Before reading this, if you haven't heard Kate Nash before, you should go listen to her. Or if that's not really your cup of tea, try this song. Also before reading this, be aware that it's going to be quite long. I don't feel like I'd be doing the night justice if I skimped on details.
Years ago I was really into Regina Spektor (still love her, just not the way I used to), and one day a Kate Nash song came on my Regina Spektor Pandora radio station. It was so quirky and fun. Over the next few years I came to really love her music and as I found out more about her as a person, I came to love what she stands for.
My friend Jenny and I went to see Kate at The Pyramid Scheme last year on St. Patrick's Day. It was my first time seeing her live. We were front and center and everything was perfect. We ended up making friends with one of the sound check guys, Kris. He was on tour with Kate and her band. After the show ended, we sat with him for an hour or two and chatted. Jenny and him kept in touch over the following year.
A couple months ago, we found out Kate was coming back to Michigan; this time in Kalamazoo. So of course we decided we had to go. Next thing I knew Jenny was telling me Kris put us on the guest list and that we didn't need to buy tickets. I was actually in disbelief for a few days. As the end of July approached, we solidified our plans for the night, which included adding our other friend Jamie to the guest list.
After what felt like years of waiting, July 30th finally rolled around. Jamie, Jenny, and I headed to Kalamazoo. We got there early so we stopped at a Coney for hot dogs. Then we went to wait in line for the doors to open. When we got to the front, we gave our name and were let in. The venue wasn't what I expected at all; it was outdoors and had tables and fire pits and was fairly cute. We picked a table and sat there while we watched the opening band and waited for Kate... Also would like to throw out there that she tweeted me not too long before they went on stage. I had posted a picture and tweeted her and she responded with a bunch of emojis. My inner fan-girl was hard to contain.
Her and her band's performance was, as expected, nothing short of brilliant. At one point a group of maybe 15-20 people were brought on stage and my friends and I managed to be part of it. Before exiting the stage we took a huge group photo and she hugged us all. (Honestly the night just kept getting more and more unreal. I'm still not 100% sure it wasn't all a dream.)
When the show was over, Kate took the time to meet and take pictures with nearly every single person who attended. It was amazing. My friends and I sat and waited for Kris to be done packing up the equipment (we'd planned to hang out with him for a bit after) and for the line to die down so we could take our turn meeting her. While waiting we ended up talking with her guitarist, Linda, for a good 20-30 minutes. She was so nice.
When we got to her it was hard to even know what to say. She signed a Polaroid photo of Tom I keep in my wallet and gave us hugs (noticing a trend?) and took a photo with us. She also let me kiss her on the cheek!!
She disappeared after meeting all her fans, and Kris came to find us shortly after. The bar we were at isn't normally open Wednesdays and had shut down as soon as the music was done. We asked Kris if he wanted to go to another bar or something (they were staying in town overnight), and he said everyone was inside the bar if we wanted to go hang out.... UM, yes. Yes of course we wanted to go inside and hang out. I literally had to force myself not to jump up and down and scream like a 13 year old.
So, in we went. The only people there besides my friends and I were Kate and her band, Kris, a couple other guys who I assume were the managers or bus drivers or something, two random girls I didn't know, and then maybe a person or two who worked at the bar.
And there was a mechanical bull.
My iPhone now contains video of Kate and all the girls plus Kris taking their turn riding the bull. We were all sitting around the bar that enclosed the bull, and we kind of just went down the line for who went next. When it got down to Jenny, Jamie, and I, Linda came up and said it was our turn. I had never ridden a mechanical bull before but it looked like so much fun. Only problem was I was wearing a skirt. I told her I'd do it but I couldn't in my skirt. She asked if I needed pants and I said yeah if I'm going to go on it I do... So off she went to her suitcase and grabbed me a pair of pants. I wore Kate Nash's guitarist's pants to ride a mechanical bull. Do you see why this was maybe the best night ever???
After awhile, the group had to get going, and my friends and I did, too. Once again we hugged it out with Kate (seriously felt like I was dreaming!), said our goodbyes to everyone else, and then left to head back to Grand Rapids.
So, in summary, my life is complete.