5 Years

This post is for all for my pals back in Ontario who spent many nights in Toronto with me, singing until we lost our voices.

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Music is a big part of my life. We know this. When I had nothing else seemingly going right, there would be a ridiculous update video from one of my favourite bands posted on YouTube, or a new song released, or a show to look forward to.

On October 25th, 2011 I saw Action Item at the Mod Club and, not to be dramatic or anything, but it changed my dang life. The best part is that Action Item isn’t even a band anymore. And I don’t even care! 99% of the bands I loved in high school have broken up, but the memories don’t change. So thanks, Action Item. Y’all suck but I’m better for loving you.

This concert was kind of the start of a new era in my life (again, so dramatic) and I’m going to tell you why.

First, I’ll say that I’d always been into music and this was not my first concert, or my first general admission show, or even the first show I went to without an adult. See, I was deep in the fandom at this point. Most of the people I followed on Twitter at the time were people I’d found through similar music tastes and all I talked about was these bands that I loved so much. I still follow a lot of these people today, although we’ve all grown up and out of our fangirl phases for the most part. I consider them all my friends and I like seeing what they’re up to. We went through a lot together in these fandoms and we are bonded for life and if someone ever mentions Zach’s green pants we will have a collective flashback and it will not be OK. Seriously. Don’t talk to me about Allstar Weekend.

5 years ago today I met a lot of the people who are now among my closest friends. Because of our shared love for Action Item. I remember showing up to the venue SO EARLY. Like, before lunch. Of course, it was high school and we had no problem skipping an entire day of classes to sit outside in the cold and wait for our favourite band. So there we were, 16 years old and alone in Toronto with pockets full of cash to spend on merch that we’d never throw away but also never wear. The concert was everything I’d hoped it would be and more, made even greater by the fact that we were in the front row (because we’d waited outside ALL FREAKING DAY).

During those many hours huddled together to keep warm, we became instant-friends with these people we’d only ever seen online. After that day, we had our clique. The next couple of years were full of more concerts than some people will go to in their entire lifetime – and I had some of the best nights of my entire life with those people that had just been strangers on the internet. The bands came and went, but the core group grew bigger and stronger. As time went on, the “concert friends” morphed into just regular friendships and we would hang out even if there weren’t any bands in town. I had friends all over the GTA and beyond whom I could escape my hometown to visit. My family would always ask how I knew people all over the place and really, it was because of Action Item.

It was a lot of skipped classes, late night bus rides, Tim Hortons bathrooms, trying to figure out the subways, standing in line, inside jokes, Myspace angles, fandom drama, asking my parents for money, hugs, tears, and laughter. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Of course it’s a lot harder for all of us to get together now that we don’t have as much free time or spare change to get to the city all the time but they’re still my friends. We still have a group chat where we mostly send each other memes and outfits to be approved and I can’t remember what my life was like before I had all of these wonderful, like-minded people in it. Because I didn’t really have any extra-curriculars at the time, this is how I managed to meet to people I clicked with. This past 5 years with y’all has been a ride and I hope we’re still obnoxiously dancing at the back of the crowd in 5 years time. You’re my people and I love you, my lil flame wallets. I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Xo, Rachel

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