My Long Weekend



My Long Weekend

by Callie Ray


Friday, 7/11/14: I was looking forward to the arrival of this date for quite some time after learning via the Bandsintown app on my Android tablet two months earlier that my favorite rock band, The Cringe, would be performing in Denver, CO at the Bluebird Theater. The very same venue that they originally were supposed to perform earlier this year, but from what I know, both bands each had scheduling conflicts, and that included The Cringe.


I wound up spending that Friday evening at home on that cold, February night playing Play-by-Skype 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons set in the world of Greyhawk wondering if my New Year’s resolution of seeing The Cringe in person will ever happen. When people make their New Year’s resolutions to either lose weight, quit smoking, etc., they either happen or they do not. I vow to allow my resolution to stick no matter how long it’ll take.


For that night’s concert, I put on my black Texas shirt with two chili peppers on it, a new pair of jeans that I’ve been meaning to wear for some time, my white socks with a green trim and my stylish tennis shoes that I bought at Wal-Mart earlier this year because I was complaining to my mom about getting some new shoes, even during the cold, Winter months in Colorado Springs, and my now old pair were falling apart. (Trust me, folks: Cold water plus shoes with holes in them equals too wet for my own good.) I even wore my new necklace that resembles Sailor Moon’s third compact, the Cosmic Heart Compact, that I bought from Amazon not too long ago in hopes that I might catch someone’s eye: Shawn Pelton. ❤


As soon as I arrived at my destination, I purchased my ticket at the box office and waited in line along with the other people who had already paid their tickets to see the concert themselves. I pictured myself not only being front and center in the audience, but being invited onstage the same way Bruce Springsteen did with Courtney Cox in the ‘Dancing in the Dark’ video, being announced that I have made two AMVs (Animated Music Videos) based on their two songs from their debut album, Scratching the Surface: Empty Table and Burn.


On the other hand, I’ve caught some roadies getting some gear ready for the upcoming performance, and from the corner of my eye, I think that I caught someone in the band: James “Roto” Rotondi. Maybe I was imagining things, but I could be wrong.


Then the doors opened and I went to find an excellent spot to catch them in action, albeit in low light that I had to tread carefully. I had to make sure that my phone had enough power to not only get pics of the band in person, I would be able to contact my mom to pick me up after the concert ended. Next time I go out to a concert, I would actually bring a portable charger for just in case.


Just as the crowds were gathering, I was counting down the minutes until 8:00 PM when the concert begins. While the roadies were getting ready, I did catch Roto getting his guitar ready in time. If my phone included a zoom feature, then I would get a better shot. Then, it was showtime.


Out on the stage came The Cringe: John Cusimano (Rachael Ray’s husband) on lead vocals, guitar and keyboards, Roto on lead guitar, Jonny “Dr. Blaze” Matias on bass and… someone else on drums. Shawn Pelton must be busy elsewhere, and only he knows for sure. Did the Earth stop? Did Hell freeze over? No, NEVER! What I did was enjoy the show anyway because I know that someday I might meet Shawn Pelton someday. Like the Flower Girl from Macross 7, I won’t stop until I give Shawn a bouquet of flowers.


After the show was over, I called my mom to pick me up. Just as I was catching up of what went on during the show on my phone, I saw the band talking among themselves. I even took a photo of them when I was a few feet away. I would’ve been closer, but I was being shy and I was afraid of making a fool of myself. Plus, I’ve never met a celebrity before in my life.


And then, my mom in the blue Chevy Trailblazer showed up. Since my nephew Ashton was sitting on the right hand side of the car, I had to get into the left side. Just as I was going to get in, I yelled “The Cringe rules!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!!” in hopes that they saw me, but I wasn’t sure if I saw their reactions, a mystery to remain to this day that a 36 year old woman in a black shirt showing her admiration for a rock band.


What I’ve learned from this weekend: Try not to be too shy to introduce yourself to other people, even if they are celebrities.

Callie Ray, 7/13/14