Sometimes a moment in life can seem insignificant when it happens. That moment may turn out to be very significant by the time it’s all said and done. Back in 2001 or so, a friend of mine that knew I was into female fronted metal bands had suggested that I listen to the band Lacuna Coil from Italy. I had never heard of them before then, but I followed his advice and downloaded their song “To Myself I Turned.” I was immediately hooked. Nice story so far, but not tremendously significant.
By early 2003, Lacuna Coil had released two more albums and were supposed to be on a tour with Opeth, Paradise Lost, and Tapping the Vein. At the time, Opeth and (especially) Paradise Lost were two of my favorite bands that I had not yet seen in concert. The chance to see all of them at once seemed too good to be true, and it was. Lacuna Coil had to back out of the tour. I was upset, but not terribly upset, since this meant Paradise Lost was now able to play a longer set. Again, this does not seem like a terribly significant event.
Opeth toured the United States again in the Spring of 2003 and Lacuna Coil was once again their support. I got myself a ticket to see one of their local shows on May 15th. Not long before the day of the concert I found out that the members of Lacuna Coil were going to be doing a meet and greet at a record store a few hours before the show. I went to that event and met the band. I immediately noticed how nice the members of the band were and how much they genuinely liked and appreciated their fans. Also, at the signing, I noticed a girl taking a lot of pictures. I didn’t yet know how significant all of this would be.
A few weeks later I was in a Metal music chat room on Yahoo. Someone in the chat asked if anyone had been to any shows recently. I mentioned that I saw Opeth and Lacuna Coil at the Birch Hill in NJ. Someone else in the room said they were also at that show and we started talking. Her name was Candace, and as it turns out, she was the one talking all the pictures at the show. As random as that revelation was, it did not seem to be very significant.
Just over one month later, Lacuna Coil was back at the Birch Hill, this time they were the support for Type O Negative, whom I had liked for over a decade, but had never seen live. It was at this show that I first met Candace and her boyfriend (at the time), Anthony face to face. It was not a very significant meeting, it was more like a “Hi, nice to meet you” and that was it.
During that Summer, Anthony and Candace told me about EmptySpiral.net, a website created by a Lacuna Coil fan from England for Lacuna Coil fans to go to. I joined the site and often posted messages there. At the time, this seemed to be just another site that I belonged to and enjoyed being a part of, but it didn’t seem to have any real significance to my life.
Lacuna Coil played a few headline shows in late 2003. I went to those shows and would always meet up with Anthony, Candace, and now a few more people they knew from EmptySpiral. And through my association with them, I was now regularly hanging out with the band before and after shows. I knew this was not insignificant.
When Ozzfest 2004 came around, Lacuna Coil was one of the acts on the “second stage” and had quite a buzz about them. Other than legendary acts such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Slayer, Lacuna Coil’s sales at Ozzfest were at the top. I saw them at a local Ozzfest show and attained a very significant sunburn doing so. After Ozzfest, Lacuna Coil went back home to Italy for to rest and to make a new album. During that time I made a lot more friends on EmptySpiral.net, even if I had not met most of them in person.
Lacuna Coil returned to the United States in March, 2006 as support for Rob Zombie. I went to see them in NYC. They did a meet and greet after their set. I was thrilled when members of the bands got out of their chairs to hug me when they saw me. One of them even said “it’s been almost 2 years, how have you been?” It was nice to see that I was more than just another face in the crowd. It definitely made me feel at least moderately significant.
During the summer of 2006, Lacuna Coil was once again a part of the lineup for Ozzfest, but this time they were on the “main stage.” Anthony had arranged an “EmptySpiral Meet” that week and various people that we knew from EmptySpiral that were literally from all over the world came out to hang out for a week or so. I wasn’t able to attend all of those events, but I did make a few appearances. I bought a ticket to see the Ozzfest date in Camden, NJ. A few hours AFTER I got my ticket, I was told by Anthony that Lacuna Coil was giving us all tickets for the show. I was not yet aware of how significant of a ticket it was.
Lacuna Coil did not just give us general admission tickets, they gave us tickets with passes with access to various backstage areas. It was because of this I was able to watch acts like Black Label Society from the stage. It was a very interesting for me to watch a show from behind the band. When Lacuna Coil played, we were all allowed to be right in front of the stage to watch them. It was actually a pretty good experience, as the general admission ticket that I had wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere near those areas. Along with the EmptySpiral crew, we spent basically all day hanging out with the band. It was a very good experience and more significant than I realized it was at the time.
I can go on and on about other stories and other times meeting the band including a time when I called the female singer of the band the “C word” and when I may have been responsible for making one member of the band ill and forcing him to miss an acoustic appearance. But, this story isn’t about that. This story is about significance. It’s that simple. Due to a simple suggestion from one friend, I didn’t just gain a new band to listen to, which would have been a good thing by itself, but I gained friends, experiences, and memories that cannot be matched. Something that seemed to very insignificant ended up being one of the most significant things that’s ever happened to me and I couldn’t be more grateful.
So please allow me now to take the time to thank Jeremiah for the suggestion. Also I need to thank Anthony, Candace, Teague, Lisa, Erin, Melanie, Michelle, Danica, Cynthia, Luca, Amalia and any other friend I’ve met directly (or indirectly) due to Lacuna Coil. I also have to thank Matt for creating EmptySpiral.net and allowing us to meet on there and for recommending “Spaced” and “Firefly” to me. And of course, a big thanks goes out to Cristina, Andi, Maus, Maki, CriZ, and Pizza. This story would never have happened without them.
As a side note, last year I wrote about the 5K race I ran and the unbelievable pride I felt in completing that race. Lacuna Coil’s song “Daylight Dancer” was the song I was listening to when I crossed the finish line.
It is quite amazing how something that at the time seemed so insignificant could lead to such an amazing adventure and the friends made along the way. It’s crazy to think that it has been 10 years! I’m glad I met you in that chat room and then in person at birch hill (i miss that place!). I’m proud to have you as a friend! In the past 10 years you have become more then just a concert buddy. You are a true friend that I value and appreciate. We have both been through a lot in the past decade (haha bet that makes you feel even older! :P), some of it I would have had a much harder time getting through it if it hadn’t been for you and the talks we’ve had. I look forward to many more decades of our awesome friendship and creating awkward moments for others! I love you! -Candace
Fantastic Billy… Sums up how I feel as well. I’m getting all emotional, ugh we really are getting old. 😛
Brilliant post. Thanks for the mention Billy! The last 10 years has certainly been eventful, and we really need another ES US meet up soon!
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