Last year, I finally managed to make one of my dreams true: Meet my favorite band.

The first time I listened to #Moonspell, I did so with wide eyes and a struggle to understand how it could have taken me so long to find something so good (like at 16 you’ve seen it all). My heart broke when the person who introduced me to their music commented:

“They’re awesome, right? They played in town just a couple of months ago, it was crazy that Chihuahua would even be on their tour list. I don’t think they’ll ever get so close again”. And he was right.

Moonspell is a beloved band in Mexico. They play there almost once every year, and Monterrey, Mexico City, and Guadalajara are used to hosting them at their biggest venues. But never again in Chihuahua. The closest they ever got was to southern US. Always so close and so far from where I was.

For those who might get a little confused as to why I did not just take a plane or a bus to one of these concerts: Chihuahua is very much in the middle of nowhere. It is expensive to travel to and from there, plus it is very tricky to travel alone inside Mexico, for safety reasons. So I took it in stoically, breathed in deeply, and waited.

13 years later, I was living in Sweden and Moonspell released their album Extinct. For some miraculous reason they decided to include Scandinavia in their tour, and my city was on their list. Not only that, but they were selling VIP tickets, which included a freaking meet-and-greet with the band. I was beside myself.

As I prepared for the concert, choosing my clothes like you would for a first date, I thought about all the things I would ask them, the stories I would tell them, the pictures we would take. I had left all my physical Moonspell albums in Chihuahua but I had my Portuguese edition of Antidote, the book+CD they produced with José Luís Pexioto (I talk a lot about him in this blog). So it was decided, I’d bring the book and ask them to sign it, it would be a happy day.

It was weird how in control I felt when I finally met them. Of course I was excited and looking at the pictures I can tell I didn’t stop smiling for hours. I really thought everything was under control as I was capable of speaking without stammering, and holding actual conversations with the band. But then every time I thought “Now is the time to ask for those autographs” I just froze. Here is a very accurate visual aid for what happened that night, perhaps minus the cow.

It was still one of the best experiences of my life. The concert is the best event I have attended, and my spot was a dream one as you can see from the picture of Ricardo Amorim at the top of this page. They were fun, and kind, and REAL. We talked about their tour so far, their families, politics, books (Fernando Ribeiro doesn’t really like Tolkien, but it’s ok. I still have him on a pedestal), and Mexican TV shows from the 80’s. However, I went home with my book the way it left. So now I have to plan a way to make this happen again, or it might just haunt me forever. If only there was a way to make sure I would not be as starstruck again…

Bonus nuggets:

-As a metal nerd, Scandinavia is definitely the place to be. Having lived in Gothenburg for two and a half years, I have randomly run into Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity at least four times. One such time was an Anathema concert, where he decided my spot was a good one so we head-banged side by side for two glorious songs.

-I also met Niclas Etelävuori and Esa Holopainen from Amorphis, after a concert of their Circle tour, and got to talk with Niclas about his collaboration with Moonspell during the recording of The Antidote. Then they asked if I knew of any bars that were open at that time, and I, both new in Gothenburg and finally fully starstruck, could not assist them in their time of need.

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