I tapped him on the arm. "Excuse me? Excuse me, hi. Hello?"
Turns out, attracting the attention of an emo rockstar is difficult when said emo rockstar is busy signing the $15 posters purchased by squealing pre-pubescents.
Had I known his name, I would've called it. But I didn't. So I resorted to tapping his arm. Swarms of angst-ridden, sweaty 14-year-olds scoffed as he turned his attention to me, with a smile.
"Hi, you're in the band," I stated, matter-of-factly. I was on a mission.
"Yes. Yes I -" he started, this emo rockstar. But I cut him off. Alex, turns out, was his name. Or at least that's what the scribble read on the posters and faces of his adoring fans, who were, apparently, all about getting autographed on the face.
"I have been here all night with my 13-year-old cousin," I continued. "All night."
I glanced at my watch. 11:19 p.m. Approximately some point past my bedtime. And it had been a long night. The emos are exhausting.
"And so, to make this night completely worth it, I need you to sign this," I said, as I pressed a crumpled piece of paper into his hand. It was the remains of my eTicket.
I stood my ground as he looked at me suspiciously.
He put his arm around my shoulder. This was serious.
"OK. Be honest with me," he said, leaning in. "Is this autograph for you, or is it for your 13-year-old cousin?"
It was then I realized he thought I was pretending to scout autographs for Sydney, who was already busy hamming it up with this Alex character's bandmate, who was also milling around the venue. Past my bedtime.
Clearly she knew what she was doing.
"Oh, no. It's definitely for me."
After all, it was for me. I'm so sure I'm going to let someone I've seen on MTV walk right past me without whoring myself out for attention.
"And my name is Krista," I pointed out, as he pulled out his Sharpie. "With a 'K'."
Jesus, I'm needy.
Turns out this Alex Suarez (cue screaming: OHMYGOD. Alex! OHMYGOD. You rock!) of Cobra Starship was good shit.
As he scribbled a passage of some sort onto my weathered eTicket, we chatted about life. And about how it was past my bedtime, in case he was wondering. He thought it was cool I was a newspaper reporter. I told him I'd rather be a rockstar.
It was deep.
When he was done, and I felt satisfied that I'd made friends with a rockstar, we bid a bittersweet farewell.
"I wrote in teenage text message speak, I hope you don't mind," he apologized.
I didn't mind. He's 26. We're almost kindred spirits. It also helps that I lv spkng txt.
"You had a good time, at least, right?" he asked, looking worried.
I looked down at myself. I was bundled in a coat, cell phone in hand, half of a beer in my system, a perpetual look of, "Holy crap, is this concert ever going to end?" still lingering in my expression, and now, a tattered autograph in my hand.
I read what he wrote:
Hey Krista - Thanks 4 w8ting all night for the show. Hope you had fun. Alex
"Yes. Yes I did," I replied, as I patted the lapel of his emo jacket. "You guys were good."
And it's true. They were fun. Don't tell anyone.