If you haven’t noticed by now, concerts are one of our absolute favorite things here at Us For Once. Not simply because they’re fantastic journalistic opportunities, but because there is absolutely nothing that can compare to being packed into a room full of people and listening to what you love. Experiencing the lights, the sounds, the electricity, energy, and sheer power of music firsthand is unlike anything else. Concert rush is addicting, and as cliche as it may sound, it makes us feel amazing, and alive. Hearing your favorite songs in person is more than just a memorable sensory experience, it also ties into the human experience. Music is insanely powerful, and it has the ability to connect you to not only the artist, but the people around you. And that is why we’re starting this series.
“I Bought Tickets To This Show Not Knowing How I’m Going To Get There” may sound like the intro to an anecdote born out of bad decisions, but we promise, it goes way deeper than that. Concerts are a fun experience, but every single one is an adventure. Few things in life are simple and straightforward, and we’ve found ourselves in some pretty odd and unlikely places in our pursuit of live music. The inspiration for this series started just over a year ago, with Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco (which we’ll talk about shortly), but I’ve just now realized how much it’s expanded. Life’s all about the journey… even if you don’t have your journey planned out.
Anyways, music moves people. Here’s the story of how it moved me across the country, 3,000 miles away to a whole other coast, and what I learned outside the stagedoor of the Al Hirschfeld theater in Manhattan. Let’s take it from the top.
I’m going to be straight up and say this right now: Brendon Boyd Urie is important to me. I started listening to Panic! At The Disco when I was fifteen; I was full of teen angst and navigating the emotional mess that is high school. Like a lot of kids, I had music to help me get through the bad days and celebrate the good ones. Panic! quickly became one of “my bands” and Brendon became a friendly and comforting voice I knew I could always turn to. No matter what, I knew his music, goofy personality, and warm smile would be a constant in my life, and that’s why I loved him so much, and I still do to this day. The dude’s crazy talented, hardworking, and has a heart of gold, and I have always been down to do the most to support him. It’s also important to mention that I’m a big dork and was the token Theatre Kid™ in high school. Musical theatre is comparable to the concert scene in my opinion, as they both go along with the power of music and the human experience. And let me tell you one thing: Brendon Urie’s got PIPES. He’s a fantastic vocalist with an incredibly impressive range, not to mention great stage presence and theatricality, which is why ever since 2015 I have been saying that I would give anything to see him star in a Broadway adaptation of Book Of Mormon (one day it’s going to happen and you can all say you heard it here first!). Anyways… you get it, I love Brendon Urie and I love Broadway.
One afternoon last year, after coming home from work, I opened my phone to leisurely scroll through instagram, only to see a very important post from Playbill Magazine announcing that Brendon was set for a run in Kinky Boots on Broadway that summer. Within ten minutes, I cried a little and I freaked out a lot. I was a high school senior on information overload with a part time job and very little self control. I instantly went into planning mode. After running upstairs and explaining the situation at 100 words per second at my mom, I not-so-jokingly mentioned that we should fly out to New York City to see my boy (and that the trip could count as every graduation, birthday, and Christmas present for the next ten years). Surprisingly, she didn’t hate the idea or immediately shut it down. I took that as a yes and immediately started looking for tickets. I went hardcore, dedicating a few hours to researching show dates and times and even calling the box office to ensure that Brendon would be performing at these dates multiple months in advance. I had gotten off work at three pm, and by eight, I had already decided on the June 24th matinee show, and spent a couple hundred dollars of my very own savings. Two Kinky Boots tickets were in my possession, and even though the show was 3,000 miles away and my mom and I had no idea how we were actually going to get there, I just knew one thing for sure: I was going to make it happen. I was going to New York City, and I was going to go see my boy.
To make a long story short, we arrived in the big apple, spent five days sightseeing, met Zack, stagedoored three times, met Zack again, met one of my longest and most beloved internet friends of five years, watched Brendon sing his heart out in a fantastic show, took squad pictures with Zack, and finally, at the end of the week, get to meet Brendon Urie and tell him all this. The money spent, the miles traveled, the sleep lost; all of that didn’t mean a thing when I saw him break into a huge smile and thank us repeatedly for “coming all that way, that’s the whole other coast!”.
I can write pages and pages about how much I love Brendon Urie, or how I admire his talent, hard work, and dedication, or how cool it is that he can sell out Madison Square Garden AND the Al Hirschfeld theater for six weeks in a row, but the most important takeaway from all this is that I had the experience of a lifetime in New York City. I bonded with my mom, got to visit all sorts of amazing new places, I got to meet Rhia (shameless best friend plug: she’s a writer for Moments Magazine and Scars And Stories Magazine, go show them some love!) for the first time- and none of this would have happened unless I had followed my crazy dream of seeing my boy Brendon Urie on Broadway. This whole experience taught me that nothing is impossible. If you want something with all your heart, do everything in your power to pursue it. The universe works in mysterious ways, and you’ll find that some things are just meant to be (and will open the door to many other little adventures).
But most importantly, remember what this series is all about. Deep down, it’s not about travelling or music or money, it’s about two things you should always remember. Number one: Always take the plunge. Never let fear hold you back. Try new things like Brendon tried Broadway for the first time, and discover how you’re better because of it. Number two: Follow what you love. Remember that love is a journey, not a destination. It just so happens that I love music; I am following it and making incredible memories and I love sharing them with you. I hope to inspire you to go out and make your own.
P.S. (because I am sappy as always) Brendon, thank you for kind of starting it all and taking that leap of faith. I’m taking it with you.