Alright, well, no. Not really.
I don't know Tyler Glenn. I've never officially met him, and I very strongly doubt that I can be "in love" with a person whom I've yet to meet. I did, however, see him and his three bandmates exit a cream white Ford Explorer at approximately 5:30pm on Saturday, April 17th. The Ford was parked on West Elizabeth St. in Detroit, about 100 feet away from the side of the Fillmore Detroit. I noticed Neon Trees exiting their mode of transporation when I turned and I saw Tyler's bright blonde mohawk and black aviator shades. I stopped and I stared for a moment.
I had been standing on West Elizabeth's sidewalk for about 20 minutes at this point in time with four of my closest friends. It was pretty cold - colder than most days of this past April - and not long after Tyler exited his car, we went and retrieved a giant black comforter from our own. I then huddled in it while sitting on the pavement, my two girlfriends holding it around me. I had been sick for the past week or so, and had practically no voice. Despite sickness, when I saw the band leave their vehicle, I was standing upright; as I said before, I stopped, and I stared for just a moment.
And I then quickly spun on my heel and faced the wall. And spun around again. I started giggling.
I think I may have been the only die-hard Neon Trees fan in the line at that point, since it was early and the line was thin. I heard no one make any noise when they arrived, and I saw no one go to greet them. I don't even know if "die-hard fan" is the right term to use, but that's what it felt like. I reacted to seeing Tyler just like I reacted when I saw Billie Joe Armstrong for the first time. Starstruck. Childish. Shy. Excited. Desiring.
The friends around me were all encouraging me to go and say hello, to tell them I'm excited for the show, all of that nonsense. I didn't even think to get out my camera; I just spun around and acted like a child who just heard about a surprise birthday party.
...um, what? Yeah. That's sort of what I think about it now. How did I suddenly go from a 20-year-old, near-college-graduate, literary-magazine-editor, eloquent-to-a-fault human being to a 15-year-old star-crazed little girl? Why in the hell have I requested Tyler Glenn as a friend on Facebook, only to check it every day to see if he's responded, just because I want to tell him how much his music means to me? (And, well, get to know him.) Why have I had Neon Trees on repeat on my iPod for the past few weeks? Why are my friends all telling me shut up when I start talking about the band?
Sitting in my apartment in Holland, cross-legged in my chair at my desk, I'm tilting my head. I have not been this head over heels for a band - or for a lead singer - since I was fifteen years old. I saw Green Day live for the first time in November of 2004, and my life has never been the same since. Ask anyone who knows me. This coming summer, I will be seeing them for the fifth time at DTE. The thought about seeing Green Day live makes the blood in my veins run quicker, feel more alive. Their music changed and shaped my adolescent years, and if that's a cliche, then I will proudly wear it as such. Billie Joe Armstrong and his voice became my lullaby, my saint, my listening ear. A poster on a bedroom wall does not describe how much a band and their music can do for a human, especially one so young as fifteen.
Saved tickets, saved wristbands. Bruises from your first experiences in the mosh pit. CD inlays plastered to the ceiling. Windows rolled down in your best friend's light blue Oldsmobile, screaming your heart out onto Five Mile Road. Lyrics transcribed into notebooks. Awkward first chords on a jet black Epiphone acoustic, the one your sister handed down to you - chords to "Good Riddance." Tears coming silently when a studded belt-wearing, loud-mouthed punk screams love for your supposedly dying city.
That is what music can do for a human, and more importantly, for a teenager. And this feeling of elation - this saving of tickets, this postering my walls - is happening to me all over again with Neon Trees.
Tyler Glenn has become my new Billie Joe Armstrong - my new midnight album, my new idol in studs. And I could not be more grateful.
This past semester has been one of the worst of my entire academic career; I have never been more eager to get out of college, to get my degree, and to move on with my life. I am craving the city from which I came, new people, and new things to talk about. I am craving new noises in my ears, new songs, new sounds. Situational depression and panic attacks are nothing in comparison to the shake of the bass drum in the core of your chest when you stand on the floor at a show and your band plays your song. Grades and deadlines and "publication print dates" have no weight against the feeling of Tyler Glenn looking straight at you as his voice gracefully pushes out the last line of "Boys and Girls in School" (or, at least, when it looks that way). Nothing compares to the way that Billie Joe Armstrong seems to always choose just the right song to end with, like "Macy's Day Parade" - the song they haven't played live in years, and your best friend is in your arms, and you're crying, like a child.
Nothing compares to having your fire for music returned to you, especially when you never realized it was gone. Nothing compares to having a 20-something musical adoration, allowing you to feel 15 again. Nothing.
Dear Tyler Glenn and Neon Trees,
During your show in Detroit, when you asked if everyone on the floor was alright because of a fight that had broken out in the song before, you were asking about my best friend. She was underneath my arm, shaken, but okay. Thank you for that.
I sang every word to every one of your songs, even though I didn't really have a voice. I am so proud of the lack of speech I had the following morning.
If you never friend me on Facebook, I will totally understand, because I feel like a major creeper. I just want you to know that you and your band, you and your lyrics, have brought me out of a time that I didn't understand. I love you just as I've loved Billie - and he always returned his love.
Alright, well, no. Not really.