“So take a chance and don’t ever look back”, these beautiful words strung together in a powerful sentiment is a lyric to Katy Perry’s song Teenage Dream. This was the first song on her set list at the best concert I’ve ever been to. Those words she walked over to me and sang them to me, our eye contact connected with the meaning of the sentence which made it a gift.
After more than eight hours sitting outside the arena, meeting other dedicated fans I got to stand in front row and have thee best view of the whole room. I can’t tell you how happy I was, my heart sang loud and clear. I can’t tell you because I can’t even formulate it into words. It’s such an overwhelming, powerful feeling, such a special feeling. As the concert started and she came on stage, realizing how uninterrupted my view was and her view of me made it all the more special. I was overwhelmed with how precious and special and beautiful the moment was.
I believe we all have soundtracks to our lives, if you think of your life as a movie, what would your soundtrack be? I know that mine would have lots of Katy Perry songs, definitely all of the songs she sang at the concert. They seem to resignate with me and speak to parts of my life. Such as ‘teenage dream’ about young love, ‘circle the drain’ for quite a few relationships I’ve had that turned sour. ‘Thinking of You’ for quite a painful relationship ending and ‘Firework’ seems to be my motto for life. That’s the wonderful thing about concerts, there’s a moment when fifteen hundred people are singing along to the same song and you know at least one person along with the artist feels the same way you do in that moment, making it so personal, intimate and in many ways healing. It doesn’t even matter if there’s six hundred people pushing against you, people fainting around you, or your feet throbbing, it seems to all disappear, especially if the artist connects with you, which seemed to happen between myself and Katy. Magical, truly magical.
I was in awe of her from start to finish, she’s my hero, my inspiration and rolemodel. Completely wowed by her. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. She’s not afraid of being herself, she makes no excuses for it. She’s a total sweetheart but she can swear, make some noise and pole dance without looking slutty, it’s just what she’s doing. There’s something about her, an air, she makes me feel like it’s okay to feel sexy, confident, beautiful, almost gives me permission to be sexy. I look up to her so much. She inspires me to be more of myself, to sparkle.
I used to live with a lot of self inflicted rules and regulations, going to see Katy who wore a blue wig and a dress made up of cupcakes makes me realize how much time we waste trying to conform. And she rocked that dress, like really! It’s all very liberating!
I believe standing concerts are good for me! Previously, my belief was I wouldn’t, I couldn’t do standing concerts, not possible. I’ve been to many concerts over the years but all of them were easy, it was easy to get front row (althought it seems easy to get front row for Katy now too!! Who knew?! How exciting!), I just showed up and with Jonas, it was always VIP, not much effort involved. All I did was follow. It almost became normal, the setlists I knew off by heart and nothing was that expensive.
Whereas with this concert (I talk about this one as it was my first standing concert), we had to be prepared, going to a hotel days before, but food for waiting around. Heck we went to the arena at 8am in the morning for crying outloud! But doing that I got to sit and talk to other fans who wanted to do the same, making fast friends in the many, many hours we sat there in the cold. But it was so worth it, it was fun, I got to meet people from all different walks of life coming together under one common interest that was Katy’s music and see what an impact she made.
I remained calm and assertive all the way through too, it was a great exercise in staying in the moment and to not become passive and stood on. Because I knew if I had become passive I would have become disrespected, taken advantage of and be at the back of the standing area. It is like a pack of dogs that can sesne the weak ones and get rid of them. So I left my old pattern behind, and I was respected, taken care of and became VIP, how about it eh?! The girls I made friends with we became a family for the day, or a pack and were all joined in determination to succeed in out goal, it was rather beautiful really. In no time we were wristbanded and were let into the arena ten minutes before everyone, pretty incredible really.
So there I was, not believing my luck, centre stage, front row, listening to music that moved me. And during the fifth song, something happened to me, the people to my sides became wobbly and Katy’s voice became farther and farther away from me so I started talking to myself, I made myself stay in the moment, felt the ground under my feet, and tried to keep listening to the words, her accent, anything that kept me focused. Next moment I knew there was four security guards lifting me up and Katy saying ‘Oh gosh, baby girl’. They put me into a wheelchair and wheeled me out to the first aid room which I have to say was the funnest ride Ever! With the breeze cooling me down and my legs off the floor, my feet had a break. First time in a wheelchair, it was epic. Then the nurse sat me on the bed, I was instantly okay again. She gave me water and took my blood pressure. Turns out I had fainted! How cool! She was a lovely nurse too, she liked my makeup which made me feel good then I was allowed to go back. Lots of people who had fainted sat looking miserable at the side but I wanted to be part of it all again, my heart urged to be back in that moment, so with all my inner strength and dog like determination I stepped back into the moshpit. I, of course was lucky she was singing a slow song so people were just swaying.
Without appology I pushed through people up to the front. One girl stoped me and said, “Hey what are you doing?” And in that moment, as Katy Perry was singing Pearl, a song all about being a shell of yourself and letting people take your spirit or pearl away, I decided to not be a shell, turning to her I stopped and raised my voice so she could hear me (again lucky cause no one was singing loudly), looking straight in her eyes, I said “I queued since 8am, I just fainted and I’m going back to my place in the front that I deserve, do you have a problem or can I get passed?!” And she backed away!!!!!! Then I found Crystalbel who had done her best to keep a space for me. So I stood up straight and commanded my space, pushing people if I had to. Katy Perry saw me back and grinned, “Yay! You’re back, you okay? The next song is for you sweetheart’ and she sang “Thinking of You” a song that used to represent an unrequited love, now reminds me of that moment. I was so unbelievably happy.
The rest of the concert was just beautiful, it wasn’t just songs but a full on show, the best of caberet, carry on musicality, spectacular. And she always seemed to gravitate over to me, smile at me, sing to me, and wink at me. So much of myself was healed that night, I was transportede. I will always be able to come back to that place instantly be in that moment again, if a concert could change your life, hers did it for me.
After the concert,Crystalbel wanted to get merchandise, so I wandered over with her to the little shop in a contented state of bliss so full of joy and life. I spotted a few of my pack and got to talk to them, they had all seen me faint! Apparently Katy seemed quite concerned, even though others had fainted, I had been the one closest to her, in her eye line and probably closest to the camera for the whole world to see, hey if you’re gonna faint that’s the way to do it!! Haha.
Oh my gosh, I forgot to mention at the end of the concert huge cannons filled with confetti bursted into the audience as she sang ‘California Gurls’, the encore song, I of course, being front row was right beside one of the barrels so I got drenched in heart shaped confetti and loved every moment of it!
So even though I underestimnated spending money, had stress about that, stress about being trampled on, stress about phone credit, stress about stress, it had all been so worth it, and it will be something I will hold onto going forward, onwards annd upwards, ‘so take a chance and don’t ever look back!‘
P.S. You’ll never believe my luck at the merchandise stand, DJ Skeet Skeet (yes that’s his name) came out from backstage and I spotted him. He was one of the supporting acts from California that Katy had brought over to tour with her here. I’m not really into dj dance music and had never experienced it at a concert before but it was fun, it seemed to work. So when I saw him I went over to him and thanked him, then I got a photo with him, no one else was interested in him so I think he liked having some attention, he was part of this special night so I wanted to thank him. If there’s something that makes your heart sing but you’re putting excuses in front of it to stop yourself, take it from me, and stop. Give yourself over to the joy, don’t mind the crap around it or focus on the obstacle, just enjoy the moment, find the beauty in it, ‘take a chance and don’t ever look back‘ you’ll be glad you did!