As the final notes faded out on our last song of the set, the crowd erupted into screams and applause inside Firefly's, the music club my band Cheshire Kat had just recently started playing at on a semi-regular basis.
Music was my world, my entire reason for existing. Growing up, I didn’t have the most amazing life, and no matter what was going on at the moment, as soon as my fingers touched a guitar, everything was alright.
“Thank you for coming out to see us! You were an amazing crowd! We’ll be here again next Saturday night debuting brand new music, don’t miss it!” I shouted out to the crowd before leaving the stage with the rest of the band, my three best friends, Luke, Wesley, and Perry.
“This was by far our best show, the crowd was insanely awesome!” Luke, Cheshire Kat’s drummer, exclaimed as soon as we made it backstage.
“I know! Oh my god, I’m on such a high right now!”
“You’re going to hate me, but I have to bolt, guys!” Perry, our keyboardist, announced and quickly disappeared.
“What was that about?” Luke questioned us, looking clearly confused.
“He has a date. That girl Sarah from the bar, I think he said?” I offered what little information I knew and shrugged.
“Excuse me, Phoenix, is it?” an unfamiliar male voice from behind me said, causing me to spin around to meet the owner of the mystery voice.
“Hi, my name is Zac,” he introduced himself, extending his hand to me.
“Hello, Zac,” I said, shaking his hand.
“I’m here in town for a show with my brothers. We have a band, Hanson, I don’t know if you’ve heard of us?”
“Hanson?” I repeated, trying to brush off the laughter that was begging to escape my lips. “Yeah, of course I have, I was a child of the nineties. Did you just want to introduce yourself, or…?”
“No, actually. We came here to check out some local talent, and to wind down before a show we’re doing tomorrow, and we saw you play. You’re extremely talented.”
“You’re welcome,” he said, a smile overtaking his face. “This may seem weird, but I was wondering if you might be interested in opening for us on the second half of our tour, starting in two weeks. The band we had lined up had to drop out last minute.”
“Are you serious?” Wesley, our base player, screamed from behind me, causing me to slightly jump. “Of course we’re interested!”
“If this is a joke, it’s not funny. Two weeks from now? That isn’t a lot of time.”
“I know it’s not, and no, it’s definitely not a joke. I’m absolutely serious. We all want you to open for us,” he said while reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a business card. “You guys think about it tonight. Here is my cell number. We’ll be at the The Moore theater for most of the day tomorrow before the show. Call me, and we can arrange a meeting to discuss all of the details.”
“Absolutely, we’ll give you a call tomorrow. Thanks, man, this is ridiculously cool!” Wesley said, shaking Zac’s hand.
“We’d be the lucky ones having such a talented opening act. Talk to you guys tomorrow,” he shot me a smile and walked off.
“Why are you so excited!?” I spun around to face Wesley as soon as Zac was out of sight, the back of my hand meeting his chest with intentional force. “Hanson!? You want to open for Mmmbop-freaking-HANSON!?” I shouted in disbelief.
“Phoenix, come on, it would be an amazing oppurtunity for CK! A chance to get the word out about the band somewhere other than just Seattle! Who cares that it’s Hanson? They have a huge fan base, a fan base that could easily love our stuff too!” Luke cut in.
“Just Seattle? Luke, we have a MySpace page!” I shot back at him, knowing full well that he wasn’t a fan of my sarcasm, and throwing my hands in the air for added dramatic effect.
“Shut up, Phee, sarcasm is not necessary!”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” I was suddenly curious as to how a self-proclaimed tough guy such as Luke would know about Hanson’s fan base size, when until tonight I was unaware they were even still around. “Wait, how do you know Hanson has a huge fan base?”
“Hello. My sister. Huge Hanson fan. They don’t do that cheesy bubble gum pop anymore, Phee, if that’s the reason why you aren’t going crazy with excitement over this amazing oppurtunity. I’ve actually listened to some of their newer stuff, and it’s actually pretty good.”
“That isn’t exactly it. Guys, come on, I’m not blind to what this could do for us, but how could I just drop everything to go on tour in two weeks? Gage would freak out!” I said, reminding my lovely bandmates while cringing on the inside at the thought of how my not-so-loving boyfriend would react to such news.
“Look, Phee, let’s just meet with Zac and his brothers tomorrow before we make any decisions. If it’s something we decide we should do, you know that we all have your back, we won’t let Gage do anything.”
“Fine.” I sighed, trying to give off the impression that I was giving in, when inside I was just as excited as they were at this possibility.