Well, I had a loooong two days but I'm finally able to sit down and write about those past two long days. Despite them being long, THEY WERE FANTASTIC!
Monday I hitched a ride with my dear friend Jessa and her two wonderful boys and had a wonderful ride over. So thank you to Jessa and her boys for helping me with a ride to Portland. Once we got to Portland I met up with my dear sweet friend Jen who I was going to the concert with and we headed out to Eugene after dropping her husband off at home. We were on the road to Eugene and Jack around 4:00, 4:30 or so and started our trip off with some Jack White "Blunderbuss" to get us in the mood. Then we spent our time chatting away about everything and nothing to the soundtrack of Heartless Bastards after Jack ran out. And it was a beautiful drive. Good weather and just really pretty. I haven't made that drive in God knows how long so it was just fun.
As we neared Eugene I was in charge of getting the directions on Jen's iphone to the Hult Center and it turned out to be sooo easy to get to. We were there before we knew it and pulled into a parking garage where we got a sweet spot to park the car, right by the tour buses. We went inside the Hult Center to get our will call tickets and buy some swag. I got a poster, t-shirt, the tour 7" Love Interruption vinyl single (which I actually asked for the Sixteen Salteens 7" but she gave me the wrong one and I didn't notice until the next day so I'm a little pissed about that), and a slipmat. With all that stuff we decided to go back out to the car since it wasn't far and put it in the trunk so we wouldn't have to worry about holding on to it, losing it or anything getting damaged. After we put our stuff away we hung out outside by a big driveway that went down to the backstage entrance and the tour buses and trucks were parked on the side there. As we were hanging out by the locked gate hoping to maybe catch a glimpse of Jack or anyone from his band suddenly a black Denali with completely blacked out windows pulls into the driveway and Jen and I are right there beside it thinking, that's gotta be Jack in there. The security guard opens the gate and as it drives down into the driveway past the tour buses we see the license plate says, "NOT FBI" and we're like, yeah, that's totally Jack. The Denali stops down the driveway where the backstage entrance is and like three people get out and then suddenly, Jack hops out! And I'm like "Shit! That was Jack!" But he was in backstage before I could even call out to him.
A little while later, a girl, who shall remain nameless even though Jen and I know her first name, showed up and activated both Jen and I's vomit reflexes and the churning of stomach acid in our stomachs because she was wasted and thought it would be cool to sneak in inside the gate while the security guard was away, holding a long island ice tea in her hand. You're probably thinking, why would that harmlessness activate your vomit reflexes so? Well, I'm not done yet. It gets worse. There were three young men, in their 20's probably that were hanging out over on the side (Jen and I were standing in the actual driveway at the front gate) and this girl started hitting on these guys and it's so obvious she's drunk and older so she's all like, "how old are you guys? How old do you think I am?" Oh, good grief. Jen and I stare at her with the stomach acid churning in our belly's cause it makes us feel sick and so annoyed and then look at each other every once in awhile with the look of "oh my God, could she be more pathetic" in our eyes. But what's really fantastic is she starts talking to these guys, obviously looking to get laid, and suddenly breaks out with something to the effect that she called Jack and he was like, "Who is this?" and she says, "It's ----- from Oregon!" Seriously?! Did she seriously just tell that story and expect people to believe it?! Worse, did these guys actually believe her? So then she tries to get her friend to sneak in the gate with her but her friend wouldn't do it so she ends up going up to the first tour bus and starts knocking on the door! OMG. I'm beyond annoyed cause she's knocking and waving this stupid little wave trying to look cute and get someone to open the door and let her in all the while sipping on her long island ice tea in a plastic, clear to-go cup. Needless to say, no one let her in, opened the door or even waved back. Finally the security guard who was guarding that part of the gate came back and Jen and I immediately point at her like, "Get that pathetic drunk woman." So he sees her and kicks her out. Hehe....justice. Oh man, she was annoying and pathetic.
Not much later, these women with suitcases come out from the Hilton which is by the Hult Center and walk right by Jen and I cause we're standing right at the gate, look at us, give us smiles and say hey as the security guard lets them in and Jen and I look at each other and we're both like, "those are girls in the girl band!" They get inside their tour bus but then come right back out and come out through the gate and take a moment to talk to Jen and I! Beyond awesome! One of the girls who was talking to us was sooo wicked cool. Jen and I ask if they are playing tonight and she says no, it's the guys tonight and then asks us how we're doing, tells us that they're going to get a bite to eat and told us to enjoy the show. After they left I was like, "that was wizard!" and then I tell Jen, "I called it!! I had a feeling it was gonna be the guys with Jack tonight!"
So we hang outside for a little while longer, it's about 7:30pm by now, and my right leg is starting to kill so we decide to go in and sit down and wait till they open the doors. Finally doors open and we head in. And it was a beautiful venue. It was a performing arts theater but it was older so it was just beautiful and intimate. We head on down to Row F and find our seats, 207 and 208 and we are down front, dead center! Great seats! We kept wondering though how people got closer cause as a vault member I got pre-sale tickets and we were on there buying tickets the second they opened up the site to buy them. But we didn't dwell on it cause we really did have great seats.
An opening band that is much like the White Stripes (a guy on vocals, piano and guitar with a girl on back vocals and drums) played to warm up the audience a little bit and then the TMR crew came out to take the sheets off that were covering all the instruments and set up other odds and ends to get ready for Jack. At this point they tell us no more pictures cause Jo will be taking professional photos so put away our cameras and phones and let them take the pictures. So good thing I didn't worry about taking my video camera but I did have my phone and I had every intention of sneaking a couple pics if I could manage it :) Security was tight so it was gonna be tricky. But I managed as you'll see :) Then lights go down and it's showtime. The boys come on first and then suddenly Jack strolls on stage, takes a guitar and starts the show. I went crazy when I saw him. Even more so when he opened up with "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground," a White Stripes song. And oh my Lord, what a show. What a performance he put on. It was so awesome. I was in heaven. It was so much fun. I screamed my heart out, sang and just completely rocked out. He played a bunch of White Stripes songs which was way cool, a couple Raconteurs songs, a couple Dead Weather songs and then his solo stuff. It was everything I hoped for and more. Well, all except one thing...I didn't get to meet Jack :( But I didn't let that taint my experience. I enjoyed every second of it.
After the show, Jen and I hung for a minute cause Jack threw out some guitar picks at the beginning of the show so we thought maybe there might still be one or two that people couldn't find and then forgot about them but no such luck. But we got a close up look at the instruments and the drum set was wicked. Finally we got in the car and headed out about 11:30 to travel the two hours back to Portland. And the night was over. But what an incredible night it was. Jack White is everything to me. And it was wonderful to share it with my so very dear friend, Jen.
So thank you to Jessa for the great trip over, Kristen for the fun trip back, Jen for taking me to the concert and having a blast with me, both Jen and Clay for their wonderful hospitality, all my family, friends and blog followers for being so happy for me and supportive, and most of all to Jack for putting on a great show and once again for sending me that personal video message and helping me get through my life for the past 12 years, most particularly this recovery since my burn accident.
(Jen and I at our seats before the show)
(View from our seats prior to the show. All Jack's instruments were covered up till he was ready to come on)
(Jack!! - first illegal photo :) )
(Jack again!! - second illegal photo)
(My Swag - T-shirt, tour vinyl and slipmat)
(Concert Poster - specific to Eugene concert)