I'll have to tell my Symphony X story: :D (This was from the V tour, back in 2001)
As we're walking in the door to with our tickets, I notice this guy standing inside the door. I think, "Hey, that guy looks familiar..." then I do a double take and it's Mike LePond, greeting people as they come in! Then, as we enter the club, we see everbody else sitting at the back of the bar chatting with fans - very cool.
So we're standing around in the bar section having a drink, and we notice that Mike L. is standing by himself at the bar. So me, being the wuss that I am, tell my girlfriend to go over and start taking to him :) We got to chat with Mike for probably an hour, which was really awesome. The poor guy probably felt like he was on Barbera Walters, we grilled him so bad :) Mike was telling us how strange it was to sell out 6000 seat venues in Europe, but come to your home town and get less than 200 people. He also mentioned that (would you believe) he had never played prog metal before joining SymX, he was into old school metal like Judas Priest - apparently the odd-time stuff kind of blew his mind, but I think he does a hell of a good job now!
We mentioned that we had come down from Canada and he just thought that was amazing. We also told him that my girlfriend had done a 20th Century Music term paper on DWoT, which they thought was very cool. The boneheads we were, we forgot to bring a copy with us, but next time!
Some other tidbits:
- I didn't realize Jason was so short! :)
- Mike R. is a really nice guy in person - I always thought he would be a little scary :)
- Mike L. gave us a CD of a friend's band called "Exhibition" which is pretty cool, maybe I'll upload a track to the FTP server
- At one point Russell was sitting at the t-shirt table selling his own merchandise, which I thought was cool -- incedentally, his wife was working the table for most of the night
Needless to say, we preferred to stay and chat with Mike instead of watching the opening bands, so I can't really comment on them. The SymX show was fantastic. We were literally right at the front, against the stage -- my girlfriend got intimate and interactive with Russell a few times, she was in heaven :) In the middle of the concert, Russell was saying something like "We really appreciate everyone who drove a long distance to come see us tonight, I hear there's some people here from Pittsburgh..." at which point Mike L. whispers something to him and Russell goes "CANADA?! What kind of drugs are you guys on?!" :)
After the concert we got autographs and some pictures. Being a keyboard player, Mike P. is one of my idols and up to this point I had been to chicken to talk to him, but I worked up the nerve to chat with him after the show. I probably seemed like some sort of obsessed fan, but he didn't seem to mind :) I got to actually talk "shop" with him, find about the gear and sounds he uses, how freakin cool is that?!
You can check out my pictures at: http://www.geocities.com/rick_barkho.../09092001.html