Finally Jared came on in his Echelon jacket, swinging a baseball bat and singing the final notes of Birth. Shannon got on the drums and started going nuts, and I could feel the vibration of every hit in my chest. It was amazing. Birth ended and Night of the Hunter began, and I went crazy. I started jumping and screaming and singing, and just having the best time of my life. A couple of times I saw a girl next to me and two security guards look at me like "What the eff are you on??" but I didn't care. Mars were here and I was going to enjoy every single moment.
After Night of the Hunter the lights turned red, and Bec and I just looked at each and said in unison: "This Is War." Jared started pumping his fist in the air shouting "THIS IS WAR" and we all screamed it back at him. I swear to God I have goosebumps just writing that. It was incredible. The confetti cannons blasted and as I looked up at the coloured bits of paper floating down on me, all I could feel was joy.
After This Is War, Jared grabbed his guitar and started the riff for Conquistador. We all screamed and sang along, and he melted our eyeballs, as promised. Mine are currently still dripping out of my ears.
Next up was Search and Destroy. It was amazing to hear us all sing "a million little pieces" in unison like that. It was beautiful. AND AND AND Jared said "I believe in you; do you believe in me?" which, if you follow me on my Mars Twitter account, you know was on my Mars bucket list. I was so happy and I may or may not have cried at that moment...You can't prove anything.
After Search and Destroy it was Kings + Queens. OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS. As soon as it started I felt like...I don't even know. AMAZING. I've NEVER been so happy in my life! I didn't know you could BE so happy!! I sang so loud that I've lost my voice. Really really. Also, there was this one amazing moment where we were all singing the 'Ohhhh OHHHH ohhhh' and I kinda had my hands outstretched towards Shannon as I was watching him, and he started singing too then he looked at me, stretched his hand out towards me, held my gaze for about 20 seconds then smiled and waved before turning away. My God. How does one even function after THAT. At the end of the song he threw a drumstick towards where we were standing, but I had my eyes closed so I didn't see it until it was too late. I only opened my eyes when I heard the people next to me scrambling for it. I'm not saying he meant for me to have it, but it's cool to think that maybe he did :)
After Kings + Queens, Jared brought some people on stage. He spoke to them a little, asked them where they were from, called out people for sitting on their "fat asses", told us to pull people up by their testicles...The usual :p Also one of the guys he called up was also named Jared, so Jared asked him if he "had a big one too" just to see how much they had in common. Ha! Oh, Jared...Then it was time for Do Or Die. I cannot tell you how incredible it was. I raised my hands and danced my ass off and Jared danced and spun around with the Australian flag. It was amazing. I love that song so so much. I love that it followed Kings + Queens :)
Next up was City of Angels. As soon as it started I knew I was going to cry again, and I did as he sang "I AM HOOOOOOOME!!" because Thirty Seconds To Mars IS my home. I'd be lost without them. Right there, in that moment, I was more at home then ever before. It was incredible.
After City of Angels, Tomo began to play the opening notes of End Of All Days. Jared disappeared for a little while before sauntering out and prowling over to the microphone. If you've ever seen him sing this live (slash-a-live-version-on-YouTube), you know exactly what I am talking about. Hot damn.
After End Of All Days, Shannon and Tomo left the stage and Jared grabbed his acoustic guitar. He immediately started singing Save Me and as I was singing along all I could think was "You did. You saved me." I closed my eyes and just got lost in his voice and the atmosphere. I know that's probably super weird (I mean JARED WAS RIGHT THERE) but I did that a lot. I couldn't help it. It was like being at church and singing worship music. Not in the sense that I was worshipping Jared or Mars, but in the sense that it was like my soul was being restored. It was almost a spiritual experience, and one I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Next Jared started to sing Buddha For Mary. I repeat: BUDDHA FOR MARY!!! I feel like Bec and I were the only ones in our section who knew the words, haha. For those of you who don't know, Buddha For Mary is from their first album. They rarely sing it at all, so it was so special that they did.
After that, Jared asked us if we knew the album 'This Is War'. Ha. Then he started singing Hurricane, but stopped mid-verse to comment on a girl standing on her boyfriend's shoulders. He was very impressed, and said some...Very Jared things about what her boyfriend would be receiving tonight, haha. He had Zack (the lighting technician) turn up the lights so we could see what he was talking about. The girl immediately started pulling down her top to cover her bare midriff, so of course Jared laughed about that: "Look at you, trying to cover up now! [In a girly voice] 'I'm not that kind of girl!' And your boyfriend's like...'Yeah you are...'" :p That may not be EXACTLY how it went as I'm working from memory, but it was along those lines. God I love him :3
Jared then started trying to sing Hurricane again, but he was giggling too much (so adorable). He tried again and forgot the lyrics ("Wait, what's the fucking lyric??"), then stopped and said "this is going to be the funniest version of Hurricane on YouTube!" If I can find the video I will link it when I get home because it was hilarious! It's funny though; if anyone else said half the things Jared said I'd think they were gross, but when he does it, it's pretty much the funniest thing on the planet. Go figure :p [Here it is]
After he finished messing up Hurricane, he asked for song requests. Practically everyone started screaming  'THE KILL!', so he started to play. In that moment I completely forgot anyone else was even in the room. The Kill was the song that brought me to Mars. It brought me to life. It was such an honour to hear it live.
Once the acoustic set was over, Jared started chanting "NO NO NO NO!" I looked at my mum and she was chanting too, and a part of me died with happiness. My mum is so cool :) Once again I sang as loudly as my vocal chords would allow me, despite sounding AWFUL because I had already lost my voice. The confetti cannons blasted during Closer To The Edge, too, so I stuffed a handful in my bag. Though sadly, the confetti was blank. I wanted the confetti with messages from Mars. Ah well. Hopefully next time. ALSO, Jared said 'JUMP AND TOUCH THE SKY!' so I can pretty much die happy. That was the main 'Jared phrase' I was hanging out for :) That phrase is my life.
After Closer To The Edge, the boys all left the stage and the crew came and shuffled some things around. They moved Tomo's mic stand and Shannon's tiny drumkit right into the middle of the stage next to Jared's mic. The boys then came back and played Bright Lights together. It was so so so incredible. I loved watching Shannon on that tiny drumkit because he was having the best time of his life. I actually watched him and Tomo way more than I watched Jared, which is not what I expected to do. They drew my attention more than I expected; especially Shannon. It was brilliant, though. You can't watch Shannon play and NOT feel happy. He gets so lost in it. It's a beautiful thing.
Once Bright Lights was over it was time for Up In The Air. I had a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing it was the last song, but I was also so excited to hear it live. Jared spent a good ten minutes picking the crazy ones to go on stage, and then he began to sing. Once again, there are no words for how happy I felt. He gives 2000% of himself to the audience every single time. It was amazing to witness it first hand. He jumped and bounced around like the energizer bunny, until finally, all too quickly, it was over. Jared thanked us a number of times and then he, Shannon and Tomo left the stage. The lights came on and I just looked at my mum and gave her a massive hug, repeatedly saying "Oh my God." We hung around inside the stadium for a bit, discussing the amazing night we all had. I asked a nearby guard for a setlist, but unfortunately someone else already had it. Maybe next time. Another guard then came over and nicely told us it was time to leave, so we all walked out with the biggest grins you've ever seen. We wandered about in a daze for a few minutes, then decided to check out the merch store. There was some awesome stuff there, but they were sold out of a lot of things so we decided to buy in another state instead. Rob and her friend Susan drove us back to the hotel, and we all sat there in a daze, saying "remember when..." and "I loved it when..." and checking our phones, haha. When we arrived we said goodbye and made plans for our next meet up in Melbourne before going our separate ways. As soon as I walked into the room I gave my mum the biggest hug ever and started to cry (stealthily. She didn't even know :p). I pulled out The Mars Project books and touched their signatures, thanking God for the day I bought The Kill on SingStar. That purchase single-handedly changed my life. I am grateful for that every day.
Now it's 3:08am and I know I should go to sleep, but I don't know if I can. I met the people who inspire me like nothing I've ever experienced before. I saw them play live. I told them what they meant to me. I gave them my heart and soul in book form. I jumped and I touched the sky. And you wanna know the best part?? This is only the beginning. Next stop: Melbourne.
Mars Is Coming.
Xo
Title lyrics: 'City Of Angels' by Thirty Seconds To You Are My Home.


You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.


I've been up in the air...

...And I'm never, ever coming back down.
 
 
It's currently 11:36pm, and I've just returned from my very first concert EVER; a Thirty Seconds To Mars show. I'm sitting in my hotel room on the verge of tears, wondering how the hell any day of my life is EVER going to live up to today. Even if I won a million dollars tomorrow, it STILL wouldn't be as amazing as today. Nothing can top today. Ever ever ever. HOWEVER, there's still Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to go...
 
I am going to write this post assuming that not everyone will know about the band. This is my becoming-a-professional-writer blog, after all. If you're not the Echelon, welcome! Let me know if you have any questions. If you are the Echelon...Sorry for the over-kill on  explanations and detail. I DID promise excruciating detail, though...
 
I'll start at the beginning. This is very 'stream-of-consciousness' and I'll probably come back and tidy it up when I get home, but I want to write down absolutely everything right now. I can't forget a single detail. Forgive me.
 
When I woke up this morning, I could hardly breathe. Mars were here in Perth, and I was meeting them for the very first time. I felt sick, excited and I was completely freaking out. To burn some energy, Bec and I (@beccjay on Twitter...If you aren't following her, DO IT) decided to go for a walk around the city. We may or may not have been hoping to spot a random wild Leto, but alas, we did not. However we did find out later that he (Jared) had been jogging in the VERY PARK WE WE'RE WALKING IN, so it was just a matter a bad timing. Dammit! Although to be honest I'm glad we didn't meet him randomly before the show. Everything happened too perfectly. I wouldn't change a thing.
 
After a couple of hours of wandering around and stalking the places Jared, Shannon and Tomo MIGHT be (yeah, we did that...Sorry not sorry :p), we came back to the hotel to get ready. The nerves REALLY hit me then, and I started to cry a little (happy tears) and pace around the room. After I pulled myself together I started tweeting all my incredible friends, and sent one last picture of The Mars Project to Jared, Shannon and Tomo on Twitter. For those of you who don't know, The Mars Project is a book I made for the guys full of love letters and artwork from the Echelon around the world. It was a labour of love, and it's honestly the best thing I've ever done. When the show was postponed in March last year, I made a Volume Two so people who missed out on Volume One could take part. It is also incredibly beautiful. Thank you so much to everyone who took part.
 
About half an hour after I posted the tweet, I got a notification saying that Jared Freaking LETO had faved my tweet. My heart pretty much stopped beating, and I swore. A lot. Sorry, Twitter followers. He had seen the books. He knew they existed. He knew they were coming. I knew it may NOT have been him who actually faved the tweet, but I decided not to think negatively about it. I decided to believe it was really him and not an intern (as we all know sometimes interns or other members of his team use his Twitter account for him).
 
By then it was time to go, so Bec, my mum and I headed down to catch a taxi. The taxi driver was asking what was happening tonight, so I was very excited to gush about Mars. As we all know once I start I pretty much don't stop, so we chatted about it most of the way.
 
Once we arrived at the venue, I felt sick to my stomach. Bec and Rob (@Rob_Cosby; follow her, too) were trying to calm me down, but nothing they said helped. They'd both met the band before, so they were decidedly calmer than me. While we were waiting in the line to sign in for the Meet and Greet, we could hear the boys inside doing sound check. I nearly cried, but I kept it together. I didn't want puffy eyes when I met them. For those wondering, they played Up In The Air and Conquistador :)
 
Check-in went pretty quick, and Rob told Reni (the Adventures liason) that she and I needed to talk to her (Thank you so much, Rob. You're wonderful). Reni told us to just wait to the side and that she would talk to us soon. Once everyone was signed in, we went over to talk to Reni (who is wonderful, by the way.) First Rob presented Reni with a gift as a thank you for all her help at Rob's previous shows. It was a beautiful painting-slash-sketch of Reni's dog. Then I explained about my books and asked if the boys could maybe sign them at any show, since I have a VIP ticket to every show and so will be meeting them at every show. Reni smiled and said yes, they can sign them tonight. I'll be honest: I pretty much died. They were going to see the books. I was going to have to talk to them and explain the books. WHY THE HELL DID I THINK THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?! I spent the remainder of the time in line practicing what to say to them and trying to remember how to breathe.
 
After a bit more waiting in line, it was time to go inside. My heart was pounding and I thought I was going to die. Not even kidding. We went into the Meet and Greet room and sat down on the carpet. Reni came in and explained the rules -- fairly basic rules like be respectful, and for the love of ALL THAT IS HOLY, don't ask Jared about his hair. After a few minutes I heard people giggling and I turned around, and he was right there. Right. There. In person. In the same room as me. It sounds weird, but it was amazing to see him in real life. He had been like this mythical creature in my head, but there he was in the flesh. Real. Close enough to touch. He sat down on the signing table and started chatting to us. He talked about the tour, thanked us for our patience with the delay and told us that it turned out that the delay worked in our favour because they know the songs better now and because we have the videos for Do or Die and City of Angels. I have to say, I completely agree. He also pointed out that if it had been in August, we wouldn't be meeting an OSCAR WINNER, to which we all clapped and cheered :3 He then asked for some questions and spent a little time answering those. There was a question about VyRT, and he said that they're going to try to VyRT the Hollywood Bowl again, have a Mars Lab 3 and maybe a VyRT with Shannon. While he was talking, Shannon and Tomo came in and I stopped breathing. Again.
 
After the Q and A, it was time for the signing. I started shaking and couldn't breathe. My mum was trying to calm me down, but I was so far gone. A lady came around to collect the gifts (as we are not allowed to give them our gifts personally), and I was surprised to see they're weren't very many. I went to the very back of the line with my mum, Bec and Rob, and continued to practice what I was going to say.
 
Bec was right in front of me, and she had made a #TeamRayon poster full of pictures of everybody's wristbands. It was very cool. When she put it down in front of Jared, he said "Oh wow, look at that! That's great. Thank you." He signed it and pushed it to Tomo.
 
Then it was my turn.
 
I took a deep breath and placed The Mars Project Volume One down in front of Jared. This is what happened next. I still cannot F-ING believe it.
 
Me: This is a book I made for you guys. It is full of love letters from The Echelon. My mum has Volume Two.
 
J: [Picks it up] Oh I saw this on Twitter!
 
Me: Yeah you did!!
 
J: Oh this is great! So can I keep this? [Flicks through a couple of pages]
 
Me: Well, I gave a copy to Reni for you. It's over there. [I pointed. It was right next to the table.]
 
J: Oh you want me to sign this! [Flicks through some more. I notice he stops on the introduction to the LOVE section] This is so great. Thank you so much! [Signs it and pushes it to Tomo. My mum puts down Volume Two]
 
J: Oh I love this!! [Referring to the triad on the cover. He turns to Tomo] Isn't that great?? I love it!! I should put this on a t-shirt
 
Me: Yeah, I was thinking about doing that actually!! [Side note: I have no idea if Tomo said anything back. Sorry, Tomo.]
 
J: I love it. Especially this part [the top]. Thank you! [He signs it and pushes it to Tomo]
Me: I love you guys so much.
 
Tomo: Volume One AND Two!!
 
Me: Yeah [I smile shyly at him and walk over to Shannon]
 
Me: Thank you so much. [I try to pick up the books and Shannon pulls his hands back. I realize he hasn't signed Volume Two.]
 
Me: Oh I'm so sorry!!
 
Shannon: [Signs it. Looks up at me and smiles the sweetest smile I have ever seen in my life] It's okay. Thank you.
 
Me: Thank you. I love you. There's a copy for you and Tomo, too.
 
 
Then I walked away and went and FREAKED OUT with Bec, Rob and mum. In retrospect, they totally saw that. They probably heard me say 'OH MY GOD I SPOKE TO THEM.' Oh well :3
 
Next it was picture time. I spent the lining up time committing the conversation to memory, and I was positively bouncing and shaking by the time it was nearly my turn. My mum was in front of me, and when she went to get her picture Jared turned around and looked me in the eye and smiled. I'm pretty sure I'm currently blogging from my grave.
 
Then it was my turn and I went straight between Jared and Shannon. Shannon said "heyyyyyyyyyy" really softly in my ear as he put his arm around my waist, and Jared pulled me gently towards him. I had the biggest dopiest grin on the planet, and all I could say was "I love you guys so much." I don't even know what they were doing in my picture, haha. I probably look like I'm high. I WAS high. After a second I felt Shannon lightly push me towards the edge of the photo area, so I said "thank you so much" and walked away. I wish I had turned back to smile at them, but I was too high. I was up in the air, and living a dream I didn't even know was possible. I walked out to the line and replayed every single detail in my mind until it was time to go into the venue. It was the best day of my life, and it was only just beginning.  
 
UPDATED TO ADD: I just remembered something else. After the Meet and Greet was over, Reni followed me out and asked me if I had left a copy of the books for J. Do you think he asked her to do that...?
 
 
 
 


SIGNED!
 

(I know it's Volume Two then Volume One. I was excited when I took this, okay :p)
 
 
 
Title lyrics: 'Up In The Air' by Thirty Seconds To I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
 
 
You can read about all my adventures with Thirty Seconds To Mars on the Australian leg of the #LoveLustFaithDreamsTour HERE.

 
 
 
 
 
Ps...He did put my design on a t-shirt. Which means MY DESIGN is in THE OFFICIAL MARS MERCH STORE.
I think I might be having a seizure.