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FEATURE: What It’s Really Like At A Meet And Greet

IMG_5258Last Spring Stages and Stereos headlined the Live Free Die Young Tour. I bought my meet and greet ticket as soon as I could, knowing it would be great to see the guys again. I should say at this point I have met and photographed the band a couple times so they know who I am, but I never actually got to hang out with them before a show. That changed with this meet and greet.

First off the show was being played in a barn in the most remote farm field of Maryland anyone could think of. It wasn’t even a venue, just a stage in someone’s tractor garage with some lights around it. I accidently got the wrong time for meet and greet and ended up getting to this place an hour early. Lucky for me, since it wasn’t really a venue, I just hung out with the band. Alex Reeds was practicing some licks on guitar; Ian Edge was talking to their tech about the line-up. Everyone was just sitting around and relaxing before the show.

I walked over to Steven Kopacz who was the tour manager and chatted with him for a short time while he set up the Smooth Sailing merch. He recognized me from the Go Radio meet and greets and seemed happy to see a familiar face. Daniel Lancaster was walking around the back of the barn just looking at the farm. He seemed stoked to see me as well. I remember him asking me where he was, and honestly I couldn’t tell him. All we knew, there was a band, a fan, and the middle of nowhere.

After catching up with the guys about the tour, one other lone person showed up for the meet and greet. We were the only ones who forked over the extra money to meet the band and receive merch. Steven came over and gave us our posters, and t-shirts, and wristbands, all for just $10 more than the regular ticket. It was a pretty sweet deal. Since there really was no green room or anything special about the venue, Stages just walked underneath this big tree next to the barn. We talked and mingled for a couple minutes, getting things signed before they performed a couple acoustic songs for us. It was such a crazy moment sitting in the grass with a band as they played to just me and this other girl. We didn’t feel like fans. We felt more like family just enjoying a lazy afternoon outside. After the songs were done the band just grabbed some chairs and blankets and sat with us. We talked about Steven’s clothing line, about music, the news, just anything. It didn’t feel like it was forced either, like at some other meet and greets. It was just a genuine moment, like talking with your friends at a park in the late summer night. It was a day I would never forget.

Check out a couple of pictures from the meet and greet below and look for their new album coming out next year.

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Owen Paterline

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