My TATINOF Story!
I went to TATINOF in Akron Ohio, I bought the tickets not even five minutes after they came out and luckily got 2 VIP tickets for me and my friend! It was May 12th which was a Thursday, so of course I had school. It was towards the end of the year and we weren’t really doing anything but I was nervous the entire day. On the car ride to the venue I was already sweating and shaking, it was dead silent because my friend and I both realized that “holy shit we’re literally going to meet Dan and Phil” and that thought was overwhelming. We got to the venue and waited outside in the VIP line for probably 20 minutes or less. During that time though, Dan and Phil literally walked from their bus to the venue. Now, that may seem like nothing special but that moment was life changing. I knew they were real people of course but seeing them walking and doing things not behind a screen was just really weird. Everyone was screaming and they were waving and saying their hellos. I was a mess, half-crying and half excited out of my mind.
The venue was really nice and homey feeling even though it was huge. It wasn’t grand or gaudy but wasn’t a local tiny theater either. We were given a cute little area with bean bags and snacks and a little guest book. Everyone was really sweet and I made a lot of friends, but then was the time for the actual meet and greet. There was a room that went off of the lobby where everyone was sitting where the boys were. I myself am generally a very loud and talkative person but by the time I was the next person in line to meet them I was completely silent with nerves. I walked behind that curtain and was completely and utterly awestruck, they looked like angels. They were very sweet and Dan did most of the talking, it went like this:
Dan: Hello there! How are you?
Me: I’m really good thank you! How ‘bout you guys?
Both: We’re really good! It’s super awesome meeting you guys!
We hugged and right about then I realized I was meeting Dan Howell and Phil Lester and clammed up out of sheer shock. Phil complimented how fluffy my hair was and Dan asked if I’d like my book signed and if I’d like him to take a selfie, since his arms were freakishly long (he doesn’t exaggerate when he says he’s freakishly tall or long. Maybe it’s because I’m only 5'1 but he towered over me and his entire hand wrapped around my phone screen soooo.) Some other small things happened and I hugged them again but then it was over. I was in a kind of trance during the whole thing, it was really surreal but honestly, bless Dan for asking me all the questions so I didn’t have to. They were really polite and sweet. When we left the room we were given a tote bag with some goodies like posters and flower crowns in it, Cornelia gave me mine!
When the meet and greet was done, they came out of the room and thanked everyone a bunch for coming then said their goodbyes. Dan also took a group selfie which I can’t find anywhere, not even in DAPGO but it probably exists on his phone and that’s enough for me tbh. After that was kind of blurry, we went to the merch line because it was short (no standard ticket people had came in yet) and I answered a million texts from my friends. When the doors for standard tickets opened my friends and I realized “oh, there is still an entire show to watch” which was crazy. I had orchestra seating in the 4th row back which gave me a great view! The entire theater was singing along to the before-show songs (they still make me emotional because I think of that night) and it was so amazing.
I don’t remember all the details from the show but one weird kid “licked ants off of trees” and other “sat in the washing machine regularly.” I do remember Dan was super super sweaty though and of course this was before he started to embrace his curly hair and so his hair got super coily with the heat I loved it so much. At the end though with the singing number I was an emotional wreck and cried through it. They gave each other the love eyes stare and everyone was going nuts. When they walked off the stage my heart was destroyed but as soon as the lights turned on All Star by Smashmouth started playing and I was ready to fight Dan. Apparently a bunch of people got to see them walk out of the venue but I was catching up with people inside so I didn’t get to. It was so much fun though and I’m really grateful that I got to go.