I went to my first concert ever last night, on 9/15/2023, to see my favorite band since 2017, Icon for Hire. I wanted to make going there extra special by getting the highest VIP package there is, the pre-show party. This includes going onto the tour bus and actually hanging out with Ariel, Shawn, and Flicka.

Adam overheard me tell two other girls who did the pre-show party that it was my first concert ever. This is important and there will be a picture of him later. When we got on the bus, Ariel looked at the girl to my left, Anna, and said, “I remember you.” Anna went to Camp Icon in June. She then looked at me with a slightly confused look and said, “I don’t recognize you.” I was about to tell her it was my first concert and Adam chimed in with, “That’s because it’s her first concert ever.” Ariel was just as excited as me and, with a huge smile, said, “I’m so excited for you! You’re going to love it!”

One of the first things we did (after they handed out snacks) was putting on temporary tattoos with their logo.

I struggled to get mine on and Ariel helped the entire time. She held my arm so I didn’t move on accident with one hand and put water on the back of the tattoo with the other.

After the tattoos, we sang Iodine, one of their older songs. They told us a few songs that they were doing for the show and wanted me to pick a song they weren’t doing since I was new there. I panicked and couldn’t decide so Shawn said that we should do Iodine and everyone agreed. Ariel said we sounded really good and decided to start recording.

She was super excited to hear how I have introduced friends of mine to their music. They are an independent band and have not been played on the radio at all, to the best of my knowledge.

A little while later, Ariel took out a camera, one that prints pictures instantly, to get pictures for everyone of her and them. I don’t look good in it but it means a lot to me. One of the other girls, Kara, reminded me that at least you can see the genuine happiness because of the crinkles around my eyes.

We did a bunch of talking for a while and, before getting off the bus, we did pictures of everyone in front of the background. I was the last to do it and asked Shawn if he wanted to join. Ariel’s reaction was, “So someone else caught on?” No one else asked him to join but he is important to the band too and I wanted him in it.

After that picture, we all got off the bus and went inside the venue, where more pictures were taken. At that point, everyone with a VIP ticket got to have their picture taken with them. I had started to become friends with the other girls so Anna said for everyone to join for a group picture. She looked at me and said, “Yes, you too.” I was a little nervous but did it because I could tell we were on the path to becoming actual friends.

After the group picture, it was my turn for a picture with Ariel and Shawn. I was surprised when Ariel put her arm around my back. I guess I just didn’t expect that the first time we met.

I went to get my phone from Adam. I’m pretty sure he planned this since it was my first concert. He also used to be part of the band. Ariel called him to ask for some help with stuff for the concert. I was almost to him for it and he did this…

After that, I went with my new friends to secure our spots, front and center. We just talked about anything for a while. When my parents came in (they had general admission, not wanting me to be alone), we went and looked at merch on the table. I got two t-shirts, the one CD I needed to complete my collection, and my poster that came with the VIP ticket.

After that, I went back to Anna and Kara. My mom came with me and I introduced them to each other. After introductions, my mom went and stayed in a different area to let me feel more like an adult.

During the actual concert, I didn’t take any videos but I did get a few pictures. I wanted to stay in the moment and knew my mom would get videos for me.

Ariel decided to stand on the drums at one point. She was a little wobbly while getting up but after she turned around, I took this…

She was sitting right near my small group and I loved how animated she was, so I took a picture while she was right there.

It was rare for Ariel and Shawn to be right near each other, so when they were, I took a quick picture.

There was one moment I really wish I caught on video because it was funny. Ariel kissed Shawn on the cheek (they have been together for a while) and after she did that, she fake gagged.

Needless to say, last night was the best night of my life, even though I hurt my throat a little from all the singing along.

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I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience, including the VIP stuff. Thank you if you actually read it all!

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