So this past Tuesday night, Michael and I met at the Mills, had a quick dinner and embarked on our adventure. (In case I forgot to mention, the night was my birthday gift to him. He’d heard me playing Airborne music and totally liked some of their songs.) Yeah, at first I thought we were just going to hear a good band or three play at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh. I had never been there and we planned it so we had extra time to account for either or both rush hour traffic and the possibility probability of my getting lost.

So we arrived at Mr. Smalls (with no problem) about 45 mins. before the box office was to open at 7pm. Show started at 8. We were going to see Electric Touch, Airborne Toxic Event and The Fratellis. Parking was a cinch, not even a block away from the place and not even a meter to feed.

I was starting to get the feeling that it would be a great night. I wasn’t even close. Usually when I am involved, Murphy’s Law kicks in and you just never know what you’ll get into. So when we got that far without a hitch, the anticipation was starting to take over. Accompanied by the nagging little voice in the back of my head, saying don’t get your hopes up too high, lest you be disappointed. I never used to be a pessimist, but lately…

I started looking around for the box office door. Mr. Smalls is an old church, renovated into an entertainment complex of sorts, complete with a skating rink-like thing. But basically on the outside it looks just like an old church with a marquee out front. Also there was a huge unmarked tour bus pulling a utility trailer parked out front. (Note to self: Keep an eye out for whomever disembarks…)

When I did spot a white door around the side of the church and up the hill a bit, we started walking toward it. It was situated up some stairs on a balcony that looked to be on maybe the second or third floor. As we got closer, I noticed a sign on the door, posting the hours of business and they didn’t coincide with my plan. I’d pre-ordered tickets and according to the sign, I wouldn’t be picking them up there. There happened to be a guy getting out a small white van wearing skinny black jeans and a wife-beater with sunglasses and an ID tag hanging around his neck. I approached him, excused myself and inquired as to whether he could tell me if there was another box office door that might be open. He replied, “Hey, hi,” smiled, and apologized that he couldn’t help me, as with he was “just with the band” and then corrected himself, saying “Or rather in the band.”

As the last thing I expected was to meet up with a member of Airborne Toxic Event, I didn’t discount the possibility that he might be a member of Electric Touch, which would have been a kicker in itself. But Michael said quietly to me, “Isn’t he in the band?” meaning ATE. It was then that I realized with an undue amount of adrenaline suddenly cursing through my veins that I was standing, face to face with Noah, the bass player for ATE. I think maybe he removed his sunglasses but you know how my memory is. Relax, Linda, and pleasepleaseplease don’t say anything stupid.

We made small talk for a bit and I wish I could remember what we talked about. Of course I had, in my purse, my “supplies” which consisted of my camera and current copy of Spin magazine containing an article about ATE. I asked if he would mind terribly posing for a picture (Sure, not a problem) so I handed the camera to Michael (God bless him) and stood beside Noah, totally elated when he put his arm around me and mugged for the pic. Having Noah’s arm around me is going to go on my list of experiences I want to relive in the moments before I die, incidentally (see Flashes page over there on the right.) Then, tentatively and so as not to appear as a 14-year-old star-struck, giddy groupie (which I truly must be, just under the surface) I asked if he would mind signing my Spin. He seemed more than happy to and I was soaring.

I have to say that there are not many experiences in life more pleasant than meeting a blindingly handsome bass player with a terrific personality and a quick easy smile, who’s genuinely cordial and intelligent AND loaded with talent and charisma. Truly. Enough to make me feel that Life is Truly Good and Serendipity Totally Rocks. I mean, what were the chances? Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus.

I’m going to make this Part One since I’m anti-long, long posts. Stay tuned.

6 responses to “THE EPIC BEGINS… Part One

  1. And you look so gorgeous and tan!! Very nice picture!

  2. That is a great shot of the two of you.
    One of the things I love about Mr Smalls is the fact that it’s the perfect sized venue. Small enough that you can usually catch the performers hanging around outside prior to their shows. And sometimes afterwards too. That’s how I got to meet Skillet.

    Hey, you already know “a blindingly handsome bass player with a terrific personality and a quick easy smile, who’s genuinely cordial and intelligent AND loaded with talent and charisma”…
    Well, less talent than Noah.

    Can’t wait to read the rest of the tale.

  3. I’m anti-long, long posts

    Someone should be, because I sure can’t seem to avoid them.

  4. You tuned into my blog again just recently, I think. You knew that I had dinner at Isaac Hayes’ house about a month before he passed away, right?

    Anyway, very cool story. I was somewhat paralyzed when I met Isaac because I didn’t want to act star-struck when it was just a trip with a friend to have dinner with another friend, and I wish now I would have done more like you did and asked for an autograph and acted a little more impressed. I was trying too hard to play it down. Still had a wonderful visit with him and his family, but…

    Glad you took the chance when you had it, and that he was a nice guy.

  5. my god he’s beautiful. how lucky he is to be standing next to YOU! that’s how i see it 🙂

  6. L’girl: How sweet of you to say this 🙂

    M+: Mr. Smalls totally rocks! It was more like being at a big party than a concert. The staff was terrific, the atmosphere, completely comfortable. The acoustics were especially impressive. And they have Blue Moon 🙂 And I loved how easy it is to get to, too. Might be my new “Cheers…”

    Mark: I read every post of yours, Buddy. Just don’t always comment.
    I think it’s very cool that you met Mr. Hayes and very tragic that he died so soon after.
    I couldn’t have “played it down” no matter how hard I might have tried, seeing the reactions on their faces to my enthusiasm made me brave 🙂

    P’let: Beautiful. Yes, he is… but humble too and that made him shine even brighter.

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