Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report

October 16, 2002

Monta Vista HS, Cupertino, CA

In the morning, Angela picked me up and we drove to Ontario International Airport. We parked for the first time in the Economy Lot and took the shuttle to the terminal. Luckily we had told the driver which airline we were taking, because he saw us getting up to exit at the first stop, and told us that we were supposed to wait for the next one. Very nice of him, because it would have been a long walk to the next terminal. When we went through the security checkpoint, I waited awhile after I was done, because Angela was being searched. It turns out that she had her keys in her pocket the whole time, which was making the metal detector beep...that, and her earrings. We had plenty of time to wait, so we ate breakfast and shopped a little bit.

Our flight went well, and Angela looked out the window during our descent and noticed that there was water on the left side of us, and land on the right. She asked if we were going to land on the water. I advised her that yes, we would, because this was the Jesus Flight.

After our long walk to baggage claim, we tried to board the rental car shuttle, but were immediately kicked off because we weren't Gold Club members. Instead, we were told to walk across the street for our reservation, where they informed us that they were out of the mid-size cars, and we had a choice between a mini-van and a compact car. In my head, I went into "Seinfeld" mode, and thought, "You know how to take a reservation, you just don't know how to hold a reservation. Anyone can just take a reservation!" We chose the compact car and received a gift certificate for the inconvenience. Neither one of us had ever driven a min-van, so that would have been dangerous. We were instructed to go back and take the shuttle from which we had been kicked off before, and rode to a place quite a distance away to pick up what Angela labeled a "Ghetto Car." We were not pleased that the car only had a CD player, because Angela had a mini-disc player with a cassette tape adapter and had worked hard to record a ton of stuff for our road trip.

We drove down to our hotel and, upon check-in, we were surprised to learn that we already had a message waiting from MJ! We made our plans with MJ and then Angela and I cruised around for necessities and food before preparing for the concert.

We arrived early at the venue because MJ & Ang remembered a long line at the last concert there, and I still needed to pick up the tickets. We ended up being the first ones there because the guys were scheduled for a Q&A session with the students. Kev, El & Jeff arrived for the Q&A, and Ross and Ang attended while MJ and I stayed in line. We tried to figure out why the place was spelled "MontA Vista" instead of "MontE Vista." Scott and George then arrived and I introduced myself to George. Then Scott also introduced us to each other, also noting that he'd already met MJ. MJ gave Scott a birthday cake, asking that he return the knife after he used it, since it was a wedding gift. Ross came back and took MJ's place in line so she could attend the Q&A.

After the Q&A, all the students got in line. Mind you, I was already annoyed by the whole ticket situation anyway. There was a lot of miscommunication between the fan club and the event organizer, so the event organizer didn't have preferred seats for the fan club members, and there was a whole mess involved before I even arrived, which was quite frustrating. I wondered if we would even actually have seats at all. Thank goodness, they had tickets for me. However, it turns out that the choir actually was able to go in first and get seats. I understand that they are students, and the concert was a fund raiser for them, but did they have to actually save a whole bunch of seats for their friends? I know they'd like to sit with their friends, but we were told that seating would be first-come, first-serve, and were not advised that the students would get first dibs. In fact, we (in the fan club) were supposed to get the preferred seats, but since there was miscommunication, this did not happen. Suffice it to say that I was highly irritated. If they don't want our patronage, don't sell tickets to their venue. See how much $ they'll raise that way. OK, I'm being harsh, but I stood out there for a long time. It was cold.

OK, enough ranting, because everything else was just fine. Great concert, got to hear George for the very first time, and he is amazing! During the introductions, George showed his bass-ness by singing the Chili's Baby Back Ribs song "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back..." Very cool. Kevin sang "Trailer Park girls go 'round the outside," presumably because he's working on some country stuff. In fact, he was wearing an, um, interesting kind of prairie print shirt, which Angela had told me about before, so we laughed and thought of Liz, who has a certain opinion about the shirt. I kept thinking that Kevin needs to cut his hair, though. Scott even introduced Kevin as their own "American Idol," referring to Justin's hair from that show.

I noticed that Scott changed his scat quite significantly for "Let's Get Away," which is nice! He's always been very versatile that way. During "Smile In My Heart," Angela figured that they couldn't figure out how to end the song, because they kept singing "Never Dies." I figured that maybe it was a whole play on the phrase.

Elliott introduced himself as XXX, cute. He announced that his wife is pregnant--yay! At the end of "Long Cool Woman," Scott looked over at the 2 of us, and we gave him a nice reaction of smiles and applause. During "Pretty Woman," I don't know why, but the guys sang "in San Francisco." Did they forget where they were, or what happened there?

During "People Change," some people behind us and around us were singing, which annoyed us, because, um...I'm not here to hear Y'ALL, and I didn't think this was a sing-along! The guys' pitch was a little off during this one, probably because they're so attuned to blending with what they hear, and the audience was not a good part of that blend.

Scott talked about Barry, saying that he was the "most testosteroneal man alive," and then raved about George, with whom they clicked immediately, and there was no going back. Not surprising, if anyone's heard George. Granted, he's not Bear, but nobody is. It's just a different sound now, still very enjoyable.

I had tears in my eyes as I listened to "Up On The Roof/Wonderful World." My brother and sister-in-law used this (from the "In Concert" CD) as their First Dance song at their wedding this past June, and I remembered all the happiness. That song will just never be the same for me. Neither will "Diamonds." That was a surprise from Ryan to Veronica, and I squealed with delight as they sang the lyrics and danced with each other. Sigh. Cute.

OK, back to the concert. During the "Star-Spangled Banner," Angela and I stood up in reverence of the song, and what were the people in back of us doing? TALKING!!!! What the heck? First of all, Rockapella is singing. SHUT UP. Second of all, it is our National Anthem, have some respect, or get out of the country. AUGH!!!! The world being like it is today, and our youth having this kind of attitude...it's no wonder that our faith in the future is not bright.

The guys apparently remembered where they were eventually, and the "Keep On Smilin'" word of the day was "Cupertino."

Afterward, we sat back & watched much of the meet and greet, since the guys were on stage at tables, and we could watch from the audience. During a lull, MJ shouted, "Hey, Scott! Where's my knife?!" He said that they hadn't eaten the cake yet, but would do so after the meet and greet. I had a headache, and Ross (or was it Phil? I don't know, I had a headache) nicely asked the event organizer for some aspirin. Angela figured that he'd be the best bet, since he's a high school teacher, and she used to always have some when she taught teenagers. Go figure. ;)

We went up to the tables when the line died down a little bit. Ang and I asked Kevin if he could wear his concert shirt to the concert in Santa Barbara, advising that it's Liz's favorite. Liz, don't kill us! George commented on how he saw us grooving with him (during "Summertime Blues," especially), and we told him that we love to groove with him. Nice of him to remember! He's really cool to talk to, a great addition to the group.

Next was Jeff. We said hi, and as I was pushing my CD along for him to sign, he took my hand and said, "Are you going to be following us this week?" OK! If you hold my hand! Actually, I said, "Yes--but not in a scary way or anything!" He said, "You don't scare us." Well, at least he doesn't think that I'm one of the crazy fans--Yay! Anyway, as I swooned, he smiled, and then I went to talk to Elliott. We talked about Debbie and the baby on the way, as I congratulated him.

I told Scott that I had a friend with a request: since he's a big baseball fan, could he possibly announce the scores of the World Series during the concert in Santa Barbara? Since it was an All-California game, it was natural that we'd be interested. I apologized that one of the teams wasn't his favorite one, but he was glad that the 2 teams were playing. He said that he would try.

Afterward, MJ, Ross and Angela went to retrieve MJ's knife, and I talked to Donna. When we finished talking, we noticed that everyone had cleared out. I asked her if she would look for my friends with me because "I watch too much 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' and high schools at night kinda freak me out." Donna was really tired, though, and said that she needed to get back to the hotel before she fell asleep. So, there I was, going on stage, going backstage, trying to find everyone. I saw George, but he was outside on the phone, and there was a fence and some grass between us, and I didn't know how to get where he was standing. I went outside to the front and wandered a little bit, saying to myself, "Great. I can't find my friends and it's dark." A student heard me and said, "Were they with Rockapella?" I said that I thought so, and she pointed me toward a room, advising that I should just go in. OK, I thought, and there, to my surprise, was Rockapella eating dinner, and my friends helping Scott slice the cake!

Scott asked me if I would like a piece of cake. I looked at my friends for approval, and they nodded at me. Actually, I think Angela was thinking, "If you don't take the cake, I'll kill you," so I took the cake. I thought we were taking it to go, but Scott invited us to sit down and eat. OK! So we sat at an empty table, and what did Scott do? He grabbed a chair from another table and sat with us! He SO did not have to do that! Scott asked me, "So, Sherry, what's new?" OK, take me by surprise, say my name, and be interested in my life, why don't you? SWOON! So, there I sat, like a deer in headlights. Enough seconds passed, and Scott said, "Time's up!" So we talked about my church job and singing in general. He was a voice major in college, in case y'all didn't know. George and Kevin were giggling at the next table, and our insecure group figured that they were making fun of us, but who cared? We were having an impromptu eat and greet! Scott & MJ discussed his kids. Apparently, Natalie is already quite the stage hound, so we'll be seeing her in her own shows one day! Scott said that Natalie is very much like him, loving the limelight. Jesse is more like Lisa, the more subdued one, and is very sweet. He seemed like it when I met him for those few moments at convention. We thanked Scott for sharing his cake, and got up to leave.

On our way out, Angela noticed that the smiley face on Jeff's shirt changed whenever he moved. He said that people see him and stare at his shirt, and he'll know what they're thinking. Part of his plan toward world domination, this shirt of his, apparently. Jeff was being really good and staying on his diet, not eating cake. Of course, this will all go down the drain when we bring him Pellapusher goodies. ;)

The 4 of us went to Spoons for some dinner, and watched a little slideshow of Ross' pics from the concert. I was just amazed that this was the same Spoons where I had dinner with my brother back when he lived in the area. Cool!

Angela and I went back to the hotel, in disbelief over our good fortune, and Scott's kindness toward us. Scott, you're the greatest. Thanks, and Happy Birthday!

--Sherry

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