Friday, July 26, 2013

Meeting Josh Groban

Last night was without a doubt one of the best nights of my life. I know that sounds kind of dramatic and overboard, but it's the truth. Everything about the evening was just perfect. 

If you're reading this, you probably know that I won a meet and greet with Josh Groban before his show at Sonoma State University last night. I joined the "Friends of Josh Groban" quite a while ago mainly to support his charity and also to learn about events and appearances. It also allowed me to get presale codes for tickets for his concert tours. I'm not very active on the message boards over there, but I do lurk and read a lot of the posts. So this spring, when tickets for his upcoming "In The Round" tour were about to go on sale, I became more active on the boards over there. I bought tickets for both Sacramento and San Jose for October. Then he announced a smaller summer tour of several great outdoor venues, and luckily Sonoma State University was one of them. I had missed the presale for that one, and I was really having a hard time finding decent seats. But I continued checking and finally lucked out, finding some just a few rows back from the stage. 

The fan club offers a meet and greet lottery for members at each of his shows. You just enter your name and ticket info and hope for the best. So I entered for the Sonoma State show, thinking that there was no chance I'd ever be picked. I went about my business, staying busy at the beginning of the summer, not really thinking too much about the upcoming concert, when I got a message from another fan club member, congratulating me on winning the meet and greet for the Sonoma State show. I couldn't believe my eyes! I ran to my computer and logged on, and sure enough, there was my name on the list! I was beside myself - I really was!

As the date of the show grew closer I wondered what the meet and greet would be like. Would I get to take a picture with him? Would I get to talk to him? I started to get kind of nervous about the whole thing. I can imagine that the, um, intensity of some of his fans might just overwhelm him sometimes and in some ways I didn't want to contribute to that or be a part of it, if that makes sense? Yet, I highly doubt that kismet is ever going to cause me to just run into him, you know? So I knew that I should seize the opportunity to just do it. I also had a t-shirt that I wanted to give him. Back in December when we were in Maui, I had tweeted a picture of the t-shirt to him and he immediately retweeted it to his followers. (The quick story behind that is that he once tweeted about some weird spork he'd received either on a plane or in another country -I honestly don't remember- and mentioned how weird it was because it folded up so he could re-use it if he wanted. The whole thing created a fun little conversation on Twitter, so when he was doing a charity auction a few months later he autographed the spork and auctioned it off. He has also made it well-known that he's a big Star Wars fan. So when you see the t-shirt you'll immediately know why I thought of him as soon as I saw it.)

Taking another moment to back up to last year - around Mother's Day, Josh tweeted about a special charity event show he was performing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA. It was a benefit for LACHSA - Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.  (Josh Groban is an alumni of this school, so it was a benefit that was obviously near and dear to his heart.) It also raised money for his Find Your Light Foundation - he's really a great philanthropist; he does quite a lot of charity work.  Anyway, there was a special package offered for this show that included several perks, first and foremost being a "cocktail reception with Josh." The package was pricey, and I'll just leave it at that, but it was 100% tax deductible. Of course I immediately texted Eric telling him about it and asking if we could go. We are only an hour flight from Los Angeles and Eric has many, many Southwest airline points from all the work travel he does, so the travel part of it wouldn't be an issue. I was a little surprised when he readily agreed to go. Mother's Day was coming up and he said the tickets could be my Mother's Day gift. I figured that was going to be my chance to meet Josh. Honestly, I really just wanted an opportunity to say hello and get a decent picture with him. Again, I got all weird about walking that fine line between being a fan and being a nuisance. So the week of the show arrived and Eric flew down to Orange County that morning so he could spend the day working in his office down there. Then I flew down that evening to meet him. We had dinner in Newport Beach, then drove up to Hollywood to check into the hotel. The next night, when we got to the Concert Hall, they checked us in at a table just outside the doors. We were given our "package perks" which included seating in the front section of the concert, a t-shirt for each of us created specially for the event, a poster of the same, and purple rubber VIP bracelets allowing us access to the reception. They had appetizers and a bar available with stand up cocktail tables. As the room began to fill up, I started to think that maybe this wouldn't be a small, personal meet and greet like I'd thought it would be. And it wasn't. About halfway through the cocktail hour, Josh was introduced and came up to a podium to thank everyone for coming and say a few words. Then when he finished, he was ushered back out of the room. I guess that was the "cocktail reception with Josh." I was okay with it though - and the concert was spectacular. They don't allow cameras of any kind in the hall, so I wasn't able to take many pictures of him, but we had third row seats right in the center, so we were happy. All in all, it was a fun little getaway for us, so even though it wasn't a "meet Josh Groban" trip, I'm still grateful for the fun time with my husband.

Here is Josh at the podium talking a little bit about how important this charity is to him. (It's blurry, sorry.)

And here he is during the show. This venue had a strict no photography policy, so this was a quick one I snapped from my phone. We had seats in the third row and it was really a great show!

So as this Sonoma State University show was quickly approaching, I was getting so excited! There was some talk on the message boards about getting together for dinner prior to the show, but it didn't end up working out for me because I had to be at the venue at 5pm for the meet and greet. I was getting nervous about getting a decent picture because I rarely like any pictures of myself. If I post a picture on Facebook, you can bet it's undergone a rigorous quality control process of which about 98% of the photos fail. And I knew I'd only have one quick shot at this, and I wanted a good one! When I found out that I'd won the meet and greet I'd asked if Eric would be allowed to accompany me backstage and I was told no - that they are allowed to have ten people back there, and they used to allow five plus a guest, but then they decided that it would mean more to the members to have ten members backstage and just have their guests wait for them. And that really does make sense. But at the same time, I was so nervous about meeting Josh Groban with a bunch of people that I didn't know! 

Last week I was looking at something on my phone when I heard the email alert chime. So I checked my email and it was from MasterCard. The email said that because I'd used my MasterCard to purchase tickets for the upcoming Josh Groban show at Sonoma State, I was eligible to win a meet and greet with Josh Groban. I immediately replied and entered Eric. Within an hour I'd received another email congratulating me on winning! Eric and a guest were able to go backstage! My problem (problem in the very loosest sense of the word) was solved! I'd get to have Eric with me to shoot 50 pictures and to also calm my nerves! I couldn't believe my luck - I posted on Facebook about how lucky I was and got a lot of comments from people telling me to buy a lottery ticket while my luck held out! 

The day was quickly approaching and I was just waiting for the emails to give us more information on our meet and greets. I got mine from the fan club and was told to be there at 5pm at the box office where my name would be on a list. The email also said that I was allowed to bring an item to have autographed and that I was more than welcome to take photos with Josh.  But the next day I received the instructions for Eric's meet and greet and things seemed different. He was told to be at the box office by 5:15, and that he would not be allowed to bring anything to be autographed, and that he was also not allowed to take photos with his own camera - that a professional photographer would be available to take photos that would be available for viewing on a Shutterfly account approximately ten days after the event. Hmm.....I started to think that we were going to be attending two separate events. I figured his was probably more of a promo for MasterCard where they could advertise the fact that if you purchase your tickets through them, well, look what you might just get! 

I told Eric that I wanted to leave for Sonoma by 2pm. I needed to be there by 5:00 and although it's only about an hour and a half away, traffic around here can be a bear and I didn't want to take any chances! I figured we could get up there and go somewhere for a drink or something to eat. Eric works in Sunnyvale, which is another 40 miles south of us (Sonoma is north), so he had to leave work by about 1:00. His job can be very stressful and things can blow up at any given moment, so he told me he'd do his best. I implored him, "Your best is not good enough. I need you to promise. There are very few things that I would say that about, and this is one of them. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, and you have to promise me that you'll be home by 2:00." He understood and said that he would make it work. 

I've mentioned before that I take a pretty good deal of ribbing from my friends about how much I love Josh Groban. None of my friends are big fans and I guess I'm an easy target. First because I am very happy and proud to tell anyone about him and his music. I am always jokingly telling my friends that Josh Groban would love to hang out with us. I have a really fun group of friends that comes over on Friday nights when possible and we always just have a great time sitting out back, listening to music and laughing, and when the husbands give me a hard time about how much I like Josh Groban, I always fire back with, "He's way cooler than any of you know! He'd totally hang out out here with us and have us laughing just as much as we'd have him laughing!" 

But I'm also often mentioning his funny tweets and his little roles on tv shows or in movies. It's gotten to where anytime he has an appearance, at least 2-3 people will post on my Facebook wall letting me know, "Hey, Josh Groban is going to be on Jimmy Kimmel tonight." And you know what? It makes me feel good that although maybe he's not their particular cup of tea, they're still looking out for me. So I posted several funny status updates in the days leading up to the event. 

One of them said, "One week from today, I get to meet Josh Groban! I have 7 days to figure out how to look 20 pounds lighter and 10 years younger!" 

And then another, "My husband is officially trying to kill me before I get to meet Josh Groban. Just now, I was lying in bed reading and relaxing, and he came walking in the bedroom carrying a paper plate. I looked up, thinking maybe he was bringing me a Minion cupcake, but no. Instead it was a paper plate holding 2 huge (dead) black widows. What makes him think I need to see them so badly that he has to bring them to me in bed?!? Seriously!" 

My friends all got a kick out of my posts and seemed to share in my excitement. 

So the big day arrived and Eric made it home in time, as promised, and off we went. Our goal was to just get up there in plenty of time to find a place to stop for maybe a drink or an appetizer. We drove to the location of Weill Hall, and then backtracked over to where we'd seen some chain restaurants. We were trying to choose where to go, so I said, "It's national tequila day - let's go to that El Torito over there." Eric said that sounded fine. So we went into the bar, which was empty at that time of day and we each ordered a cocktail. I was so nervous that I hadn't eaten anything all day and I was really hungry, but I didn't want to eat anything that would make me smell like Mexican food either. The bartender set some chips and salsa in front of us, but I didn't touch them. I said to Eric, "I don't want to walk up to Josh Groban and be all, 'Hhhhhiiiiiiii!' and hit him in the face with the smell of onions!" I perused the appetizer menu for something that wouldn't have onions and settled on 4 small taquitos. They had some onions on top of them, but none inside. I ate one and decided that would have to suffice. Eric warned me, "Be careful, there's an onion on that one." Then he muttered to himself, "I can't believe I'm helping you not smell like onions before you go meet Josh Groban!" I laughed and said, "Well, I appreciate it, and I'm sure he will too." Eric also takes a lot of good natured ribbing for my love of Josh Groban. We really like to laugh and have a good time with our friends, but every once in a while someone will make a joke and I'll see a weird look cross Eric's face, and I'll know they've gone too far. But he's always a good sport, and I try to respect that fact that he not only tolerates my obsession, he even supports it by coming with me to the shows and paying for crazy expensive tickets. He's a good man, my husband.

As we sat at the bar I updated my Facebook status with, "Here goes nothin. I'm about to die, I'm so excited!" Within minutes I had close to 50 "likes" and many, many comments. I loved the fact that my friends were so excited on my behalf, even if they aren't Josh Groban fans. 

We finished our drinks and decided to head over to the Music Center. (I am not a big drinker, but I wanted something to kind of take the edge off my nerves without getting tipsy, so one drink was just the thing - although it didn't taste like the bartender put any vodka in my vodka-cranberry.) We arrived at the venue and I pulled out my MasterCard provided parking pass. I slipped it on the dash and we got out of the car. As we walked through the parking lot, Eric said, "They're doing a sound check. Hear Josh's voice?" I said, "Oh my gosh, that is him!"   All at once it dawned on Eric, "Wait, that's really him live right now, isn't it? They're not just testing the sound system with a recording?" I said, "Nope! That's him. Live. Right now!" (He was singing, "Vincent.") For some reason, it was really cool to be able to hear that - we were there so early that we got to hear something that almost everyone else at the show wouldn't hear. And even from the parking lot, the sound was amazing. Even after the show was over, Eric still kept talking about how cool it was to be able to hear that sound check.

We walked up to the box office, which was still closed. We were standing with a group of maybe 10-20 other people. Some were just waiting for the venue to open, and others were waiting for the meet and greet. I had told the people on the message boards that I have very light hair and am kind of easy to spot because of it, and to please say hi if they saw me, and within minutes I heard someone say, "Mickie?" I turned around and said, "Yes, hi!" She introduced herself as Kim. She had also won a meet and greet. She was really friendly and I'm grateful to her for being so kind because I was so nervous. It quickly became apparent that the MasterCard meet and greet was going to be separate from ours. Which meant that Eric and I were going to have to split up. We stood out in the hot sun for another thirty minutes or so before they finally split us into two groups. Eric had been planning to try to get the poster from the LACHSA event signed, but he was told he couldn't bring it in with him. He told me to get it signed but I just felt weird about it. I don't know why - I can't really explain. I guess it just goes back to that thing where I just want to seem like a normal person and not some crazed fan. No offense at all to people who love getting autographs. My husband is one of them. He's a big San Jose Sharks fan and he has more autographed hockey memorabilia than anyone I know. Anyway, I promised I'd get the poster signed, and I gave him a kiss and we went our separate ways. 

I met a nice lady named Dora and a few other self-proclaimed "Grobanites." Everyone was very nice. Josh's security guy, Darren, came out to gather us together so he could take us back into the concert hall. Once inside, he had us line up in a single file line. (There were about ten of us.) He told us that we could approach Josh, we could shake his hand, and talk to him, but he asked us not to hug or kiss him. He was very nice about it and said that it was mostly because of germs - people are always sick, and with touring, Josh can't afford to get sick right now. (I'm sure it was for more than just that, but that's the polite reason to give, and anyway I don't blame him one bit. I wouldn't want a bunch of strangers grabbing my face and kissing me either!) We were led into what looked like a conference room of some sort with bottles of wine lining the wall on the far end of the room. (This is Sonoma after all!) As we stood in line the director of the music center came in to help with everything and he was telling us about how happy they were to have Josh there. This music center is brand new and said be one of the most acoustically superb concert venues in the world. (Within the top five, for sure.) He told us that the Grobans are actually friends of the Weills (after whom the hall is named) and that when they were getting ready to open the venue for the first time, Josh came to the building around midnight one night when he was in town to check the acoustics for them.  Interesting little tidbit.

I was toward the back of the line as we stood there waiting for another minute or two, when the side door to the room quietly opened and Josh walked in. He greeted everyone with a big smile and went to stand on his little spot on the floor. I watched his gracious interaction with each and every person. He has to be one of the most humble and down to earth people in the world. And to be honest, I don't think my friends quite understand the magnitude of his stardom. They'll say to me, "You go to so many concerts and always sit near the front. Don't you think he will recognize you by now?" What I think they don't realize is that there are people who literally do follow him from place to place, even flying all the way across the world to trail him when he's touring. I'm just one among thousands. There's no way he would recognize me just from seeing me at shows I've gone to. He fills arenas that hold many thousands of people night after night. I'm just a speck in the crowd. As I stood there watching him interact with his fans I just had a huge smile on my face. I just felt so happy to actually see him in person - just standing there looking so friendly in his casual clothes; skinny jeans, a silly green t-shirt with a pencil sword on it, a sweater and his glasses. He spent time chatting with each fan as they had their turn. He signed autographs and smiled for photos. I watched Darren take the pictures and as each person posed and said, "Cheese!" Darren snapped just one shot. So I knew I had to make mine good - no closed eyes for me! 

As I made my way to the front of the line I really relaxed and just enjoyed the moment. When the lady in front of me was going (Kim), she asked Darren if he could make sure that she got a decent photo because the last time the camera didn't work and she didn't end up with a decent shot. I looked over his shoulder and saw the image as he clicked. I looked at her and nodded at the same time as Darren and said, "It's a good one!" Darren turned to me and asked if I wanted him to hold my purse. I shook my head, "No, I'm good, but thanks!" He said okay and I started to walk up but someone else had forgotten to get an autograph and had run back up to him so I waited. As I stood there I realized that my purse was just going to get in the way, so I said to Darren, " you mind holding it?" He jokingly made an exasperated sound and rolled his eyes as he reached for it. "Make my job harder than it already is, why dont'cha!?" I laughed and said, "Didn't you know that's what we woman aim to do?" He laughed as I walked up.....

Finally, my turn! I walked up to Josh and just stopped and looked at him with a huge grin on my face. Smiling as big as I ever have, I said brightly, "Hi!" He returned my hi with a happy one of the same. Then I said, "I'm so excited!" He continued to smile and said, "Good! So am I!" I said, "I brought you something!" Then I handed him the t-shirt. I said, "I'm not sure if you remember, but I tweeted this to you a couple months retweeted it so I think you liked it. It's the Star Wars spork shirt." He nodded and said, "I do remember this! This is so cool!" I said, "Good, then I'm glad I brought it!" He said, "Oh, this is for me? Really? I can keep it?" I said, "Yes! It's for you!" He thanked me and told me that he really liked it. Maybe he's just a good faker, but he really did seem genuine about it. (Maybe sometime he'll tweet a picture of himself wearing it.) After that matter was settled, I started to settle in for a picture, but he noticed the rolled up poster I had in my hand. He gestured at it, "Did you want me to sign that?" I said, "Oh yeah, sorry. I forgot." I unrolled just the bottom of it and said, "My husband wanted you to sign this. You can sign it anywhere." He noticed that it was from the LACHSA event and he asked if I went to that show. I said yes and that we had really enjoyed it. He knew that in order to get that poster we had to have bought those insanely expensive tickets. He said, "Thank you so much for supporting this cause. It really means a lot to me and I appreciate your support so, so much." I smiled (again) and said, "You're so welcome." After he signed the poster it was time for our photo. He put his arm around me and I put mine around him and we both smiled for the camera (my phone). I thanked him again and then reached out to take my phone and purse from Darren. As I started to walk out of the room, Josh called after me, "Hey, that's a cool case......your iPhone case. It's really cool!" I nodded and said, "Oh thanks!" as I continued to make my way out of the room. (It's a black rubber case with a white plastic skull on it.)

As soon as I got into the hallway I looked at my phone. The picture was decent - of course Josh looked adorable. My face looked fat, as it always does in pictures (because it is!), but otherwise it wasn't too bad. I quickly looked for my new friend Kim to go compare experiences. She was standing outside. We gushed and exchanged our little tales and then looked at our pictures. I had tried to subtly snap a pic of Kim while she was standing up there just in case she had camera problems again, but I wasn't sure if I'd managed to get one in all my excitement. I swiped my finger to the right to see what else I had on there and was oh-so-pleasantly surprised to see more pictures of my meeting with Josh! Darren took five pictures instead of one! What a guy! I wish I could see him again to thank him! I did manage to snap one just as the first girl was having her turn. The big hulking man is Darren, obviously. I actually ran into this nice girl (Mimi) after the show and told her that I had a photo of her and Josh. I got her phone number and texted it to her this morning.
Here are a couple of the pictures Darren got for me when it was my turn.

Here we are when I first showed him the t-shirt. 

 This is when he was signing the LACHSA poster and we were talking about the event.

 And last, but definitely not least, my favorite!

As I stood there chatting with Kim and waiting for Eric, I was also texting back and forth with him. He was joking with me and saying that he feels so dirty knowing that he's going after me. He was in a holding cell with the MasterCard people. His experience was very different. It was clearly a marketing tool for MasterCard. There was a large step and repeat with the MasterCard logo and they were literally ushered up to Josh, a picture was snapped and they were sent on their way. Eric said that as Josh entered the room full of (about 20-30 people) he said to them, "Don't worry, this isn't what I'll wear to the show - I'll clean up before that." (I thought he looked perfectly cute just how he was.) I texted Eric to tell Josh that his wife had just been in the other meet and greet and that she was the one who had given him the t-shirt. So he did. He said that he walked up and shook his hand. As he stood there he told him about the shirt and Josh said, "Hey man, thanks for being such a good sport." Then, just as Eric started to walk away Josh called after him and said, "Hey!" Eric turned around and Josh smiled and said, "May the spork be with you." Eric finally came out and we all stood there chatting and just reliving the moment. Of course I was posting on Facebook and also texting the picture to my closest friends as well.  Eric helped Kim upload her photo to Facebook and then we kind of stood there just looking at each other and smiling. We still had an hour until the show started and plenty of time to kill. I decided to go for one more drink  - it was time to celebrate! Even if the show had been canceled at that point, I'd just met Josh Freaking Groban! Eric offered to go over to the bar and get each of us a celebratory drink. He came back and the three of us sat on a bench under some trees just relaxing and enjoying the moment. The air had cooled down and it was turning into a beautiful evening.  

Let me talk about this venue for a minute. Weill Hall is just gorgeous. It's nestled against the foothills in Sonoma County and surrounded by rolling hills and farmland. The hall is brand new and just beautiful. The inside holds 1400 seats. There is a main orchestra (floor) section, and then seats along the side upper section and three balconies. But the really cool feature is that the entire back wall of the place slides open and exposes a rolling green lawn where people can picnic. They're able to sit and enjoy the concert in the great outdoors while watching the performer on a huge mounted screen. And after having heard how Josh sounded from the parking lot earlier, we knew that the sound even out there had to be awesome. 

As we sipped our drinks, we watched people entering the venue with their camping chairs and picnic blankets.  I wandered over to the merchandise table and decided to buy a t-shirt. Then shortly after that the rest of the Grobies walked up to say hello. They were so welcoming and friendly. I introduced myself and Eric and they seemed impressed that he was there with me, putting up with the whole thing. Eric is always really friendly, but he was extra-loud, almost giddy. I kept looking at him kind of funny as he joked with the ladies, and I was thinking to myself, "Was that drink of his too strong?" He was being his normal funny self, but the problem was that these were women I'd just met - I didn't know if they would think it was funny when he was saying, "Oh yeah, she just bought a t-shirt with his face on it. Now I've got another picture of Josh Groban that I get to stare at when I'm in bed with her." While that is funny (I sleep in the shirts), I'm not sure it's something you broadcast to a group of women you've just met. I kind of cringed and continued to smile and chat. He said something else that was kind of weird and I thought, "What in the world?" I decided it was time to go to the car and drop off the tshirt and poster. We said goodbye to my new friends and started walking out. As we walked, I said to Eric, "Was your drink a double?" He said, "Well, the bartender made me wait a long time because some other people walked up and butted in front of me in line, so she gave us all a nice healthy pour." I was like, "Well, you're done. I don't think you need anything else. And we should probably eat something." He insisted, "I'm fine!" I just rolled my eyes and walked to the car with him. And he did seem perfectly fine - it was just a little out of character for him to joke so personally with people he'd never met. I worried that I'd scarred the poor Grobanites forever. 

We settled our stuff in the car and went back in to hit the restrooms and find our seats. This venue also enforces a strict "no photos or videos" rule so we snapped a few pictures before the show started and then Eric tried to take some video during the show. He had the camera pressed up against his chest so the view finder wouldn't glow, so the video footage is terrible, but the audio is nice to hear. Here is one we took of the inside of the building - you can see the bright light in the back where the room opens onto the lawn.

Here's a quick "selfie" we snapped right before the show started.

Finally it was 7:30 and time to get started. Josh and his band came out and they started with the first single off his newest album, a song called, "Brave." I couldn't stop smiling. The band looked like they were having so much fun and the acoustics were like nothing I've ever heard before. I kept looking at Eric and shaking my head, like I was telling him how unbelievable they sounded. Josh had tweeted that he had a bad cold last week, so I was a little worried, but I had nothing to be worried about - his voice was perfection. Everything was perfection. Even off to my left, I just kept hearing Eric repeating, "Wow." Then a minute later, again, "Wow!" I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time. Even later in the car, when I told Eric that I'd smiled the whole time, he said, "I did too! My cheeks hurt from smiling so much!" 

Josh always likes to try to involve the audience so he posts on Facebook and Twitter, telling people to send in their questions with their seat info and names, and he will periodically stop to chat with the crowd. What so many people don't realize about him is just how witty and funny he is. The first couple of questions were funny and his answers and reactions were great, as usual. I love looking around the room and seeing the looks of surprise on people's faces as they realize just how funny he is and how much they are laughing at his shows. The third question came from a girl a few rows behind us. He looked at the paper in his hand and called out her name, "Ginny, in Row......" She stood up and started screaming. He had a spotlight shining in his eyes, so he was squinting to try to see her. She was screaming, "Oh my God, oh my God!" And he laughed and kind of imitated her high-pitched voice. Then she said (but I don't think he heard), "I've got to come hug you!!" And she started making her way very quickly to the aisle. All at once he saw this and said, "Hey.....hey hey, hey! Now you stay right there." He kind of laughed and gestured to the distance between them. "This..." he said as he swept his hand back and forth, "this is just fine right here. You...go ahead and stay right there, and I'll stay right here....this is good." Then he laughed and said, "This isn't the Price is Right!" I'm sure any time someone starts to rush at the stage like that, it's gotta be a scary feeling. Josh is so open to the interaction with his fans though, that he really puts up with a lot. But this girl was obviously too much. (Plus there were no stairs on to the stage - he usually has stairs set up so he can come out into the crowd and move around.) She yelled out, "But I have a tattoo of you on my ankle!" His eyebrows raised and he got a funny look on his face and repeated what she said so everyone else could hear. "You have a tattoo of me on your ankle?" She screamed, "Yes!!"  He held the paper with the texted questions up in front of his face and made a show of tearing it up. Everyone was rolling. He took the torn up paper to a little table that holds his water, and then walked back closer to her. "Is this......did this something I signed once, and then you had it tattooed, or....?" She yelled, "It's your JG logo!" He repeated, "Oh! It's my JG logo. I see. Okay, Ginny, well I tell you what, I think you need an entire ankle chain tattoo with my name on it. Let's finish that up later....I'll just sign all the way around and then you can go get that tattoo finished up. How's that sound?" She was screaming in joy, and with the possible stage crashing crisis averted, he went back to some music. 

Here are a few more photos - keep in mind that Eric had to very discreetly try to grab a few, so the quality isn't the best. I let that be his job because I wanted to just enjoy every second of the music, and I am thankful that he did at least try to get a few. 

He performed two encores and ended the night with, "Smile" which is always a crowd pleaser. 

As we made our way to the car I checked Facebook - the photo of me and Josh had something like 115 likes and so many comments. That really warmed my heart too - it's like my friends were at home silently cheering me on! I posted this status update this morning. 

 Oh! And just a funny little PS - Remember how I kept scratching my head at how my husband got a little silly just after the meet and greet? Well about halfway through the show, I leaned over and whispered to him, "Hey." He looked at me with his eyebrows raised. "Didn't you get free champagne during your meet and greet?" I asked. He sheepishly nodded. I said, "I know you - you were probably out of your element back there with a bunch of women you didn't know, and you probably sucked down three glasses while you stood there!" He had the grace to look the tiniest bit embarrassed as he nodded his head. "How many did you have?" I asked. He just continued to nod. "Three?" I asked. He grinned and said, "Yes." I punched him in the arm and went back to enjoying the show. In the big picture, who cares? We both had a great time!

All in all it really was one of the best experiences of my entire life. And the fact that I got to share this experience with my husband, who supports and loves me not only in spite of my passion for Josh's music, but because of it, well....I wouldn't wanted to have shared it with anyone else in the world. I love you, Eric. Thank you for always being there for me and supporting me. 


I'm attaching some of the video we took, but I want to warn you that the quality of most of it is horrible. Eric had to hold the camera up against his chest to prevent people from seeing what he was doing. But for those interested, it gives you a glimpse into the show. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your story and videos. I live locally and was in the balcony and really enjoyed the show as well. The gal with the JG tattoo, I found out from a co-worker, was her daughter's roommate, and she was so excited. Glad you enjoyed the venue, isn't it absolutely gorgeous! How wonderful that you were able to share it with your husband....who, from the pictures and your story, I think you've converted to a fan! No shame in that!

  2. That was really cute about the tattoo. I understand her excitement! And that venue is unbelievable. How lucky to live near there (not that I'm that far away in Danville, but still....)! And yes, although his friends tease him, he really does like Josh Groban, too. He'll be with me in San Jose in October, at the very least. Thanks for reading!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story, Mickie! The t-shirt is hilarious :)

  4. Thanks for reading, Lily! :-)

  5. I enjoyed reading your story; what a wonderful experience!!! So happy for both you and your husband :)


  6. Mickie, I looooved reading your detailed report about that concert!!! :) Yeahhhh, San Jose was my first (of many more) Josh concert, back in 2007, and also the first time I got to meet him after the show... was sooo nervous.. actually there were lots of "firsts" that time.. :) first travel to the States, first time getting to meet looots of my 'internet' friends, first time seeing Josh & talking to him... woooow a trip I'll remember for all my life!!
    Thanks so much for sharing your lovely experience as well the gret videos!!
    ((hugs from Brazil))

  7. Mickie, I read through this a second time, and I have to say, I had to laugh again at Eric and his comment about seeing Josh's face in bed. Too funny!!

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  9. This was such a fun read. Thank you for sharing. Your hubby is adorbs and such a good sport. I'm glad Josh showed him a little extra love. Great t-shirt! I'm sure Josh's appreciation was real. I'm so happy for you.

  10. Thanks for reading, Diana! :-)