Last week I drove down to Texas to see Darren Criss in concert at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I’ve basically been in love with Darren since I watched A Very Potter Musical and its sequel last summer, and the situation’s only gotten worse since he was cast on Glee last season and exploded into popularity.
The nicest way to describe Darren’s fan base is that they’re…enthusiastic. Which is why Jessica, Brittany and I decided to leave Austin at 7 a.m on Friday. We got to Six Flags around 8:30, and there was already a huge line of cars outside the park’s gates, despite the fact that Six Flags doesn’t even open until 10:30. We parked the car and got in line outside the entrance gates at around 9:30, and then entered the park and began the INSANITY that was acquiring VIP wristbands.
First we had to get normal concert wristbands, which really only took us about 10 minutes. THEN we had to go to the candy store on the complete opposite side of the park and buy two bags of Starbursts (it was the “Starburst Concert Series”). Except the path to get to the candy store was still blocked off when we got there, meaning a horde of crazy fangirls began to form. As we’d come into the park there were employees stationed every so many feet, telling people not to run. So I naively assumed it would be the same when they finally let us through. This was NOT the case. As soon as that rope was lifted there was literally a stampede of people. It was every man (or in this case, woman) for himself, and we all took off sprinting. Luckily we’d allied ourselves with some pretty quick people and managed to snag a spot about 40 people back in the line outside the candy store. We still ended up waiting for more than an HOUR to get our wristbands, though, because they were only letting one person inside at a time. Finally around 11:30 we all had our VIP bands and staked out a spot in line outside the amphitheater.
You’d think that sitting with no shade at a Six Flags in Texas in mid-July for 5 hours would be the most miserable experience on Earth. And I was entirely prepared for it to be terrible. But it ended up being one of the most fun things I’ve done all summer. It helped that it was overcast for most of the day and we had a group of seven people in line, so we could switch off and eat, ride rides, etc. We also had an AMAZING group of people. I went knowing only my friends Kristen and Jessica, and I’d never met Kristen in person before. By the end of the day the three of us and Liz, Jamie, Brittany and Vanessa were totally attached at the hip and I can’t WAIT to meet up with them again. We’ve all been staying in touch constantly since we left Friday night. (edit: Jessica, Brittany, Liz and I are all going to NEW YORK in January to see Darren perform in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway.) (edit to the edit: you can read my blog about our trip to NY here!)
They finally let us into the amphitheater around 5, and we managed to score second-row center-stage seats thanks to our painstakingly earned wristbands (except for Vanessa who lucked out and BOUGHT ONE at face value at the last minute from someone.) Alyson Stoner opened, and if you don’t know who she is, don’t worry, neither did we. But apparently she’s been in a lot of Disney Channel programming. She didn’t have a great voice, but she was cute and energetic, and had a habit of dragging audience members on stage. At one point she was picking people to bring on stage and she yelled, “You! I like your pink sunglasses!” Everyone burst out laughing, because literally one in three people were wearing pink sunglasses, because, as she said, “That’s a Darren thing, isn’t it?”
FINALLY Darren came out around 7, and he was SO GOOD. He was tiny and adorable and so so gracious. He said thank you after every single song he played, and you can tell he’s just astounded by his success. He’s one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen, and he likes to ramble about sweat and biology between songs. Usually when I see concerts all I can focus on are the people around me and how hot it is and how tired I am, but for the 65 minutes Darren played I was locked onto him the entire time, and I was just overwhelmed by the fact that he was standing TEN FEET IN FRONT OF ME and I was hearing all of his songs LIVE WITH MY OWN EARS. And honestly I’m starting to embarrass myself so I’ll just post some of my favorite shots from the show and sign off.
Recent photo I’m proud of: see above.
Song I can’t get out of my head: The Misery/This Love mashup Darren sang at the show last week. I ripped the audio from one of the videos I took. Right click and “save as” if you want a copy of it!
Video I can’t stop watching: Darren’s slowed-down piano version of “Teenage Dream.” He had us all sit down at this point in the show, and his version is so GORGEOUS it makes you forget it’s a shallow Katy Perry song about teen sex.
Something I can’t stop laughing at: The fact that we managed to convince incredibly gullible people online that 1) Chris Colfer had shown up to Darren’s show at Six Flags (despite the fact that he’s been filming a movie in California for weeks) 2) Darren hang-glided off a cliff to start the show and 3) We ate dinner with him after the show at Red Robin.