Like too much oxygen
This morning I couldn’t sleep.
My nightlight was on and I was perspiring from having a woolen blanket over me. A bit silly – considering it’s in the middle of summer, but it was rather chilly before I jumped into bed. At 3:00am.
So it was 4:30am – or thereabouts, I couldn’t really tell because my eyelids were droopy – and I was well aware that I had not slept very much at all. I rolled over, ignoring the thick woollen blanket, and inhaled the scent of my pillow. There was not a trace of the alcohol that I’d accidentally dragged the ends of my hair through as I was leaning on the bar earlier that night.
I had remembered leaning on a bar, and I distinctly remember not drinking a drop of alcohol, unless sniffing the sticky ends of my hair in disgust got me slightly intoxicated. I just wanted water. I was leaning against the bar impatiently, dehydrated and out of breath. I’d gone to the toilet numerous times throughout the night as I’d drunk so much water, but now, as I lay in bed, cheek still on the pillow… I thought that perhaps I woke up because of the jug of water I had chugged down as soon as I got home.
After visiting the toilet, I crawled back into bed, jumping over the contents of my bag that were scattered across the floor. Sunglasses, wallet, keys, notebook, jewellery I’d worn that night, camera bag… and I pulled the covers over me as I lay in the same position I had crawled out of bed in.
As I looked out of the corner of my eye at the analog clock on my dresser, something inside me ticked and I immediately flipped over on my back. On my bedroom wall across from me, I saw the Jebediah poster that had been there for a short while.
Six hours earlier…
Dylan and I were chatting over the music that came out of the loudspeakers, as he drank from a glass of Coca Cola. I had opted for iced water, so as to save the water in the bottle of water I had brought. I had a dry mouth and I was thirsty from moving around. But we had to admit it – the Seabellies sucked. They had started late, which was unprofessional of them, and the mixing was bad, so much so that the drums drowned out the vocals. You could tell, though, that they had great music (heck, even a trumpet player!), but seemed like a bunch of great vocalists still attempting to get the hang of this idea of being in a band, and the hang of playing live. Six members in a band, four of which are guitars – rather unusual, rather crowded. They sounded better on the record.
After what seemed like twenty long minutes, I saw Kevin Mitchell, Vanessa Thornton, Chris Daymond and Brett Mitchell on stage as Jebediah, and they burst into one of their 2011 hits, Control. I could barely believe that I was right up front singing along to their music and hearing this song live. I looked at each and every single one of the band members. Ness playing her bass, low-slung, with all the enthusiasm in the world. Bopping around and turning around on stage as if she was having the time of her life. Kev was wearing what appeared to be the same jeans he wore to every other gig, his hair still ridiculously long and shaggy.
Brett, well he was just Brett. Or Brett on drums, take your pick. And then… I realised how much cuter Chris Daymond is in person.
Singing along to every song, it was no surprise I remembered all the words – their songs sounded like their recordings… but better. I waited for what seemed like forever before they played She’s Like a Comet and some of their oldest hits came towards the end, not before Kev announced that it was Chris’s birthday. Not before several girls yelled out “Vanessa!” and she cutely responded with “That’s me!”, big grin on her face.
Certainly not before he went insane on stage playing guitar with his mouth, and leaning over into the audience at the side of the stage while some knackered chick licked his shoe and another reached for his groin. Crowd insanity aside, at one point, Jebediah also buggered up the beginning of a song and halted…
“Sorry, that was my fault,” said Kevin. “Brett always gets excited to play the new stuff.”
I lost track of time completely, every now and then taking a photo when the lighting and lasers weren’t too blinding. The fog was definitely more tolerable than the lights. I knew that after they played a handful of their earliest hits from the 90s, I wouldn’t be hearing those rare favourites like Worlds Away and La Di Da Da – but I was certainly happy to hear Jerks of Attention and Leaving Home ending the night.
But I didn’t see it as an end.
Probably thoroughly desperate to meet them, I asked Dylan if he minded us waiting around. He didn’t, so after we were ushered out by the security guards, we just lingered around the bar and courtyard. Several other people seemed keen to meet the band, including some older people who obviously were into Jebediah in their teens back when Jebediah released their first album.
A lady said to me jokingly, “If I can’t see them again, you can’t either!” She had clearly given up, but I hadn’t.
I might have been the only idiot waiting around. And yes, Dylan and I missed a few buses. We were probably screwed getting home any time before 4:00am at that rate. And maybe Brett and Kev (he looked absolutely dead!) walked straight out to catch a cab, but I called Chris and I told them how amazing they were. The first thing he said to me was, “Oh thank you! Thank you for waiting for us.”
After a few fiddles wondering how to work my camera, Ness and Chris helped me take photos of me with them. They didn’t mind at all and I wished Chris a happy birthday (and of course felt inclined to mention how good his hair looked, hah). They asked what my name was and said it was nice to meet me. I told them to tell Kevin I said hi – sure that he’d remember me from when I met him two weeks ago. :P
Dylan and I caught a cab back to the train station and made our way home, munching on the Turkish bread four times the size of my face that I had bought for only $3 earlier that night, listening to pirate metal…
Now, I still can’t believe how amazing Jebediah were live. This morning, setting my Kosciuszko vinyl on my record player, my hand shook slightly as I set the needle just where I wanted it. I was almost scared to listen to their music again, knowing it would not equate to how incredible they sounded live.