Posted: August 6, 2013 in A Little Less Profound
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By Jennifer The Airborne Toxic Event drum kit

In late 2008 my friend Lisa came over to update her iPod (she didn’t have a computer so she used mine). She said there was this amazing new band called The Airborne Toxic Event and I had to listen to them. The name of the band threw me off – I really thought they were another screaming toxic shit band and I had no interest at all. Lisa said I was missing out big time. I just bought the song she wanted – Sometime Around Midnight.

When I cleaned my apartment, I always listened to Lisa’s playlist – it was hard and fast. I was elbow deep in cat litter when this beautiful melody of a viola and a stand up bass caught me. I was going to go to the next song – this music was too beautiful to play while cleaning. But since I was in the middle of the changing cat litter I couldn’t reach my iPod. The more I listened, the more I fell in love. Cat litter was all done and I sat on the bathroom floor playing Midnight over and over and over again and bawling my brains out. How can a band with that name put out such amazing music? I was just beside myself.

When I finally got up off the bathroom floor, I went straight to my computer to buy the whole first album. All cleaning stopped and I sat on the couch listening to the entire album over and over. So many things went through my head. Had I ever done bad to someone like in Midnight? I know many had done so to me.

When Papillon came on I said out loud, “This is me and this is my pathetic fucking life!”

All dressed up, no place to run
No car, no girl, no pills, no fun
Nothing to do in this empty room
I gotta get my head together soon

Alone again, no plans, no friends
You come around at half past ten
You say “How are you holding up my friend?
Are you sitting around getting drunk again?”…

And I wish I had the guts to scream
You know, things aren’t always what they seem
When you walk away, I want to stay
Don’t leave me here to pace and pray

All these nights I burn, these hours I turn
You’d think that by now I’d learn
That you’re only what you pretend to be
I guess that was just lost on me

I can’t stand the way you look at me
In that dress
Oh Papillon, I might be all right, I guess
If I wasn’t such a mess

I’m such a mess
I’m such a mess
I’m such a mess

Holy shit was I a total mess – and this song said what I couldn’t. Finally someone understood and could relate!

A few months later Lisa got us tickets to the Airborne show at the Ogden for early spring. Then Mikel lost his voice and the show was cancelled. I was heartbroken… Then about 1 1/2 months later they came back and this time I was so sick I couldn’t even stand up. Lisa brought me a t-shirt and said it was the best show EVER!

A few weeks later, having listened to nothing besides TATE, I decided to write them. I told them how I had been sick and I was heartbroken that I missed them. I also told them how much their music was changing my life – it was a slow process but it was changing.

I sign all my emails with:

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, Life is about learning to dance in the rain.

I had no idea who I was writing to – I just wanted them all to know how much their music had literally touched my heart and started to help it heal.

The next morning I had an email from Mikel. He told me he was in Germany and had lost this voice again and that he shouldn’t bitch and complain. He said the last part of my email touched him and he thanked me!!!! MIKEL JOLLETT thanked ME!!!!!! He also sent me a t-shirt. We emailed back and forth about autoimmune disease and he said if there was anything they could do to help…..

A few months later I went to my first Airborne show. After the show I met Anna. The sweetest thing ever! There was a huge crowed around Mikel, so Lisa grabbed my hand and pushed her way through. I kept saying, “Stop – what am I going to say him?” Lisa got his attention and said “Hey Mikel – this is Jennifer – the one you have been emailing about autoimmune disease with for the last few months.” Mikel dropped everything to the floor and came over and gave me this huge bear hug and held on to me while he said, “I’m so glad you were well enough to be here tonight,” and kissed me on the cheek and winked at me. I could have died right there and then.

We went to the Boulder show the next night where Daren and I kept throwing hearts at one another. It was so sweet. He brought me his setlist and I was too frazzled to have anyone take a picture (but I got a bunch of those a few years later). Once again, Mikel came up to me and hugged me and someone took the worst picture of my life, Mikel with a goofy look on his face. He told me to stay immune-healthy and I wished him the same. Kisses on the cheeks and he was off to see other fans.

Those two shows made me fall in love with ALL of them! I have never been the same since. Just ask my mom – she thinks I have reverted to the 14-year-old screaming little girl I used to be. I am actually proud to be that screaming little girl again, but older and now wise enough to know not to faint when I see or meet anyone who I admire. Now I just wait till they are out of earshot and then scream like I’m 14 again!

536238_584219264925273_1401056734_n Jennifer lives in Colorado, which seems to be Airborne’s favorite place on earth, judging by the number of shows they get. Jen was injured in 2004 and is now an android due to the artificial disc in her back. She also comes along with a few different autoimmune diseases, to which Mikel can certainly relate.


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