What do most people do on a day off? Some may relax. Me? I spend it with probably just under a hundred “strangers” (many no longer deserving such a label) in 90 degree heat on an August afternoon. Totally typical I say.
I looked up via Google Maps on my iPhone how to get out there. Simple enough. My friend I was staying with had to head off to class by 8:30, so I was up, showered, dressed and ready to go with her. She dropped me off at the T station, and I made my way on in to South Station. She said it was bit of a walk from there, but not bad, so I figured no need to take the Silver Line there. Nah. Piece of cake. Ohhhhh fail fail fail… Google Maps turned my Northern AVENUE into Northern Street, and I soon found myself roaming around the North End. Huh? I stopped in a Starbucks to ask for directions and when I asked for the Bank of American PAVILLION they gave me directions to the ATM next door. No no no… (Couldn’t help the Tori lyric which came to mind “Baby I don’t need your cash…”).
Finally I decided to opt out of all of that foolishness and I started flailing my arms all about as I booked it up the street, heading back Southward towards where I assumed the venue was located. Somewhere along the way, I found a friendly cabbie who helped to bring my drama to a close. $10 lighter and 15 minutes later, I found myself pulling up to the typical meet & greet scene, a mostly empty parking lot, at a little shy of 10. The first two in line, brother and sister from Phoenix, had been there since 6am. There were only about three others there, and we had a nice little line going backwards up against the chain fence, the location of which we could only assume was where we should wait.
From 10am until around 2:15, we chatted, joking about how tired and sweaty we all were, how many times we’d all seen her, and the inevitable “seven minute lull” which happened periodically during the conversations. When the event staff alerted someone that the M&G was going to be around the corner, we made a beeline over, and were thankfully just behind the barricade, closest to be able to see/talk to her when she came out. You never know how long she’ll be there or if she’ll make it to the very back, so front is key. The venue workers were quite amused by our group – always funny as most aren’t super familiar with Tori to begin with. They came out and set up a little tent of sorts to shield her from the sun (ironic, since she never really even stood under it). We saw a big black SUV pull up and a group of people slowly trickled out. Eventually we saw Tasha come by, smiling and waiving purse in hand. She’s so much bigger! And then out came Mindi, to explain that we could either have something signed or a photo and she’d be doing the photography. And it was all going to be over within 30 minutes.
Soon Tori came out, wearing a royal blue dress, leggings, and silver flip flops, looking cute as ever. One guy had brought her shoes before, so they were talking shoes (apparently Tori’s a size 37.5 – “the half makes all of the difference”). My MeeGee friend Ron had brought her some earrings which looked to have a very Native American influence, even though he bought them at an Indian store on Saint Marks in the East Village. He thought they would be a nice gesture, but Tori absolutely loved them. This picture captures her response as he gave them to her. The crowd though was filled with people wanting pictures or something to be signed, so think they were surprised he just wanted to give her a gift. They were super cute though and a big hit. She was also super sweet to Mitchell, who was there for his first show. She called him a “curious creature”, which elicited a squeel from Mitchell. He loved it.
I probably talked to her the longest at this Meet & Greet ever. I first said hello from my friend Joyia, who’d wanted to go with me to the Meet & Greet in Orlando but as she’s set to deliver in October, thought the heat was too much. I told her she was pregnant but wanted me to send a hello. I had planned to request that she play Curtain Call, the song I love most off of the album and had yet to hear live, but she threw me for a loop. She said “I’ve seen you before. Now honey, what’s your name?”. I was surprised as I’ve only been to three or four Meet & Greets, which by M&G standards is very few. I stammered out my name and managed to smile (big) for a picture, but totally forgot about Curtain Call. Oh well!
Was it worth the almost 5 hours in 80-90 degree temperatures? Absolutely. I’d do it again tomorrow!! Click here to see my full set of photos.