At the risk of sounding sappy (and believe me, i'm about to pump you so full of sap you'll be wiping your noses with pancakes) I'd like to address something that's been on my mind since i got home from the "Weekend of AFP" in London, and it's this.....
Despite the number of years i've been a Dolls/Amanda fan, this weekend was the first time that the stars have aligned (and my schedule's allowed) for me to make it to any of their/her live shows, as i'm usually either working, or in the wrong country at the wrong time. But the one thing that struck me most about this weekend wasn't the shows themselves (I won't waste your time preaching Amanda's awesomeness to you all since, let's face it, that's why we're all here) it was the people AT the shows.
Over the years i've been to thousands of gigs, in dozens of countries, on pretty much every continent, spanning every musical genre, but never in all my time have i experienced fans like you guys. I know bands who pride themselves on being "artists" and their fans are usually the type of eye-rollingly dull and pretentious type who spend their days going back and forth on their respective forums about how creative they are, and how original they are, but when it comes to the shows themselves, they all line up outside and barely so much as make eye contact.
And then there are you guys, i barely know where to even begin describe you, haha, you're like some wonderful combination of the Edinburgh Fringe, Carnivale, and Dio de los muertos, whether it's the grandiosity (assuming that's a word) of Robin's Puppet parade, and Johnny's full-body painted Sin collecting or something as wonderfully sweet and simple as Rachel's free hugs and giving out little hand-made gifts, you've all as a group fundamentally changed what it means to me to be a "fan"
The entire 3 days i was taken aback by the sheer unbridled creativity and enthusiasm on display from you all, just the fact that, unlike a hell of a lot of other band's fans, you actually cared enough to do what you do, not to try and get in good with the band, or to show off, but just because you love what you do, and you do it to make the other fans happy, without any kind of pretention or air of superiority about you, it's something i honestly never thought i'd see, and it's something i sincerely doubt i'll ever see again outside of an AFP/Dolls gig.
What i'm trying to say in my rather long-winded and rambling way, is that i've been fans of many, many bands in the past, but this is the first time i've ever been a fan of fans, you make such a dull and simple thing as queueing an event in itself, and i'm already breathless in anticipation to see what will happen next time.
So for reigniting that spark in a somewhat jaded music fan, and for all the effort you give for little or no reward, from the bottom of my heart, i thank you.