Minneapolis LANY shows hold a special place in my heart. It was in Minneapolis (this same venue actually) that I saw first LANY, opening for Oh Wonder in June 2016. That was also the same day I went on my very first adventure with Blake. My only camera was a disposable; I didn't even know that was a LANY "thing," but it was a happy accident. Jump forward to October 2017, and they're headlining a sold-out show. I'm with the same boy, but I've got a much larger camera and I'm actually working (how crazy is that?) and the boy and I are holding hands now.
Minneapolis was also the first city I'd done LANY fan photos in, and I've grown to recognize some of the fans and they know me by name. (And I try hard to remember your names--there's a lot more of you than me!) The LANY fandom is like a little family and I love that so much. It's like having a bunch of little sibs at every show.
Some of them had different hair colours this year and it was definitely colder than last fall's show, but their eyes were bright and their hands clutched roses. In front of First Avenue, they'd drawn with chalk the LANY rose and sweet notes to the band. They huddled under blankets and denim jackets, excitement building as the door time drew near.
I said it last fall and I'll say it again: you humans are magic. You hold within you the power to change culture and change the world. You've done something rare: to have a fandom of a boy band that isn't catty or competitive, that cares about each other and that welcomes new humans in. That is, in small part, because of the band's attitude, but mostly, fam, that's because of YOU. That's what makes LANY special. It's how you look out for each other and befriend each other. It's how you welcomed me into the crowd when I had to shoot from there. You could've easily been irritated at the girl with the big camera, but you were kind. Thank you. It's how I can fly to New York to meet a girl from Germany and how we are friends because of a band. LANY fam is a fam.
Keep being kind. Keep bringing roses and giving each other hugs. Be generous with your kind words. It's okay to cry, but remember to laugh, too, and don't be afraid to lose your mind about the things that you love (right now for me, it's potatoes). Stay up for sunsets and wake up early for sunrises. I promise you it's worth it every time. You're getting older since I first met you, but don't let the world tell you, don't let hard times tell you, that there isn't wonder still left to find. Bad days and bad boys and bad girls will break your hearts but I promise you there are good boys and good girls and good days out there. They are coming. Each year will get a little harder, but I promise you: it will get better, too. Hold on. Hang on. Keep on. Your time is now and it may not feel like it today but the world is yours. Your time is still coming, too. You've made the band who opened up 507 days before a sold-out headliner. You have a voice and you have power and you have wonder and excitement and a lot of beautiful things. Hold them close and hold everything else with open hands. You can change the world. I believe in you. ILYSB.