We hit our last note in rapturous harmony as the song came to a close and the stadium went wild with ear piercing screams. This was always the best part of the concert, all the anxiety had dissipated under the adoration of our loyal fans. The air was crackling with electricity and my chest felt like it would explode.
"Thank you, everyone!" we all said, together, forced by habit. Mark gently pushed me to the left, so that we would be in our proper places - I was always at the end, at the left, and Mark always stood to my right. At the cue of our leader, Burt, who stood on the other end of our line, we all raised our joined arms and brought them down in a deep bow. Then we ran off stage, breathless, waving at the fans, who were screaming for more.
If this was our own concert, we wouldn't have rushed off stage so quickly, but this was one of the label's Popvaganzas, and there was another group slated to perform after us. And then all the participating bands will come out for a final song. And then, curtain call. The never ending curtain call that I so despise.
I was not the only one who hated curtain call. As soon as we reached our dressing room, LJ whined, "Guys, really, can't I go home yet please? Nobody will miss me."
"You wish," Mark grunted as he peeled off his sweat-soaked shirt, exposing the infamous Best Abs in the Universe, a title they have held for maybe three years now. As Mark did this, LJ, who was considerably tinier than Mark, though not from lack of trying, pulled the towel around his shoulders closer to his body, as if to keep anyone from openly comparing their bodies to each other.
I chuckled at this and plopped onto the couch, though my shirt was as wet as Mark's. I wondered if the toilet was free.
Mark balled up his t-shirt and tossed it as a 3-point basketball shot to the stylist's hamper, and the moment it impacted the bin, a thundering roar blared from the tv, echoed by a fainter but unmistakable roar from outside, as if surrounding the room like an army.
The five of us stared in shock at the hamper for a couple of seconds, even though the roar was obviously not a result of Mark's successful 3-pointer. We all looked at the tv set hanging on the wall, and sure enough, PYD had taken the stage.
"Whoa," LJ said, under his breath, his eyes fixated on the screen as if in a trance. "It's like there's going to be a riot."
PYD was short for Post-Youth Domination. They were named that even though they all debuted at the age of 17, quite youthful, if you ask me, and youthful still today, two years later. The "Domination" part of their name, however, was on point.
PYD is currently the biggest boyband in the world. Which is why they're performing last. And why it feels like the stadium might crumble under the frenzy of their fans.
"ARR Y'ALL READY FOR THIS?" their leader, Biff, growled into the mic, then lowered both hands to his grinding pelvis, smirking at the resulting screams.
"Agh, my eyes," Mark turned away and looked for a towel to wipe his body down with. He was not actually offended, because he does the same thing during specific songs in our sets.
"Ah, how nice to be 22," Burt chuckled, ruffling LJ's hair. LJ looked up at him and rolled his eyes. None of the PYD kids were 22, maybe a couple of them were 21. LJ was 23.
When we debuted 9 years ago, LJ was 14, while we were all 19, more post-youth than PYD. Unlike PYD, we made it big immediately- our debut song hit number one within a week and none of us could go to the convenience store without getting mobbed. We stayed on top for the next seven years, performing all over the world, everyone and their mother knew our names, sang our songs. We won award after award, put out hit song after hit song, and yet our debut song, "Girl" is still our most requested song, and Steve likes to joke that he bought his Maserati with the royalties alone.
It's a joke only because the Maserati cost all our accumulated royalties for 5 years. But maybe if he waited another year, then he probably could pay for the car from his share alone. I guess.
"Isn't that Jamie's jacket?" LJ suddenly pointed out.
"Where?" Mark and Burt automatically replied, but weren't really interested. "Who's wearing it?"
"Errr... on Frank," LJ hedged, making both Mark and Burt laugh. Nobody in PYD was named Frank; Frank was a trainee from 8 years ago who used to follow LJ around.
"Nobody's named Frank, kid," Burt reprimanded, and Mark already, thankfully, lost interest.
"Ugh, such a bother to remember their names, there! There! The denim jacket with the flowers sewn in!" LJ pointed at the screen, almost dropping his towel as he stood up.
"Is that your jacket, Jame?" Burt peered at the screen.
I took a deep breath. "Yeah," I replied, "Cherry hounded me for days to borrow it until I said yes."
"Gangsta's name is Jerry?" Mark came back with a bottle of water, and still shirtless. "Trust Jamie to remember everyone's names."
"Cherry, their manager," I rolled my eyes.