Opinion: Everyone should get the chance to meet their favorite bands

Megan Courtney with the band All Time Low in Peoria, Illinois, on Saturday, April 7.
Photo by Ricky Fernandez

MEGAN COURTNEY | A&E Editor

It’s no secret that All Time Low is my favorite band. I’ve been a huge fan ever since I discovered “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” and listened to its 2011 album, “Dirty Work,” all the way through.

Ever since discovering them, I have collected (almost) all of its CDs, have a few of them on vinyl, have collected countless merchandise items ranging from wallets to t-shirts, traveled twice to see the band and most importantly, met the band members three times, with the most recent being this past Saturday.

Long story short, if you’re a member of the band’s fan club, The Hustler Club, you have the opportunity to fill out a “meet & greet” form if you buy your tickets through the club’s presale, and if you are selected, you get to meet them for free at no additional charge. If you don’t win, you have the chance to buy a meet & greet package for $60 at a later date and can even buy for your friends who aren’t members.

Meeting the band has been, to me at least, the coolest thing that I’ve done up to this point.

When you’re waiting in line to meet them and they’re standing less than 50 feet from you, you can’t help but think, “Oh…they’re actually real. They’re real, living human beings.”

I’ve looked up to this band for years now. Their music has helped me through more personal problems than I’d like to admit. Getting to thank them in person and hearing them tell you that they’re proud of you makes you feel like you’re on cloud nine and like nothing else matters.

The first time I met them in 2015, my friend won a radio contest, so all you really had the chance for was a quick “hi” and a picture, but it was still surreal having a picture with my favorite band.

The summer of 2017 was the second time I met them and it was a little more personal. That spring, I was in a video production class and our final project was to make a documentary over anything we wanted and I chose to do it over the band and how they reconnected me with my best friend.

I put the documentary on a flash drive and attached it to the bottom of a letter that I had written. Alex Gaskarth, the lead singer of All Time Low, later direct messaged me on Instagram and said that it was one of the coolest things that he had ever seen.

I met them again last weekend and had the chance to talk to them for a minute. They asked me what my major was after I mentioned that they played not too far from Lindenwood in December at the Family Arena.

I still remember Alex’s exact words.

“Journalism’s a dope major. You’re gonna go far, kid.”

It made me incredibly happy and inspired me so much knowing that one of the people I look up to most in this world thinks my field is worth something.

My point is that even if you don’t get that long to talk to your favorite band at their meet & greet, what you say and what they say can impact you.

Everyone has a hero — I happen to have four.

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