After the Meet and Greet, we began the long and painful wait for the show to start. It was a million degrees, so we stayed in the shade and tried not to die of heat stroke. We ended up missing AFI, and only went out to the venue just before Mars was due to start.
It didn't take long to realize that something was wrong. I received a butt ton of tweets and texts from my friends, asking if the show had started. I scrolled my timeline to find that VyRT had crashed, and my heart sank. I spoke to a friend via texts, and she explained what was happening. Well. As much as she knew. I felt sick to see all the disappointment and confusion on my time line, so I closed Twitter. The show was now due to start, but it didn't. From where we were standing I could see Shannon, Tomo and Stevie, and you could tell that they were stressed. Shannon was on his phone and Tomo and Stevie were pacing. I watched them as we waited, and the tension behind the scenes seemed to grow.
Finally, about half an hour after the show was due to start, the lights dimmed. I could see Jared and I noticed that the entire atmosphere backstage shifted. It's very difficult to describe. He changes the atmosphere wherever he goes. The music started (can someone please remind me what that chanting music is called?) and finally, Tomo and Shannon ran out onto the stage. This is probably just a retroactive rationalization in light of what was happening, but they seemed a little less energetic than usual. Moments later Jared ran out, and Up In The Air began. He was full of energy, but he spent a lot of time going between the side mics and his real mic.
Next up was Conquistador, which he really screamed out. It was amazing. During the second verse he pointed right at me (you know how he does that) and smiled, and I dissolved into a puddle.
He continued to talk into the side mics at every opportunity, which we now know was him trying to fix the problems with VyRT. For those of you who don't know, some borderline braindead MORON hacked into the stream in an attempt to watch the show for free, and it crashed the system. VyRT is a start up company run by like 25 people (Jared said this), so it simply couldn't handle the pressure of an additional couple of thousand people or whatever trying to siphon off the stream. It's completely heartbreaking to know how hard they worked to get it looking amazing for us all, only to have some moron ruin it for everyone because they wouldn't pay ten bucks to watch. It makes me want to punch someone in the throat.
Next up was Search and Destroy, then Kings and Queens. He went through the songs very quickly and didn't interact with the crowd as much, most likely because they were now running very late. They played Do or Die and City Of Angels, then only a small piece of The Kill. Jared dedicated Do or Die to a winner from a VyRT competition, and said it was for all the dreamers out there. I love it when he says that.
They ended the show with Closer To The Edge, and Jared only picked a handful of people to go on stage. That was probably a combination of the stage being small and the need to hurry up before they went over time. Just before the song ended, I looked into the crowd and saw Constance (Jared and Shannon's mother) She was standing near the front of the pool circle with her hands clasped near her heart. She was smiling so hard. She looked so proud. It made me want to cry.
After the song, as he exited the stage, Jared stuck both his fingers up to the crowd. I imagine this was probably a final "FUCK YOU" to the individuals responsible for the problem with VyRT. He basically ran off the stage for the signing. It honestly hurts my heart to think about how he would have been feeling in that moment.
We left before Linkin Park and found a place to sit and talk. We stayed there until it was time to leave, reading the tweets about the VyRT and exchanging memories. The mood was a little subdued knowing how much Jared was hurting, but we all still had a completely incredible night. We saw that Jared was in the VyRT chat, and read that he would be online later for a VyRT Violet to explain what happened. It hurt to see him so sad. A lot.
We decided to go for a hike up to the Hollywood Hills, since we couldn't watch the VyRT anyway with our download tickets. We stayed up there for a while, and I know that I for one had very mixed emotions. I'd had such an amazing day, but I felt so yucky about the VyRT hack. Bec and I decided we were feeling pushami, so we hunted around for a couple of rocks to throw. I had two things to let go of, so we did it twice. Then, with heavy hearts, we went back to the car and made our way back to the hotel. You all know what went down that night, so I'm going to stop this recount there.
I'm so sorry, Jared.
A battle scarred CONKEESTADOOR.
Super freaky!! Conquistador literally just came on shuffle. He's haunting my computer again...
I don't want to live a lie that I believe.
Time to do or die.
BEST TIME EVER.
TITLE LYRICS: "Stranger In A Strange Land" by Mars
For more posts about my adventures in The City Of Angels, click HERE.