Meet & Greet

I did forewarn my husband that Meet & Greets are possibly the weirdest, most unnatural way to meet somebody.

“Hey, how are you going? Let’s pose for this photo. Ok, next!”

He still enjoyed it though. He got to shake hands with the Lamb of God guys. We got some shit signed. They questioned my mish-mashed accent. It could have been way worse.

There were a lot of people queued up for the Meet & Greet – around 100, which seemed to surprise and vex the VIP host. She clearly had to reassess on the fly and decided to try and push people through fast. The number of guests was possibly because it was reasonably priced, but also undoubtedly because Lamb of God have quite a strong following in New Zealand. They were technically opening for Slipknot (part 2 of a 3-header), but there were easily just as many Lamb of God T-shirts as Slipknot T-shirts wandering around.

I had initially fretted about what I was going to wear. These guys are our band – the band that brought my husband and I together. It was his passion for this band that first made me want to go out with him. He played Hourglass for me on his guitar during our second date. We’ve now seen them in concert 5 times over 10 years. This is the only band that will make my husband run naked up and down the street in excitement. So when we decided that we were going to celebrate our first wedding anniversary by buying a joint experience rather than just another thing, the Lamb of God Meet & Greet seemed like the obvious choice.

I do own a couple Lamb of God T-shirts, but I’ve also gained a lot of weight since my thyroid decided to play up earlier this year (it’s a constant fight, and one which can overwhelm my metabolism really fast). My shirts don’t fit so well anymore. So in the end I went with a tolerable combo of black and camo. Plus I did my make-up and hair, because… hey, I come from the world of ’80s bands! I simply can’t go to a concert without looking like a massive groupie slut with a huge rack!

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Waiting in the car for Husband. Poseur.

The whole band turned out for the Meet & Greet, which was a pleasant surprise. Such things are often a tedious distraction while you psyche up for a show. They were all polite and professional, which was less of a surprise. It’s work and they’ve all been doing this showbiz thing long enough that the selfish, entitled trainwreck days are long behind them, if they ever happened at all.

After our brief encounter, Husband and I cooled off with a drink (him: bourbon, me: cider) and headed in to watch the local opening band, Antagonist. The pit was full, even if the seated sections were still half-empty. Antagonist were good, and clearly had a decent following within the crowd. They even managed to get a circle pit going for a while. But the intermission started to draw early, growling chants of “Lamb. Of. God. Lamb. Of. God.” so it was obvious that a lot of people were impatient for Act 2.

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Since they weren’t the headliner, Lamb of God were doing a disappointingly short set. 45 minutes, on and gone. They crammed in some favorites, including Laid to Rest, Redneck, Set to Fail, and Walk With Me in Hell (which made us both smile, since we played that one at our wedding). The crowd responded well, and the pit frothed and boiled. But still, it was all over too quickly. I do have to wonder why the promoter thought that Slipknot was more of a drawcard in New Zealand. A lot of the crowd appeared to leave after Lamb of God.

I was also disappointed that my old point-and-click camera had finally decided to give up. It was only 4mp, but it was programmable, so quite good at taking shots in the light/dark of a concert. Even the most expensive smart phones just don’t have that same functionality. That camera has taken some of my favorite concert pictures ever. Case in point, here is a photo I took at their show in 2009 (with my old camera) and one I took with my phone last night:

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2009 (Auckland Town Hall), further away and dark, but in focus
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2016 (Vector Arena), closer and brighter, but looks like an impressionist painting

But still, it was a fun (if all too brief) night and a great way to celebrate our first anniversary. This will be hard to top for next year…

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