This part of the story starts from when I got THE CALL saying that I won backstage passes to meet Josh Groban.
Wednesday I skipped my classes (I'm in college) in hopes that I would get THE CALL. I didn't leave my room all day except
to go to the bathroom a few times and to go to dinner at 6pm. My roommate Hilary got a lot of phone calls that day. Her boyfriend,
Mark, called several times and two of her female friends from home called a few times. Every time the phone would ring my
heart would stop.
Thursday I skipped class too. I had errands to run in the morning that I was not happy about leaving my room and the phone
to do so. I sadly don't have a cell phone. I got back to my dorm room. About an hour later, I went to lunch then I came back
and waited for THE CALL that I was hoping to get. At 3:30pm, I had a short emergency meeting for the officers of the History
Club that I'm in. I got back to my room around 3:45pm. At 3:57pm, my phone rang. My first thought was "That better not
be Mark". I let the phone ring twice too make it seem like the phone wasn't right next to me like it was. I answered
the phone, it was a female voice my split-second thought was it's not either of the two female friends that had called Hilary
the day before. The call went something like this,
Female voice: Hi, Rachel?
I then thought I don't usually get phone calls so who else would this be but...
Me: This is Rachel
Female voice: This is Kelli. (at this point I knew that I won the contest. I motioned to Hilary, pointing to the phone
and mouthed the words "this is it!") "Are you going to the Josh Groban concert in Raleigh tomorrow night?
Me: Yes, I am
Kelli: We just reviewed your essay and you won backstage passes to meet Josh Groban before the concert.
Me: Wow! (Was all I could manage to say) then after a pause, I asked
Me: Where do I get the passes? What time do I get them?
Kelli: Do you have something to write with?
Me: Yes, I'm ready!
Kelli: Go to Will Call at 7pm, there will be an envelope with you name on it inside it will be your passes and instructions
on where to go.
(I then repeated the instructions back to her to make sure I got them right.)
Kelli: Have you ever met Josh before?
Me: No, I haven't.
Kelli: Do you want to meet him? (I thought that this was a very stupid question, although she might have had to ask it
for the record.)
Me: Oh, Yes!
That's where the phone conversation ended. As soon as I got off the phone, I started looking for my Mama's work phone
number. Mama was going with me to the concert. The first time I tried to dial the number I forgot that I needed to dial "9"
the call off campus. Then the second time I tried to dial I got the first 3 numbers of the phone number confused. Since they
are similar to the first 3 number of my phone number. I then tired for a 3rd time. This time I got through to Mama's work
but when transferring me they kept me on hold too long so I hung up and tried again. This was the same for the 4th time I
tried to called. So finally the 5th time I dial I got Mama. She answered the phone,
Me: (I scream into the phone) I WON!!!!
Me: Yes, I just got off the phone with them!
Mama: Okay, bye (then she hung up)
This had to be the shortest phone call I have ever had with Mama. I think she was speechless. Mama is a big Grobanite
Bye the time I got off the phone with my Mama Hilary had already told two of our friends that I had won, on IM. Hilary
was just about as excited as I was. Hilary isn't a Grobanite, but she is my best friend, and she tolerates me playing Josh's
music 24/7 and all of my Grobanitness.
I went home Thursday night because Mama and I had to be in Chesapeake, VA, to meet some Grobanite friends of ours that
we were car-pooling with to the Raleigh concert. They were Buttons (irishmemaw), LuAnn (luigilula), and Alicia (entaoed).
We got everything ready to go. I shared my news of winning the backstage passes with everybody. Before leaving we Gobanized
Alicia's van that we were riding in. The windows said, "Getting Closer to Josh", "Have you had you Josh lately?",
"Warning: Grobanites on board", Grobania here we come".
Riding to Raleigh, we alternated between watching the "Live at the Greek" DVD and the "In Concert"
DVD on the DVD player in the van.
We got to Raleigh around 12:30pm. We went to a restaurant called Daman's where we were going to meet Patty (peytonsmom).
Patty was already there when we arrived. We all went in and ordered some appetizers, that was all we ordered because we were
too excited to eat and we knew we would be having some good food later at the M&G. We had a nice waiter named Mike; he
took a picture of us all together. After about 1 ½ hours of hanging out at the restaurant, we started to take turns changing
for the concert in the bathroom of the restaurant. After we were all, dress ready for the concert. We had Mike take our picture
again as an after picture to go with our before picture.
After a little while longer, we left and headed over to the RBC Center to look for the buses. We still had 2 hours until
we were able to get into the RBC Center to go to the M&G. We got a call from Terry (TyphoonTerry); she was over at Daman's
waiting on us. We met her and her friend Tracey over there and when inside to the bar, to hang out for about 45 minutes.
It finally time to go to the M&G. Even though it was only 5pm and I was told to pick up, my backstage passes at 7pm
I decided to go ahead and see if they would give it to me then. I told the lady at Will Call, what I was there for, and my
name. While she was getting the passes, I was looking in my purse for my ID. I came to find out that I left my ID in the pocket
of my coat that I left at home. My heart sank to my stomach. I told the lady that my ID was left at home. I'm sure she could
see the distress on my face. She then told me do you have anything with your name on it. I look into my wallet and saw something
I was reluctant to pull it out because it was not something I'm sure a lot of people carrying in their wallet. What I had
was a laminated pocket Birth Certificate, with a picture of me when I was a few days old. I pulled it out and showed it to
the lady. I said "I have this." worried that she wouldn't accept it. She looked at it and said, "That works."
I don't think I have ever been so relieved in my life. I then signed for the passes, with my hand shaking. Mama and I put
our passes on. We walk to the lobby where we were to check in for the M&G. About a minute later, I saw Kay (dkayg3), I
met her at the DC concert that I went to and we have stayed in contact since then. I showed her my backstage pass, and then
I gave her some tickets that I was to pass on to her from someone else.
I then found Mama again and we went towards the medal detectors that we had to pass through to get to the M&G. Me
and Mama both had camera's, the one I had was borrowed from Terry. The security guard would not let us take the cameras with
us even after we told them that we won backstage passes to meet Josh Groban and we are entitled to a picture with him. Finally,
he called someone in charge, and told us that we could take the cameras backstage with us but nowhere else. So we had to check
the cameras in to Guest Services before we went to the M&G. We were lead to Guest Services. When we walked through the
doors to the lobby just out side of the arena we heard Josh singing he was having sound check! He was singing "Vincent
(Starry Starry Night)". After we checked, the cameras in, we were taken to the elevator so we could go upstairs to the
M&G room. When we got off the elevator, we could hear Josh now singing "Per Te". I first had to find Kirstie
(Kirstie/tennisproNC) she was the one who organized the M&G. Some background info, ~~ I had met Kirstie at the Bristow,
VA concert. I met her first at the hotel. Mama and I were at the M&G room for Bristow, looking around when Kirstie and
her friend Amy came in and asked if they could use someone's room to change into. Mama and I said that they could use ours
since we were heading back up to our room to change for the concert too. We then came to find out that Kirstie won the backstage
passes for the Bristow concert. I had already had a letter written to Josh in an envelope I brought with me in hopes that
I would be able to find some way to get it to him. When I found out that Kirstie was going to meet him I asked her if she
would give him the letter for me and she said that she would. ~~ Kirstie and I became friends. I was excited to see her again.
I also had to see her about something I brought for the charity auction.
What I brought was a concert quote book that I made entitled "A Collection of Josh Groban Concert Quotes from 2004".
I had started collecting concert quotes in March 2004 after I saw Josh in DC. The book was 5 ½ by 4 ¼ in size. It was 77 pages
long with the pages front and back. It has a table of contents, and it has color pictures periodically throughout the book.
I also had one concert quote book that I was planning to give to Josh. I had 6 other concert quote books that Buttons had
me make so she could take 3 to Louisville and 3 to Las Vegas, for their charity auctions at the M&G's there. Since I was
going to meet Josh, I decided to have Josh sign the concert quote book for the other M&G's that way more money could be
raised for his foundation. After talking it over with a the group that I came with me and Mama decided to talk to Josh or
someone from Josh's official team to see if they could have Josh sign the books and then bring them to the Norfolk concert
where he would be performing the next night. Mama and I were going to see him again in Norfolk too, so we could pick them
At about 6:30pm Mama and I left the M&G to go meet Josh. We first went to the bathroom to freshen up. Then we went
back to the Guest Services picked up the cameras. At Guest Services was a security man in a suit name Clinton was there. We
found out that we would be our escort to the meet and greet with Josh. Clinton led us to section 105 of the arena. We there
waited for the rest of the people that had backstage passes. There were about 14 or so of us total. There was only one other
person that won backstage passes from Friends of Josh Groban and that was Cayla (bubbles13), there was an older man there,
and after talking to him, me and Mama found out that his daughter Gwen, is Josh's agent. That is how he got his pass and he
brought some friends along. They came all the way from L.A. Mama and me, also found out that a couple that was there, their
son went to Carnegie Mellon University when Josh was there, and that Josh and their song Jonathan have stayed good friends.
They told us that Jonathan has Josh's cell phone number and has bee sworn to secrecy about it and they don't even know it.
About 7:30, all of us with backstage passes were escorted to an elevator where we were taken down to the basement to meet
Josh. When we got off the elevator, we were escorted to a black curtained area. There were 3 walls to the curtained area.
We were told to form a line on the wall that was on the right side. While we were standing in line, the lady that was going
to be taking the pictures came over to where Mama and I were standing we asked her if we could get a picture with both of
us and Josh and then one of each of us and Josh. She said no that we could only get one picture each. We then told the lady
about the concert quote book and what we wanted done with them. She didn't know herself if that could be done but she said
that she would find someone that would know. She then told security that after we meet Josh that we would need to say to the
side to talk to someone.
Jeff Johnson Josh's videographer then came over to us with some release forms for us to sign giving him permission to
use us in the video that he was going to shot of us meeting Josh. I told Jeff how much I have enjoyed the behind the scenes
videos that he has made for the FOJG site. My Mama and I we took turns posing with Jeff for a picture.
I had a copy of my essay entry with me and the group of people behind us in line heard that I had it and first wanted
me to read it aloud. I didn't want to do that so one of the women of the group volunteered to read it. She got about half
way through the second paragraph when Josh walked in front of us. She stopped reading and handed my essay back to me. I wasn't
until the moment that I saw about 10 feet from me that it hit me that I was going to meet him.
They led him over to the opposite side of the area that we were standing in. My Mama was standing in front of me. The
woman who was going to be taking the pictures for us told Mama "you're first". Mama looked over at Josh in disbelief
that she was first. She said, "I'm first?" Josh looked at her and said, "Yes you." Mama walked over there.
I then realized that I would be next that I needed to get my Sharpe that I wanted Josh to use out of my purse. I chose an
orange Sharpe for Josh to use. While I was going through my purse, I heard Josh ask Mama some questions.
When Mama was done with her time with Josh the lady that was taking the pictures pointed over to me and told Josh "and
this is her daughter". I then walked over to where Josh was and my Mama was standing. The lady told us to pose for a
picture I was surprised by that because she had told us earlier that we couldn't have one together with Josh. I was on Josh's
left and Mama was on his right. He had his arms around both of us.
After the picture, before Mama left, she was now standing next to me and Josh then noticed that me and Mama had on matching
sweaters on just different colors. Josh said, "Matching sweaters, you must have shopped at the same store." Mama
said, "You can tell we are mother and daughter can't you?" I then said in reply to what Josh said, "Yes we
did and they were on sale too."
I introduced myself to Josh, I said, "Hi, I'm Rachel, I won the FOJG contest!"
Josh said, "Congratulations! I'm so glad that you won!" I then moved to Josh's right side. I moved to Josh's
right side because I wanted to be on his right when I got my picture with him. I unfolded my contest entry and showed it to
him; I told him that this was a copy of my contest entry. He looked like he started to read or glance through it. The first
part of my essay is about the website that I have dedicated to him. I told him, "I have a website dedicated to you, and
it's called, "My little piece of Grobania". He then told me, "I'll read this later on the way, and then I'll
check out your site." I then handed Josh the essay.
I next showed Josh the concert quote book. I told him, "Over the last year I have collected concert quotes, things
you have said at your concerts." Josh then said, "That's got to be repetitive." I looked up at him and told
him, "Actually it is." We laughed. I flipped through to book showing it to him. I then handed him the book and told
him, "This is your copy."
I then told Josh, "I have something kind of serious and important to ask you." I had an AIM screen name written
on a piece of paper. I showed the piece of paper to Josh and I said him, "Is this your AIM screen name? If it's not then
there is a really good imposter out there." Josh look as if he hadn't seen that question coming. He also looked disturbed.
Josh then told me, "No it's not, I wouldn't use anything that similar to my name. I would use something more random.
And when I am on it's not for much." I said, "Okay, I just thought you should know if there was an imposter out
there." Josh said, "Thank you, and spread the word about it." I said, "I will." (The screen name
is for AIM and it is joshgrob1.)
I then unfolded the piece of paper that had the instructions on it, which I got with my backstage passes. I handed it
to him to sign. He was just about to sign when I stopped him, I said, "uh-uh, 'Closer' orange." I hold up an orange
Sharpe. He said, "Closer orange." I could tell that he liked that. He hands me his black Sharpe and I hand him my
orange Sharpe. He signs my paper, To Rachel: Thanks: Josh Groban and with the trademark curly haired smiley face. Then I ask,
"Can I have a hug?" he said, "Sure." We hugged. I could put my left all the way across his back but I
still had his black Sharpe in my right hand. The top was off so I was trying my best to point the Sharpe way from him so not
to mark him. I gave a squeeze in the hug. After the hug broke, he gave me, my autographed piece of paper. I then said, "Is
this yours?" handing him his black Sharpe. He gave my back my orange Sharpe. I told him bye and then walk over to where
Mama was standing. About a minute later, Jimmy Johnson, Josh's tour manager comes over to talk to us about what we wanted
done with the quote books. Mama and I both explain what we wanted to happen. Jimmy takes all the books from us. He tells us
that it can be done and that the books will be left at Will Call in my name at the Norfolk concert the next night.
After waiting a little while for the rest of the group to meet Josh, we were all escorted back to the elevator and back
up to the main floor. Clinton then escorted Mama and I back to the Guest Services to check the cameras back in.
Mama and I found the elevator to take it down to the first floor where our seats were. We found out 9th row seats and
were so amazed out close they really were. When we sat down, we saw that Kirstie was two seats down from me and a friend of
Kirstie's was next to me, I believe her name is Amy.
After a little while, Chris Botti came on as the opening act. I was very impressed with him. Chris got down off the stage,
found a little girl, and serenaded her with "My Funny Valentine" At the intermission Chris was signing autographs
in the lobby I went to try to get his autograph but I ended up leaving with out getting it because the line was to long and
I didn't want to miss Josh coming on.
Josh finally came on. The set list was pretty much the same except "Broken Vow" was put back in, and Chris Botti
played with Josh on "Broken Vow" I took a few pictures at the concert but I stopped because I didn't want to get
caught. Although at the end of the concert, there were some songs, which stage lights were very bright and I took pictures
anyway hoping they wouldn't notice the flash.
After the concert, the group I was with it was our original plan was get back to our vans as soon as possible so we could
try to catch the buses on the road back to Norfolk. We were leaving to go back to Norfolk that night. After Mama and I picked
up the cameras at Guest Services, we went to the vans. Only LuAnn was there. She called Buttons cell phone and found out that
they were over by the buses waiting for Josh. After a while Buttons, Alicia, and Patty came and then we went back and we went
back to Daman's to get Buttons jacket. We all used the bathroom and I changed into my jeans, to be more comfortable for the
We left Raleigh around 12:30am, when we left a mother and daughter I don't remember their names arranged to follow us
back to Norfolk because they were going to the Norfolk concert too. We made a stop down the road for something to drink since
all of us were very thirsty from screaming all through the concert. Terry and Tracey caught up with us at that point. About
1:30am, we stopped at a gas station for a bathroom break. We were all still very full of energy from the concert. We had the
lady that worked at the gas station take our picture. I'm sure she thought we were crazy.
We finally made it back to Buttons' house a little after 4am and we then packed up the vans with the M&G stuff to
take to the Radisson where we were staying. We got to the Radisson at 5am, got our rooms. I got to bed about 5:30am.
Click here to see a picture of me and Josh.