Irving Plaza, USA – By Jennie Bennett

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So about a year ago, I came across the Foo Fam Facebook page and decided to join. I have always been a fan, and I was really interested I connecting with and maybe even meeting other big fans. My friends in “real life” were never as into the Foo as I was, and with the new album and tour coming out, I wanted to share the experience with like minded people. I knew I was home right away, with how friendly and sarcastic and funny everyone was, not to mention how giving and caring everyone seemed to be.
Over the summer, we got to see the UK crew get all pumped up for the secret shows and festivals the Foo were playing in. I loved seeing all the pics, videos and stories of the fam succeeding in getting tickets, helping other fam get tickets, partying it up, and riding the rail. When Sonic Highways came out, and the news of the secret shows and upcoming tour, I just knew I must be a part of it…this was my chance, a once in a lifetime experience. I was no longer going to let the fact that most of my “real world” friends wouldn’t go out of their way to see the Foo, stop me from experiencing this.
And so when they announced Beat the Bots, I knew I needed to be a part of it. I saw that Rico Morazz and Steve Horniacek were both planning on lining up outside of Citi Field, and they both insisted I meet up with them that cold November morning, and wait in line for tickets. We froze our buns off, but as we looked on our Facebook feed, and saw how many other fam members across the US were doing the same thing as us, it warmed our hearts. Steve, Rico and I were one of the first to get our Field level seats for Citi Field, and we were beyond pumped. For me, this was going to be the first concert where I knew I’d be on the rail or as close to it as possible. I thought it couldn’t get any better than that…until they announced the gig for the last Sonic Highways episode…NYC, bitches!!!

photo 2Rico, Steve and I were all over this. We were going to get in no matter what! The NYC Irving Plaza show was somewhat different that the other 7 shows, in that the tickets for this show were to have gone on sale at 5pm, day of, and then they’d let people in around 7. The flyer promo stated that line up for tickets was at 3pm that day. The three of us read between the lines and realized we would need to be there WAY before then if we were going to be able to get in. Steve had staked out Irving Plaza a couple of days before the show, and even ended up meeting the owner for IP, and picked his brain as far as what we were and weren’t allowed to do by lining up ahead of time. Steve secured the first spot on line by arriving at IP Thursday afternoon, around 4pm. Originally, I was planning on coming home from work, taking a quick cat nap, showering, take care of the cats, and head down around 2am. When I learned Rico and a few others were showing up early Thursday evening, I knew I had to be there. If I wanted this bad enough, only I could make it happen. I didn’t want to have to rely on or expect Fam to help, even though I knew they would. So no nap, but I arrived at IP around 10pm…there were about 5 of us Fam, and maybe 10-15 other fans already in place. Throughout the night, we had a few more Fam show up. Twenty degrees outside, and we owned it. We had fun, had some drinks, took turns warming up in the car…there were protests going on that night so there was a big police presence….They saw us lined up, and left us alone. We were very low keyed, mellow, and respectable to those who lived in the area.

photo 22Daybreak soon came, as did more Fam members and other fans. Our crew at the head of the line did what we could to get new arriving fam members to cut the line, telling other fans they were our plus ones…after a certain point, we told those who had to wait further back that we should be able to help out with tickets with our plus ones. Around 9am, this menacing looking older dude with a pony tail came out and pissed in everyone’s cheeiros, announcing that the line that we had formed was not a “real line” and that they would not acknowledge or sell us tickets when it came down to it; that anyone lined up before 3pm would not be sold a ticket. We tried to reason and work with this dude, not being dicks, but being respectable. Some people who were further down the line at this point started freaking out and wanted us to write numbers on our hands to save the line order if needed. Steve was great in being a liason between us and the IP management. He got the line to move and keep order not only once, but twice, the second time moving the line of about 200 maybe more people across the street, so that we weren’t on IP property, and technically not lined up in front of IP. At this point, the line was a couple of blocks long. Basically single file, very organized and still fun, but now it was getting stressful. People that were just arriving were respecting our line order, and most went to the end of the line. Some jerks decided that they weren’t going to go with the crowd, and started standing near us, in front of us, in the street, wherever they could. I cant get into the specifics of the dialogue that took place between Steve, the pony tail dude, and the IP management, that is his story. He convinced them that at this point, it was just going to be a mad rush across the street into whatever traffic to get these tickets come 3pm.

photo 33Around noon, NYPD and I believe one of the Foo’s security guys came over and said that they were going to give out bracelets shortly to the first 175 people, and they were going by our line. They told us once we received our bracelets, to not come back until 5, where we would then line up in order of our bracelets. They also suggested that we keep our bracelets concealed so that people wont try to rip them from us. They even called out Steve and said he was first in line. We all did as we were told, tried to push as many of the line cutter jerks out of the way, got our bracelets, jumped for joy, and then went to celebrate. The line experience kind of reminded me of the Beverly Hills 90210 episode when Donna got suspended for getting trashed at prom, and Brandon Walsh saved the day by getting the school to rally behind Donna. OK, not the same situation, but the way Steve got the line to all be on the same page as each other, and how he convinced IP to give out bracelets at that point was, in my opinion, a Brandon Walsh move.
So now it was time to celebrate! A bunch of us hit a local bar, and a couple of guys bought our first round of drinks right away, hearing that we got bracelets. As a thank you, we let them be some of our plus ones, so they could get into the show. There were some Fam that didn’t get a bracelet and were beyond gutted, until a few more of us gave our plus ones to them. We had a round of Jager, and toasted our fortune, new friendships, and Julia Archer, because that’s what you do.

photo 3A little while later, a couple of us walked back to Rico’s car, which was parked across the street from IP. We walked into a complete cluster fuck. At this point, there were people lined up all over…it was a mad house. All those people who either waited in line and weren’t one of the lucky 175, or who showed up closer to the original 3pm line up. People were PISSED!! I kinda laughed to myself, thinking Mr Ponytail totally wishes he was dealing with our line again. By 5pm, there were still a bunch of people waiting on line (turns out IP/FF took down those people’s email addresses, and when they announced the second Citi Field show last month, those people were emailed with a presale code). Oh, and at this point it started raining a little.

photo 3We FINALLY got into IP by 8pm. The Fam ruled the rail (of course)! This was so surreal. Ive never been this close at a concert before, and now, I was moments away from being inches away from Dave. Around 9 they premiered the NYC episode for us, which was beautiful, and had many of us in tears. Shortly after that, it was time to rock. And rock we did!!! The concert was phenomenal. By the end of the first song, Dave dripped his sweat all over me (the first of many times that night, he even stuck his tongue out at me and smiled). I made eye contact several times that night with everyone but Pat. Dave made a comment at one point about the line hoopla. He seemed a little annoyed about it, but in my opinion, he only heard about what happened, so I think he may have thought our line was on the jerk side. Who knows, they rocked their buns off for us and gave us a fantastic show. He said they were going to do something for those who got screwed. And they kept their word. Class act.

photo 2

After a mindblowing three hour show, the night was coming to an end. And added bonus…not only was I able to take a sip from Dave’s water bottle, I also went home with one of Dave’s picks, and one of Taylor’s Drumsticks. Some of the fam wanted to hit a bar for some post game celebration, but at that point, I was up 42 hours straight, needed to be up the next day for a party, and after 6 hours of standing, I could stand and walk no longer. I wanted to wait for the guys to come out after the gig, but I couldn’t even function at that point, so home I went, basking in afterglow.

photo 5
They opened with Outside, and that song, along with I am a River, will always bring me back to this experience and the people I met who I now consider my friends and Fam. Most of us never had experienced a show like that, and probably wouldn’t again. The people I met from Foo Fam are an incredible group of people. These people have as deep a love for Foo as I do; they like to have a good time; they care and look out for one another; they bust balls and know how to rock out. They are my soul mates. Best day of my life. And now with the tour coming up, we are all helping each other get tickets, planning meet ups, with the big one coming up July 4 in DC for the Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary show. This is also going to be the first time that Fam from all over the world will be traveling to DC for the show, and to finally hang with the people we’ve know for a while, but only in the online world. If the IP gig was epic, I can only imagine what DC will be. MIndblowingly legendary?

Jennie Bennett
Brooklyn, NY

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