Last year, I was planning on seeing San Holo for the original Album1 Tour in Salt Lake City, Utah. Unfortunately, I was living four hours away at the time, and couldn’t take off work in the middle of the week to travel for the show.
I gave away my ticket to someone I met at the Virtual Self set, and he ended up receiving San’s guitar. Since that day, I vowed I would definitely have to see San Holo and it would be worth it.
i would die for san holo
Traveling to Paris
For those who don’t know, I’m now living in Amiens, France with my boyfriend Quentin! I’m very grateful to have been able to experience so many shows with him, like Electric Forest, Second Sky, and more recently, Madeon.
I knew San Holo was playing in Paris while I was going to be here, but I wasn’t sure if Quentin wanted to go, since he’d seen San play about 7 or 8 times already.
However, my friend Charlie (Duumu) texted me and asked if we were planning on going, so I asked Quentin, and he said “yes, we’re gonna see Duskus!” I met Duskus (Simon) briefly in Santa Ana, and I was super excited to see him & his set again. Spoiler alert: he did not disappoint.
Our plan was to take the train to Paris, check-in to the AirBnb, hang out at the show, sleep, wake up, then take another trip back to Amiens. It was a pretty short trip, but God, it was amazing.
After we got off the train, we immediately headed toward the closest McDonald’s for dinner. Since I usually just get kids meals, I decided to try a Petit Poulet McWrap… in addition to my P’tit Happy Meal.
The last several times I ordered a kids meal in France, I would also order un livre (a book), but I think they never gave me one because I’m obviously not 6 years old. However, this time, I got it!
While we were eating, Quentin and I made several comments about the music choice of the establishment. It was cute and fun.
The last time I saw Charlie was when I visited LA for Dummy Lit weekend, and I was so excited to see him again in Paris.
The year before that, he stopped by my apartment in Saint George, Utah and we got boba in 110ºF weather and he helped me with my Better Not remix. What a cool guy.
Speaking of Saint George, the three of us walked past this restaurant as we were heading to the AirBnb to check-in, and Charlie said, “Hey, look where we are!”
After we checked-in, we took an Uber (use my Uber invite code marynw31ue to get $2 off each of your first 3 rides) to the venue. It felt like a really long drive because of traffic, but it was really nice to catch up with Charlie and talk about my move to France and his move to Singapore.
We finally arrived at the venue and found the entry line through security. All of us were guest listed, so we made our way to the front of the line just to ask where we needed to go. The security guards told us that the line we entered was for the ladies, and Charlie and Quentin needed to head to the back of the long line. I got quickly patted down and waited for them to catch up.
Then we waited at the line for will call/lists or whatever. Quentin and I were listed under Duskus (THANK YOU!) and Charlie was supposed to be listed under San Holo, but San forgot to put his name down. I think the desk lady was very forgiving since Quentin and I were listed, and she printed out a physical ticket for Charlie to get into the venue.
Backstage at San Holo
Quentin and I immediately went backstage to find San and ask him to list Charlie. The first words San Holo said to me were, “I’m going to hug you because my hands are wet.” He went in for a hug as I enthusiastically squealed, “ok!”
Then, we explained the situation, and San found an all-access sticker for Charlie.
After that, so much started to happen. It was awesome to meet so many cool behind-the-scenes people, like Thorwald and Haley. We also met a couple of San Holo’s fans who won a meet-and-greet, as well as a popular artist called Nilusi who was literally the sweetest girl. It was just a really fun group of people.
Banana For Scale
I really wanted to talk more with San, so I went up to him and started to panic as soon as he looked in my direction. “Can I have a banana?” slipped out of my mouth.
He blinked a couple times before looking back at the fruit basket and back at me. “Yeah, yeah of course, you can take what you want. You don’t want alcohol? Oh, there’s also apples.”
Soon, Duskus headed out to start playing. I know that Quentin has been looking forward to this since we decided to go. He’s heard Duskus’ set several times, but only seen it on a screen, and was excited to see it live.
Charlie, Quentin, and I headed to the back of the crowd to dance and enjoy the show. It was really fun and I loved every second of it. The crowd was small, especially compared to what I had just experienced at Brockhampton, and I felt a lot more comfortable.
I just need to reiterate how tall Charlie is; Quentin and I were dancing on a platform for all of us to be at the same height.
During SAINT WKND
We headed backstage again after Duskus’ set to just hang out again, so I didn’t get to hear any of SAINT WKND. I actually don’t think I’ve heard of him before this show, but I figured it would be a good idea to give him a little acknowledgement here.
Soon, we were finally joined by Petit Biscuit! I had met Petit Biscuit (Mehdi) very, very briefly at Madeon in Paris in September. It was really nice to actually have conversations with him, rather than a quick la bise and not even know who he was.
However, the group tended to separate into two groups: “French-speaking” and “non-French speaking”. At first, I was really worried that this would affect me the same way I felt left out after Madeon. However, I don’t think I experienced much anxiety at all for the entirety of the night. There were some awkward moments, but never my overwhelming “oh my God I need to go home right now” thoughts.
San was going to go on stage soon, and he did a quick guitar check on the way out. It was really cute, because we could hear his fans screaming in the distance every time he played a chord.
San Holo – finally.
Mehdi and Quentin went straight for the bar to get drinks to enjoy while watching San Holo play, but since I don’t really drink, I went to join Charlie and Duskus, plus a couple people I hadn’t met yet. We were on a railed platform overlooking the crowd, and it was really cool to watch the show and the energy from up there.
I noticed Quentin and Mehdi had left the bar, so I scanned the crowd to find them. Quentin came up to join us, but Mehdi stayed in the crowd. We danced along the rail and watched the show.
It was so much better than I imagined the show to be; I really don’t think it could have been better. The crowd sang along to every single song, even the lesser-known ones. I usually hate when artists cut the music so that the crowd can sing along. It just feels awkward to me, especially if I’m one belting out and it suddenly gets quiet. But I’ll make an exception for San’s set, because everyone was going crazy for it.
At some point here, a girl behind us spilled her drink onto Quentin, then dropped her phone. There was a guy at the front of the stage who was desperately trying to get his camera out while San was towering over his section of the crowd. Fan girls were screaming and making hearts out of their hands, hoping to get noticed. It was really fun to experience, but we went backstage again to take a quick break and talk some more.
I knew now would probably be the best time to ask if we could all take pictures together, since we were just chilling and talking.
San also had peanut butter out on the table, and I was half-jokingly asking if I should take it. Peanut butter is stupid expensive here in France and I miss it dearly. Everyone was saying that if it hasn’t been eaten, it will just be thrown away later or stashed in their travel bus, so I should go for it. But, I opened it and there was already a couple huge scoops of peanut butter taken out, so I figured I’d leave it for people to continue to enjoy.
However, the bag of seed/nut mix was not yet opened, so I took it for myself. The rest of the night echoed with “Maryn stole San Holo’s nuts” jokes.
Forever Free ft. Duskus
Duskus was to go on stage during Forever Free, since he helped write the song on Album1. We all crowded behind the stage and watched them dance around stage and enjoy their collaboration. I’m sure they’ve done this a lot during the tour, but it was still filled with so much love and energy.
We Danced On Stage!!
God honestly, I don’t even remember which song it was for, and it didn’t help that my secondary sources gave me all different answers. But I just remember that Thorwald came backstage with us after Duskus came back and said, “Hey, we should all dance on stage during XXXX”.
And I asked, “all of us?”
“Yes, all of us,” he confirmed.
I wanted to cry, but I think I was in too much shock. So, when the time came, we all got on stage and started dancing. At first I kind of hid in the back behind everyone, but then Quentin put his arm around me and we jumped and danced together, screaming, singing, laughing. I have been searching social media for someone to have posted something so I could look back on it, but I can’t find anything! At least I have this as a memory. (But seriously, if you see a video of this floating around, please let me know so I can stick it in this blog post).
More Backstage Chilling
Afterward, we were all just hanging out again and talking about what had just happened. I’m probably the only one to think of it as such a big deal but I’d never done anything like that before. And to have the experience at San Holo?! Incredible.
Everyone was talking, and the show was coming to an end. Thorwald yelled, “I wanna see who got the guitar!” and dashed to the stage. Soon enough, we met Raven! She was super sweet, and hilarious, especially trying to come up with a way to bring the guitar home.
San was talking with Raven and I as well. I told him about how I was going to see his show in Salt Lake City, but gave away my ticket. Haley actually remembered the guy I gave it to (and who won the guitar) and said he was really happy that night; yeah, I could imagine.
I also asked if I could get some Bitbird stickers, and Thorwald came through with the goods. San signed my backstage pass sticker. And the best part about all of this was that I didn’t feel anxious. I felt like I could talk to everyone as if we had known each other for years.
At one point, San couldn’t remember my name, so he kept calling me Utah. Then whenever he could, he’d pipe up, “Let’s go to Utah!” and we were talking about how cheap it was to live in Utah. He was also surprised that I wanted to move out of the United States, whereas he wanted to move into it. Anyway, when I reminded him of my name, he was singing, “Maryn, Maryn, Maryn” while walking around and it really made my night. Sorry I’m such a fangirl sometimes.
The End of the Night
After more mingling and after the crowd/stage was cleared, we walked out and talked some more. I figured this would be a good time to ask San Holo for a picture together. I knew I’d regret it later if I was too shy to ask. Thanks to Charlie for getting this gem!
Raven took a picture with him as well, and then San noticed that I was carrying a bag of nuts.
“What are those?”
“Oh… they’re yours… I was just… Do you want some?”
“Yeah, yeah, I want some,” he laughed and grabbed the bag to look at them.
Haley was laughing, because I had just asked San Holo if he wanted some of his own trail mix. After that sank in for myself, I wanted to facepalm. Why am I like this.
Anyway, the night was coming to an end. San Holo said goodbye to everyone, Mehdi, his friend, Nilusi, Quentin, Charlie and I all headed out to Uber wherever we were going. Charlie and I caught up a little more, talked about how great the night has been, and said our goodbyes. He’s great and I always love seeing him.
San Holo Closing Remarks
This night was a million times better than I could have ever imagined it could be. I got to meet so many cool people, and did I mention I wasn’t feeling anxious at all? That still blows my mind.
I just feel really blessed to have been able to experience this night. Huge thank you to Duskus and Quentin for coming through with the backstage hookup, and a mega thanks to Charlie for also being a part of this and making me feel not only included, but also wanted.