Week 3

Of parched throats and sore feet

Last night was the most incredible night I’ve had in ages. By that, I was the most ecstatic I’ve ever been in a while. And the events that led up to the evening were as such –

A day before Laneway, I found that I’ve won a meet and greet with Chvrches – though I had no idea what to expect from it and didn’t want to get my hopes up, and hence simply went about the day of the festival as I would have otherwise. We arrived in the scorching heat of midday, to find ourselves hiding out in little air-conditioned pockets scattered around the festival grounds as we waited for the later acts to come on.

By four, however, we were staking it out in the front row of the Garden stage in anticipation for Chvrches’s show in six hours. And since being right in front of the speakers really did our ears in (mine are still ringing), the couple of us decided to switch in and out of the moshpit while others had dinner. (Food was surprisingly cheap this year and I hadn’t spent a penny on bottled water, which was lovely since you’d think that hydration’s a basic human need, not a luxury.) Between ourselves, I suppose I got the best end of the deal, having been at the very front of the pit during Hermitude’s set. The duo was marvellous and everyone was positively raging in the crowd (though Battles did a pretty great job as well despite their earlier technical difficulties.)

Shortly before the end of Battles’s set at 7, I snuck out of the pit for our meet and greet scheduled then – though upon arriving at the tent, we found a queue of fans waiting to meet the band at a signing session half an hour later. Only, we didn’t know that the queue was for a general signing session and thence joined the queue until the organiser rang me up about it. It was released several minutes later that the session for the general public was to be cancelled and the band wouldn’t be meeting us at the previously specified tent (for reasons unknown). By some absurd twist of fate, however, the winners of the meet and greet would be heading backstage to the acts’ holding area to meet them instead, which instantly cued the “what the f*ck is this really happening“, and then the “so this is really happening” before the “what did I do to deserve this?

The coordinator joked that it would be an experience of a lifetime for us, and frankly, it was. Aside from that time Gaga brought my best friend and I backstage, to get a peek at everything that goes on behind the scenes – the preparation, setting up of equipment, the dressing rooms – was unfathomable. Grimes, whom we met at the airport the day before the event, happened to be in her dressing room as we entered the holding area. We waved but, out of courtesy, didn’t ask for a picture since she seemed to be settling her wardrobe for the evening (and is rather photo-shy). After all, we wouldn’t want to be kicked out of paradise for asking too much. Still, it took heaps of self-restraint to not approach her.

Their manager came to speak to us, and there were staff fussing about us. One assured my friend and I that the band was really nice, the other told us we were really lucky. And lucky we were, indeed, for the following ten to fifteen minutes most definitely made my day. As the band arrived, Martin approached us to check out the fan art I’ve made for them, including a painting of their latest album cover that they, coincidentally, found on twitter several days ago. It was seemingly amusing to see Martin pass the painting I made of the Every Open Eye cover to Iain, only for him to go, “didn’t I see this a while back?” Yes sir, you definitely did and made me blush red to the tips of my ears with your twitter reply.

Lauren came about to join the others and was rather taken by the art, after I passed it to her. She said she could never draw, but then again, I can hardly sing so I guess we’re even. She complimented my shorts, and seemed rather intrigued by my shirt too (it’s printed with a portrait of Marie Antoinette wearing shades, with the caption “No More Photos”.) Little did she know I picked out the outfit thinking that she might like it. It seems I was right. We talked to the band for a while, and got our pictures taken –

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And remembering that I needed another picture for my door card for my college dorm, I asked for a picture with Lauren, to which she was happy to oblige –

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The lighting conditions weren’t the best and so the picture turned out to be slightly blurry, but I’d take it over anything else.

And can I just say that Lauren Mayberry’s the most adorable, tiny, magical little creature? She was so joyful and lovely when she made her rounds between the four of us who were backstage (even as she told us that our education’s important – which strangely reminded us that she’s actually 28 and not half her age, as she looked) that even the coldest heart of mine melted.

Promptly after pictures were taken, we were ushered out of the holding area since the band had a tight schedule to adhere to. It was, by then, the end of the 1975’s act so there were throngs of people leaving the mosh, which made it slightly easier for me to get back to my friend. I took over his spot for the rest of the night since he was quite unfortunately tired out. Grimes came on and by god, she’s so different on stage than in person in the best way possible. There was such beautiful artistry in her set, and it was so upbeat and fun that good vibes was everywhere.

Chvrches came on right after and their show was completely mind-blowing, with their set list being the perfect mix of old singles and tracks from their latest album – of which almost everyone knew the lyrics to and thus the hour became a massive singalong to the band’s performance. Tis a pity that the show was merely an hour and 11 songs long since no one wanted to let them go. It’s been a year and a half since their last time here (I had to miss that show since my history A Levels were the day after) and god knows when they’ll be back on our shores.

All we’ll know is that our unassuming shores will be less sprightly and after their departure for the rest of Laneway.

Returning home with a parched throat and sore feet early this morning, one would assume that I’d be in the sourest of moods – but it was quite the contrary.

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Thank you, to the band and to Laneway, for making my very first experience at a Chvrches show such a truly surreal one.

Week two

The past week’s been busy to say the least. I’m engaging much more in my college’s social activities now, and that consumes so much of my reading time. Classes this semester seem slightly more difficult, which is a welcome challenge – if only I didn’t have to dedicate so much time to my extracurricular endeavours.

There are copious numbers of paintings to do, my weekly cartoons for the college’s journal to script and sketch, in addition to the work I’ll have to put in for my Vogue Talent Contest submission this year. How does my Oxonian friend do it? I’m afraid I’ll never know.


On a side note, I’ll be heading to Laneway Music Festival this weekend. Hopefully I’ll survive the crowds.

Back In The Grind

I was only just getting used to the vacation – the part where I’m home a lot, where I get to see my family everyday, my mom’s home cooked meals – but now I’m returning to college. Earlier this evening, while packing my clothes in my bedroom, there grew a wisp of unspoken sadness between myself and my mom. Hopefully she won’t miss me too much – I’ll feel guilty if she does.

Undeniably, I’ll miss them. It’s strange how I’ve always wanted to leave this place where I never really felt like I belonged – nothing exciting happened around here – yet a month with my loud, slightly ignorant, and very Chinese family’s all it takes for me to regret having to leave them behind.

Half of my apprehension stems from the heartache of having to leave my family, and the other stems from my anxiety over the upcoming semester. Classes are going to be more difficult and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage. Alas, I’ll just have to get by like I always do.

Into the first week of the year, and I’m already behind on my to-do list. College’s going to start in a week and I’m an entire course behind on my reading list – it doesn’t help that the books haven’t arrived from bookdepository.

Perhaps I should be glad for the week I have left to remedy this.