Finger Eleven

The first time I saw this Canadian quintet perform was in downtown Orlando, at the intimate Sapphire Supper Club. My friend Kristen and I got there really early because we wanted to see if we could possibly, hope of all hopes, talk to the band before they went onstage.

About 3 hours before performance time, she and I walked up to the front doors with the cracked looking glass in it, and found it unlocked. There, not more than 15 feet away from us were the men who created this intense sound of slamming guitars and profound lyrics.

The first member of the band that I took notice of was the lead vocalist, soft-spoken (and now bald) Scott Anderson. Of all the guys in the band, he is the most "normal-looking."

I was awe-struck at the notion that these were real people. (Kind of like seeing your teacher at the grocery store. They actually eat food??) Thank goodness for my more outgoing friend Kristen, for she is the one who was able to strike up an intelligent conversation with Scott.

The band. l-r: Rich, Scott, Sean, Rick, and James
We told them how much their music meant to us, and that we were so excited to actually be able to attend one of their performances. He was very friendly and answered all of our questions about the band and their music-making process, etc. Then we went to talk to the one of the two guitarists, Rick Jackett. He was up at the side of the small stage, fixing one of their stage props that had been used in their video for the song "Above." At first, he ignored us, while attending to the stage props. Disappointed, we went back and sat at the bar. I felt a little bit insulted and sad, but tried not to show it. The guitarist of my favorite band, a jerk?? It could not be. In my mind, I had made them all out to be angelic heroes of the people, unable to do wrong.
the author, guitarist Rick Jackett, and my friend Kristen. Thankfully, in about ten minutes time, he proved my initial image of them correct by walking up to us and apologizing for "blowing us off back there." He said he was worried about the props, because one of the aliens' hands had fallen off. He spoke to us at the bar for a few wonderful minutes before going back to the stage. After that, we talked to the other members of the band, and then patiently waited as other fans began to pile in and take their places before the stage.
The funny thing is, I view myself as rather normal. I don't dye my hair unnatural colors, I don't have any body piercings. Even my ears are unadorned. But I guess the people who have similar musical tastes as I do would be considered "abnormal." The audience members who soon filtered in ran the gamut from "alterna-punk" to goth-inspired teenagers with purple hair. Oddly enough, I felt at home.
The music began shortly and I thought Finger Eleven gave one of the most amazing live shows ever. They play with such raw energy, it was great. At the end of the set, everyone had sweat pouring off of them.

I have seen Finger Eleven play several more times, the most recent of which was here in Gainesville at the Florida Theater. I never get tired of seeing them perform, because each time it gets better. They are bigger in their native land of Canada, and from what I read online, it seems that they play huge arenas and outdoor events. I am glad that in America, for the time being, they are not yet fully mainstream. I can still think of them as my little secret. ticket stub from another show

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