Carey B. from Ohio was the winner of the Propeller experience to "Win a VIP Experience To Meet the National in San Francisco, Attend Soundcheck, Watch the Show From Stage & Win a Signed Guitar!" that took place in November 2023. Below are some of Carey's highlights from the experience.
I was completely stunned when I received the email from Hannah, telling me I had won the trip to San Francisco to see the National. The lead up could not have been more smooth, as Hannah kept me updated with travel arrangements as they were made and put me into contact with the band's coordinator, Sammy, who was incredibly helpful and kind the day of the concert.
The hotel was in a great part of town, close to the venue and within walking distance to plenty of other sightseeing opportunities. I added a few extra days to my trip since this was my first time visiting San Francisco.
From the time I arrived at the venue and up to the very end of the night, everyone that I came into contact with, including Sammy and the band's manager, Erik, were so nice and accommodating; I really felt welcomed by the band's team.
After meeting Sammy in person, she brought me into the venue to meet up with Erik for the soundcheck, which was unbelievable! Being able to hear the band with just a handful of other people in the room was amazing. With the absence of a crowd, you could literally "feel" the music hitting you in the chest. Then, it was backstage to meet the band. I know they have a reputation with fans for being very kind and down-to-earth and it's completely true. They all could not have been more nice, especially since I'm sure it was obvious I was a nervous wreck!
When I mentioned I was staying a few extra days in the city, Bryce actually sent over tickets to attend the San Francisco Symphony that Sunday, which was another wonderful and unexpected element to this trip.
The show was phenomenal and being able to experience the concert from both near the sound board AND from stageside for a few songs was unbelievable. Seeing some of the inner workings of what actually goes on behind the scenes with the lighting/visuals and audio engineering was also super interesting.
I was also able to attend the aftershow and chat a bit more with some of the band once the concert was over. Definitely not something I've had the opportunity to do before!
I really can't say enough good things about the Propeller team, the band and their team and how above and beyond they went to make the night into something I'm certain will stick with me forever.
- Carey B.