So, here’s how it went down.
In March 2016, I purchased V.I.P Meet and Greet Tickets to the Return of the Dreads concert in Dallas, TX on August 4. At the time, I had no idea that my current favorite band will also be in a separate tour later in the year with Breaking Benjamin, which will be in my home state. Honestly, I never thought that my favs would ever be back in Mississippi as they have not been for years. As soon as I was able, I also purchased V.I.P Meet and Greet tickets for the Nocturnal Underground Tour in Southaven, MS. Thank goodness for Sirius XM’s Octane channel or I would not have any vital rock music news! (Mississippi sucks..)
Since the tour was named Return of the Dreads, I decided that I wanted to come to the show in my own set of dreads. My employer won’t allow dreads (I’ve asked) so I looked online for a while for ideas until I found a site that sold a clip in ponytail that looked really cool in the picture displayed. My work ladies (co-workers) bought this for me for my birthday even though they didn’t understand it at all. The ponytail did not arrive for 6 weeks and when it finally came in, it was half what I had in mind. I was back on the hunt again for ideas. I soon learned how to make dreads myself and modified the ponytail into exactly what I wanted. I also made custom single ended dreads to add to my own hair for a full “dreadhawk”. I practiced on it 3 or 4 times until I got it just right.
The morning of the concert, I needed to stop by the pharmacy to pick up anti-inflammatory and pain meds (for my fractured foot) that took a lot longer than the usual pharmacy turn around time. The pharmacy was short staffed and I was in a hurry – story of my life. I’d fractured my Navicular bone about 3 weeks earlier and did not realize it other than the fact that it hurt constantly. The day before the concert, I got an x-ray, a lecture, and a boot. I honestly don’t recall the incident that caused the fracture. Anyway, my partner also picked this morning in particular to complete school registration for his children since he was off work. That took longer that expected as well. Since the kids weren’t officially in school until the following week, we dropped them off at their long winded grandparents’ house. I was literally telling them that we were late and had to go with the window down and the car rolling.
About half way to the concert, which was a 6.5 hour drive, I had my partner start making calls to make sure that we would be there on time for the meet and greet. I was supposed to have gotten an email with instructions about where to go and what time. As you can guess, I didn’t receive it. We’d just gotten our food at Sonic when I got the info that ripped my heart right out. According to GPS and the time that we needed to be in Dallas, we were going to be an hour late. Tears ran down my face for the next 20 or so minutes with complete silence in the car. I didn’t want to eat when beforehand I was starving. My partner had no idea what to say. He knew how hard I worked on my dreads and the custom t-shirt with Brian Head Welch’s silhouette on it, not-to-mention, how bad I wanted to meet the band.
Yeah, yeah. I know what you are thinking. I’m going to meet them in Mississippi in a couple of months. In the moment, this fact didn’t matter. I’d thought about what I would say to the members of KoRn for months. I’d planned out everything meticulously. This was more than just a bummer for me. I felt like such an idiot for planning as long as I had and didn’t check the meet and greet time. It’s really my own fault. I can blame everything that happened that morning on my late arrival, but I should’ve checked the time. I wiped my face and set out on hauling ass in the chance that I could maybe reach the venue before they left the V.I.P area. 1. No stopping at the hotel to check-in. 2. Get dressed in the car.
We arrived at Gexa Energy Pavilion at 5:20 and to no surprise, we were too late. They’d just taken down the tables for V.I.P check-in. I got my event poster and lanyard from the ticket booth and sadly walked in the empty V.I.P area. If I’d gotten a pit pass, the benefit of getting in early would have been great, but I decided on front row seats. Judging from the map, I was to be on Brian’s side of the stage with a great view. Again, I was wrong. There were giant speakers right in front of me and the pit was far larger than expected, so people were standing in front of me. The speakers rattled my brain throughout the first band’s performance. My throat felt buzzy for a while which I didn’t like.
When KoRn took the stage, all of the negativity vanished on how crappy the day had gone. The band was amazing. Some of the guys even brought their kids on stage. Fieldy’s daughter helped him play bass. The stage was set up to where I could see Ray, the drummer, which is a nice change. Most drummers never get seen because they are so far in the back. He was on a cool, lighted platform with double bass drums that had the band’s name on them that seemed to be lighted also. Fieldy and Head took turns climbing on the platform next to Ray and thrashed around. Head’s hair is fabulous and I am jealous! The backdrop was animated and very groovy. The stage lights, also on the platform, moved around and flashed with the music. I also got to see them perform their new single, “Rotting in Vain”. The experience was exhilarating!
A neighbor to us said that Jonathan didn’t make it to the meet and greet because he was on vocal rest. The things these guys go through for us.. why complain? In between songs, he was getting oxygen to help him through the set. Yeah, so I drove 6.5 hours to see them but how many miles have they ridden in a bus with time away from their families? How many months have they stayed on the road? How many hot nights have they sweat and played their hearts out on stage? How many moments have they given to us that we will never forget? I will always respect their sacrifices.
The venue allowed me to bring in my nice camera to take a few shots and I am super happy with the way they turned out! I hung some up on my memorabilia wall. I also got a tour shirt that I am going to frame. The overall experience was well worth the trip and money.
I hope that I will get more items to add to my wall once I get back from the Nocturnal Underground Tour!
Side note: I found out through a girl on Instagram that Brain met with some fans after the show for prayers. She had some cool pictures with him. I can only hope I get as lucky!