The End of the Beginning
So, how did Bit (Aka Rachael) and I get into Like A Storm (LAS aka “The guys”) ?
Back before the guys released their first album, Bit’s father, Mike, used to do repairs on their musical gear and got to know the family.
They headed over to Canada to pursue their dream – and it worked.
One day their father Ian turned up at Mikes house, and gave him a CD, the first album “The End of the Beginning”. In the credits was a thanks to Mike for his help in the past. That was cool to see, and we were loaned the CD. Rach and I liked the Like a Storm FB page and Matt sent through a friend request much to her excitement. We Loved the album and figured the guys would be ones to watch for. Glad we did……
We found out the guys were coming home and were doing an acoustic set at the Kings Arms tavern in Auckland City – so we grabbed Mike, and off we went to see the show. Primarily family and friends of the guys who were there, but the guys were moving among the people having a quick chat, and when they came to us they didn’t recognise Mike due to him growing a beard – we introduced ourselves, and then said “here’s Mike” – they clicked soon as we said Mikes name, and chatted for a while before they hit the stage.
They put on a hell of a cool acoustic show (available on my YouTube). Afterwards, we had a quick chat again with Chris and Matt and headed off (after Bit got cuddles from everyone and got them to sign a “piece of toast” drinks coaster which they thought was hilarious.). Added Kent and Chris on FB the next day ( OK still waiting for Chris to add me) DUDE WTF!!
We continued following the guys on Facebook and their website, and watched their fan base grow.. Purchased tickets to many StageIt streams where Matt and Chris promised Rachael live that they would be coming home for a show ( OMFG her excitement)
When Bit and I first heard Like A Storm (LAS aka “the guys”) were coming home for their first official “tour” in NZ, we were stoked, and instantly purchased tickets to the show.
A couple of weeks later we were given word that the concert had been cancelled and the tickets would be refunded. We were gutted.
Bit eventually reached out to Matt and asked what happened – Matt informed Bit that they were still coming, but would be opening for Alter Bridge on their Australia/NZ tour. Yes!
So we purchased the tickets again……
Then the side stage access was made available….. (Story behind the purchase to this.. lets just say their fans ROCK) so another purchase was made….. no way were we going to miss out on that experience.
Then VIP/meet and greet was made available…….. hell no, we were not going to miss that at all.
Then set lists were made available….. and yup…. another story to do with some more awesome fans (We got Matt’s list)…….
Hotel room was booked 1.5km from the venue, babysitters organised and then we waited.
All day Bits phone binged and binged with excited fans messages of have fun and please post some footage up. We arrived at The Powerstation just before 6pm, to find a large crowd had already gathered outside, primarily made up of Alter Bridge fans, but did spot a couple of the Southern Cross t-shirts in the crowd.
So we waited…. and waited…. and waited….
Approx. 6.45pm the guys mother went past us heading down the road, we thought “where is she going” – a moment later she was back with the guy’s grandfather who was there to see their first Auckland full show – at 94!!!! Awesome stuff.
7pm the doors finally opened, and as we approached Bit said “oh shit, they’re checking ID’s and I don’t have mine on me and they’re searching bags” – the ID thing would be fine I thought it’s not like we are 18 but would the bag be an issue as it was full of cameras ,LAS merchandise to be signed, and we had our eldest daughter’s ukulele as well…Got to the door. Bit said we are here for the VIP experience ( looked at us a bit strange) that happned at 3.. Um no not for LAS .. when you get through the door go right and see people there !!
Then the fun began…..
None of the staff knew anything about the side stage, or the meet and greet (one guy was actually downright rude and sarcastic about it) – luckily Bit thought “the guys mother must be around somewhere, she’ll be able to get the guys to assist”, so off we went to find her – which wasn’t hard. Introduced ourselves as we had not met her before. She recognised Bit (from Facebook I’m guessing) and said she’d go find out for us what was going on – while she did this we had a quick chat with the guy’s grandfather, who is obviously extremely proud of his grandsons and wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to see them play for the home crowd even though we know Matt had offered a side stage experience.
Few minutes later the guys mother came back and said she’d managed find one someone tied up with it all, and he’d be down in a few mins. Let’s call him (sorry bud, I couldn’t remember your name but you were a great help throughout the night) “the chaperone”.
The chaperone came and got us a little later and took us back stage (woohoo!), and then walked us across the stage (in front of the crowd hehehe) and showed us a couple of stools that had been put for us to sit on. He then left us to it…. we we’re about to sit down when Zach walked out of one of the side rooms, closely followed by Kent! Zach said hi to us and Kent immediately came over and grabbed us in for a hug saying “hey guys!!!” – we were formally introduced to Zach which was cool, as we’ve seen him so often online but never in person – very cool guy, he fits in with the guys so well.
We had a brief chat with them, and then we were informed the show was about to start, so we started to get ourselves comfortable… which unfortunately did not work quite to plan. The Powerstation stage is quite small once you’ve got all the gear on it for two bands, and then one of the guys from the Alter Bridge crew came out and started doing some prep work right where we were sitting, and kept having to get past us, causing us to shuffle around a bit – frustrating, but not his fault, he was just doing his job. We soon sorted ourselves out so he could do what he needed and we could enjoy the show.
And wow……. we had an absolute blast. The atmosphere was insane. And hot. That’s temperature wise. Matt said later on, he was thinking about taking his jacket off, and was working out if he could get the guitar off, the jacket, then get the guitar back on all in time for the next song….. he must have found the time at some point because later in the set he had lost the jacket.
Half way through the set, Kent came over to us and was buzzing ” you guys having a good time ..F ### YES!! and gave another quick hug and continued.
Set list as per Matts list follows (and fans will know the full song titles) :
- Pure Evil
Around Never Surrender, Bit to turn around and there was Mark Tremonti from Alter Bridge. He smiled said Hi and gave her a wave (she thought Ahhh stay cool it’s Mark)and waved and hello”d back..
After the set was finished (and the crowd gone nuts), the stage crews came out and started prepping for Alter Bridge, so we started heading off the stage. And bumped straight into Chris and Matt. They said “wow great to see you here” – we said we’d see them soon as we were doing the VIP thing (well, duh, of course) so would see them there, they said “cool, see you soon!” and off they went.
We found our way back out to the main area, and thought “where are we actually meant to meet them” – the chaperone had told us that it would probably be at the upstairs bar, as the guys dressing room was a bit small – but we hadn’t seen him since he took us on the stage. So we found our way to the entrance to the guys dressing room, and waited outside. The chaperone popped out, so we grabbed him and he confirmed he’d come get us once everyone was ready. Cool!!
A bit later, the chaperone came and found us, and led us to the “private” bar. When we walked in, there was a group of about 10 people sitting at the first few tables, and I thought “could’ve sworn Bit said hardly any tickets had sold for the VIP” – turns out they were mostly media. The chaperone pointed down the other end of the bar where there was a couple of guys sitting with LAS t-shirts on, so went down there and got talking to them. Turns out it was the guys Uncle and a brother-in-law – the Uncle recognized Bit’s name from Facebook (gee, getting bit of a following there).
The guys came in after about 15 mins, said a few hellos and headed straight down to us, and greeted us like long lost friends. Lots of hugs and handshakes all round and large grins and smiles. A few other fans came and went during our time with the guys (inc one of the guys from Devilskin), but the guys appeared to spending a majority of their time catching up with us, which was in our opinion, absolutely AWESOME.
We bought a round of drinks for the guys (Yes, it was Corona Chris), and I kicked back on a seat talking with Kent, and then Matt dropped in beside us while Bit was talking with Zach and Chris.
Eventually we did the fan thing and got them to sign a bunch of the gear we had brought along to the show :
- Our two daughters LAS t-shirts (they’re big fans too!)
- All our LAS CD’s and DVD
- Voodoo doll
- Eldest daughters Ukulele which the guys thought was cool
After almost an hour the chaperone came over and was like “umm… do you guys want to do photos….” – he seemed to me a bit puzzled that the guys were so chatty to us
But said to Matt. Well the last photo we took together was outside a toilet so this one should be heaps better …So we did our photo….Grabbed the playlists . The Chaperone even gave us his schedule which was cool..We did our farewells and well wishes, and headed back out to the crowd, buzzing with how things had gone.
After watching Alter Bridge for a while we headed back to the hotel (with a stop for a kebab) – sorry Alter Bridge, I’ll admit I’ve only just started listening to your stuff, and although I’m enjoying it (as Bit is), we were there for LAS this time round.
Guys, if you read this, you put on hell of a show each time, and the fans love the way you respond to them, just keep it up and don’t ever change!
We feel that we know you a little bit more than others (yay for NZ’s two degrees of separation!), and love the way that you make us feel when you mention us (OK, Bit more than me) and the reaction to seeing us at the show was awesome, was like old friends getting together, it made us feel like we were on top of the world, meeting up with people whom we have a bond with over music, family and friends.
To all the fans out there, LAS are amazing ambassadors for NZ, and show us at our best, and vice versa. We have made some great online friendships online, and making more, all thanks to LAS.
Until next time, we Wish You Hell!!!!!!!
Still images (Sorry about crap quality, camera dosent like low light and we were concentrating on taking video and enjoying the show!)