How I “stumbled” upon Arctic Monkeys while crawling through a forest (really though)…
In honor of Alex Turner’s birthday, I am taking the opportunity to tell the internet my somewhat odd and exhilarating story of how I met the band, Arctic Monkeys…
It all began on a morning in May when we left for Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland where Arctic Monkeys were going to play their last show opening for The Black Keys. I had seen Arctic Monkeys before, but never met them, so I was determined to make this night the night when my fan-girl dreams would come true (err well as true as possible).
After getting stuck in traffic and arriving late, my concert buddies and I were unfortunately not able to score our desired front and center spots. But even so, Arctic Monkeys blew us away. With even more determination to meet them after such an amazing set, we decided to miss The Black Keys and devise a plan,while still in the large outdoor venue.
We first tried to sweet-talk the security guards into letting us backstage, but we had no luck. But, we did find out from them that the Arctic Monkeys crew were putting together a little end-of-the-tour celebration in the outdoor backstage area surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Because of this, there were police all around and our options were now very limited…
It was time to Sherlock.
Well really, since we aren’t exactly “high functioning sociopaths”, we just snuck around and collected even more information about the band’s “celebration” location. We found out that the backstage area was surrounded by a thick forest. This forest was the only thing keeping me away from possibly meeting the band.
But the forest turned out to be more challenging to get to than expected. To get to the forest we either had to go through the creek or cross a road which was being watched by security guards.
Since there was no way in hell we were about to swim across the creek in the blackness of night, our only option was to run across the road unseen by the guards.
There was no turning back now, after all, we did leave the venue already.
(At this point we had to accept the fact that even though we were fairly old fan-girls, the band was going to think were completely mad for going through a forest to meet them. So, I embraced my insanity and decided to put the plan into action.)
(Here is a poor quality pic of the venue from above and our prospective plan **note that this is taken from very high because this venue is HUGE)
When we got to the road, we tried to think of ways to distract the security guards. Thankfully, a stranger went over to them and distracted them all for us! While they chit-chatted we stealthily snuck across the road and ran into the forest. Once in the forest, we determined that the best way to keep the fence in sight, being that it was so dark, was to crawl next to it. And so we crawled. And crawled. And crawled. Oh yeah, and did I mention the wet forest ground was covered in pricker bushes? But you know what, despite the prickers, wetness, and inability to speak in fear of getting caught, we were having heaps of fun on our mission. The adrenaline was pumping through our veins and we were feeling great.
But, while half way through the mission, we heard a voice on the other side of the fence (which was definitely not a Monkey member). “SHIT, drop low guys!” I manage to whisper-yell. We lied still on ground trying to see what was going on.
It was a security guard. OH GOD. Terrifying thoughts of what the consequence would be if they caught us trespassing crossed my mind. Slowly the security guard came over. My heart was pounding. I laid still on the ground. But, to my surprise, instead of calling us out he unzipped his pants and started to pee through the fence.
After he was… um done… we realized we escaped un-peed-on and free from punishment. It was time to keep moving towards the end goal: meeting the Monkeys.
After some more crawling (or “Golluming” as I called it), we reached prickly bushes so deep that we had to stop. While quietly trying to come up with a plan B to get us out of the bushes, we heard even more talking on the other side of the fence. We knew it could’ve been either Arctic Monkeys or security guards.
There was absolutely no way I was going to turn around, so I took the risk and walked closer to the fence to see who it was.
The first thing I noticed was white pants. I didn’t even have to see his face to know. IT WAS MILES KANE!!
I called his name and within seconds my two friends are right next to me. Miles waves and smiles, and next thing I know Matt Helder and Nick O’Malley are right in front of me. Yes, it was through a fence and they probably thought we were insane but that did not take away from the experience at all. Nick even recognized my friend and called her by her name. Although she was embarrassed for crawling through the forest to meet him again, they sparked up a conversation. They were so sweet and funny, it was honestly a very nice surprise they actually kept talking to us for a fair amount of time after we took pictures.
Then I see this beautiful nymph-like man slowly strolling over. It was Alex Turner. He was freshly showered (smelling of soap), and was, of course, smoking. He kindly waited for us to finish our conversation with Matt, continuing to smoke away and looking around dreamily. I was grasping onto the fence to help stand on the little hill it was mounted on, and Alex quite literally falls dramatically onto the fence right beside me with a big smile.
Words could not form, so I just silently starred in awe as the others spoke to him. Inches away from my face, Alex asked if I wanted a picture and I managed to squeak out a yes. “Would the other lovely lady like a pic?” he says in his thick accented, deep voice. Once we were done with the pictures, we exchanged thank you’s and good-bye’s and we were off again.
The rest of the night was all a blur after that, but I will never forget those moments when I first met them 2 years ago.
It was such an awesome experience I wouldn’t have changed anything (maybe just the prickly bushes). Also, it makes for a damn good story,eh?
**Oh, and always remember- if you want to make something happen (like meet your favorite band) if you put your mind to it, IT WILL HAPPEN! Also, the craziness along the way make it a fun experience and the outcome will SO be worth it.