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VersaEmerge live at Cardiff, 19/05/2011

Saw VersaEmerge last night for the first time, so prepare for a rather lengthy post.

The start - OK, I guess I’ll start from the very beginning. I think it was like 2 months ago that Versa announced the UK Euro Invasion tour, and having missed them with We The Kings, I had to go this time. Luckily enough for my, I have a very wonderful best friend who said she’d come too. What’s more, she said she’d come VIP with me. I was dead happy and booked the tickets as soon as they were available. Then about a week ago I got an e-mail saying we had to be stood outside the venue by 4:30 at the latest so we could watch the soundcheck. 

The journey/soundcheck/waiting - So, yesterday afternoon we set off from Hereford at about 2 (my parents took us) and made it to Cardiff at about 3:30. The place we parked was literally right by the venue, so we didn’t have far to walk. It looked pretty small outside, buy hey ho there was a wetherspoons opposite (although Lauren forgot her ID so that plan failed. And the jagerbombs were 2 for £5). Anyways, we were the first people there and let me tell you it was freezing. The whole alley this venue was down was steeped in shadow, so we pretty much froze our bums off. But, we figured we only had to wait an hour, so we stuck it out. We had great fun people watching, anyway, and found ways of keeping ourselves entertained (mostly chasing what little sunlight was there and chatting utter shit). Anyway, 4:30 came around and we were definitely ready to go inside - we could hear not advised just finnishing up their soundcheck. I cannot stress just how cold it was out there. 5pm and we were still stood outside. Me and Lauren had come to the conclusion that one of the band members (cough cough Sierra) had gone walk about. Then, this guy comes out (I feel so rude, but I don’t know his name) and asks us “hey, did you see Sierra come by here?” We told him no, and he went back inside. We were impressed at our ability to predict what had happened. So anyways, at 5:30 he pops back out and tells us we can go in. We get our tour laminates and head off up for soundcheck (literally, up 3 floors! I was dead by the time we got there and still freezing cold!). Anyway, we walked in and all kinda clumped by the door (there were only like 10 of us) so me and Lauren moved forward a tad to give everyone else a bit of room…and they all stayed there. Anyway, Sierra waved at us and me and Lauren just kinda gave what I imagine to be our biggest, dorkiest grins in the world. Apparently being in the presence of VersaEmerge with very few other people is enough to make us forget the word “hi”. But, after two songs we were taken back outside. Sierra shouted “bye” after us. Now, I said “bye” back like a normal person, because we weren’t that far away from them, but then Lauren went ahead and shout “BYE” like and over-excited 12 year old. Honestly? I expected no less. So we were then back outside in the freezing cold, wondering what to do. We stuck around for a bit - Blake, Chris and Nick walked past us at one point, again causing us to grin like complete dorks (it was OK though, Blake smiled back. In a far more normal way). When they came back, Lauren said a kind of passing “hi” to Blake, who once again smiled and said “hi” back. Then we went to wetherspoons (to use the toilet mainly) and got a coke. Now, working on the assumption that we’d get let in half an hour before the doors opened, and the doors were supposed to open at 7, we drank really fast so we didn’t miss it, and got back outside at like 5:50. Of course, it was just our luck that once again everything was late. So, we stayed stood out there, all the while general ticket holders were arriving. Then Sierra and Blake came outside (at different times with different people, to get food I think) and were of course bombarded. This leads me to my next point: me and Lauren figured there’s no point getting a picture with them now, because we were going to meet them in a bit and it would be really selfish because there were other people there who wouldn’t get to meet them. Apparently, this view was not shared by the other M&G’ers who went ahead to try and get photos anyway. I mean, they were all nice people, but I though it was a little unfair of them to do that because when they went back inside, some people didn’t get photos. Well, when Blake was outside for the second time, he sort of hid round the corner whilst they waited for someone to unlock the door. Of course, he was spotted by the other M&G’ers who then went for photos. In the meantime, me and Lauren had a very brief conversation with Nick about the freezing weather. 

The Meet and Greet/before the show - at about 7:10, we were finally taken in for the meet and greet, by which time I was so cold I was shaking all over. We were taken into the room VE would be playing where they had the soundcheck, and were asked to wait in a line. Me and Lauren were right at the front. Now, silly child I am, I took my cardigan off because it smelt like tobacco and weed (for the record, I don’t smoke. This was because a few days ago I’d had to walk through a large group of smokers. I have nothing against smoking or people that smoke, but hell I smelt bad), which of course left me even more freezing. So when VersaEmerge came out, I was shivering like crazy. I’d written a letter earlier that day and gave it to Sierra, who seemed super grateful although I did warn her I’d kinda rambled on for 1 and a half pages about what may come across as utter nonsense. Nevertheless, she took it and thanked me for it (hopefully her and Blake read it) and I then got a picture with them. I am still kicking myself for not putting me arms around them, but I was so cold I couldn’t move (not even joking). Also, I forgot to get my Fixed at Zero album signed :( But, I got a signed poster, so hey ho. Well, then they went again, so we were just kinda left bumming round in the venue. Me and Lauren went to go get merch, and had a lovely conversation with the merch guy (who I swear was Nick, their fill in bassist. I’m sorry if it wasn’t and I’ve in some way offended someone, but I’m pretty sure it was) who we’ve decided we like very much. Then we pretty much sat on the edge of the stage (no barrier!) and chatted crap whilst everyone else was let in, giving us evils for 1) being at the front and 2) being sat down. Did we care? No. I was just glad I’d bought a hoodie and therefore could get warm in something that didn’t smell bad.

The concert - OK, I’m going to keep this as brief as possible because otherwise I will be here forever, and this is already turning into a bit of an essay! Well, first of all a band called All Our Glory were on, who we’d never heard of before. We were pleasantly surprised - they were actually really good and energetic. Then Not Advised were on, another band who we’d never listened to but proved to be really good (although Jim did get a tad close at some points). Then, finally, VersaEmerge were on. I cannot stress just how close we were. We were literally right in between Blake and Sierra, a place both of them happened to stand a lot especially to stand on the big monitor speaker thingies (not that I was complaining). They were absolutely amazing. Aside from a few minor technical difficulties, they played an amazing show and I was so happy I didn’t get squished as much as I’d thought. At the end, everyone piled on stage (we did not. Instead, Lauren grabbed Blake’s pick for me that had fallen on the floor whilst they were setting up. I will love her forever for that). Then, at the end after everyone had gotten off stage, Sierra had disappeared and the other guys were clearing up, me and Lauren waited patiently for everyone to move away before I - rather timidly - asked Blake for a hug. Being the very kind person he is, he was only too happy to oblige. Then, grinning a lot, we made our way back to the car.

Seriously, if you’ve never been to a VE concert, go to one! You will not be disappointed, and I got some pretty cool pictures and took a couple of videos (where at some points Blake and Sierra sing directly into my camera :D)

Filed under VersaEmerge blake harnage Sierra Kusterbeck Nick Osborne chris pollock not advised all our glory live concert cardiff