'Bout to erupt. Dreams are getting in the way.
“Okay, guys, you have a series of interviews and then a live stage performance in the main hall, kapeesh?”
The five of us nodded our assent and understanding out of politeness only. Brian had a habit of letting us know what we’re doing for the day more than once. None of us had the heart to let him know how annoying it was.
We had all been in hair and makeup for the last hour, so we all had our stage personas ready and were nicely cleaned of any remaining coffee. I rolled my eyes at the thought. Hopefully tomorrow morning’s wake up wouldn’t be as messy.
I looked over at Frank and saw him grinning into space. I smiled at the sight. He’s such an airhead. The makeup artists had made him look very pretty for a man. He had his signature red and pink eye shadow and guyliner along with two crosses that intersected over his eyes. The pink and black ensemble made his eyes glint with readiness and really symbolized his personality. We were all wearing out red and black ‘uniforms’ and various types of makeup – excepting Mikey… I don’t think he let the artists attack him with eyeliner and shadow.
Frank noticed me smiling in his direction and his grin widened. Who knows what that boy was thinking about – or planning.
A short woman wearing all black with shocking purple hair entered the room at this moment holding a clipboard and pen and leading a camera crew. We all smiled our fake ‘famous people’ smile and prepared ourselves for the repetitive interviews that we’d have to sit through over the following hours.
The woman sat down and introduced herself as Nancy, before turning to me. The cameras were rolling and it was time for work. I AM the front-man, after all.
“How are you all?” Nancy asked, looking around the room before returning her heavily black rimmed eyes to me.
We all nodded or murmured answers, knowing that ‘how we are’ doesn’t really matter in the music world.
“What are your main influences for your music?” she asked, reading from her clipboard.
I prepared to run through the list of bands that I’m sure we’ve mentioned a thousand times to interviewers, when something caught my eye on Nancy’s shirt. Her black shirt had a white, grey and red design on it. The grey outlined a metal blade poised over a slogan while the white accentuated the curves and highlights on the metal. You can only guess what the red was for. Just seeing the metal sent shivers down my spine. It was too much like a guillotine. Images of my last dream and the realization of being guillotined flitted through my head, obstructing my speech and thought process. I could hear echoes of laughter ricocheting around my subconscious and the shame of letting my friends down haunted my vision. I closed my eyes but this only made the images and laughter more pronounced. I saw the lady inside my head with the red ribbon tied around her neck, sneering a looking down her nose at me.
“She’s mocking us.” I blurted out, unaware that I had just partially yelled at Nancy the interviewer.
I saw my band members give me quizzical looks in my peripheral vision. Nancy frowned.
“Is that a band name? I don’t think I’ve heard of them.” She asked.
I finally snapped fully back to reality, pushing the laughter out my head and trying to focus on the purple headed woman.
“Uh, yes. A new band. You should check them out…” I tried to cover for my mistake, hoping that my answer would be enough to satiate the interviewer and hoping the blush creeping up my neck wouldn’t show. Luckily, Frankie came to my rescue.
“Iron Maiden, The Misfits, Black Flag…..” He continued on. I sighed in relief and sat back, smiling gratefully at Frank.
A few hours later and 3 interviewers after, we all settled back into the bus for a rest before the concert. I had let the other band members talk for the majority of the interviews to prevent another mistake like the one I had made with Nancy.
Get a grip on yourself, Gerard, I told myself repeatedly, They’re just dreams.
I hadn’t properly thanked Frank yet, so I went on a mission to find him and give him huge hugs for saving my ass.
I found him on the fold-down steps at the bus entrance, taking a drag of a cigarette and surveying the growing line of people at the doors of the hall over the fence. I climbed down and sat one step below him, stealing the cigarette from his flaccid fingers and taking a nice hard breath.
“Heyyy, that’s mine. Get your own, Gee.” Frank frowned mockingly and pouted his bottom lip.
“Okay, you can have it back.” I smiled, taking one last drag, flicking the ash off the end and handing it back.
I let the smoke drift lazily through my mouth before clearing my throat and turning on the side to face Frank.
“Look, Frankie, thanks for saving my ass today. You know, with Nancy the interviewer. I messed up.” I smiled humbly up at him and gave him my best puppy-dog eyes.
Frank didn’t answer right away; he was staring through the fence that surrounded the bus area, looking at the growing crowd of people at the fence who had noticed we were in plain view. He gave them a short grin and wink, and I could hear their cheers of appreciation.
He looked down at me with a glint in his make-uped eyes. I gave him a skeptical look. What is he planning?
He leant down close to my face and looked my in the eyes. I could see every eyelash and every smudge of makeup. I tried not to focus on his lip ring, which was shining in the sunlight. I could see where he had pushed his dark fringe back and smudged the red eye shadow slightly. I could see every singly pore in his skin… He flicked his eyes towards the ground and up at my eyes again.
He leaned in and gave me a soft kiss on the lips, drawing out the moment. I widened my eyes in surprise but allowed the contact. He pulled back and winked at me.
“No problem, Gee.” He whispered.
The girls on the other side of the fence were going wild, taking pictures and asking Frank to kiss me again. Frank, satisfied, put out his cigarette and went back inside the bus, ruffling my hair on the way in. I rolled my eyes at him and the crowd. Good old Frankie, always thinking of publicity stunts. I stood up and smiled at the crowd, letting them take a few photos. I took a short bow in mockery of Frank’s kissing stunt, and followed him inside the bus.
From my view side-stage, I could see the hall slowly filling up with black and red-clad teens. Most had black makeup encircling their eyes or crossing over their skin in likeness of our makeup. The hall wasn’t large, but it was enough to hold about 200 kids. I shook my head at the growing noise of their chatter and chanting and turned back into the black curtains of backstage. Mikey, Ray and Frank each had their instruments in hand and were absent-mindedly plucking at strings or turning the tuning pegs. I have no idea how they can tune their instruments with all the noise coming from the crowd and without amps to overpower the noise, but they do it anyway. Bob was keeping up a constant rhythm with his drum sticks on the fabric of his thighs in anticipation, occasionally jumping up and down, limbering up for the double-kick.
I glanced behind me and saw the stage crew readying the amps and cords, as well as the microphones for our arrival on stage. I also saw the camera people positioning themselves backstage and in the crowd for the best views of our performance. This concert was being broadcasted especially for MTV studios, so the need for supporting bands was not necessary. It also meant that we had less time to prepare and no allowance for mistakes. We’ve all done recorded live performances before with this pressure, but with my early mistake with Nancy, I was feeling queasy and slightly dizzy at the sight of the cameras. I turned back around and tried to focus on warming up my vocals, singing short excerpts from the songs we were going to play, but each time I hit an especially high or low note, my voice fumbled and I flushed in embarrassment.
Oh geez, I thought, if my voice is this bad here, how’s it going to be on stage?
I started singing the starting lines to ‘Give ‘Em Hell, Kid’ when I was distracted by Frank (as usual).
Frank had set down Pansy, and had started doing the Macarena, singing Christina Aguilera’s ‘Dirrty’.
“Fraaankkkkk.”, I whined. “I’m trying to warm up!”
Frank looked up at me and smiled through the next words of the song, never slowing the tempo or his dance moves.
‘Temperature's up…” He sang, placing one hand behind his head, followed by the other.
“’Bout to erupt…!” He put one hand around his torso.
“’Gonna get my girls!” He pointed at Ray, Mikey and Bob who laughed at his dancing and singing.
“Get your boys!” He pointed at me, shaking his hips and beckoning for me to join him. I shook my head frantically in wonderment and denial.
“’Gonna make some noooooiiiise” He put both hands on his hips and swing them around in a circle energetically.
“Frank!” I yelled at him, clenching my fists. Frank looked up and frowned but continued to swing his hips around.
“What?” He asked innocently, rotating his hips. Well, at least he has stopped singing, I thought.
I watching his hips circling and my anger drained away. I guess it WAS kind of comical…
My eyes were still following Frank's hips around in circles when Brian clapped his hand on my shoulder and shocked me from my staring.
“Okay boys, time to go on. You all set?” He asked in his pep-talk voice.
Frank stopped dancing and picked up Pansy from the ground.
“Yes, sir!” He saluted at Brian.
He just smiled and motioned us to the side-stage edge, where we were about to be announced.
“Introducing, the boys you’ve all been waiting for, MY. CHEMICAL. ROMANCCCEE!” A voice yelled from the speakers.
We all ambled onto stage with waves and smiles at the crowd. The crowd roared at the sight of us and started a repeated chant of ‘M.C.R.’ I picked up the mike from the stand and turned to face the other members of the band, my back to the audience. Frank gave a little wiggle of his hips when I laid my eyes on him, causing me to smile in memory of the Macarena.
“This one’s an old one, just for you guys. It’s called ‘Lady of Sorrows’” I said into the microphone. The crowd cheered and the guitars started up. I punched my fist and flipped my hair in synch with the drum beats and guitar phrases. My hair obstructed my vision so I couldn’t see the crowd, but I could still sing. Ray’s fingers became a blur as he played the riff and Bob’s wrists were no doubt aching from the speed in which he hit the drum set. Frank, as usual, was tearing up the stage with his energy, almost knocking over Mikey as he jumped back and forth.
I didn’t talk to the crowd again until the 5th song of the night. Frank and Ray hit the final chord of ‘I’m not Okay’ and I finally pushed the hair out of my eyes and surveyed the crowd. The people filled the hall to the brim, and the majority of their hands were punched into the air in salute of our music. The crowd was one giant mass of black with glints of red on the people who wore our band shirts or mimicked our uniform.
I flicked my head back quickly to free my vision up a little more, blurring my gaze and mixing the colors of the crowd so that they were just a combination of black and red.
My head spun for a moment and only saw pinpricks of red. The noise of the crowd dissipated with a roar inside my head, being replaced with the laughter of the crowd in my dreams. I shook my head again, trying to get rid of the laughter, but it wouldn’t go away. I saw the crowd in front of me wrestle with each other in attempts to get to the front of the stage, I saw their mouths opening and closing and the laughter resounding in my brain, making it seem like the crowd was laughing. I saw red littering the mass of bodies in front of me and my head swam. Pressure increased on my temples and the air in my lungs pushed itself out of me, leaving me with no oxygen in my body. Unconsciously, I fell to one knee, the laughter increasing in volume and the walls pressing inwards. I keeled forward and landed heavily on my chest, vaguely seeing Frankie drop Pansy and rush towards me before blacking out completely.
Okayyy. So now we see the result of bad dreams.
Again, if you like it, R&R, if you don't, kill me via reviews.
Oh, btw, I don't own MCR, Christina, or the Macerena. =]