I left off with the first time my sister and I had the pleasure of seeing The Matches play in Grand Rapids. We didn’t know who they were or any of their songs, but we wanted to. When we got home that night, we listened to the CD on repeat. We did the same for the next several years, adding their subsequent albums to that rotation. I still do. I’m actually listening to “A Band in Hope” right now. The next time we saw The Matches play we were again front and center, but we made sure we knew every lyric. That was just one of many Matches shows we would go to over the years. In fact, I credit that band with bringing my sister and I together. We used to barely tolerate each other, and now we’re best friends who share memories of road trips and badass concerts. For her 19th (?) birthday, I took her to get matching (badum!) tattoos. We each got lyrics from that first album on the back of our necks. “Though they make no sense, these are the moments, we’ll remember for the rest of our restless lives.” And they are…as you can tell by my sentimental rambling.
You can just barely see that I'm not lying about the tattoos...lol
The Matches gave way to Gym Class Heroes and then toured with a band called Whole Wheat Bread, landing in Lansing at a time that suited me. At this point, I had met a “concert friend” who loved all the same bands as I and was willing to carpool all over the state. We hauled ass to Lansing to the Temple Club to see our boys and were a little taken aback at the setup of the stage. If you could call it that. I remember wanting to rush to the front, but feeling awkward since the “stage” was merely a 1 foot platform. That meant that while the bands were on “stage”, we were basically eye-to-eye. Fine if the place is packed, but awkward and a half when there is elbow room to spare. We were tentative at first, trying to maintain our “Scene Queen” cool, and kept our distance as the opening band was announced. Whole Wheat Bread was not what we expected at a “punk rock” show. They were three black guys who called themselves “dirty south punk rock” and rock they did! I was taken with the lead singer, Aaron Abraham and evidently the feeling was mutual. He summoned me onstage and since I was wearing an ankle-length skirt, my graceful stage hop ended up being more of a clumsy roll over a speaker and too many power cords. I recovered quickly, however, and shook my money-maker the best one can to clanging punk rock chords. Once I was done making an ass of myself, I retired back to the crowd and my group of giggling friends to enjoy the rest of the set and prepare for The Matches mayhem.
- Whole Wheat Bread. I promise they’re a punk band…lol
Aaron Abraham. I was helpless against his Trinidadian hottie powers.
Once The Matches hit the stage, we forgot about trying to act cool and rushed the front. There is something to be said for screaming the lyrics back into the faces of your favorite band. Talk about an intimate show! Forehead to forehead, sweating and screaming every word to “Track 11”. Can’t be beat. It just can’t. After the show, my “concert friend” and I were relaxing on the bed of her truck before making the trek home. I noticed Mr. Aaron Abraham wandering our way and did my best to look hot but not easy. At least half of it worked. He chatted for a moment and we exchanged information. That was the beginning of what I’ll call “The Year of Jiggles”. You see, Aaron liked to call me whenever his band would be playing a show in Michigan. He wanted me to come to the show so that he would always have someone he knew and someone to hang out with. He put me on the list, referencing his favorite part about me…my “Jiggles”. I had to look the ticket girl in the face, on several occasions and say “I’m on the list. I’m Jiggles”. He thought it was hilarious. I preferred to refer to myself as “Michigan Girl” and reveled in my brief time hanging out with what I believed to be a GREAT punk band. I should be embarrassed and ashamed at my anti-feminist behavior but come on…you saw the picture! I’m only human! My friends housed them at their apartment and I housed them at mine. We played karaoke revolution on Xbox and AA was pretty terrible at it for a lead singer. My favorite thing to do while spending time with the gorgeous AA and the rest of Whole Wheat Bread was to ask them about the guys in The Matches. I figured they’d have the inside scoop since they spent so much time on tour with them. Aaron hated it. He frequently told me that the guys were “sluts” (funny, coming from him…) and that I wouldn’t like them if I met them. I refused to believe it and I still don’t. Aaron was kind of dumb. I mean…he was gorgeous but his personality was seriously lacking. I preferred him to be onstage or attached to my face, not trying to converse with me. Sad truth about many “hot guys” in my past.
After that year, his band stopped touring in my neck of the woods and that’s probably for the best, since even Aaron couldn’t handle all the jelly that I’ve acquired since. In fact, The Matches stopped playing shows on this side of the country shortly after that as well. I saw them at Warped Tour and that may have been the last time. I remember Shawn liking my homemade “Billie Jean” shirt when we ran into him in the throngs of wannabe punk rockers wandering the grounds. I melted a little. This is what that encounter looked like.
He's pretty 🙂
Since this post is already well over one thousand words (the limit I try to give myself) I better leave off for now. Evidently this is going to be more than just a two-parter!