I’m just going to state this up front – this entry has zero to do with knitting. In fact, the only thing “knitting related” is that I wore my Zelda cowl during this trip – that’s it. Otherwise this is about meeting more of my idols and detailing it so I can remember it forever – and since this is the only blog I have, I hope you don’t mind! (Promise, there will be knitting again soon!)
I’ll try to make this as concise as possible, but I don’t know that when I get to the best part I’ll be able to skip on the details. The actual traveling there and home were basically uneventful (aside from the first bus being over an hour late to arrive in Windsor). Well, actually, except for one part. You see, because this concert/tour was for the 10th anniversary of the release of their debut self-titled album, “She Wants Revenge”, they were hosting a contest on instagram and giving one winner a “VIP experience”, which included being present for their soundcheck and a meet’n’greet with the band afterwards. I planned my picture in my head for weeks, and posted it the day before I left. I knew the winner was chosen between 12 and 1 pm – right when I was on the bus – and I did my best to not check my instagram obsessively (I failed). But I was exceptionally surprised when just before 1 pm I got the message that I had won! I was going to meet them!
Once I got to Toronto I thought it best to just go straight to the hostel, since I wasn’t exactly sure where it was (though I had a general idea). Checking in was a bit of a cluster-f, and I think I was charged more than I should have been … but I took my keycard and up to the room I went. This room was for 4 people (with two bunk beds). Truthfully, my living room was bigger than this dorm room (including the bathroom in this). I was told I must sleep in the bunk I was assigned … and naturally, I drew top bunk. It looked a bit precarious to get into and I’ve never slept in a bunk bed before … I was on an adventure, so I would do the thing. The bunkies that were already there were two girls going to University of Waterloo, but from different provinces (Saskatchewan and Newfoundland). They had never been to Toronto so they were excited to explore the city that night, and I gave them a few pointers for getting around. I didn’t stay long in the room after getting changed, again because I was walking and wasn’t sure exactly where I was going, and I needed to eat too.
I ended up at the concert venue an hour early for soundcheck. I hung out until I was brought into the main area, where three other VIPs were waiting (two others than were winners and one who had bought the experience). I watched them tune their instruments and they performed four songs during the check – one that was definitely going to be in the set, and three that were from other albums. Afterwards we got to sit down and talk to them – they answered questions about their tour, their side projects, the possibility of making new music in a year or so (!!!!!!), and the process they go through to make music. From there they took pictures with us all and signed things – I brought all three of my CDs from them and they signed the booklets of all and the CD of one (since it was the only one light enough to sign), as well as giving us signed copies of the set list.
They also took requests from us for the encore, and promised that every song we requested would get played! From there the four of us went to find our seats (since the purchaser and I had paid for balcony seats, and the other winners figured they could sneak in because it was still before doors opened) – my seat was dead-center on a couch right against the balcony railing … perfect view! It was fun watching the theatre fill in before the concert started (two opening acts before SWR took the stage). I enjoyed the first act well enough (a three-piece with a female lead), and the second act felt very meh (another three-piece, all male). She Wants Revenge took the stage just before 10 pm. There was a slight panic at this moment, worrying that I wouldn’t remember all the words to all the songs (since some I haven’t listened to in awhile). Never fear – as soon as I heard the opening notes I knew the words to every song. I danced in my seat and moved to the music. Some songs spoke to me in ways they never have before (something I chalk up to some experiences of this year). It was also fantastic to see the range of ages of people there – some where in their early 20s, some where easily in their 50s. The first set was 12 songs long. When they came back for the encore they played 10 songs – true to their word, every song the VIPs requested, as well as the new song they released this year (and thus unplayed at concerts until now), and their cover of “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs (ohmygosh, such an amazing track). They were on stages just shy of two hours, and it was one of the most spiritual hours of my life. I felt so many emotions during their show, but joy was the overwhelming one. No matter what I was going through, what I was feeling, what it had taken to get here, it was 100% worth it for this moment. I needed this – to hear them live, to have the music fill me, to have it speak to me, and to heal a bit through their songs.
The rest of my trip was uneventful. I made it back to the hostel in one piece and had trouble sleeping (I’ll bring stronger sleeping meds next time). I met the other guest in our room, a German exchange student who was leaving for home in the morning. Staying in the hostel wasn’t terrible and, in a pinch or to really save money, I might consider it again. I took a detour through the Eaton’s Centre to keep warm and see the giant Christmas tree … and back home I came. I feel changed, but I’m not entirely sure how yet (at least, not in a way I can put into words). In a few days I will head back to the T. Dot, this time to see my family and spend the holidays with them. So needed, and I’m looking forward it.
This was an absolutely fantastic adventure that I’m glad I went on, and that I went alone. I proved a lot of things to myself in doing this on my own. Worth it, every single moment.