We arrived in Chicago a day before the first show. We got our rental car and headed straight for the zoo. As many times as we had traveled for concerts, this was the first time we'd taken a day to do something other than go to a show. We had such a great time that every trip afterwards, we added an extra day to just chill and explore what the city had to offer. On this particular trip, we got far more than what we bargained for.
After the zoo, we decided we'd casually drive by the hotel 5SOS had stayed in while in Chicago during previous tour stops. In case you're curious, driving in downtown Chicago at the end of the workday is horrendous. Don't ever do it.
We drove around the block a couple times to check the place out, since we were planning on going back in the morning if it was confirmed that the guys were staying there. Then we went to our hotel, which was a good 30 minutes away, but right around the corner from the venue.
After we got settled, we went across the street to get a 21+ year old fangirl's number one priority: alcohol. Then we went to eat and wasted some time at Target while picking up the rest of our staples (mainly snack food, of course, and Coke to mix with the whiskey). And we eventually found ourselves back at the hotel making plans.
"Ok," Traci began. "We won't know if they're driving through the night or heading this way in the morning probably until after midnight. Even if they get here during the night, I doubt they'd be very sociable. So I say we go to bed early and get up early, get ready, and head downtown."
"Sounds like a good plan to me. But you know how great we are at going to bed early," I laughed.
"I know. Who am I kidding? But we can try. I'm actually pretty tired after being out in the sun all day."
"Yeah, me, too. Alright, I'll just call my kids real quick and we'll turn out the lights."
That's what I did, and by the grace of God, we were out just like those lights at 9:00.
We hadn't bothered setting an alarm, knowing we rarely sleep past 7:00 anyway. And it was exactly 6:30 when we woke up. We were bright eyed and bushy tailed for once. How we managed to actually sleep well, I'll never know, because sleep isn't one of our best qualities.
We searched Twitter for word on their whereabouts but came up with nothing. There was rumor that someone had seen some of their crew at the hotel we'd scoped out the day before, but nothing definitive. But it was all we had to go on at the time. So we got up and showered, grabbed some breakfast, and drove 30 minutes to the Hyatt. We tried to book a room, but they were fully booked.
Long story short, we drove by and saw that there were about 25 or so girls there, as well as a few parents. We parked in a garage down the road and walked by everyone. We didn't want to be obvious, so we walked on down the block to a coffee shop and sat outside with our coffee and observed from a distance. Eventually, someone tweeted that they'd seen the buses at the venue. After a little walking around, we decided the guys really must have been at the venue, so we left.
On the way to our hotel, Traci was somehow able to score us a room at the Hyatt online. It was more expensive than we could afford, but if it increased our chances of meeting any of the guys, we knew it would be worth it. We may or may not have shed a tear because we were so excited.
After eating lunch and piddling around, it was time to get ready for the concert. We're not the type to primp and preen much, even if we're going to be in front row. It was so hot it would have been useless anyway. So we wore tank tops and shorts, touched up our makeup, and that was pretty much it. We were ready with lots of time to spare. And what better way to waste some time than getting drunk?
All I'll say is that I remember maybe the last half of the show. I've never been that wasted at a concert in my life, and never plan on it again. It was a blast at the time, but now I hate that I hardly remember the first part. We were right in front of Calum. He looked at our goofy assess several times, especially while we were embracing & swaying back and forth during Amnesia. Corey, one of their security guards, was off to the side of the stage smiling at us. There's no telling what they were thinking.
At the end of the show Ashton came over and gave us high fives. Well, low fives technically. Haha. But we kind of stood there in awe for a moment and waited until they'd left the stage before we squealed a little.
By this point I'd mostly sobered up, but Traci was still very much inebriated, because she'd been drinking beer during the show. It was a nightmare getting an Uber to get back to the hotel where our car was. We ended up walking most of the way, which was no short distance to walk, and met the Uber dude in the middle of the road. It was an interesting walk, though. Traci thought she was a track star, threatening to jump the hurdles blocking part of the road and shit. All I'll say is that I'm glad I had a functioning brain, because I'm pretty sure I saved her life a couple times.
I was perfectly capable of driving once we finally made it to our hotel. We grabbed what we would need for the night and drove to the Hyatt. There were so many girls waiting for the guys, and we just drove up and handed our keys to the valet like we were something special.
But that frame of mind changed real quick like. We approached the front desk, looking extremely out of place in the super fancy hotel, all sweaty in our tank tops and flip flops. We must have looked ridiculous.
The lady at the front desk, Andrea, greeted us. I told her my name, and she typed away on her keyboard. It was taking longer than it should have, so I knew something was up. Traci was somewhat sober, and she could also sense something wasn't right. We looked at each other knowingly, and we knew before Andrea even said it.
"Miss Johnson, I am so sorry, but we have a slight problem. Unfortunately, we've overbooked and are at capacity. We have no rooms available tonight."
Traci and I looked at each other again and knew exactly what the other was thinking: FUCK.
Andrea continued, "But we're going to take care of you. There is a Four Seasons right around the corner. We're going to set you up in a comparable room tonight at no charge."
Lovely. Our whole plan went to shit. However, I will say that they were very nice about it. I now know that it's actually a common thing to be "walked" because they routinely over book since there are always no-shows. Anyway, it was just our luck. But hey, we no longer had to pay for a room that we couldn't afford.
So they sent us on our way via taxi and we got settled in the other hotel. Then we walked the two blocks back to the Hyatt and sat our sorry asses outside with all the other fans already waiting.
I was so tired and slightly nauseous from all that alcohol. And it was getting chilly. But I toughed it out. We wasted time Snapchatting with a friend of the guys, as we had been off and on that day. It may or may not have began when we first started drinking. We probably got on his nerves, but he was a sweetheart about it. Though, for all we knew, he could have been telling us to fuck off a few times, because his Australian accent is so thick we could hardly understand him.
Unfortunately, the guys never showed up. We never did find out if they were actually booked there or not. But it was "confirmed" that the buses were still at the venue around 2:45 a.m. And also "confirmed" that there were "groupies" seen exiting the buses. In the 5SOS fam world, any female in the guys' presence is considered a groupie. So who knows if there was any truth to that. Probably. But at nearly 3 in the morning, we couldn't have cared less. We were over it and left.