I don’t know how to meet Chris Carrabba when I meet Chris Carrabba.
Let me explain.
I think you can meet someone and make a great impression (for what it’s worth, anyway) and I think you can meet someone and totally geek out despite your best efforts not to (I did this the first time I met Chris and I’m pretty sure I did it last night).
I probably could’ve stood in the I’m Waiting to Meet Super Talented and Super Hot Chris Carrabba Line for hours, rehearsing what I wanted to say over and over again. But it wouldn’t have made any difference. After my cousins and I walked up to Chris and introduced ourselves, I wasn’t sure what to say next.
Okay, he already knows that my name is Kayla.
Shit. I’m sweating.
Well, I want him to sign my setlist and my CD.
I also want to take a photo with him.
Wow. He is gorgeous.
“It feels like it’s been forever since you were in Pittsburgh,” I said.
Okay. Not a bad start.
“Last time you played in Pittsburgh was at Stage AE,” I said.
“Stage Eight?” he asked, looking slightly confused.
Crap. We were at Stage AE! I meant to say Mr. Smalls!
“Wait! I mean, Mr. Smalls, Mr. Smalls, Mr. Smalls. Sorry.”
And then he said something in his angelic angel voice, and my ears kind of melted because I just . . . I just think the world of Chris Carrabba. I really do.
Chris and I exchanged some more small talk before my cousins and I asked him to sign our CDs. Might I add that this was a pretty exciting moment for me because the last time I met Chris Carrabba (I’ll get to that later), I didn’t ask him to autograph anything. (Spoiler alert: You’ll learn that I was kind of a wreck.)
Next up was the photo op.
Patty went first. I was up next. Hooray!
Chris put his arm around me and I smiled a big smile--the kind of smile that, as you’ll see below, shows just how ecstatic I was to be meeting a man whose music has become a huge part of the soundtrack of my life. (Seriously, if a movie was made about my life, you can guarantee that Dashboard’s music would NOT be excluded.)
After Krysta got her picture taken with Chris, I leaned in and asked him if he would take a group picture with all of us. Sweetheart that he is, he agreed. After a kind stranger/fellow fan took our photo, Krysta, Patty, and I somehow managed to drop all of our CDs and everything else that was on our persons. Geesh.
By the time we were picking everything up off the floor, Chris was already talking to other fans (more folks entered the I’m Waiting to Meet Super Talented and Super Hot Chris Carrabba Line after The Lone Bellow’s set concluded). In truth, I kind of felt bad that I didn’t get to tell him how awesome Twin Forks’s set was or ask him about the new album or heck, even compliment him on a job well done when it comes to the recently released Further Seems Forever album.
Alas, I walked away feeling grateful that I got to meet Chris in a laidback setting, at an awesome venue, with my cousins, on a beautiful Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. The night was everything I was hoping for it to be--and more--and that started when, during Twin Forks’s set, Chris kept looking our way and smiling. I was also thrilled to be reunited with Sara, a sweetheart of a girl whom I now have the pleasure to call my friend. We met back when Chris performed at Diesel.
That, my friends, was the first time I met Christopher Ender Carrabba.
My boyfriend-at-the-time and I arrived early for the show along East Carson Street. The date was July 26, 2010. Our destination was Diesel. My mission was to meet Chris. It.had.to.happen.
As luck would have it, by the time Logan and I were getting out of my car, Chris and the rest of the band were just walking off their tour bus. (If ever I need an example when it comes to perfect timing, this experience would be it.)
Logan and I followed the band down the street and watched as Chris entered a Starbucks. We lingered around outside, trying to play it cool and trying not to make our creeper business obvious. But as soon as Chris walked out of that Starbucks, I almost lost it.
I had dreamed of meeting Chris Carrabba for years. YEARS.
I don’t remember the conversation we shared that day and how it compared to the conversation that he and I shared last night, but I snagged a photo with Chris and a few of the other band members before thanking them profusely and parting ways.
I didn’t make it that far down the street before I started bawling. I was so happy to have met him. The lead singer of my favorite band. Such a Bucket List moment, let me tell you.
Last night I did manage to keep my composure but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t just as excited to meet Chris again for the second time.
He’s always so grateful and kind and accommodating. So even though in many ways I’m just another Dashboard/Further Seems Forever/Twin Forks fan who gets all starstruck and awkward and nervous, I’m pretty sure that one day I’ll figure out how to meet Chris and carry on a memorable, light-hearted conversation and give him a high-five rather than shake his hand. Yes, maybe one day I’ll reach silver-star fan-level status (whatever that means).
‘Cause I’m going to support every piece of music that Chris Carrabba makes, in whatever band that he’s in. And I’ll go see him perform in whatever band he’s in whenever they’re close, and I’ll arrive early and/or stay late and I’ll have the time of my life, just like I did last night.
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .