Palaye Royale // Prague 19.2.2019

The concert being announced shocked me. I did not expect them knowing where Prague is, let alone coming here.

From the get go I was worried about one thing – the audience. I was not afraid that no one would go see them or that the audience would be dead, but I was worried more about the age of the audience. My concern became a reality and I can skip on concert in Czech Republic for some time. But more on that below.

I had a VIP in Prague from the very beginning, I did not plan on going to Stuttgart or Vienna for that matter and let alone knew that they will literally meet everyone after the show. And it’s not like with Tokio Hotel whose VIP would make me bancrupt. For ticket + VIP for Palaye I have paid the same or less than just for ticket for Tokio Hotel (80€) with the VIP content being almost identical, plus the band is not annoyed at you .


My evening already started with a mini heart attack before I even got my ass out the door. I was getting ready and messing around with Boomerang, one finally worked out and I have posted it on my IG story and continued dancing around my apartment to Death Dance sipping wine.

When out of the blue I got a notification that Sebastian shared my Story. I did not even begin to think he shared this as I still had the M&G pocture from Vienna on my Story. Oh boy, was I wrong? It was the Boomerang and I nearly tossed my phone.

Me, the winking idiot, on Sebastian’s Story… God… Gotta learn to stop tagging them in shit.

I was leaving quite cheerful – not only thanks to the Story, but also the wine. Outside Futurum I strolled straight to the front. The wine and beer that I drank on my way set me up. I was not drunk, I was tipsy enough not to care as I was not going to repeat the Vienna inner meltdown that resulted in me stuttering at Remington (sigh…).


VIP

The VIP went exactly the same as in Vienna – at the entrance you got a tote bag with all the merch and a poster, then the guys signed the posters, then a photo and finally a Q&A.

I was surprisingly chatty – I rarely get chatty even when drunk-ish. So I practiced my small talk on Austin at the door (sorry for that!) and to the guys I’ve went. Unlike as in Vienna, in complete ease and with barely any nervousness. The calm demeanor lasted me even through getting shocked by the first of them. Who other than Emerson… that damn Pirate! 😀

I’ve handed him the poster and this followed (what I’ve said is bit hazy as I literally did not breathe and began to run out of oxygen):
Me: “Hi! How are you? Welcome to Prague!”
Em: “Hi, thank you! It’s beautiful here… *looks at me* I actually remember you!” insert a little mental freak out
Me: “Oh really?… What a random thing to remember… but thank you!”
Em: “Of course! You are adorable… again.” another mild inner freak out

Sebastian followed, whose face expression I could not 100% identify, but it seemed to me that he knew he saw me but could not place me (literally two hours ago on Instagram dude :’) ). I’ve repeated my whole spiel with “Hi! How are you! Welcome to Prague!” and on I have went.

Rem was the last one and I really did not want to repeat Vienna. I have repeated, at that point already out of reflex, “Hi! How are you? Welcome to Prague!” while trying to peel of the poster off of Sebastian’s table. But long nails and sticky table were not playing in my favor. I succeeded only as Rem reached for it himself, well done me… at least I am not stuttering…yet. Then I got level of acknowledgement I was not prepared for,”Hi! Thanks for having us and great to see you again! How are you?”. I got something out of me as response and took the poster back slightly shook. Little did I know, what I will hear few minutes later. Something that I overthink till this day.


The early stages of the queue for photos were quite messy as there was not much space to form it properly, but it came together. In queues like these I like to stand towards the back. I enjoy watching the interactions and it makes the experience that much longer, don’t blame me, I hate leaving things like this.

Whenever I watch fans interact with “celebrities” I smile automatically, especially if the joy is on both sides. I honestly enjoy the occasional boy fan that appears here and there. The guys don’t care and will hug you no matter what, but the kid is always confused – should he only shake their hand, reciprocate the hug or what?

Through all of this I did not notice that I was next. Emerson’s reached out hand snapped me out of it. Oopsies.

The first time I met them I did not get the awwing and swooning over their hugs, I am not a hugger so it was really awkward for me personally (and probably for them as well). But they may have converted me and third time’s the charm, amirite?.
On similar note – I do not know where they get the brain capacity to not only remember your face “oh yeah seen this person before”, but also your name or some random thing that happened or you’ve told them. I am happy that I know what I had for dinner yesterday…

It becomes a rule that every time at least one of them takes my breath away. Emerson had already succeeded and Remington joined the club.

I hugged and greeted Emerson and side-stepped to Remington, who hugged me with “Always nice seeing your smile.” I took jerky breath and stared into the brick wall behind them with wide eyes said something along the lines of thank you and nice seeing you too. Again what are you supposed to say? My quick witt leaves me hanging at situations like these. Then I almost fell into Sebastian’s arms as I nearly tripped over my own feet (I need to stop being a moron).

My original plan to stand between Rem and Seb got thrown out the window as I again found myself between Emerson and Remington. Do not know why, probably because I have already made a fool out of myself in front of these two so I had nothing to lose, whereas I still had some dignity left with Sebastian.

Also I was present enough to actually smile. Another change for the better since Vienna.

And hands down this is the best photo I’ve ever gotten (counting in my Tokio Hotel VIPs as well). I had my doubts when I saw Luis as he was taking pictures without a tripod and with a flash (sorry, Luis), but those photos are great.

And I also thanked God that I had wore a bra (yes, TMI, I know…). Not only my boobs looked good, if I say so myself, but also Vienna is not repeating. Ever. In Vienna I did not wear a bra, because it was impossible with that top, but the top ended up being see-through with the flash so yeah… my boobs are out there. Also the reason why I overthink and overanalyze the “Always nice seeing your… smile” moment as there was strange gap in the sentence… send help.

I don’t have much to say about the Q&A portion. Literally nothing happened and I had to shield my eyes the whole time as the stage lights were aimed directly at us. If I had a sunglasses on me, I would put them on.
All the questions were the same – do they like Prague? Had a beer? (And, no, they don’t like beer aka I am offended) Had “slivovice”? Will they come back? What can they say in Czech? and so on. They ended it fairly soon, but I do not blame them. It was boring and there is only a certain number of questions you can ask foreigners, who are in Prague for the first time.


CONCERT

At the beginning, I’ve mentioned my fears about the audience and how they came true.

I have a feeling if it was not for the occasional parent, Sebastian and Remington (who are 3 and 1 year older respectively) I was the oldest one there. And I am not that old 😀 Well, the crowd behaved their age. The pushing and shoving was unreal and I still do not get it – what do you get from climbing on someone’s back for the whole concert? The stage won’t get that much closer plus you are ruining it for others.

Source: Palaye Royale (photographed by Luis)

Safe to say I was on the verge of panic attack for the whole concert and it is indeed hard to enjoy the show when you cannot breathe. Usually I avoid the front rows, but Stuttgart and Vienna made me believe that I will be okay. Oh was I wrong. I feel like the average age was pretty low in Stuttgart and Vienna as well but they acted mature and were not hysterical.

Don’t get me wrong, when I scream it’s completely different octave which leaves teenagers quaking, but you catch my drift eh?


But I do not want be only negative. Guys were really enjoying the wild audience and we got even compared to Amsterdam. I have not seen them with such a high energy yet. Rem was running back and forth, Sebastian was at the edge of the stage crab-walking all the time and Daniel… He really came alive, I always found him quite reserved on stage, but he broke out of his shell that night. He played as if his life depended on it, smiled, laughed and even held eye-contact.

After Mr. Doctor Man Rem always “shoots” himself and falls on stage, but here he and Seb fell into the crowd. And Rem raised the bar even higher when he decided to crowdsurf.

I saw it coming, he stood by the drums and you could tell he was thinking. Thinking hard. And I was praying that he would jump far from me. I did not want to have anything to do with this. I stared at him, hoping he would see the death in my eyes and change his mind. Then he ran and jumped. I cursed as he “landed” literaly next to me. I really do not know what he expected from jumping into cramped audience of mainly girls, 90% of which were just hysterical so they pushed even more just so they could touch him. We threw him back on stage rather fast, because almost no one understood what is happening and minimum people were holding him up and even though he does not look it – he is not the lightest. But on the other hand who can say that their nose got nearly broken by Rem’s butt.


AFTER THE CONCERT

Little did I know what would follow after the show. Seb announced something along the lines “We will meet you over there in a few” pointing towards the back of the room. I am still not sure if the overall level of Enlgish in the room was THAT low or they were just dumb, but everyone started pushing even more, trying to get to the stage. IQ of a rocking horse like seriously.

We were cramped there like the sardines unable to even raise our hands, were stood on one leg which probably was not even ours. It came so far that in complete desperation we were screaming at Sebastian “HELP US”, while he and Rem were still on stage signing things they got handed. If I elbowed you, I am sorry but I was so beyond over it at that point. I could hear my own heart beat and blood pumping in my head, I was warm and cold at the same time and another elbow in my ribs away from a collapse.

At one point the pushing got better for a moment and we were able to raise our hands and were reaching for Sebastian, not for the same reason as everyone, we wanted to get his attention and literally just help. Well I got a high five. Thanks for that, but for fucks sake 😀 The poor man tried to calm the situation, stop the pushing and kept repeating they will be in the back, but those girls with their head deep in their own behind did not even listen.

I can skip any concert in the Czech Republic for some time. If they come back I will go again, but stay the hel away from the front. One, I am way too old for this and two, I like being alive.

I do not know why Czech fans must always be so hysterical. Is it because no one ever comes here and we don’t know how to behave or…? Somebody really explain it to me.


Finally, I somehow managed to get out. I was shaking, unable to breathe and really just wanted to get out to get some fresh air. I was not this shook since 2015. If it wasn’t the last gig, I would have left and went home. But I promised my friend who was unable to go signed ticket and honestly, just wanted to meet them one last time, such a nice people are just addictive.

Again, I am not small, on the contrary, I am relatively tall (1,74 m or 5 feet 8 inches), they are just giants. All of them.
Also finally, let’s face it – I cannot pose to save my life and for some reason I’ve felt the need to show off all of my chins and am incredibly awkward. With that said – you have been warned.


Seabstian was smart and hid himself in one of those nooks in the venue and while everyone was swarming Emerson and Remington, there was hardly anyone around Seb.

There is never a real queue around them, rather a crowd and the “strongest” go first. I am not “aggressive” in that way so I literally spend years everywhere, because I am too nice and let everyone go before me. At one point it seemed like I will finally have a chance and already made an eye contact with Seb about to say Hi as one girl rushed from behind me, but after she was gone Seb pulled me out and tbh if he did not I would be there still today. After a quick hug, we began to talk about the concert (because I am awkward and literally do not know what else to say), we were going back and forth abount who better – they or the crowd and agreed only on “… but it was so swetay!” “Yeah so sweaty!”. I tthink the photo speaks for everything, I have put the sweater on only because I was sticky all over from the sweat and kept secretely wiping my face with the sleeve. And we both desperately needed a hairdryer.

Without joking I almost spent my youth waiting around Emerson. When it looked I finally have a chance, he reached out his arm to the girl that was there with me. We were already set up – she had my phone, jacket and everything. We both stopped, looked at each other as he said “I choose you!”, we laughed again and as she was handing me my things back along with hers I said “So are we roleplaying as Pokémon now?” and that was the moment I fully realised my sense of humor is nowhere close to his as he only gave me this confused/wtf look as people around me laughed.

Also I realised how much dumber I am, he talked to the girl about philosophy, Alan Watts and meaning of life. For half of the words that left his lips I would need a damn dictionary.

Do ignore my very awkward hand. The whole situation was very unexpected, and my hand was obviously the part of my body that screamed WTF.

I left Remington as the last. He was on the other side of the room, in the corner just by the door to backstage (probably got swarmed as soon as he stepped out). Considering how tall he is, I had a hard time spotting him. There was bunch of people around him, read teenage girls, which I did not havš the patience for right away so I have waited till they scattered.

Which took longer than I thought, since he was not wearing a t-shirt. On one hand, I get it, he looks fine as hell, but on the other hand, I am not 15 to stand there anc comment on his body in Czech… I mean he would need to be total idiot not to know you are talking about him anyway.

He embraced me and asked “you OK? You didn’t look so good down there… “. Breath taken for a second time. We stan thoughtful king.

What shocked me by far the most was how he grabbed me and drew me in for his picture. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve squealed. Like a little piggy. I’ll be repeating myself, but when I say I want to make them laugh – I want them to laugh with me, not at me:D

Because it took ages to go around all of them, by the time I got to the merch table Austin was already packing up and most of the things were gone and he apologised for it. Mate, literally not even close to being it your fault…

I’ve seen anyone ask him for a picture all night, so I gained the courage myself only when a group of girls was approached him. The poor man has been so relieved when they left, and then I come up with “I hate to be that person…”. But Austin was almost disgustingly nice, looking at my shaky hands, he took the phone and took the pictures himself, and in the end even asked for a hug.


After Stuttgart I said that I was afraid of the post-concert depression and it is in fact a strong one. But they have a well deserved break, the first long break since 2015 (all these years they were almost nonstop on tour).

In June he returns to Europe so I will not miss them for a long time.

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