From Traci: Would it be weird if I said I liked 5SOS Ashton?
That was the first text I received from Traci once I'd made it back home the day following the concert. I laughed out loud over the way she clarified him as "5SOS Ashton," as opposed to my son Ashton.
To Traci: Not at all! I'm the one who likes the weirdo, remember? But I thought you liked Calum???
From Traci: Well, I can't really make up my mind yet. LoL
We basically spent the rest of the day sharing links to videos. I knew at that point we were hopeless, because the same thing had happened to us after we met Emblem3 at Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We spent the next year obsessed with every move they made, until they disbanded and broke our hearts.
What's that saying? "We don't suffer from our band addictions. We enjoy every second of it." Yeah, pretty sure that's it. Close enough anyway.
We had only been testing the waters of our newfound fandom when 5SOS announced that they were going to be performing at the B96 Jingle Bash in Chicago. At the time, there were no other 5SOS shows scheduled anywhere near us, so we knew this would be the only opportunity to see them again anytime soon. Not that Chicago was anywhere near us, but it was closest, and we weren't opposed to traveling.
Of course it was snowing in Chicago, and our flight was delayed a bit. But we made it safe and sound. Conveniently, the guys were flying into the same airport. We landed six hours before their's, but we didn't know that at the time. We landed around 9:30 a.m. and sat down to figure out a plan. Our conversation went something like this:
Traci asked, "We're not seriously waiting around for them all day, are we?"
I replied, "I don't know what to do. I mean, there's nothing on Twitter about them leaving LA yet. So who knows when they'll get here?" After a few moments of silence while we thought it through, I offered a suggestion. "Okay. How about this: if they're not here by noon, we'll go ahead and leave."
Traci considered my suggestion and nodded slowly. "Well, okay. All we have to do before the show is check into the hotel. So we can wait until then."
We saw pictures on Twitter of the crowd waiting downstairs. There had to be 200 girls. It was crazy. And there we were, inside the terminal, just us two lucky bitches.
We walked around inside the terminal for a while, found a random spot on the floor, and sat down. Then we began investigating possible flights that the boys could be taking, and when they may arrive. Once you know what time they arrive to the departing airport, it really doesn't take a genius to figure out the rest, just common sense and the process of elimination.
We were positive we had figured out the correct flight. The problem was that it wouldn't be landing until 3:20 p.m. That was far past the noon deadline we'd set. Needless to say, we changed our minds about leaving at noon.
We eventually ate some lunch, then basically alternated walking around and sitting for a while to waste time. I know that sounds boring, but the two of us can make any situation fun. For the longest time it appeared that we were the only fans there. But with about 30 minutes left to wait, fans started trickling in.
We knew for a fact we had the details right when one of 5SOS's security guys showed up. He had taken an earlier flight for some reason. Maybe that's normally what they do, so he can scope the place out before the guys arrive, I don't know. There were three airport security guards with him. He explained to us that the guys were running very late (they had a performance time of 5:30) and they would not be stopping for pictures, but if we could manage to snap a picture while walking, that would be okay. Normally, we did't care for pictures. We'd rather try to have a little conversation instead. But in those situations, when a quick picture was our only hope, we'd go that route. So that plan sounded good to me. But I soon learned that getting a picture on the go was easier said than done.
The moment finally arrived. Apparently the plan was to let the band members off the plane last. Other passengers started getting off the plane, each one of them looking confused as to why there were around 20 people standing there, staring at them. A few of them asked us what was going on.
One middle aged man in particular asked and Traci answered, "Did you see a young dude with bright red hair in first class?"
"Yeah, I did. Who is he?"
"He's a member of a band. 5 Seconds Of Summer."
"5 what? Never heard of them. Are they a boyband or something?"
Everyone laughed at the "boyband" comment. If you're in the "fam" you know how some fans get torn up when 5SOS is called a boyband.
Anyway, though he had no clue who they were, that guy stood behind us and waited, too. He had to see what all the fuss was about, I guess.
Then, there they were. Calum, Michael, Ashton, and finally, Luke. Words cannot describe how flawless they are when you see them up that close. And they're actually giants compared to us short folks. Admittedly, I kind of froze. I snapped a couple blurry pictures as they walked past us.
As we were warned, they didn't stop for pictures. As a matter of fact, they were basically power walking, each with a guard protecting them from the small group of fans.
We kind of stood there for a moment, like we were all in shock. Then I remember Traci tugging on my shirt and saying, "Come on!"
We walked fast enough to catch up, but the airport security people apparently didn't get the memo that we were allowed to get pictures as we walked. Every attempt I made was thwarted by the female guard walking next to Michael. She was holding her arm out and looked at me as if saying, "I fucking dare you." This chick meant business. And I was too chicken to defy her. I also remember seeing nearly every girl on the other side of Michael getting selfies with him and giving him gifts. But I couldn't get over there. Ashton was in front of me, and Luke was behind me. I probably could have gotten a picture with one of them, but I had tunnel vision and was determined to find a way to get to Michael. I continued sprinting along, dodging random people and occasionally jumping over luggage that was in my path. I'm not even joking. I felt like a ninja.
It had been such a whirlwind that I didn't even realize Traci hadn't been beside me the entire time. As we were nearing the escalators to go downstairs, she suddenly showed up out of nowhere and asked, "Did you get pictures?!"
I wanted to cry because I'd lost my chance. "No. I can't get close enough!"
Without a word, she grabbed my suitcase and literally shoved me close to Michael. I can't believe that bitch of a guard didn't grab me and push me back out of the way. I looked over my left shoulder and saw that Michael was looking at me and smiling. I now wish that I could have just thought of something cute to say, or went for a quick side hug instead, but during the rush of things, all my brain came up with was, "Michael! Can I have a picture?"
As I held up my phone and tried to fit us both in the frame, he gave a thumbs up and smiled again. I was within an arm's reach of him, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to get any closer, so I went ahead and snapped a picture. It turned out awful. It was blurry and I barely captured half of my face in it. But I learned to love it because how many fans don't even get that much?
I thanked him and immediately jumped back over to where Traci was because I hate being noncompliant with rules. Neither of us said another word until we got outside. We, along with another 10 fans or so, continued walking behind them all the way down the escalator, because we were leaving, too. That's when things got out of control.
There were barriers up, keeping the fans downstairs at bay. But once the guys made it outside where the cars were waiting on them, it was clear security had forgotten about that area. Traci and I went around the crowd, wanting no part of that insanity. But we later saw videos and pictures of girls actually trying to get into the car with the guys. It was nuts.
We were fairly calm, at least as far as anyone could tell, and walked over to the hotel shuttle. We took our seats, looked at each other, and started laughing like idiots. There's no telling what the other people on the shuttle were thinking. We kept showing each other the pictures we had gotten. Traci, that little bitch, had gotten selfies with all except Luke. I was laughing so hard about my picture with Michael that I was crying. It was truly hideous.
We eventually settled down along the way, then checked into the hotel. We threw our bags down, and the second we looked at each other, we hugged and cried. No, we sobbed. We, a couple of 24 and 29 year old women, were crying about having an encounter with a few band members who didn't give a shit about us. What the actual fuck was wrong with us? I'm afraid I'll never have an answer to that question.
But anyway, we made it to the concert, which was everything we expected it to be, but nothing out of the ordinary happened. We didn't even get a chance to try to find them afterwards, as they were the first act to perform, and had left right after their set to fly to London for another holiday show. Well, all except Michael, because the geezer had lost his passport. Though, we didn't know that until the next morning.
But we were okay with how it all worked out. We'd experienced something that most of the fandom would never get the chance to do. And we were satiated. At least, for the time being.