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2007-06-18 - 7:52 p.m.

Six years of waiting finally led me to one amazing experience. Eddie and I made a five hour trip to Milwaukee to see Nine Days (my favorite band and the ones who sang "Story of a Girl") on Friday. This is going to be my very detailed account of it so I can remember it well... feel free to read and skip as much as you like.

The week beforehand, we went up to Eddie's family's lake place for 3 and a half days. That was fun. We just relaxed and spent time with Sam and Tim. We went and visited Sam at KFC where she is a manager, and she gave us 2 free buffets which was pretty cool. We also played mini golf at this place called Pirate's Cove, I think. It was a really cool place.

We left on Friday morning and got to our hotel at around 5:00. We headed right over to the casino and played a little bit... then ended up waiting for an hour until the doors opened to the theater. The theater was awesome, it was composed of booths rather than regular old theater seats. We got one in the front and center.

At 8:00, the other band, Stroke 9 came out. They were alright. There were several times when their harmony was cringe worthy because it was out of tune, but mostly they were ok. I can see why people my age would like them... and it's mostly because of their lyrics which are full of sex themes and swear words.

They finished, and people started fixing up the stage for Nine Days. By the way, I'll just say right now that there was an enormous difference between the quality of Stroke 9 and Nine Days... Nine Days is just so much more professional, and they have a more instrumental band.

I'm just gonna list the members of Nine Days right here so there's no confusion on that...

John Hampson - lead singer, guitar
Brian Desveaux - singer, guitar
Jeremy Dean - keyboards, sax
Nick Dimichino - bass
Vinnie Tatanelli - drums

Anyway, Brian came onto the stage to prepare something and I was just in awe. He's my favorite male singer out of all artists, even though he's not the lead singer of the group.

The group came onto stage, and I was just in total mesmerization for the first three songs. They played a good mixture of songs from their collection. The first one was off one of their older 3 CDs, which I instantly knew because Brian had a harmonica, and they used that very heavily in those CDs. They played about half the songs on their CD The Madding Crowd and 4 out of the 6 songs on their new CD Slow Motion Life, Part One.

Halfway through, someone must've farted because John was like "Whoa, Brian was that you?" then he started saying he tried to stay professional but the smell made it difficult. He asked if the person taping it had gotten it on the tape because there'd probably be an apparition on the stage of it. That was quite funny.

It was around this point that our digital camera's battery totally died. I was very sad because there were some absolutely perfect picture taking opportunities. At one point, Brian went up to the front.. and then another time, Jeremy went up there with his sax. (I just find it so extremely cool that they have a sax in the band.) We did get some pictures that I hope to get put on here soon. I'm not in a huge hurry to do that because I'm just so disappointed that I didn't get the pictures that I wanted.

Then towards the end, he started introducing a song... a classic that was written in the 16th century that was purely instrumental and classical music... then they started playing Story of a Girl. I'm not really that big a fan of that song, but it was awesome to see it live since it is obviously their most well known song. I always finding myself clarifying to people that they are the ones that sang Story of a Girl, and people will say "Ohhhh, that's who that is." In fact, that's what happened when I was telling my mom about the concert, and even she recognized the song name. (Funny thing is that the song is actually called "Absolutely (Story of a Girl).")

Afterwards, I bought their CD Flying the Corporate Jet which came out in 2003 and I could never get 'cause I didn't have a credit card to get it online... and I got Slow Motion Life (Part One). I also got a t-shirt... 'cause it's just not right to go to a concert of your favorite band and not.

By this point, the band was out there chatting with people. I looked at them and almost chickend out... we were almost out the door to the casino and we turned back. We were kind of hanging out by the wall when Jeremy approached me. Eddie said that I was wanting to meet them, which caused John to turn around and introduce himself.

He looked at me and said "Have we met before?" I instantly knew it was because we have a page set up on the Nine Days message board with everyone's picture. John and Brian and sometimes Jeremy visit that message board, so it doesn't surprise me that he would have gone and looked at the picture page. I said "I'm on the Nine Days board" then instantly felt stupid for specifying which board it was. He asked what my name was on there, and I told him, and he said "Ohh, that's you!" and Brian also said he recognized that name. That was so awesome. No, they're not huge celebrites, but they are still my favorite band ever, so them recognizing me was grand.

When Jeremy first approached us, he asked if I wanted them to sign my CDs, so they were passing those around. I got all but Vinnie's because he wasn't in the room for some reason. So that is also very exciting.

John kinda stood off with us and talked for a little bit, which was very cool. All of them just seem so easy going. We also got a picture with the four of them, which obviously is my profile picture. We had to take that with Eddie's phone since the digital camera was dead. So it's way smaller than I would like... but hey, at least we had that instead of no camera at the end.

Over all, it was the best single experience ever for me. (I'm guessing once I get married that'll top it, but for now it remains the best.) It's really too bad that they don't have more endorsements because they are seriously brilliant performers. And if you don't believe me, the huge Nine Days fan, then take it from Eddie, who was very impressed, and he had never been interested in their music before. Now he wants to burn a copy of Slow Motion Life to keep in the car so he can listen to the song "Worth Fighting For," which he thinks is one of those songs that would be a big radio hit.

If they ever make it back I want to see them again. I hope they can come to Minnesota. John asked where I was from, and I said Minnesota, and he asked how far that was... I said 5 hours, and he was very impressed. According to Eddie, John also said that that was worthy of the autographs... I don't remember that though.

And that... is the story of seeing and meeting Nine Days. (The picture is on my Myspace page.)

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