The One Where I Saw Matt Nathanson Play A Bunch Of Radio Christmas Shows.

The year wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t end it seeing Matt Nathanson play a few Christmas radio gigs.

And by a few, I mean five. Ha.

MODESTO

The first stop was in Modesto. California decided it had enough of the drought that week, and it poured for DAYS before the show. On my way to Modesto, I have to drive through farms. Like, middle of nowhere, my GPS is lost signal, farms. Which also had puddles probably as high as my waist. There was no way I was driving through those, so I did a ton of off roading. Modesto. Ugh.

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I made it to Modesto in one piece though, and my first stop was DUNKIN DONUTS. Still obsessed. Reunited feels so good.

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I then headed back to the venue and of course was the first one there. Because I get everywhere way too early. It was still raining, and I found a parking spot right in front of the venue, so I just sat in the car and waited in case a line formed.

Caroline showed up not long after I, and we sat in my car and just talked about all the things. We placed an umbrella as a line holder. Haha.

2 hours later people finally arrived (yeah, I could have totally worked a half day at work instead of taking the whole day off…) and we basically were like, oh hey, this is our umbrella, and stood in front of them and set up chairs. Teenagers let you do whatever when you’re an adult. Cool.

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It was cold, and I had hand warmers to keep me from freezing to death. I can’t handle cold. I am also just a wimp. Let us in, already.

A zillion hours later, we are let in and were disappointed to see that the front row was all reserved. NOT COOL.

It comes with the radio show territory though, so we sucked it up and sat in the second row (I’m spoiled, shut up) and waited for the show to begin.

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Andy Grammer opened and OH MY GOD I fell in love. He won me over probably not even two full songs in. I’ve known about him for years, but never paid much attention. But all of a sudden my attention was on full alert.

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Next was the cool kids, Echosmith. I wasn’t feeling them much. Either it’s because Matt was next or what, but eh. Pass.

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Matt was next and do I even have to say anything other than favorite forever?

American Authors was playing last, and I sat there for awhile contemplating whether I wanted to stay or not. I chose to leave, since I had a 2.5 hour drive and it was already getting late, and I had a full day at work the next morning.

IMG_20141202_224728I sent Matt a tweet just because, and got an instant reply back which pretty much made my whole entire night and drive home. I adore that dude.

SAN JOSE

 I worked a full day at work the following day. So tired. The following day, I only worked a half day, and then headed to San Jose for round two!
I had walked around downtown San Jose for a bit, because of course I had arrived too early again. Chirstmas in the park was happening around the corner, complete with a carnival, and it was adorable.

This show was a win you way in kinda show. I had won tickets by listening to the radio non stop for a week. Yvonne had won as well, and for some reason it was hard finding people to come be our plus ones. WHAT. People are crazy they didn’t want to go. Last minute my friend Kelly decided to come to see Matt, because she fell in love with him at last year’s Merry Mixxer, and ended up having the day off from work.

Here’s kind of a crazy story? Randomly in October a girl named Mallory started following me on instagram, after she had seen one of photos I had hash tagged of a show we had both attended. She then browsed through my account and realized we go to a lot of the same shows. We were commenting back and forth, joking around that she was stalking my account, and we quickly realized that we live in the same city! Which is just crazy! She wasn’t really trying to stalk me, but we even worked 2 blocks away from one another, and oh man crazy small world!

After Modesto, she had commented that she was jealous on one of the photos I had posted. We still didn’t have a second plus one at that point so I asked her if she wanted to go. I emailed her the details and ensured her that 80% of my friends I met on the internet or at a concert, and that I wasn’t a crazy internet person. Haha.

So. She came! (I can 110% confirm you that neither she or I are crazy, because we just carpooled and went to another show together two weeks ago and had a ton of fun.)

Before she had arrived, I had met up with Kelly and Yvonne. My other friends Joann and Sara were there as well. (They were the ones that Yvonne and I gave our extra 3rd row Matt tickets to back in July.)

Sara had won a Matt meet and greet, so they got to go in early. I joked around that they owed us and should save us seats. And they are awesome and did. They also told Matt I said hello, and his response was, “Well where is she?!” (Mentally hugging that guy…)

Once inside, we settled into our third row seats (give third row, get third row!) and waited for the show to begin. The lineup was once again another show with Andy Grammer, Matt, and American Authors.

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You guys. Andy came out and if I thought I loved him after Modesto, holy moly, I loved him 20 times more after San Jose. THE KEYTAR.

WATCH THIS VIDEO AND NOT LOVE HIM. SIGH. (thanks Carrie for recording this.)

Matt played next and of course that makes me happy.

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Before Matt was about to begin playing “Suspended” he introed it with, “This is a song about sunshine.”

My friend Carrie, who was sitting two rows in front of us, and myself both went, “WOO!”

“Only two people like sunshine.” was Matt’s response.

Carrie turned around and we both laughed. We are the sunshine lovers. Yes.
I guess that is only funny if you were there. And are Carrie and I….

He ended up playing it unplugged and in the crowd. He is so good I can’t even handle it sometimes.

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During “Headphones”, Matt jumped into the crowd again and sang on chairs right in front of us. If you can’t be front row, he will come to you. 😉

After his set, I then fought with myself on if I should skip American Authors and drive home. I decided to go home, because I had to wake up at 5am the following morning and I hadn’t even packed yet, for yet another show. And then it turned into 5 of us leaving all together, leaving the third row practically empty. Whoops. Sorry AA for bailing twice in a row.

LAS VEGAS

5am is a ridiculous hour to wake up. Jumping on the road at 6am, and driving 500 miles is even more ridiculous. The things I do for Matt Nathanson…

The 8 hour drive to Vegas was not a fun one. I woke up feeling kinda cruddy. Plus there isn’t much to look at. Or to stop at. So you have to strategically plan your pit stops.

Once I finally got to Hard Rock where the show was at, I was a classy lady like always and changed my clothes in the parking lot. I also did my makeup in the car, so I didn’t look as crap-o as I felt. Pro-roadtripper. I can get ready anywhere.
I was meeting up with a couple of my girls in Vegas. Nina had arrived earlier, and Caroline was on a flight on the way there. They were staying the night at Hard Rock, so I texted Nina when I arrived.

Nina met me in the lobby, and as we were standing around chatting, I felt someone walk up and stand to my left. I looked up and, oh hey, it’s just Matt. Ha. I had been in the middle of a story, and I kinda just stopped and said, “Oh woah, HI.” and went in for a hug.

He asked me how my drive was and I just went, “Ugh. Long. Boring.” and then we were just chatted about flying vs. driving, and Nina shared her horrible flight story getting there (it was really horrible.) Then Erin, Dahl, and Beth arrived and I think Matt got a little overwhelmed because he basically left. Ha. Actually he went to go nerd over the Led Zeppelin display they had, but all of us being loud and saying hi was probably overwhelming.

We hung out in Nina and Caroline’s hotel room for a little bit, and then Erin, Dahl, Beth & I went out in search of dinner.

We ate at this FABULOUS place named Culinary Dropout. SO SO SO GOOD. We took advantage of the happy hour specials, and ordered way too much food (grilled cheese sliders and pretzel balls with fondue and french fries, omg) and were fat kids and ate it all.

We then still had a few hours to kill, so we waddled around Hard Rock looking at all of the displays they had.

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Finally, we went to pick up our tickets (I probably paid way too much for a front row ticket) and they handed me a set list time.

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UM. EXCUSE ME. Why does Andy get a 15 MINUTE SET? And Matt 25?! I knew it was going to be short, but damn, the set changes were longer!

I pouted a bit, but was still excited for the show. I had bought Andy’s album on itunes and listened to nothing but him the entire 8 hour drive. Mark this as when the obsession began…

Jane was also at the show, and she was sitting next to us, so we talked until the show began.

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So, Andy comes out. Plays 4 songs and I pout all over again.

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Matt comes out and plays his 5 songs. I pout.

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Better Than Ezra was next. I knew I wouldn’t really enjoy their set since I didn’t really enjoy them when Scars on 45 had opened for them. I was bored.

Train played last. We only stuck around because we were staying at Erin and Dahl’s house that night and only had a 20 minute drive home.

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Once again, we were the girls in the front row not singing the words to their songs because we don’t know them. But we still got a selfie! Haha.

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After the show, we said goodbye to the girls. Then we couldn’t find the parking lot for 20 minutes. This is the second time I got lost in a casino hotel in Vegas. And I didn’t even drink!

Finally my car was found (hooray!) and we headed to Casa de Hansens.

We sat around eating pumpkin ice cream that Dahl and Erin had been saving for us for months (so nice!) and chatted for awhile. I started feeling really stuffed up at this point, so I headed off to bed.

When we woke up the following morning, I felt a little stuffy still, but was doing okay. The Hansens made us breakfast, and we had donuts from Pink Box (OMGG) and we sat around talking for awhile more before Beth and I had to start getting ready and making our way to California.

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D & E packed us a lunch (they are seriously the best) and then we started making out trek back to my home state.

ESCONDIDO

This drive sucked more than the drive to Vegas, even though it was significantly shorter. I was starting to feel all sorts of horrible. Halfway through the drive I had to stop at a Wal-Mart and buy tissues and cold medicine, because my nose was producing as much snot as Niagara Falls. I seriously just shoved tissue up there to stop the flow. TMI, whatevs.

We stopped at a Dunkin Donuts halfway on the drive because YES COFFEE. Jane was also driving from Vegas, and had ended up being right behind us on the drive, so we planned the stop accordingly. She gave me a gift of a 1 POUND REESE’S that she had bought for me when in Vegas. I was scared and excited about that sucker. After being all OMG PB and caffeine in hand, we jumped back into our cars and headed to check into our hotel for the night.

We made a quick change and I tried to cover my rudolphed red snot nose before we headed out the door to the show. The cold medicine wasn’t doing much, so I just threw all the tissues in my bag and hoped for the best.

We met back up with Jane at the venue. Doors were opened at this point so we headed right in. Beth and I needed to use the restroom, and I had remembered there were ones from the previous year (Matt had played the same show the year before) that were down and underneath a half flight of steps that there were never a line for. Secret bathrooms, what up.

So. I walk out of the bathroom and Jane says, “You just missed Matt.” and I’m like, DAMN YOU BLADDER COULDN’T YOU HAVE BEEN EMPTY. Haha. But then a second later Ayappa walks by and says, “Miss Joslyn! Are you ready to rock tonight?” He is always so nice even though he sees me everywhere.

The venue wasn’t actually letting us sit in our seats yet anyway, so we were standing by the stairs just talking and waiting. There were elevators down the hall a bit, which I had my back to. I heard the elevators ding and then a very distinct voice exclaim, “I JUST LOVE THAT YOU ARE EVERYWHERE.” I turn around and there is Matt, once again!

He was with the OAR guys and totally stopped and to talk to us for several minutes. He asked how we liked Vegas.

There had been these girls next to us who WOULD NOT STOP TALKING during his set, so I started saying, “It was good. Even though it was short, and those fucking bitches…”

“WOAH WOAH WOAH.” Matt said stopping me. Come on Nathanson. You curse more than I.

“These girls next to us wouldn’t shut up! I was going to punch them!” Seriously. Learn concert etiquette, please.

Then I poked him in the shoulder angrily. “YOU. What are these rumours about this summer tour with BTE and Sugar Ray?” (BTE had done an interview online saying they were going on tour together that summer. Total lies.)

“I love those guys, but that’s not happening. I am going on tour this summer though. I’d sneak you guys what it is, but it’s not mine.”

“So you’re OPENING?!” I say giving him a ‘I do not approve’ look. Man I can be sassy with him sometimes. Ha. (Turns out he’s being opening for The Fray and Train, so this summer is still going to be as horrible, just different bands than what we were expecting.)

“I know. I know.” he then told us the new album should be out by April (I thought to myself, “‘l’ll believe it when I see it.” It’s now March and yeah, no way is that sucker anywhere near complete. Nathanson time is always longer than real time. If an album does come out next month, you can tell me to eat my words. Ha.) and we talked about it being stripped down and more intimate and then he looked at his watch and said, “Oh, we go on in less than 30 minutes! We should go!”

We figured they must have opened the doors to the floor for us to find our seats by then, so we all headed along our ways as well. Love little run ins though. Makes my day.

Um. This was the most expensive Matt show I’ve ever been to. I’m not even going to name the price because it is RIDICULOUS. 2014 was the year of spending all the money.

We didn’t realize it was going to be full band acoustic until Shiben and Lovejoy walked out onstage with Aaron and Matt. Full band acoustic is the BEST.

Chris sits down on his cajon and spots Beth and I immediately. His jaw drops open and he just looks back and forth between the two of us for a few seconds. I love that guy. And no one should be surprised to see us anywhere at this point.

After we had ran into Matt, my nose magically stopped running. The healing powers of the Nathanson hug, I joked around. So during his set I could breathe and it was fantastic.

They played an hour long set and I was super happy about it. The half sets the last few days had been killing me.

OAR played after Matt, and unfortunately I began to slowly deteriorate again. I almost went and laid down on the couches in the lobby of the venue, because I was beginning to suffer.

I don’t know how I was standing after the show. At least this photo you can’t tell show horrendous I felt.

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We went to go find dinner afterwards since it was still relatively early. And then I decided I was dying too much to even want food, so I was the lame girl with water and tissues trying not to fall asleep on the restaurant table.
Luckily we had two beds at the hotel so I didn’t contaminate Beth with my plague.

The next morning, it was time for phase two of the trip: THE ZOO, then Scars on 45!
I had totally thought that that was the last of the Matt shows for 2014, and was good with it being the end. But surprise, surprise (or not so surprise?) the universe had other plans.

PALM SPRINGS

Two weeks later…

Palm Springs was not planned. At all. At the time of the San Diego show, I didn’t even know it existed. I think it was only announced 2 weeks before the actual show date, which was a day or so after I got home from the Scars shows. It was another one of those call and win your way in radio shows, and since I live a good 7 hours away I knew there was no way that I had a chance at it.

But, somehow the concert gods out there were looking out for me. I had tweeted the radio station, a “Can I come please?!” reply and that’s it.

Two days before the show I was at my friend’s house for a Christmas party. We had been drinking and I’m pretty sure I was a little tipsy. I had grabbed my phone to Google a movie title I was trying to remember, and got totally side tracked because I had a DM on Twitter from the radio station.

“Are you over 21? If so, can we have your full name, we would like to put you on the list.”

Enter me freaking out. “OMG WHAAAAT!” I scream out loud. My friends all look up and ask whats going on. “How far is Palm Springs?!” I ask them.

So, I replied back that I was over 21 and told them my full name. Asked what time it started, and if I could bring a guest, etc. I replied with many thanks, and that I was super stoked for the show because Matt is my favorite.

“I know you love him, enjoy the show!” WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT?

As weird as it was, I didn’t care. I texted Jane and asked, “What are you doing Saturday?!”

So, 36 hours later I hopped in my car and drove down to her apartment. Ate a salad on the floor of her bedroom, then we were off to Palm Springs.

There was a fro-yo place next door to the bar in the casino the show was at. And I never say no to fro-yo. Sup, dinner.

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This show goes into the books of one of those weird ones.

First, the opening girl was SO HORRIBLE. It sounded like bad karaoke. So bad that I was laughing. I don’t understand how she was on the line-up.

Then, Ryan Cabrera played next. He was really funny and I actually really enjoyed his set. I forgot how much I liked his music in the early 00’s.

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Next was Matt. At this point everyone was drunk and being rude and loud. There was this table sitting to the left of us totally ignoring Matt’s set and just staring at their cell phones. Matt actually called them out on it, and most of them put them away.

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Another song in, this one kid was STILL on his phone. Matt actually walked over to him and said, “What is happening on your phone that’s more important than being present in the moment right now? Give me your phone. Let me see.” OHHH DISS. He took the phone from the kid’s hand, which was locked so he couldn’t see what he was up to, but he then walked back onstage and put the phone in his back pocket. “I’m just going to hold onto this for the rest of the show. Your battery is down to 10% anyway. But my left ass cheek is so powerful that when I return your phone to you it’s going to be at least half charged.” Way to take a negative and make it a comedic moment. But also can I punch that kid?

You could tell that the mood was not a good one after that. When Aaron and Matt went into “Faster” they didn’t even have the crowd do a synchronized clap, which ALWAYS happens. Jane and I attempted it on our own, and were failing. Aaron saw us and attempted to help but we were a lost cause by that point.

I wish I could have talked to Matt after the show. And hugged him. I hate rude people.

We did talk to Aaron after the show though. At this point we had heard rumors about the summer tour with Train, and I was all, “So these rumors about THE FRAY AND TRAIN?!”

Aaron just gave me a look and said, “I can neither deny or confirm this.” Which meant…yes.

We chatted for several more minutes until Aaron said, “I’m going to talk to these other people so I can pack up and go home.” I’m a talker. And a time monopolizer. Whoops.

We said our goodbyes, and then Jane and I headed back to LA ourselves.

The next morning we went to my favorite restaurant in the world, Swinger’s Diner, and then we walked a mile and a half to burn it off and to feed my need of Dunkin Donuts. I stocked up on the K-Cups. Yes, I am one of those people helping pollute the world with plastic cups.

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Then we made a trip to California Donuts to indulge in my fat kid needs. OMG SO GOOD AND I DON’T DO DONUTS BESIDES WHEN IN PORTLAND.

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Look how festive my fat kid feast was, though!

We headed back to Jane’s place and I loaded up my things and my donuts into my car and headed home from the last show in 2014. You were a good one, 2014. Thanks for all of them.
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Posted on March 11, 2015, in Life, Tour Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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