Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our Amazing Night with Train!!!

First let me just say that we are one blessed family!!! Just when I think God can't make it any better he points and laughs at me again and throws another blessing at us. This time it came in the form of my all time favorite band, the Grammy Award winning Train!!!!

When I talked to the Manager Monday he told me they had to get to the venue to figure this all out. He said call me at 4 and we'll go from there. So we did. He told me to go park and we'd figure it out. We tried to park in this one garage and the sweetest teen said oh you can park inside because of the handicap decal. So I turned the car around and went to that garage. The guy said, I don't have anymore handicap spots available. I then said ok here's the problem. We are going to be on stage, he said oh well let's fix this do you have someone you can call and I said sure so I grabbed the phone and called Train's manager. He then told me to give the phone to the security guy. They talked for a few minutes and then he came back and told me the plan. He said we're sending you underground with the band and here's how you get there. The first time we went around we thought for sure he sent us to the wrong place because we headed into a construction zone. But we circled back around and sure enough that was where we were supposed to be! So down we went!

We met two more great security guards on our journey who just directed along the way. Then we got to the destination. The guy says I am going to put you right here. I said, "I need to unload him first and then I'll park." As I was unloading the chair out of the back he says, "See that orange cone, well that's supposed to be for Martina McBride, but it's yours now. I bet she won't mind." I said well thank you very, very much. So I went and parked in her parking space. We had a delightful chat with the security guard. Then he personally helped us get everything figured out and passed us off to Train's Manager.

We hung out in the hallway while he rounded up our passes, tickets and people who were going to help us. Deryn volunteered to help one of the roadies blow up beach balls and yes we got one! Then we had just enough time to go to the bathroom and then comes Pat.

I have followed Train for so long I just could have popped when I saw Pat walk my way. He came up and introduced himself to us and asked our names. Everyone talked except for Ryann. So Pat then decided he would name her for us and named her Carlos. So that is the new running joke in our home. Pat then thanked me for sharing our story with him. He then said, "You've got quite a story there." I said, "Just a bit, and your song Landmine has new meaning for me." He looked at me and said sorry. I said, "For what, the lyrics are so true you stepped on a landmine and you see you future rise. How beautiful is that?!" He just smiled. He then asked, "Are you ready to share your story with 10,000 plus people. I told him I didn't want to think about the number. Then I said, "We have over 3,000 people watching over us on the Team Allen page on facebook, what's a few more." He laughed and then said, "Yeah Team Allen, that's pretty amazing. I really like your logo, we have one like that." I said, "I remember, you know my sister and I tried to buy that shirt at the Ryman last year, but we were denied because we didn't have any cash." He said, "Some venues want all the money." I said, "Yeah I'll get one one day." Then minutes later one of his assistants came around the corner and gave us two of them and gave De and Ry a "Trainette" shirt. Pat said to me, "You got cash?" I said, "Probably not." He said, "Oh fine then" and winked. Then we talked about the plan of what we were doing. He looked at Chaz and said are you cool with this and Chaz said sure why not. Pat then asked if the girls were coming on stage and I said I'd like them to. He said let's do it then. Then I informed him my mom, sister, friend Demetria and her hubby Ray were coming to Meet and Greet. So I told him to be on the lookout for Team Allen. We then had to part company because he had to go do the rockstar thing. We got a pic and I got a big hug!

We were then shown how everything was going to work backstage and then shown to our seats. Our seat ushers were super cool. I got Chaz settled and went to get snacks. On the way to our seats we bumped into people we know, which was so comforting. It was nice to I had my friends out there, because I had to talk in front of thousands, yikes! I then realized I never asked anyone if Demetria could film it all. I called Train's manager and he said it was too late to get a pass, but his people were recording it and we'd get a copy. I thanked him and told Chaz I'll be right back. I walked down to security and told them what was going on. I told them exactly where my family and friends were sitting and assured them it would only be for that part. They then told me no problem. I even described everyone to them. So later one they too got to have a chat with security. I tell you what Nashville's security is awesome!! They do their job, but the are also helpful and kind. I cannot tell you how many of them pushed Chaz for me, got the elevator, opened the doors all sorts of little stuff. I just love Nashville!! When I went to get snacks I realized my cousin's oldest child was working behind the counter. Pretty cool huh?!I hadn't seen that girl except via facebook for all these years!

We got settled and then I found my mom, sis and friends and told them what was happening. Then I looked over and saw that the guy in charge was the beach ball guy. Deryn had been his assistant just a little while ago. I have done many VIP events. They don't let you give anything to the band for obvious reasons. But we were going to have a little exception to that today. You see my sister had 3 Team Allen shirts to give to them and I was going to make sure they got them. So I walked right up to beach ball guy and we chatted. He said no worries, but tell them to keep it quiet. He then looks at me and says, "Does Pat know?" I said, "Yup." He said, "Then it's good to go." We already had Meet and Greet passes, but I gave my mom my spot when this all went down. I told my sister my favorite band was going to learn about my hubby one way or the other. Originally I planned to walk into meet and greet and just tell them about Team Allen and we got to go bigger and better. I always say go big or go home. So mission accomplished for that one!

Then we chilled out with the lovely seating attendants and were harassed by the beer guy. He really wanted us to have a beer. He was crazy pushy! But when the crowd filled in, he found his business. During the first intermission Demetria and Ray came up and then D took our De down to see my mom and sis. We got to hear their meet and greet adventure. Is was great!!! Then we took our seats and rocked out to PJ Morgan. He did a great job. Then we rocked out to Maroon 5. After that performance I had to take the girls to the bathroom for the hundredth time and when came back I found our friends Heather and Will, who know us from when we were dating, had found my hubby! It was just plain awesome to come around that corner and see them!! We got to catch up for just a few minutes and make plans for later.

Then Train came on with one of my favorites, Parachute!! We rocked out Ry took the camera and took her pics and before I knew it Billy, our guide to the back for our appearance was there telling us it was time to go. the Martina McBride came off stage and said hi. (And no I did not tell her I had her parking spot.) We got into position and Train's Manager reminded us of everything. Then I looked at Billy and said, "And don't throw up, right?" Billy said, "Right!" Then all we heard was Allens. From where we were Pat sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher, but you could hear Allen clearly. Then we walked out on stage to a roaring audience. Then Pat looked to me and said, "Talk." It took me a second to muster it up and then I saw my mom, sister and friends and I was calm. Then I spoke. I kept it brief and to the point. People came to rock not to cry. But Pat and I both teared up. I was fine until I looked at him and when I saw his tears I created my own. Then Pat sang to us and I laid a big kiss on my hubby! My favorite part was when I heard several people yell out, "You're my hero." I thought and he's all mine! As I was standing there all I could think is this is a dream come true. The three people I love the most and I are standing on stage with one of the most kick ass bands ever! WOW!!!! Then we all got hugs and I told Pat, "Thank you and God Bless you." He said something and I only heard thank you. (It was a little loud). We walked off stage and Pat said something else and once again we couldn't understand it. The manager passed us back off to security.

We went back to our seats and we thanked time and time again on the way there, while we were sitting down and then on the way out. Then the show was over and we went to leave. I had my Train pass stuck down low on my shirt. The elevator attendant said after we are going down "Um, ma'am do you have a pass?" I couldn't help myself I said, "Nope he just looked so cute with those little girls I asked if I could join along." Then I held up the pass and he laughed. We went back to the bathrooms and talked to some more security and were thanked by them for Chaz's service. I am telling you they are all just so great! Then we went to leave and I saw Adam Levine, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton in a room talking. I stopped Chaz and said hang on. He asked what are you doing and I said saying hi. Oh yes ya'll I stuck my head in that room and said, "Sorry I just wanted to say hi." Adam, said "Hi, who are you with? (in a very nice but curious tone)" I guarantee not many people do what I did, but then I'd have to care. So I then told him we were there renewing our vows on stage with Train. He eyes got huge and said "Wow and these are you kids?" So we hung out with Adam Levine for a sec. Miranda and Blake didn't seem interested so I went and chatted with Adam. Maybe they didn't think we like country music, or maybe they didn't think we knew who they were. Funny thing is they own property in OK very close to some of Chaz's family. I told Miranda that and she said, "Well that's nice." So back to Adam, he stood there and chatted with us for a while and then we all left. As I was loading Chaz in the we got another good-bye and wave from him. (Laura and Elizabeth I did not accomplish what you wanted me to do, but I did get to touch him a couple of times!)

We loaded up and drove home and the girls passed out and Chaz and I called my mom, sis and friends and got their reaction. Then my cell phone started lighting up with messages and now facebook and then the news articles. I have to say we felt like rockstars last night. Don't worry my sister will happily keep me from getting a swollen head, but it is going to be a while before I come down from this high. I really don't want to come down. My dream has come true. I got to lay a big kiss on my hubby while Pat Monahan sang to us. Our little girls got to stand on stage and see and hear over 10,000 people cheer and support our family. They got to hear people yell out "You're a Hero" to their dad. Seriously, WOW, is just about all I can say about that.


  1. Again with the tears! I've got to stop reading your posts!

  2. Dana Stafford SchneeAugust 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    I am partial to Train because I am Jimmy Stafford's (lead guitarist) sister. The guys are wonderful people., your husband, and your kids deserve all the honor, respect, and kindness for your service to our country and what you each have had to endure. I wish you all the best and "Thank You!".

  3. Jessica... you put me right there with you in this post! Thank you so much! It just makes my love for all that is TRAIN swell up even more. Big love to you and TEAM ALLEN and all the great things you are doing. Wonderful post. Smoooooch!

  4. You know I love you guys. You totally derserved an awesome night like this. And I am SO HAPPY it was more than you hoped for (you know what i mean). See you when you get back to dc!

  5. First time reader but 15th time to see TRAIN! Your story IS so uplifting! What a wonderful night for all!! Praise GOD from whom all blessing flow!!

  6. There weren't too many dry eyes in the crowd. My husband and I were there and our son (Jimmy - lead guitarist/vocals with Train) never told us this would be happening during their performance. God Bless You, Your Husband, Your Children and your families.

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments! Dana and Judy, I totally wish we could have met Jimmy. I have been following Train for over 10 years. Please thank him for letting us share the stage with him. In was such an honor!!! Thanks again for your support!

  8. Blessings to all of you and thanks to Chaz for his true heroism, and thanks to Train for being the wonderful, caring people they are! Love and hugs to the Allen family and to Team Allen. Thanks for sharing your story, too.