That’s my #currentmood.
Last night Sam Hunt opened for Hunter Hayes and Lady Antebellum at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto… and I missed it. I missed his entire set.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
Kendra, the daughter of a family friend, messages me to say her mom surprised her with tickets to see Sam Hunt open for Lady Antebellum. Despite the fact that Kendra’s sixteen and I should be the mature, older-sister figure, I immediately get jealous.
I should get tickets too!
I should spend a ridiculous amount of money last minute on tickets and get front row seats!
Out comes the credit card.
This is going to sound weird. Like, really weird. But I only bought 1 ticket. I tried canvasing for friends to come with me, but I was turned down several times.
“We could get lawn tickets?” One friend sweetly suggested.
I spent 3 months panicking about being solo at the show. I was worried about things like what to do with my hands. Do I cross my arms? Do I look around like I’m waiting for someone? Do I just stare at people and try not to get punched because of my resting bitch face?
June 18th 2015
The big day.
I arrive at the GO Train station to meet Kendra and her mom. I wanted to savor the last human contact I would have for the next four hours.
Our hair is curled.
Our make-up is on point.
We start debating over whether or not Sam will wear a tank top. We’re there for the music, but let’s face it. Homeboy looks good in a tank top.
We board the train…and then a half hour later the train stops.
We wait …and we wait… and then we hear the announcement, “Due to a medical emergency, this train has been delayed until medical professionals arrive.”
I would like to tell you that my first thought was genuine concern. That I sprung to my feet, yelled, “I’ve seen the first three seasons of Greys Anatomy!” and saved the day with my limited health care knowledge.
Instead I looked at my phone and realized it was 6:30. There was 30 minutes until Sam took the stage.
Panic was setting in.
Fifteen minutes later, an army of denim cut-offs evacuated the train, scrambling to hail a cab, a bicycle or a magic carpet.
“Do we get off the train?” I asked Kendra’s mom (when in doubt, ask a mom).
“There’s another train coming in three minutes, we’ll make it, but it’ll be tight!”
I’d like you to imagine the scene from Schindler’s List where hundreds of Jewish people are herded like cattle onto a train to there uncertain fate. Ok, take away the anti-Semitism and throw in a bunch of plaid and cowboy boots and you’ve got an idea of what the rest of our train ride was like.
I was uncomfortably close to strangers. My bum touched people’s bums. I think I accidentally got to second base with someone when I tried to steady myself when the train lurched unexpectedly.
A man accompanying his son to a baseball game in the City said to no one in particular, “Some seventeen year old girl got drunk and started vomiting everywhere! She pulled the emergency stop!”
I shook my head. I shook my damn head so hard I thought it was going to fall off.
From behind me a little voice cracked, “I’m 18 and I’m completely wasted right now, but like, I’m keeping my shit together.”
The legal drinking age in Ontario is nineteen. Nine-effin’-teen. I would just like to point out here, that my inner goody-two-shoes wanted to scold my fellow sardine like she was a dog who just peed on the carpet. I didn’t drink until I was twenty-years old out of sheer terror of the effects of alcohol. I judged. I judged big time.
When our train slowly rolled into Exhibition Station, it was a mad dash. I was Bruce Jenner when he was still Bruce Jenner. I grabbed little Kendra’s hand and we ran to the venue, her mother was nowhere in sight.
This is how I know I’m not ready to be a mother:
We pass security, can hear Sam Hunt singing, and I turn to Kendra and say, “Are you going to be OK?”
All 4″11 of little Kenny looks nervously at the crowd and says, “I just have to find my mom!”
I reply with a, “JUST GO TO YOUR SEAT” and booked it.
I left a child.
I left someone who could technically be considered not only a child, but a little person alone in a crowd.
I start running from my guilt and get down to the pit and see a sweat soaked Sam Hunt, and I start thinking, “Hey, I’m covered in sweat too!” #twinsies and then he starts singing Break Up in a Small Town… the last song of his set.
He waves to the crowd, he says goodnight and exits the stage.
My heart breaking was audible.
My Catholic upbringing kicked in and I start thinking, “You know, Libby – the Lord works in mysterious ways.” As if somehow Sam would return and say, “Was your train late, girl? Would you like me to sing for you, and just you, one more time?”
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
I decided to start drinking. In line for the over-priced alcoholic beverages I see Hunter Hayes take the stage.
I wanted to go home. I was pissed at myself for spending so much money on my ticket but mostly at the North American glamorization of underage drinking and whomever thought it was a good idea to give the seventeen (and eighteen) year old girl on the train alcohol.
I pay for my legally acquired cooler, take out my phone and begin to text friends in Toronto asking them to meet up, when I’m hit with a pang of sympathy.
That 17 year old girl is going to have one hell of a hangover today. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. Shit happens.
I head back to the pit and spot a group of girls loving life. Dancing, singing, twirling one another, and I pulled the classic new kid in school move. I tap the girl on the shoulder and say, “You look like you’re having a time. Is it cool if I hang out with you girls?”
Now, if someone said that to me at a concert, I would immediately hold onto my purse and lock eyes with a security guard juuuuust in case.
Maybe there was visible sadness in my sweaty face or the girl was just a nice person in general, but she pulled me by the arm and said, “GET IN HERE!” and we began to sing. By the end of the night I felt like just one of the girls and had two new Instagram friends.
Lady Antebellum put on a spectacular show. I sang my troubles (and my voice) away with my new country concert girlfriends and enjoyed myself. I still felt incredibly weird and awkward being by myself, but it was a test in confidence, sort of like going to the movies by yourself, or having dinner solo in a restaurant.
Towards the end of their set, Hunter Hayes and Sam Hunt joined the band to sing Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”. I was upfront and he was wearing a tank top.
After the show I rendezvoused with Kendra and her mom and took the train home. There were rowdy, drunken teenagers making slurred phone calls to pizza places to order delivery.
Even though I wound up having a good time, it still sucks. It stiiiillllll effin sucks.
I’m sure one day I’ll catch Sam Hunt in concert. When he’s headlining a stadium tour (which is bound to happen soon). Until then, I’ve got his album on my iTunes, and while I’m driving to work I’ve got my own concert anytime I want.