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catwizard's picture
on November 16, 2011 - 11:01am

I know this concert story is late, but better late than never. I think it's taken me awhile to write this because I have very mixed feelings about it and it's not going to be totally positive re: Josh's behavior towards me when I let out my feelings about what happened. It's hard to see other fans get something you've wanted and felt you deserved for a long time and you get less than half of what they got from Josh.

I'm an Iraq War veteran who was in the Navy Nurse Corps as a military officer and a Registered Nurse. I was forced to leave the military because I was exposed to toxic chemicals in Iraq which caused me to have cancer and other illnesses so wasn't considered physically fit for duty. I now live on a VERY limited income from the government and am not feeling well ever since all of these illnesses came upon me, especially with one of those being a chronic pain disorder that continues to get progressively worse (fortunately, I did survive the cancer--obviously). Therefore, I am unable to work anymore. This brings me to my concert story.

I spent alot of money I didn't have on a Front Row Seat Package for Josh's Straight To You tour which took place at US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ on Aug. 19, 2011. Since I am an Iraq War veteran and Josh had so graciously written, "The War At Home", I wanted to go onstage and sing a special song for Josh to thank him for caring about us veterans and writing that song. I have a very good voice--I've had feedback about how good my voice is since I was a child (like Josh has). I have sung solo onstage since I was a child (clarification--I have been picked by choirmasters to sing solo onstage since I was a child). I am a first soprano. I'm not bragging, but if I had been allowed to sing onstage for Josh--I would have blown him, the Groband, and everyone else in the audience away with the beauty of my voice. Since Josh was letting members of the audience come onstage to sing with him during this tour, I felt sure that I would be allowed to sing onstage to him, particulary because I am a disabled Iraq War veteran.

Because I was in the Front Row in the very end seat, Darren, Josh's bodyguard, and 2 other venue guards were stitting close to where I was. I took the opportunity of Darren being so close to go up to him and tell him I am an Iraq War veteran and wanted to thank Josh for writing The War At Home and supporting us veterans by singing for Josh onstage. I was very surprised at Darren's attitude because I've heard he is very nice to Grobanites. He very coldly stated that it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to sing onstage for Josh, believe me--I had my veteran's ID with me and told him so, in case he didn't believe me. He said he believed me, but firmly stuck to saying, "NO". I was CRUSHED. I have been a Grobanite since 2004 (I actually joined FOJG around Feb 2005--not 2006 as it says here my profile) and I thought this would be my last chance to meet Josh because who knows when he will tour again. I held my chin up, returned to my seat, and tried to enjoy the rest of the concert, but I was pretty broken up and the concert really was ruined for me after that.

The concert ended and I noticed Josh walking up and down the stage, after it ended, as if he was looking for someone in the audience because we were still standing there and hadn't started leaving the arena yet. All of a sudden, I realized later, he finally saw me, came down onto a step that lead off the stage where he was standing so close in front of me that I could touch him. At that point, he reached out his hands, and took mine in his and looked me in the eyes. (I thought, this is strange--he's only paying attention to me). He held my hands in his for a few moments and then he turned and left the stage for good. Since he didn't say anything to me during this whole thing, I was confused about why he picked me to take my hands into his. I was happy, though, I was confused, because I finally sort of met Josh up close and personal. I did feel very empty inside, though, and I kept feeling something was missing from that encounter with Josh. It took me a few hours after the concert, after I got home to realize that Darren had to have told Josh that I was an Iraq War veteran and wanted to thank Josh for the song, but I know he didn't even mention to Josh that I wanted to sing for Josh. I am sure if he had, Josh would have said I could come onstage and sing from him! Josh made a bad decision to come up to me and simply hold my hands in his and look at me and expect me to read his mind that he was holding my hands in his to thank me for serving our country. The Josh I know and love would have told Darren to bring me backstage just for even a minute to VERBALLY thank me for serving our country and HAVE A PHOTO TAKEN WITH ME WITH HIS ARM AROUND ME. Josh knows how much us Grobanites want a photo taken with him when we meet him and he always obliges!!!! I AM SICK AT HEART THAT HE KNEW I WAS A WAR VETERAN AND IT SHOULD HAVE MADE PERFECT SENSE TO HIM TO HAVE ME GO BACKSTAGE SO I COULD THANK HIM FOR SUPPORTING US VETERANS AND SO I COULD HAVE A KEEPSAKE PHOTO TAKEN OF HIM AND I OF THAT IMPORTANT MOMENT--IT WOULD HAVE TAKEN VERY FEW MINUTES OF HIS TIME!!! And I WASN'T EVEN ALLOWED TO SING ONSTAGE FOR HIM, EITHER. What should have been special moments with Josh, finally after all my years of devotion to him, wasn't, in my eyes. The possibility of me ever getting that close to Josh again are 1 in 200 million, I'm sure! I don't even have a photo of him taking my hands in his because I was at the concert alone without anyone to take a photo of that moment and if anyone in the audience had bothered to even take a photo of us--it would have been difficult to see the expression on our faces because we were standing facing each other. NO PHOTO TAKEN BY AN AUDIENCE MEMBER HAS EVER SURFACED OF JOSH TAKING MY HANDS IN HIS. I HAVE BEEN ASKED OVER AND OVER BY MY FRIENDS AND FELLOW GROBANITES TO SEE THE PHOTO OF JOSH TAKING MY HANDS IN HIS AND I HAVE TO TELL THEM--THERE ISN'T ANY PHOTO! I would love to have been able to use the photo of he and I to post as my Facebook and Twitter profile photos, like everyone who ever meets him does!!! But, it was denied me by Josh.

I will never understand why Josh made the choice he did. It takes the luster off of him for me somewhat. I will continue to be a Grobanite because I love Josh's music so much and he has become such a part of my life over these many years that I have been a Grobanite. Ask yourself--don't you think in my situation that the only appropriate and fair thing for Josh to do would have been to take me backstage for 2 seconds or less, thanked me for my service as a veteran, and had Darren snap a quick photo with my Smartphone. It's sad for me to know that I finally had personal contact with Josh, but the price I paid is confusion and sadness and to NEVER HAVE A PHOTO WITH JOSH AND I TOGETHER IN IT!

I have posted a photo of me next to the billboard of Josh at the concert venue from that night. That's the only photo of myself and Josh, a giant billboard of Josh with me standing almost unnoticeable next to it. Pretty sad,

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