I didn’t notice anything around me, however every once in a while I would notice a white house or the Talbert marshes. Things would flash into and out of focus. My mind was going a million miles an hour as I questioned with my dad the possibility of going to see NEEDTOBREATHE.
Next thing I know we are at the stoplight on Main Street, there is a multitude of people in shorts and tank tops trying to get from here to there. I noticed the crowded pier to my right and the urban beach front stores to my left. It is now or never. Do I go or not go? The light turned green; I made the split second decision. My dad flashed through the intersection and we were gone.
Cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway with my feet on the dashboard, body all the way back against the seat I listened to the radio playing catchy uplifting tunes. I went into a daze. As we pulled up I noticed the quaint record store. It was small, only taking up the corner of the block and there weren’t that many people around to make noise. I walked up to Fingerprints slow, taking my time to notice the café next door with seats in the street and the orange and silver apartment buildings across the way.
Right when I walked in the store, my eyes were bombarded with records. There didn’t seem to be much activity with only a few people in the store sifting through vinyls. The people around me were very questionable with tattered clothes and the men had scruff. I stood with my hands crossed as I glanced around the store, trying to see if there was any indication of NEEDTOBREATHE. All I saw was this space being cleared in the back center and a brick wall with the famous red logo that read “Fingerprints”. As I walked up and down the store I viewed the cash register with a little dainty paper sign that told NEEDTOBREATHE will arrive at 7. I rushed to tell my dad in a hushed, but excited voice. I took in all the details trying to process everything. We have to buy a new CD to save our spot and come back later. Done. I skip out of the store arms waving everywhere like I was a kid about to go to Disneyland for the first time.
Once back, I saw the line begin to form with only about fifteen people thus far, so I rush to get in line. A group of young adults were at the head of the line, following was a group of teenagers and two couples. They were dressed in nice casual attire as if they came from other places beforehand. I peeked in the window and saw workers’ setting up the stage, other than that it was as empty inside as a classroom after school was out. I glanced over and saw a guy in a denim button down with sandy blond hair. I couldn’t help but gawk. Is that the band member, Bo? Not believing that he was outside I walked past him, making sure. After attentive watching, I came to the conclusion, it was him. He was talking to the young adult group in the front. I debated with myself on whether I should go over and say, “Hi”. My heart raced, I began to play with my nails and look at the people around me. Not knowing what to say to him without coming off as weird, I just stared until he eventually went inside.
Time went on and more people walked past me to get in line. I grew tired of standing so I sat at tables by the café and then stood again, talking to two couples in front of me. We talked about NEEDTOBREATHE, how they found them, how many concerts they have been to and their thoughts on the record store concert. Nothing like this has ever happened before. Not many people have heard of NEEDTOBREATHE, let alone like them. Now I know I am not alone.
The doors finally sprang open and I practically ran inside trying to grab a good spot, leaving my dad in the dark. Not knowing where to go I headed for a less crowded area off center to the right. People started to pack in behind me filling up every empty space. There was such a diverse amount of people, young, old, girl and boy.
The band members came out. The crowd roared. I quickly got out my camera and pressed record. There was a lady directly in front blocking my way. She was wearing all black has crazy curly black hair and wasn’t the skinniest. I tried my best to get around her switching my spot to get the best view. When Bear, the lead singer, stepped up to the microphone to open his mouth it all transcended more than any other thing before. I closed my eyes during “Difference Maker” and listened to Bear talk, trying to take in every word. I found myself singing along to songs I hadn’t even heard yet.
After they were done with their set, it was quiet and then all of a sudden got really loud. People were squeezing into this side room to get autographs. We were stopped in the same crammed spot for many minutes. As I got close, I went over what I would do, where they would sign, I tried to get everything ready. When it was my turn I gave them my CD and poster to sign uttering and stumbling over “You guys are amazing”. That was it. Nothing else would come out. I repeated it, trying to sound normal and not do anything crazy.
Walking outside I looked back multiple times trying not to leave all the memories that were inside behind. In the dark outside, it felt like a different time. It was colder, the small amount of people were scattered, and the place looked more mysterious with no lights. In the car I placed in the CD and played NEEDTOBREATHE so I could remember and soak up every moment of this night.
-Forever Putting My Thoughts On Paper