It was a Sunday, but the theater was sold out. We were on the list though, so we hadn't had to worry about getting in.
And there we were, standing with a couple thousand screaming, singing, sweating fans, singing and sweating and even screaming a bit ourselves. The pop star was radiant, raw, possessed - by the music, by us, by the power she had over everyone in the room. Next to us, teenaged girls screamed and laughed at each other for screaming, and sang along with nearly every song; in front of us, boys with perfect bodies hugged each other, swayed with the music, their arms waving above their heads, and sang along with nearly every song. All of us dripping with sweat and a bit out of our minds. It was so very Bacchanalian, abandoning ourselves ecstatically to the moment en masse (and some were surely enhancing their ecstasy with, um, ecstasy, no doubt) like Maenads, although maybe not quite as bloodthirsty.
After the singing was done and we had invaded the filthy and dingy green room, we dragged her down with us to the stage door where she signed papers and posed for her fans while we waited, and then we all went to a restaurant in Soho that serves dinner and fancy-schmancy cocktails (in former days they would have been bedecked with paper umbrellas, but no one does that anymore) after midnight.
I drank my first cocktail in a few gulps, still floating on it all (which is quite something for a guy whose most-played song on his ipod is an obscure aria from Handel's Semele).
"You were just so amazing up there," I told the pop star. "I'm so proud to know you." And I gave her a kiss on the forehead.
She beamed back at me. "Thank you," she said. Really, what else could she say? And she gave me a squeeze.
Then we ate our late dinner - there were twelve of us in the end - and drank our cocktails and took stupid photos of each other and laughed loudly and long - the pop star laughing loudest and longest - until it was finally time to jump in cabs and go home to bed.
London is so much fun.
The Swedish word for the day is överlycklig. It means overjoyed.
- by Francis S.