Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

They're My Bieber*

I took this pic at the March 2012 show.
I was close enough to get sweated upon.
Don't be too jealous.

"Hey, Kel, would you write a post about your undying love for Needtobreathe?" Of course.

For those of you who are suffering from ignorance over the existence of music legends Needtobreathe, sit back and prepare to meet greatness in the form of Southern ROCK.

Needtobreathe is a rock band from Seneca, South Carolina (Coincidentally?  My favorite kind of BBQ) and is comprised of four members: Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart, Joe Stillwell, and Seth Bolt.  Lyrically, they are stellar. Musically, they are downright inspired.  Their live show is cuh-razy good.  If the Navy Seals were a rock band, they would be Needtobreathe.

Me and NTB: Our first encounter.  They were in MI for two nights; one, a 20 minute drive away I had no tickets for, and the other a two-and-a-half hour drive I had tickets for, because I'm good at planning ahead.  The obvious thing to do in this situation is to go to the first venue (because it's so close to your house) and if you can't get in without tickets, listen outside like an addict in need of a fix at least try to meet the band.

The best way to do this is to go greet who you think is the bouncer, and be all, "Is the band on the bus?" The guy who is not the bouncer but really a roadie for NTB will shake your hand like a gentleman because he is Southern, Bless His Heart, and be all, "Yes."  So you will march purposefully towards the tour bus door, looking completely official because you obviously know Toby the Roadie (who will eventually turn into Toby the Touring Band Member) and because you look official, BEAR WILL OPEN THE BUS DOOR WHEN YOU KNOCK.

Now, don't panic when the very first words out of your mouth are, "Hi, I'm a stay at home mom" even though they are completely relevant to the reason you don't have tickets that night but plan on driving two and a half hours the following evening to witness history being made in the form of NTB performing.  "Hi, I'm a stay at home mom" might echo in your head throughout the entire exchange with the man who wrote the music that has changed your life, but whatever.  Put on your big girl panties and truck on. (Not a fat joke.)

Bear, who is also a Southern Gentleman, will treat you like a lady and agree that yes, you should be able to bring five teens from church to the show tomorrow night and have a private meet and greet with the band beforehand.  He will arrange that you talk with Tour Manager Tyler, who will attempt to give you his digits (strictly for the M&G, you're a married woman, Bless Your Heart) and since you are a bit technologically challenged, you will hand him your flip phone and confess you don't know how to add contacts.  Tyler will not make fun of you to your face and enter his contact information. He will then spend a few minutes giving you a quick tutorial on how cell phones from the turn of the century work.

The next night your Epic Personal Meet and Greet will be amazing, but you will forget that since you are taking all the pics, you won't be in any of them.
Hi there, the backs of Joe, Seth, and Bear.  You are signing my CD right now.  Thanks.  Also, the Green Room is really green.  Who knew?
Another encounter:
"Hey, Kelly, tell us about the time you and Bear hung out."
"Okay, let me see if I can recall it."  (Haha, totally a joke because it is imprinted on my heart forever.)

NTB was playing my hometown, about 40 minutes from my current town.  I drove over really early so I could visit my parents, and then eat dinner with a high school buddy (What up, Carlo), which explains why I was driving past the venue four hours before doors opened and not because I'm super obsessive or anything.  It was then that I saw Bear just walking down the street.

What I wish happened was that I casually found a parking spot, parked the car, and strolled down the street, looking completely as if it were on accident that I ran into Bear, all "Oh, fancy meeting you here"-like.  What really happened is I about had a seizure in my station wagon, honked the horn like I was a woman in labor en route to the hospital, and made quite a show of waving maniacally. Bear just happened to notice me so I doubled parked illegally found a spot, threw open the car door, and ran over to greet him. 

"BEAR! OHMYGOSH! HowwastheEuropeantour?CanIgetapicturewithyou?Ican'twaitfortheshow! Youaremyfavoritebandever!"

"What's that smell?  Oh, it must be the verbal diarrhea coming from your mouth," said Bear as I continued my gibberish.*

*This never happened.  What really happened is actually awesome and made my day week year I'm obviously still talking about it two years later so let's just say it was meaningful to me.  In response to my I'm-not-a-crazy-stalker-but-you-wouldn't-know-it-from-this-encounter blathering, Bear said, "I remember you.  You knocked on our bus door," which I translated to mean, "You are our number one fan and we credit you alone with our success.  Here, let us dedicate our next album to you."

Here is the visual proof that I used to weigh 250 pounds Bear and I are best friends.
The best part of this picture is that I spent a fair amount of time on my hair that day.  Totally paid off.
"Wow, Kel, that's amazing!  Have you talked to him since?"  Why, yes.  Yes, I have.  Lauren and I were personally invited to sign up for the chance to win a meet and greet with 100 other people.  
"Kelly, is that Seth Bolt's HAND on your SHOULDER?"  "Yes, and chill out, I mean he's only the Bass Player of my FAVORITE BAND IN THE UNIVERSE." (Also? about 180 pounds here.  Me, not Seth's hand.)
"How about since then?  Any chance encounters?"  If "chance encounters" means Lauren and I went back to see them a few months later and stood on line for forever to get this spot:
View from the stage.  Ok, see the microphone?  Now see the indistinguishable woman on the other side of the mic?  She's wearing the exact same outfit you see I'm wearing in my profile picture, so that mushroom looking thing on her head is really a sweet hat.  Yep.  Totally me
...and then waited around for an hour after the show to get our tickets signed, we have another chance encounter.  And?  Since I'm now a svelte 105 pounds thinner, my best friends NTB no longer recognize me.  Whatever.  We'll meet again soon.  We're too good together to let this thing die.

Best 4:24 of your day?  Right here.  You are welcome.

*This entire post may have been written on copious amounts of Dayquil.  My brain is doing the backstroke through the goo in my head.  I don't even know what that means.


  1. Oh I love me some Needtobreath. I have been reading your blog for just a week or so (had to go back because it is hilarious). Thanks for adding so much joy to my day.

    1. Thank you for reading! This comment added joy to my day, so we are even ;-) I started running while listening to Needtobreathe, which is irony I totally appreciate. I hope to "see" you around some more!

  2. Love this post!! Something Beautiful is one of my favorites, and Keep Your Eyes Open is becoming a "new" favorite. :) I wasn't aware that they were "Southern Rock," lol! I just like their music. :)

    Laughing hysterically at all your chance encounters. :D

    1. Oh my goodness - I may be a little obsessed with NTB. As a Yankee through and through, anything south of Columbus is "Southern" to me. (Although they do all have for real southern accents. To me, anyway.) As a super nerd fan who is in their actual fan club that you have to pay for, I just got the email about pre-sale tickets for this fall. NO MI DATES?! For real? *sigh*

    2. Thanks to this story, I am a brand new fan of NTB!

      There are way too few Southern Gentlemen, other than me.

      And I moved from Oklahoma to New Zealand 20 years ago.

      Besides, I could not carry a tune in a bucket.

      But never fear. My No. 1 son Eli Moore, is a jazz-trained soon-to-be famous musician.

      One of his tune, Nowhere Soon, was recently in the Top Ten at the New Zealand Music Awards.

      Forgive me for bragging on your blog.

      But he is, after all, my only son!

      So if NTB comes Down Under and they need some help on keys...

  3. Hey! Bear and I are best friends too! And by best friends I mean he bent down while on stage to directly say Hi to me, stood right in front of me when he was walking through the crowd and singing 'Wasteland', winked at meand TIPPED HIS HAT TO ME LIKE A SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN all during the concert. When I met him afterwards, he walked right up to where I was standing even though there were ten other people waiting in the cold to meet him and shook my hand. He then winked at me again. I don't remember any words we exchanged except me asking for a picture even though I had rehearsed something along the lines of "Thank you so much for changing/ impacting /fixing my life with your songs" for the past year.
    I was getting really worried that I would never meet them again, and if I did, they (Bear, really, who am I kidding, although the other guys are really nice too) wouldn't recognize me, but your article gave me hope.

    1. Also, I just wanted to add that he made eye contact with me a lot when we were both singing our hearts out. It's such a blessing to stand in the front row.


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