Being in radio means that I can get brand new albums for free, usually close to five days before they are released. However, the release of Breaking Benjamin's brand new record, Dear Agony, was a special occasion, and I decided that this time I would, instead, wait like everyone else until the day of sale. I even took it upon myself to stand out in the cold at the Gallery of Sound in Kingston/Edwardsville with a few hundred other Benheads and await the Midnight Release of the highly anticipated new album.
We had a freakin' blast! Also, huge minion points are to be awarded to the two dudes at the front of the line that waited outside the store since 3:00pm, nine whole hours before the release. Now THAT is dedication (and proof of having no job and nothing better to do)!
The big draw to the Midnight Release not only had to do with the desire for an album that has been two years in the making, but also because the Gallery of Sound was raffling off wristbands that would get you into our 97.9X Top Secret Show with Breaking Benjamin the following evening. Everyone that bought the new album that evening was given the opportunity to win.
Excitement was building, and tensions were high. Finally, the doors to the store opened up at Midnight and the crowed rolled in.
Oh, and by the way, look who happened to take the time to stop by the Gallery of Sound in the Gateway Shopping Center and sign stuff...
...None other than NEPA's own, Chad Szeliga, the drummer for Breaking Ben! I think I can speak for all of the people there that evening when I say "thank you" to Chad for stopping by.
The folks who came out had a great time and everyone was thrilled to have the new album. After the line for purchases had ended at roughly 1:30am, it was time to raffle off the passes into the Secret Show, and yours truly was put in charge of picking the winning tickets out of the bucket.
Let me tell you that there are not many things in this world that stress me the hell out, but this was definitely one of those things. While it was simply luck of the draw as to whose number I pulled out, it sucked having to watch people's hearts be broken when they didn't win. So to all of those people whose number(s) I did not pick, I am sorry that I let you down and ask that you please do not hate me forever and ever. To all those people whose number(s) I DID pick, I shall expect gifts and favors as a sign of your gratitude to be forthcoming.
So with the midnight release complete and Dear Agony officially in stores, it was time for part two of the festivities: the Secret Show with Breaking Benjamin!
And what a show it was.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the River Street Jazz Cafe helped us out by supplying the venue, and I hope we can do more things with them in the future, because it was a great time! Breaking Benjamin blew the crowd away with acoustic performances of "The Diary of Jane", "I Will Not Bow", "Until the End", and finished things off with "Breath". Of course, the crowd goes crazy when the band left the stage, and of course the boys came back out and played an encore which featured a song off of the brand new album.
It was an awesome night, and the band even came out afterward to hang out with their loyal NEPA fanbase, take pictures, and sign autographs.
And so, after two straight days of busy-work and very little sleep, the frenzy surrounding the release of Dear Agony has finally begun to settle down. If you have yet to buy the album, I suggest that you stop reading this blog, get off of your ass, and go get it! Trust me, it rocks. And if you couldn't get into the Secret Show, you have my sympathy, and I hope that you can join us for one in the future.
I'm going to catch up on some sleep. Until next time, greasers, KEEP ROCKIN'!