And it was absolutely PHANTASTIC.
I saw the last show of the US tour at Dolby Theater in Hollywood on June 23, 2016. The show didn't start until 8 at night, but in order to avoid 4-6 L.A. traffic my mom, my friend Dao, and I arrived at the venue around 3:30. We hung out at the Hollywood and Highland Mall, took photos in front of the TCL Chinese Theater, wandered down the Hollywood Walk of Fame for a bit, and, most importantly, saw tons of fellow phandom members scattered around the area before the show. It was so beautiful! The place was loaded with a decadent blend of tourists and people wearing cat whiskers, Dan and Phil shirts, and flower crowns. Some people even drew cat whiskers on their parents--it was absolutely adorable. My only regret is that I forgot to pin my little flowers around my space buns!
I can't stop smiling.
Dan made a playlist for before the show (you know--that part before every live performance where everyone's either finding their seat or waiting in it). I'd heard about this wonderful playlist on Tumblr, and--not gonna lie--the playlist was one of the things I was most excited for. I've never been to a concert before (I have pretty sensitive ears and I'm claustrophobic, so extremely loud places packed with sweaty people never really sounded like my cup of tea), but I kind of see the appeal now. Knowing the words to almost every song on that playlist and dancing with Dao in a massive venue full of people doing the same thing was invigorating. It was just so cool knowing that everyone knew the songs or knew the significance of the songs in the playlist--like we were all connected. Seriously, it was a beautiful experience.
And the show was just agh so amazing. And also not on fire. I laughed, I cried, I screamed until I burst my own eardrums from inside my head. Seriously, I phangirled to the max. I'm talking head shaking, knee slapping, feet stomping--the whole daisy's ass. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but the show basically consisted of jokes that everyone got, and it just felt wonderful to be in a room full of people who love the same thing (or in this case, people) as me. Any sort of fangirl will get this feeling, but you know when who/whatever your obsessed with does the thing and you have a physical reaction to it? Everyone in the room had the same physical reaction at the same time, and I got this feeling of just being understood. I mean, I didn't even talk to anyone besides Dao (who likes Dan and Phil, but isn't a phangirl), but I knew that we were all thinking the same thing when Dan and Phil made eye contact (the entire theater lost its shit, I stg).
And when the show was over, by some stroke of luck, the playlist (which was on shuffle) started playing "All Star" by Smash Mouth. Honestly, I don't think the tour could've ended on a better note.
I also had a moment of reflection after the show. There's been a fair amount of discussion on Tumblr about how, recently, Dan and Phil kind of embodying their "brand" in a way that feels forced. I noticed it as well and started to get a bit concerned that they were going to lose the authenticity that makes them so great. After seeing TATINOF though, I realized that this is just a result of them playing themselves in the show. If you think about it, they've done this show like fifty times (I can't be bothered to go look up the tour dates and count them, but the point is they've done it a lot). It's literally impossible for them to not sound rehearsed, so it makes sense that Dan "playing the character" of danisnotonfire and Phil "playing the character" of AmazingPhil would leak into their YouTube channels. This doesn't really have anything to do with them becoming unauthentic, and hopefully this rehearsed vibe will fade once they get a break from the tour.
Overall, TATINOF was an incredible experience (dare I say, this was the most fun I've ever had). I want to thank my darling Dao for not just coming with me, but for immersing herself in the phangirl vibes. It wouldn't have been nearly as wonderful if you hadn't been there to grab my hand and scream with me--love you babe.