Where to begin, today marks three years since I saw Train for the first time live. I randomly won tickets through a radio station, at the time I had no idea that Train were going to be touring the country. I loved Drops of Jupiter when it was released when I was 11 I still remember dancing around the lounge room on a Saturday and Sunday morning completely loving it, it had always been my I can’t leave or turn of the radio until this song is finished song. Why I don’t know I did use my brain and research this band later on is beyond me. From what I remember of 2010 I was having a pretty bad year, and then there was the above mentioned Radio station contest, you had to register online and you had wait to see if you name was called out on the radio and ring up within an allotted period of time to be in the running to win the tickets, my name was apparently said on-air, i however was at work and didn’t hear it, so I thought ok so i won’t win the tickets, then I get woken up by my phone after a night shift and am live on air with the morning hosts, and agreeing to whatever they said to me, I had won the tickets how I don’t know. I’ve said so many times to my train friends that the universe must of known that I need something like this in my life at that exact moment. You would not believe how hard it is to get a friend who is over 18 to come to a free gig with you, I finally found someone who had actually heard of Train and could go with me. June 25th 201 comes around the first anniversary of MJ death it happened to be also.
I could never in my wildest day dreams have imagined how much this concert would change my life, something as what seemed like at the time a cool way to spend the night with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. I bought SMSF and had been listening to it so I would at least know more then two songs. Imagine my surprise when I knew more than two songs.
That piercing Train whistle that we all know starts to play as the guys make their way onto the stage, I can’t remember what song they opened with but I’m pretty sure I just stood there in awe of what was in front of me. I was pretty lucky for my first show I wasn’t very far from the stage and the venue is only about 1500 capacity.
Most people I know have likened their first Train show to a religious experience, thats what it was like for me. I couldn’t believe the show that was being put on in front of me by a group of men that are middle aged and totally rocking it. They are still one of the most energetic bands and performers I have seen in my life. I couldn’t believe that there was this guy running around the stage for the entire time and not losing a note. I was floored when I heard Pat sing acapella for the first time singing “When I Look to the Sky” I couldn’t believe that you could have heard a pin drop in a venue of 1500 people all just standing there mesmerised, I couldn’t believe that he asked if it was okay for him to stage dive at the end, that he was asking the audience what songs we wanted to hear then them singing a few of the songs. I couldn’t believe the amount of interaction this band were having with their audience from pulling women up onstage for “She’s on Fire” or walking along the barricade during “Marry Me” and singing and taking photos with fans at the same time. I left completely and utterly in love with this band and coming from the best show I had ever seen in my life and I’ve been to a lot of shows and my first Train concert still remains as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my life.
Within the next week I had ordered the complete back catalogue of Train and Pat’s solo album, and was always listening to them, I was obsessed to say the least.
Later that year I found myself in Kenya volunteering, this was possibly one of the worst months of my life and one the most life changing. I found myself absolutely hating it over there nothing was going according to plan and I wanted to come home after about a week or two, not good for somewhere that was meant to be living in Africa for the next three months. I had been their three weeks and decided that I was either going to go home defeated or go home via South Africa and still come home defeated and at rock-bottom. I was looking at flights to S.Africa deciding what to do go there or go home after I’d decided I couldn’t bear doing the tour I had booked of eastern africa camping on yoga mat for 6 weeks. I found myself on Train’s facebook page looking up events and found that they would be playing in my favourite city and country the following week and pretty much there and then decided to go Europe from Africa to see my favourite band in my favourite country, what could be more perfect? Being at the front of the tiny stage and going up on that stage and singing with my favourite band. This night again changed my life, I was in a really bad place in my life wanting it to all be over and not be experiencing and feeling what I was at the time, my entire life had come crashing down around me, everything I had planned for and worked for I felt like was completely worthless, I didn’t know where to go from here. I always say Music changes lives, it saves it too. If it weren’t for music, for this night I had October 18 2010, I don’t know if I would be writing this right now. I would walk around the streets of Dublin for days and listen to every single Train album from start to finish and maybe to that twice, something at the time that was keeping me sane from not going completely insane, this may be one of the most incredible memories of the past three years and there are so many incredible memories I have been able to have and create over theses years which I am so grateful for. The next week I managed to get a ticket to their sold out Shepherds Bush show in London, another incredible memory a night where MTV World Stage and the video clip of “Shake Up Christmas were filmed.
Whilst I had been in Africa they had announced that they were touring Australia in January and February of course I had to go and buy tickets. So I was able to see them again only four months later for another two shows. What can I say about these the first show wasn’t a full set and I was pretty much the only one standing and singing, but I didn’t care, I loved every single second of it, scored the “She’s on Fire” hat from the guy in front that had caught it I wanted it bad even offered him money for it, later on and let my friend and I wear it and take photos then he decided to let me have it to the annoyance of his very drunk wife we were at a winery and too many bottle of wine had been consumed. The next night I went to a show by myself and was at the front again of course at the same venue I had seen them the year before and again I ended up onstage, with a “Marry Me” photo which remains one of my favourite photos ever. Jimmy was leaning off the stage and signed my shirt I had made. I waited at the stagedoor in hope to see them when they left I managed to have a Pat and Scott sign my shirt as well and get photos with Jimmy and Scott.
After these shows I can’t even remember how it happened, I’m going to assume its because I was asking if anyone had video or photos of me from the concert of me onstage as I didn’t have anyone with me, but I do have photos a lady was so awesome when I handed my camera to her so I could jump over the barricade she took it and took photos for me so glad I have these memories to look at. This is when I really delved into the Trainiac world, I think the first person I had contact with was Hayley K, and it all snowballed from there with her telling me I had to be facebook friends with this list of people because they were amazing, from their it became a whole world of facebook groups and adding people from around the world something I would never have thought of doing, I am so eternally grateful that I did, I have been blessed with so many incredible and beautiful friendships in my life, if someone had told me in February 2011 that in April 2012 I would fly across the world to go 6 concerts in a row with people I had never met I would have called you crazy, yet in retrospect I am the crazy one I prefer to say passionate. I can’t believe that 14 months after these shows in Melbourne I had a whole cluster of friends expanding across the world let alone that I would be staying in their homes or that they would be looking after me, making sure I was taking care of myself, getting back to my accommodation safely, crashing their daughter’s 15th birthday party with her friends at six flags on my 22nd birthday, (Halli its still one of the best birthdays I have ever had Thank you). I still find it unbelievable at times that these things actually happened and that they keep on happening.
To date was the most incredible two weeks of my life, which many of you would have seen in the documentary.
A few months later I was able to have the amazing experience of flying to Sydney to see them at the iconic Sydney Opera House this was a fabulous night getting to see and talk most of the guys again. Again another night my life changed. I should have been at home studying for the exams and assignment I was meant to have been finish, instead I had to decided to go to Sydney and Melbourne to see the guys. That weekend was like an epiphany, I meet some people that night and skyped with a woman who has been a huge impact in my life over the past year even though we live half a world away, without her love,support and encouragement I don’t know I would have made the changes I have made in my life in relation to where I see my future career and life heading, I might still be in a course that I resented from day one of starting and was never in it mentally or emotionally from the start. When asked by people what I was doing at Uni (College) along with do you like it I would also respond with something like I really hate that question, you would have thought it would have dawned on me to make a change to something I so obviously hated and made me miserable and I didn’t care if I was skipping classes to go around the world to concerts. Going to concerts, live gigs, listening to music is something I always loved and made me happy. I had always toyed with the idea of becoming involved within the music industry but always dismissed the idea because it wasn’t a logically career choice or a stable career path to enter, unlike the health industry theres always sick people and its something I’d wanted to for pretty much since I was 6 years old.
After that weekend and skype conversation and a few more conversations I decided to change the direction of my degree and try a few media electives rather than my health electives, I enjoyed them but still found I wasn’t loving it then I was discussing the topic with my ever so helpful cousin who immediately sent me links to courses for music business at first look I wanted to do this, its something I had always wanted to do but never knew actually existed. I’m the last person in the world who would have thought I would end up doing a business degree, but here I am a year later with one trimester down i loved and hated the place i chose to undertake my degree so made the decision to change institutions, because this is the one thing I really love in my life and makes me happy and carefree. I don’t think I would have come to this decision if it were not for Pat, Jimmy, Scott and the long list of beautiful wildflowers I have in my life because of these three people who along with wildflowers have changed my life forever.
In February this year, my mum and I travelled to the UK/Ireland her first trip back since she took me over when I was 8 years old, who the hell goes to the UK/Ireland in the middle of winter crazy ass wildflowers thats who waiting in freezing temperatures in the snow sometimes for the morning until doors opened. I finally got to meet one of the coolest families ever the Burrows, can’t wait to see you soon guys. The Scottish twins Laura and Gemma, Vero and Melissa, other Euro Train fans and new friends. I got to see some of my dear friends from the states, again who could imagine that I would be at a train concert with my mum half a world away with some the most amazing people I have in my life, representing 3 continents of the world. This was an a tough tour for the guys almost resulting in cancelling a tour because of Pat’s voice, Valentines Day was so hard to watch and not cry, then the next night some magic happened in Glasgow and Pat’s voice started to get stronger, after that show was I was able to introduce my mum to the person who has influenced and inspired me over the past three years, that was a pretty special moment, along with being a mermaid earlier that night and a beautiful conversation I had with Pat about how he and Train inspired me to be on the path I am on at the moment in my life, he had remembered from a letter I had written him last year in August, I am always astounded at this guys memory and how he remembers everyone, what rockstar does that. Another beautiful 7 show across the UK and Ireland and in Dublin at the same place I had seen them in 2010, at the front again such a special show with more global wildflowers joining us from Norway, so happy I finally got to meet you Inger, Monica it was so awesome you flying in, Kelli it was awesome seeing you again and meeting Bobby. The second last show I couldn’t believe it my Mum actually got up onstage and was a Mermaid, which the next night Pat told mum that he totally loved. London what a bittersweet day, seeing and meeting so many weirdos was a gift even if it was snowing, saying goodbye not so sweet, I am so fortunate that my goodbyes don’t have to last too long, that I get to see so many of these wonderful people in my life next month when I venture to the states again for more shows and more unforgettable nights with my favourite people and music and weirdos in this world.
And I FINALLY get to met Penny Lane in the flesh and so many other amazing friends that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I am so so excited to be finally able to meet these people in my life.
I am utterly thankful, blessed and fortunate to have all these experiences and unforgettable memories from the past 3 years, from across the world with so many people who these memories would not be possible without. I love you all so much and thank you for creating these memories with me, and making these last 3 years the best of my life so far, you all have bought a so much love and support into my life which I don’t know where I would be without it or with every single one of you in my life.