that time i saw Fall Out Boy for free

Alternate title – how to reach fangirl status.

fallout boy concert

one pic from the evening!

In the midst of a gazillion same-old-same-old New Years Eve parties listed online, a few words grabbed my attention: “Pitbull” “Concert” “Free”. What is this? Mr. 305 himself is coming to Miami and I can go for free?

Dale, as they say…

Miami New Times had posted the article, so I checked it out and learned that the “free” part was free because you would be part of the production company studio audience. [For those interested, the company responsible for filling the audience is called 1iota. This sort of this is #whattheydo, so if the experience in this blog sounds awesome to you, check em out for future events!]

Long story short, there was a bunch of pre-recording action going on, and I got myself a couple of passes the Fall Out Boy concert. I had never been in a “studio audience” before, and now that I have, I feel it is my civic duty to blog about it. You know, so people can be prepared for the experience in the future.

It started with a rather difficult dress code. Semi-formal rocker vibe? No white or sequins, but a suggested outfit collage full of white AND sequins? Also, rules. No large bags. No cell phones. No cameras. Print passes. Bring ID. Go stand in line at the back of a hotel. Don’t be late.

I grabbed a friend, figured out outfits, followed all the other rules, and found ourselves in line. FOR A MILLION HOURS. More like two, but still. Standing in line becomes a literal pain when wearing heels. Also, I convinced myself that I was 96% sure I had left my car unlocked, so I added a heel-sprint back and forth to my parking spot to double check. Why do we wear high heels again?

While standing in line, I realized I was surrounded by teenybopper fangirls. I mean, you had to be at least 18 to get in, but I think half of these girls must have been 18 and one day. Or 16 with a fake. They were also really really really excited to see Fall Out Boy. Over the course of listening to their squeals for two hours in line, my excitement began to seem somewhat inadequate. They also almost had a nervous breakdown when the coordinator told they they couldn’t bring their phones inside. “WHAT??? How will we post our check-ins? Oh don’t worry girl, we’ll take pictures later tonight at Therapy.”

My head shaking reaction just made me feel even older. Why didn’t these kiddos follow the rules??? You were explicitly told to leave your phone in the car! (#oldladymove I know, just missing some earplugs for the #loudconcertmusic)

Those who didn’t follow directions (how hard was that, really??? I promise I’m not as old and cranky as I sound.) had to go to some desk and check their phones. The two teenyboopers behind us never returned; until the concert started and I saw them smack front and center by the stage. Those sneaky little Miami girls, man. Figuring out how to get through lines all day long.

We did eventually get out of line as well, and were corralled into the tiniest concert venue ever. The whole thing was taking place at the Thompson hotel in Miami Beach; gorgeous new hotel. The Fall Out Boy concert, however, was in a small bar/pool house type structure. Very small. I think 20 people fit in there. My friend and I ended up stuck right next to the stage, but behind a glass window and out of camera zone. Great view, and literally a foot away from the band, but OBVIOUSLY separated from the true fangirls in the front row. Teenyboopers from the line included.

The recording aspect of the evening was a fascinating window into the “magic behind the curtain” of televised events. “Cheer on 3! 1, 2, 3! Ok, hold on, cheer again!” The band, although they sounded amazing, was noticeably aware that it was not a live event as well. They were there to do a job: Sing awesome, take your shirts off to display tattoos, and act excited on cue. Job accomplished.

After several songs, they started to repeat themselves. Literally, the production company did 2 or 3 takes of the song Centuries. At this point, my friend and I decided it was time to scope out the hotel bar. We weren’t in any of the camera zones anyway, and the fangirls were cheering loud enough for all of us, plus more. The one in the concert venue was obviously impossible to reach, so we made our way inside the Thompson.

Happy surprise! It’s the Seagrape! I had heard about this restaurant coming out but hadn’t put two and two together that it was going in the Thompson. Since we were only interested in drinks and some appetizers, I can’t say much about the food, but I was thrilled to find local Wynwood Brewery on tap, and their duck fat fries and fish dip were off the chain. Our bartender was absolutely perfect and the decor was lovely – I would return based on the service, ambiance, and local brews alone; if I was in the mood to feel fancy while drinking beer 😉

On a trek to the ladies room, I ran into one of the 1iota producers and thanked him for the opportunity to attend and participate. I was a tiny bit embarrassed that we were at the bar instead of still in the concert but he seemed thrilled we were enjoying ourselves off camera. Apparently we didn’t quite fit the 16 year old fangirl status they wanted on camera anyway. Whatever.


Alissa Jean

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