Last week, a Reddit user begged the internet to help him high-five his lifelong hero, Blink-182 man Mark Hoppus. This weekend his dream came true and this story now has a really happy, really awesome ending.
Mark Hoppus at Leeds Festival 2014 (note, not in high-fiving-fan mode)
You may remember this story from last week, where Reddit user NoSoup69 asked the internet to help him high-five his hero Mark Hoppus. Why is this news? Well it, wasn't until Mark responded, invited him to Blink-182's show in Las Vegas over the weekend, and confirmed "Hello and yes I will high five you at the Vegas show. Please give me your name and bring ID to the show and there will be passes and instructions waiting."
So how did this all pan out, you ask? Good question. NoSoup69 posted the following explanation / recap after returning home a few hours ago.
"Well, I just got home. Long story short, Mission: Accomplished.
First of all, thanks for everyone's support - I still don't fully understand how all this happened to actually come about, but I am incredibly grateful - certainly a dream come true.
For those of you that are interested in the details, here's what happened though to protect everyone's privacy, I'm not going to be using any names of the folks I encountered and avoid specifics in terms of some of the conversations I had. I have way too much respect for Mark, his incredible family, and the crew to take advantage of their generosity. I'm also going to gloss over a few of the details as it relates to security, for obvious reasons.
My buddy and I landed in Vegas on Friday around 10:00pm. Fast forward to 5:00pm Saturday, the starting of the event.
My instructions were relatively vague, only that I was to go to the "Will Call" booth and let them know that I was on Blink 182's guest list.
I was incredibly nervous, and while waiting in line I was running every worst case scenario through my mind. We finally get to the front of the line, and here is how that conversation went, to the best of my recollection:
Me: "Hi there - I believe I am on a list for Blink 182 - here's my ID" Cashier: "Oh, ok. Who put you on the list?" Me: "Mark Hoppus" Cashier, looking rather dubious: "Mark Hoppus? The Mark Hoppus? Let me check..."
And so begins the longest five minute wait of my life....
She returned (finally) and gave me an envelope. Outside, it's labeled "Guest of Mark" - inside, VIP bands for my buddy and I as well as a post it note with phone numbers and instructions to call.
We put the bands on, and I make the call. I speak with (from what I gather) an Assistant of Mark's. He informs me that they won't be arriving until around 9:00pm, and to give them a call back then.
My buddy and spend some time checking out the venue and watching the shows - the Mowgli's and Magic! were brilliant. They also displayed a Tweet of mine on the screen, which added to the experience. Unfortunately, because 9:00pm was drawing near and I wanted to ensure I was able to hear my contact, we move away from the stage during the Violent Femmes - but from what we could hear, it was awesome.
At 9:00 sharp, I gave the fellow a call again. It was (as you'd imagine) very difficult to hear. After I hung up, I sent him a quick text to confirm the information. His response? "Let's do this now."
I still don't know exactly what "this" is, but I've managed to not keel over from a heart attack in the last 15 seconds so I feel like I might be in pretty good shape. How I imagine the high five at this point will take place is something along the lines of me leaning over a security fence and Mark slapping my hand. Looking back, I wasn't ready for what was actually about to happen.
We work out the details of where to meet, and my friend and I head there. We meet the contact and he motions for us to follow him. He hands us additional passes that state "All Access" on them, and we go through security into the back lot.
Almost immediately, we run into Tom Delonge - who calls our contact over. Tom is fairly busy with a number of different people, and I didn't want to interrupt - so we pretty much just hang out while Tom and our guy talk.
Afterward, he motions for us to again begin following him and he leads us to Mark's trailer. Still uncertain of what is going to happen, he asks that my friend and I wait there while he runs inside for a minute. We agree, and he steps inside. Moments later, he opens the door and invites us in.
To be very clear, he invites us in into Mark Hoppus' trailer. Mark Hoppus' trailer.
I enter and walk down a short hall (Mark, not to sound too judgey here but I think you probably could do without the wood paneling on the walls) and Mark Hoppus himself comes into view, just hanging out on the couch.
I somehow manage to keep my feet moving and not trip on my face, walk in, and he stands up and says "You must be (My Name.) We shake hands and I take in the rest of the relatively small room.
There are a few other folks in the room, and Mark introduces them to my friend and I - it's all close family or close family friends.
My buddy and I introduce ourselves, and Mark's wife offers us something to drink. We accept, and then the moment comes.
I guess someone surprisingly, no lightning or explosions happen when we high five. My buddy was recording it, and I ask if we can then pose for a picture. Mark and I pose mid-high five, and it takes an awkwardly hilarious length of time for my buddy to figure out how to switch my phone to camera mode. Mark, to his credit, stands rock still with a suitably funny expression on his face, and the photos are taken.
He asks if I want to sit down, our drinks arrive, and we all start to talk. While still in a bit of a state of awe, he and his family make us feel incredibly comfortable and welcome. We discuss all sorts of things, including this specific thread. I had asked about the songs they were going to play and he pulls the set list down from his wall and hands it to me. He also autographed the envelope my passes came in, and at one point, while explaining what Reddit is to his wife, he pulls out his phone and reads some sample headlines, including something to the effect of "Mouse falls into popcorn bowl"
His wife was mildly confused as to why anyone would post that, and Mark responded with something like "Why wouldn't you want to see a picture of a Mouse in a popcorn bowl?"
My friend and I spent a considerable amount of time with them - I would guess 20-30 minutes - before Mark asked if we wanted to watch the show from the VIP area, or if we'd prefer to watch it from the side of the stage. He warned that "the sound sucks, but it's pretty cool anyway." We happily accepted the invitation, and then it was nearly time for the show to start.
Mark had a few last minute things to take care of, so my friend and I followed our contact out and were told we can just hang out in the backstage area until the show was about to start, at which point he'd come back and show us where to go. I imagined that my time with Mark was over, and but I was incredibly excited about having met him and honored that he'd spend so much time with a fan.
Shortly after, Mark heads to the stage. A few minutes later, we're given the go ahead to head up - which is what we do. On the rear of the platform, Mark calls to us and chats with us for a bit more - we enter the stage and he explains a bit of the ropes - where we can and can't go, etc. He disappears for a moment and comes back with his hands full of swag - guitar picks, stickers, etc.
There are only a few people there, primarily his family that we just spent time with, and with only seconds before the show starts we end our conversation and he takes the stage.
The sound of the audience is incredible, and from the moment Blink 182 started their first song the look of pride on the faces of Mark's family was really touching. It really speaks volumes about how important family is to him, and certainly gave me a new perspective on what I imagined his life was like.
From a purely technical point of view, it's quite interesting as to how much actually takes place behind the scenes during the show. There are constantly people sneaking out on during the set to make adjustments, swap guitars, replace picks and tape cords and what not. Also, Mark was absolutely correct - the sound sucked.
Watching Travis perform up close and personal is also amazing - I can't believe his stamina. For someone who has never played the drums before, I had no idea how much work it is.
We enjoy the show immensely, and chat with Mark's family as it progresses. At the end (prior to the encore) Mark walked over to me and handed me what is now one of my most prized possessions - his guitar pick. The band came back on and played a couple more songs, finishing amid a ton of confetti being blown into the audience.
Immediately after finishing, he walked over and shook our hands again, telling us it was great to meet us. Mark, I'd have to say - it was great to meet you and your family as well. Thank you so much for giving me a glimpse into your life and sharing so much with me. This will be one of the most memorable nights of my life - and if ever you're interested in a guy randomly crossing the country to high five you again, you know how to reach me.
My apologies for the lengthy post - I'm hoping it's relatively legible. I've only slept a few hours of the last few days (it was Vegas, after all) but I wanted to give all you folks who helped make one person's ridiculous bucket list item come true a bit of a follow-up as to what happened.
I know it sounds cliché, but words cannot adequately describe how thankful I am for the experience. Mark, you're a pretty rad guy."
Now isn't that just the coolest thing?