Nadi’s Story about Kerri Meeting Conor Oberst
The most important thing you have to remember about this story is Kerri was not Kerri that night. I mean, she was herself, but she wasn’t herself. Because from the moment I saw Kerri – and we are happy and excited to see each other. And usually we would be telling each other stories and laughing… But Kerri was just wide-eyed. Her eyes barely blinked and she was just looking around the room as if she was expecting… something. So she wasn’t particularly vocal, she wasn’t talking very much and we are sitting across from each other at the bar, and she wasn’t talking to me. She wasn’t looking at me. She was just somewhere else.
At one point Kerri gets a strange look on her face – like fear and sickness and bad taste – and she manages to articulate, “What if he is a jerk?... What if he is an asshole?” And then she just goes back to being mute.
Amy calls Kerri, and three seconds into the conversation, Kerri says, “I’m not going to remember any of this. I’m gonna give the phone to Nadi,” straight like that. So I’m like, “Ok” and take the phone. Amy tells us where to go and who to ask for and when to go so we can meet him. We are set.
So we are watching the first band and whatever. They’re kicking it. They’re awesome, and there is a man who is standing, blocking the entrance to backstage. He’s kinds like a gatekeeper or whatever. And I kinda talk to him a little bit and Kerri talks to him a little bit.
In my mind, I understand my role in all of this is to make sure that this thing happens. I’m taking it upon myself to be relatively inquisitive and ask for the people Amy told us to ask for and see what we can get done. What I didn’t know was that the reason Kerri isn’t talking to me is because she has a whole other agenda in mind.
This woman… I am asking her open-ended questions, and she is giving me yes and no answers. We are not communicating on any level. So Kerri just walks away and starts talking to some guy standing behind us. I thought she must know him. She must have met him some place before. I didn’t know that he was Denver, one of the guys from the band, who was just trying to watch the opening act for a little bit.
She’s talking to him, so I assume she is setting stuff up. She’s comes back, and she is like, “That’s Denver from the band.” And I am like, “Yes? … What?...” Poor communication.
The opening act finished, and I am like, “Ah man, Bright Eyes is about to show up.” And Kerri looks at me and says, “Are you ready?” And I am like, “Yeah. I’m looking forward to the show.” When I turn back to talk to her again, Kerri has taken off and has walked herself backstage. All the way backstage. The gatekeeper security guy had walked away. The opening act is walking, carrying heavy equipment off stage, and Kerri is there with them. She walks so far backstage that she walks out the back door, and I am still standing up in front of the stage. Poor communication.
She has just taken off, and I am standing there holding my jacket when the security guy returns to his post in from of the backstage. He looks at me like weren’t there two of you before? And there was nothing I could do about it. When she had asked me if I was ready, that is not what I had expected. Being at this concert with her was like seeing an animal in their natural habitat or something. She was just acting and moving rather than thinking and talking. And she moves fast.
I wasn’t alone for more than a minute and Kerri comes back and was pointing at me to the gatekeeper – who was just as confused as I was, by the way. Both of us had been looking around to try and figure out where that blond girl had went while she was back there with her new friends in the band. She had found Gabe or whatever guy she was suppose to find, and Kerri had made it happen.
We walk backstage, and I am expecting a large room with a lot of people and maybe we will get to talk to some of the people in the band… But we walk in to this small room, and it is just Conor. And he is like, “Kerri!” and stands up and gives us hugs and stuff. They were all the nicest guys on the planet. They were so nice it was kinda ridiculous. Conor introduces us to the rest of the band. We see our friend Denver from earlier. They had a poster and all of them signed it for us... they were crazy nice.
At this point, Kerri turns into nerdy-band-Kerri. We are back there, and they are asking us questions and being nice. And Conor asks where we are from. I say Greensboro and Kerri says Greenville, and Conor is like, “I’ve been to Greensboro, but I’ve never been to Greenville.” And nerdy-band-Kerri says, “Tim Kasher played a show there after the last hurricane.” Conor is like, “Ok,” and I am like who is Tim Kasher? Nerdy-band-Kerri kinda acts like she hates Conor at first. I think she was just confused. And nervous. And nerdy.
It was interesting because I thought this was going to be a golden moment for just Kerri, but it ended up being a pretty great moment for me too. I had kinda been mad a Conor Oberst ever since Kerri and I went to a Bright Eyes show for his Digital Ash tour and I had to put my headphones on. He completely made it up to me. I got hugs. Kerri got hugs and pictures and a poster. And we got this story from it. It was all good.