Cal Scruby

We drive by the venue & see a line. We had no expectations of what this show was going to be like. Our (more so mine) experiences have been opening shows or local Ohio shows, where Cal is from. His first headlining tour. HEADLINING.

This. Is. A. Big. Deal.

His first stop of tour: this show. Denver, CO. I can’t explain to you how exciting it was to be at a show outside of Ohio surrounded by other Cal fans (even though people still think his last name is pronounced SCRUB bee – it SCREW be, people).

It’s snowing…not ideal for waiting outside before the doors open. We get there early – my friend & I of course bought VIP, the only way to go to a show when you’ve been following him since 2012.

Eventually we are able to enter the venue & make our way over to the man himself. It had been a few years since I’d seen him, so I was nervvvvvvy. Why? Prob cause I’m a big Cal supporter, but a sucky fan (I sorry Calvin). We catch up, get our picture & then plop our butts on the speakers in the front row. This venue (Lost Lake Lounge) was so small & intimate, which is my favorite kind of venue. You can get an up close & personal show in this kind of place, it even had a disco ball in the middle of ceiling!

Let me start by telling you: there was NO OPENER. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good opener as it gives me the opportunity to see someone I may not have heard of or known otherwise. But, getting right to the nitty gritty & the person I came for: that is the icing on top.

Performing almost all of his legendary Unsigned album, the show starts with none other than: Shut Up. The beginning of the song inundated with a monologue of Cal talking about how people didn’t believe in him, how his old label was BS, & everything people try to tell him about making it in the music industry. Proud of you Cal – you do you, booboo.

Clip of Cal performing Shut Up

The entire show, Cal just spit fire, with everyone around us in the crowd spitting game right along with him. I cannot describe what a cool feeling it is to be at a show where EVERYONE (except me: bad fan, remember?) is rapping all the lyrics along with Cal. An artist who deserves everything he’s worked for. Although, I’ll never personally experience that feeling (thanks to my terrible voice & non musical abilities), that has to be one of the coolest things to experience as an artist.

Continuing to take us through a musical experience: Cal hit us with some upbeat songs [Taylor Swift, Kobe with the Fro, Who are you?], took us down with some very real, very emotional songs [My Anxiety, Worst Day of my Life], & got WeIrD in between them all. I’ll never forget Cal referencing a tweet that he would take a shit on stage if he sold out the show (JOKES, OBVI – if you followed Cal, you’d get his weird humor) & a fan next to us yelling “let’s all shit our pants together.” Let me tell you….that was fckn weird.

Clip of Cal dancing like he’s Taylor Swift

Even though I spent most of my time in the front row pretending to know the lyrics (my brain & mouth cannot compute the lyrics & raps that encompasses Cals songs), I had a very real moment when it got to the point in the show for the song: My Anxiety. I’ve been in a weird season in life, more anxious than normal, more stressed than normal, & a lot of change happening outside of my control. I’ve felt off balance & sometimes not like myself. God is definitely testing me & teaching me to rely on Him right now, but this song really resonated with some of how I’ve been feeling. I shed a few tears listening to the lyrics, these one’s especially:

I’m looking happy online but it’s not what you think
I’m losing touch if I’m touching a screen
One minute, I think I love everybody
And then I’m like fuck everything

For anyone who struggles with anxiety or depression, the lyrics of this entire song put so many feelings into words. It’s crazy how perfectly Cal describes it. If anything, I hope this song can help anyone who may be feeling that way, to help them get out of that head space, & to make people realize they’re not alone, even if it may feel that way.

We eventually find ourselves at the end of the show: Kobe with the Fro. Cal expresses that he is unable to do an encore, but whaddya kno, he comes back out & performs one of his classics; Wasted. Us bitches for sure got basic. It was the BEST way to round out the first night of tour. To top it off, his manager advised against hanging after shows with fans, but here we were: waiting in line again to spend some quality time with Cal himself.

The amazing night still lingering in my mind, a month and a half later. That is post concert depression, y’all…

Photo with Cal Scruby & his DJ Tron after the show

The Downside of Being a Fangirl

I was 12 shots deep (approx).

I was hot.

I was front row.

I was with my friends.

I was enjoying the music.

Until I wasn’t…

Imagine having to get pulled out of front row at a concert from heat, dehydration & the anxiety felt through all of the above. I’ve always had a love for concerts & music but it really started to escalate when my friend introduced me to Timeflies spring of my sophomore year of college. It was an obsession at first listen, playing their song Stunner (acoustic) more times than I could count when we went on spring break that year. I. Could. Not. Get. Enough. The excitement of them releasing a “Timeflies Tuesday” on YouTube every week. The excitement of getting to see them live for the first time (for free & front row, yuuuus please). The excitement of meeting them for the first time & then eventually building what I call a “fanship” with them as they started to get to know us as fans on a more intimate level than just going to their shows.

The one thing I didn’t expect from the excitement of following a band around was the anxiety I started having. Once I started to get deeper & deeper into the fandom, I became part of a Timeflies fan Facebook group (where I met some of my best friends to this day) & got to meet so many people from all over who also shared that same love. We would all tweet each other our thoughts about the band as well. Meeting strangers through the internet…who would’ve thunk (it’s less sketch than you would think, but be careful yo, you never know who you may come across).

The fangirling became escalated when I would go to show after show with the fans/friends I had met through the internets. We would try to get there as early as possible, trying to compete with each other of who could get to the venue first (how silly). Here I was sitting at the venue, waiting for the doors to open, counting down the minutes until the doors open, worrying about getting my ticket scanned fast enough so that we could “walk” to the front row to secure our spot. Even if we were the first people in line, I still for some reason thought we weren’t going to make it or my ticket wasn’t going to scan or we were going to be held back or SOMETHING. I was always just worrying.

This, in turn, caused me to have anxiety. The build up of waiting all day just caused that weird panic you get when you experience anxiety. Why was I so in my head back then that I just worried about every little thing? There are still times to this day that when I am close to a speaker, at a concert, or at church during worship that I get a tightened chest just from PTSD of being front row at so many concerts. It’s a weird feeling & I try to just be mindful, let myself feel the anxiety, & know that it will pass eventually.

To any other fangirl, fanboy, concert goer, music lover, etc: let the small shit go. It will all work out how it’s supposed to. You will get the spot at the concert you want. You will get into the venue. You will most likely have a good time. & if it doesn’t go how you wanted, set lower expectations next time. Just ENJOY LIFE. Life is too short to worry & be anxious. Whatever happens, happens…and just know, the post concert depression feeling is WORTH IT!