The first time I saw David live in concert was at a stop on his first solo tour. I knew I‘d be running late so I didn‘t get VIP tickets. Since then I have gone to six more events, and met him in person three times. I should be a pro by now and able to write the book on how to do a VIP with him, right? Wrong! YouTube had become my BFF because it shielded me from coming face to face with him. Without fail, I revert back to my fifteen year-old shy self when I see him.
I know that there are fans out there who have not yet seen David live in concert or met him in person so I wanted to write about my first VIP experience. Thinking about it brought back some concert memories, too.
My first VIP was almost three years ago at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. Being there felt surreal. After months of anticipation, could this really be happening? To make it worse, from the time I checked in to VIP to the time I actually met David was several hours. Spending the time with Marlie, Silverfox and Dawn in a special VIP room with approximately 100 other VIPers was a lot of fun. We sat at round tables and chatted while munching on New York pretzels and other assorted snacks provided by the tour promoters. While the anticipation was mounting, they tried to keep us busy by having us answer silly DJA trivia questions like what is David’s favorite food and what are the names of his animals and what is his birthdate. It didn’t work.
Time was tight, we heard, and were informed that David would not be singing “Heaven” or “Crazy” as promised, like he did in previous shows on that tour. I was so looking forward to hearing those songs. Instead, we marched to the arena where we saw sound check performances of TMH and ALTNOY.
Then David answered some questions from the fans. Look how comfortable he was, chilling with us.
After sound check it was back to the to the VIP room when word got around that David was due to arrive for the meet and greet. It seemed like the number of people sitting at the tables multiplied when we all stood and gathered on the long line. Without even seeing him I knew that he had arrived. There was a kind of hush when David entered the room. Not even kidding. The sound actually changed from a drone of noise to one of quiet excitement. And there he was, a regular guy, except not.
Honestly, I didn’t believe all the hype about the glow around him. I had never heard of such a thing; how can a person glow? But for some reason it looked like there was constant light shining on him. I looked at the ceiling to see if there was a spotlight or a bulb or something. But I didn’t see anything. It was as if a glow was from inside him. He was across the room so I was able to take it all in, the line of fans waiting in anticipation for their turn, the gentle manner he had with each person. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him and I wasn’t the only one. As I got closer and closer it was as if he was larger than life, a brilliant presence, yet just a young man.
One of the things that’s so endearing about David is the way he gives each fan his undivided attention. When he finished with one fan, he looked at the line to see who was next. Yikes it was me! He looked at me and Mr. Bebereader and I froze. I had to be pulled to come forward.
I had it all planned. I prepared to ask David about the song “One” by U2 that he sang a segment of on his solo tour. With Marlie’s help, I had started a campaign and collected close to 100 letters from fans, (delivered to David by Silverfox at a prior show on the tour), encouraging him to cover the entire song. Achkkk; what I said to him came out all jumbled.
David: Heyyyyyyy! (Big smile, you know the one.)
Fifteen year old Me: Hi David, remember the one letters?
David: Huh????? (his signature huh?)
Who could blame him? It sounded like I was doing a play on words with one/won. I rattled his brain and explained yada yada yada, ciss boom bang. And then he said…
David: Oh yeah!!!!!
Me: Do you think you’ll sing the whole song one day?
David: I don’t know but I really love that song!
Phbbbbbt! After all that, I got a non-answer! We took the picture and away I went. Ironically, Mr. Bebereader had a more coherent and satisfying conversation with David about picking him to win from the audition and wishing he had 100 students like him. It was interesting to stand around and observe the other fans after their encounter with David. Each person looked touched in some way, either with a permanent grin on their face or like they needed to get outside for some fresh air.
My memories of the actual Atlantic City concert are hazy because my upgraded Row 2 VIP seats were so far over to the left that I could barely see David onstage. In between songs, David talked about Halloween and asked what costumes people wore. I remember sitting behind a little girl and her Mother. During the show, the girl turned around several times and looked at me. Then she whispered something to her Mom. (Did I have something in my teeth? Was I singing a little too loud?) Shortly after, the Mom turned around and asked “Excuse me, are you David’s mother? My daughter said that she thinks you are. ” Trust me; I look nothing like Lupe Archuleta. But I was so tickled and responded with “No, but I wish I had a son like him!”
When the show was over all the fans found each other and congregated in the lobby of the hotel, not wanting to go! Such good memories.
For those of you who have been to David’s concerts and/or VIPs, are there any memories that stand out that you’d like to share?