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Carrie Underwood Foxwoods Grand Theater

Carrie Underwood has been hitting up large arenas on her Cry Pretty 360 tour. When I saw she was going to be coming to Foxwoods but in a more intimate setting, I knew I had to try and get tickets. I didn’t think I was going to end up breaking the bank and landing myself a 2nd row ticket, but it is what it is! By the time the show rolled around – I was tired. I had Haley the night before and had to be at work bright and early the day after so I was very happy when they said not only would the show be starting at 7:30 – there would be no openers and it would only be running 90 minutes versus her usual 120 minutes. Yay! Even with grabbing merch after the show I ended up leaving the parking lot before 10pm! The first 3 rows ended up allowed to go up to the barricade but I opted to stay in my seat as I’d have been farther away down the barricade. I’m not sure what fancy tricks she has up her sleeve for the 360 tour but this was just her, the band and her voice, no fancy anything. And it was great! Although there was a string of songs that were a bit too sad to be all in a row like that! When the show was almost done, she called a fan up on stage to rap during The Champion. She was sitting just a few seats behind me and did a great job! From what I can tell, her set was very close to the 360 set – just missing the medley – which from talks from fans around me who had gone to other shows, she did those with the openers and they weren’t there! I’m really excited to scrapbook this show – in addition to some great pics I think I pretty much nailed the tour logo cut out and got some eye gems from the merch booth to really bring it all together. I know I haven’t posted scrapbook pages in years, but maybe I will catch up at some point!

 

Haley Reinhart Fairfield Theater

When I saw that Haley Reinhart was coming to the Fairfield Theater, I was pretty pumped.  She was one of my favorites that season of Idol (and the only one the whole house agreed on being great!) and I hadn’t seen her since I had gone to the Idol tour 2 times the year they toured.  When I found out that Tyler Hilton was going to be opening the show I was even more excited because I love any chance I can get to see Tyler!  Before the show I was in the parking lot and heard “When the Stars Go Blue” from a busker near the train station.  It turned out, Tyler heard too and stepped out of his RV to cheer (and later go see him to record some videos for Tyler’s Instagram)  How cool!  Tyler did a shorter set than I am used to since he was opening and is usually the headliner in Fairfield.  It is always interesting to see how artists change their banter based on if they know everyone is there to see them or if they are trying to win them over.  I don’t think I ever heard his story about his roommates in Nashville quitting their office job to pursue music full time and ending up forming Lady Antebellum!  I knew they had a connection but somehow had never pieced it all together!  Before Haley’s set I did the VIP M&G experience and she did 2 songs for us – Honey There’s the Door and Shook.  Then she signed merch for us and did photos.  Just as sweet as I remembered from when I met her on the Idol tour!  I was kind of mesmerized by her nail polish when she was on stage because it was red, but when the lights hit it, it had this iridescent chameleon color change look to it.  I don’t know if that was how it was supposed to react to lighting or just a cool thing that was happening.  This was Haley’s first show of this part of her tour so we got a couple songs that had never been done live before! She did a 14 song set and a 3 song encore! The majority from her latest release – Lo-Fi Soul (It is the Lo-Fi Soul Tour, after all) and a few from her other releases as well.  I just love how she re did several covers to fit with her bluesy/jazzy sound! Just an amazing, amazing voice and I am surprised she isn’t more popular and on bigger stages – but I guess her style is a bit niche.  Hopefully she will come back this way again soon!

Haley Reinhart Setlist StageOne, Fairfield Theatre Company, Fairfield, CT, USA 2019

Kris Allen at Stage One

October 5th Kris Allen brought his 10 years, 1 night tour to the Fairfield Theater. I had purchased the VIP M&G package so we got to have a little Q&A with Kris before the show and also try to “stump” him with the song requests. We were told to try and pick something that would not be on the set later that night – but as I was trying to be surprised with what his set was, I had no idea what was and what wasn’t on the set. Some of the other fans conspired together to pick the same stumpers – so we ended up getting Out Alive and Fighters. My choice was Faster Shoes – but it did end up on the setlist that evening! He hung out for a bit and we got photos with him and then we had some time to kill before it was showtime. I ended up going for front row this show instead of my usual 3rd row (no stairs to deal with) and at the end of the show a young girl asked if I was ok and if I needed help getting up the stairs. I declined, but thanked her for checking in. Later I saw her and her family chatting with Kris at the merch table and she seemed absolutely embarrassed of them. They may embarrass her, but they definitely raised a nice young lady! (None of the adults around asked if I needed help!) The show was just Kris – no opener and no backing band. He also told some stories in between the songs – sometimes about the songs themselves or about other things in his 10 year career since winning Idol. (Has it really been 10 years? We are old…) His setlist was 19 songs and I thought he did a great job taking us through not only some of his Idol songs but through all of his albums to present day. His new album is called “10” and has 9 tracks on it – he said that was on purpose because there is still more to come!! After the show I picked up a CD version of the album and had a chat with him about the name Katie vs the name Katy and how I am Kathryn and should spell it Katy and his wife is Katherine and spells it Katy not Katie so we somehow balance each other out in being backwards. He asked if I wanted a photo and I said “well, we got one earlier, I don’t think we changed much?” His merch guy let out a laugh and Kris said, “Well I sweat a little?” but ultimately we just said our goodbyes and did not take another photo. (Nothing will top the one we took a few years ago and someone mistook us for a married couple when I had it on my facebook. It’s on my dating app profiles now – maybe that’s why I’m not getting many dates?)

David Cook Daryl’s House

David Cook made his return to Daryl’s House in New York in the beginning of August. I had never seen him there before and didn’t want to go back after buying a single ticket to see Kris Allen left me in the back corner of the show (despite having a VIP M&G Ticket.) Once again I opted for a VIP M&G and figured I’d give the house a second chance.
No information was emailed about the M&G so I got there about 4 only to be told to hang tight until about 5, later 5:15 for the M&G. No problem – better to be there too early than too late! I ended up wandering around only to be told the M&G was starting and somehow ended up being 3rd in line? I wore my Mets shirt after they had a particularly exciting game the night before which David was not too happy about – but he agreed it was a good game and then we decided anyone but the Yankees! I also reminded him that his guys beat the Mets and he’d always have that which he was overly happy about. 😉
After the M&G I went to see where I was assigned for seating for the evening and was pleasantly surprised to see it was at one of the front tables, against the wall. Since I was the first one of the group to arrive I got to pick the front row seat facing the stage. Way to go Daryl’s House – definitely redeemed themselves from several years ago!
The show itself was great – there were a few false starts because David was getting the sillies from the faces and comments of the people up front. There was also a crew behind him that led to some banter and him singing a portion of a song facing them with his back to the front – but he turned back around as it was a “numbers game.”
At one point, David told us to give it up for Jeff, and the lighting guy made the lights “flicker” to seem like they were also applauding. David was curious to see what they would do for him – so he said “Give it up for me!” We all cheered – and the stage went DARK. David started cracking up and said that he expected that they just wouldn’t do anything – not that they’d go off! Well played, lighting guy, well played!
Overall, even though it was a more acoustic, stripped down version of David than I am used to, it was great to hear all his stories before the songs and I am not sure I have laughed that much in a long, long time!

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Kelly Clarkson Mohegan Sun Arena

I wasn’t sure how jetlagged I’d be when I headed to Mohegan Sun to see Kelly Clarkson just 4 days after getting home from Australia but was pretty sure back-to-back concerts last trip to Australia helped get me back on EST so I was hoping for the best. (Australia post(s) are coming, eventually)

I ended up having a seat right by one of her side catwalks and for the longest time no one showed up to sit in the seats next to or in front of me.  Finally next to me filled it but it turned out they didn’t actually sell any of the seats in front of me as after both openers had taken the stage they started seeing who wanted to move based on the catwalk obstructing views and they filled in the rows in front of me.

I was happy no one really stood for the show because I was really not sure how I’d be able to handle a full set of that being so exhausted! Brynn Cartelli from The Voice opened and being from MA this was her “home town show” and Maggie Rose also opened.  Both ended up joining Kelly later in her set as well.

I enjoy that Kelly talks a lot during her set and tells some background stories about the songs.  She also started talking to a pregnant woman in the audience and went on about how she was miserable during her pregnancies and 2 was enough, then she decided they’d finish the conversation later and she would get back to singing. She ended up talking about how the next song was about how no one in her small town got divorced except her family and her friends and then started talking about how sometimes divorce was good… joked about how she hadn’t even had anything to drink yet and she was just going to stop talking and sing.

For A Minute and a Glass of Wine she had Brynn Cartelli join her and they did a duet of Foy Vance’s Make it Rain – a song that Kelly said she hadn’t heard until Brynn brought it up to her (maybe she did it on the voice? i dont know, i dont watch anymore)

The catwalk was so, so close – Kelly came up it 2 or 3 times during the show and her band and backup singers used it as well, and overall my blindly buying a single ticket as soon as tickets went on sale and not having an accurate seating chart worked in my favor (for once?)

 

David Archuleta – Winter in the Air Tour – Fairfield, CT

David Archuleta brought his Winter in the Air tour to The Warehouse in Fairfield, CT recently. I decided to buy the VIP ticket option for this show so I was able to hear David soundcheck a couple of songs before the show as well as do a Q&A with the audience.  I thought it was interesting that David had a staff member choose who got to ask the questions rather than let David choose himself. I am sure there was a good reason for it, but it just threw me off a bit.  He talked a bit about going to therapy, forgiveness… and commented that a lot of the questions were very deep at this Q&A.  After he took photos with us and gave us a Christmas gift! (A signed photo and cookie cutters!)  We were able to snag a good spot before the general crowd got let in and then waited until 8pm when the show began.  David now has 2 Christmas albums out – he played 8 from Winter in the Air – including the 3 originals. (Of which I believe he said he wanted a ballad, a fun up beat one and one that made you feel like it was a winter wonderland) and from his first Christmas album only 3 songs.  The kid can sing and I loved how he kept chatting with the crowd and getting distracted. He liked the venue because he said he could see everyone up front and wanted to give them all high fives but that would take too long.  And he couldn’t have a show without throwing in his first single – Crush – into the setlist.  Everything else, however, was Christmas tracks.

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Blog Catchup

I’ve been having a terrible time trying to keep track of what I have to blog about and what I haven’t. Or putting together actual blog posts and reviews. So here’s a brief recap of what I’ve been doing for the past 2 months…

The Last Bandoleros
My friend Lauren asked me if I’d be interested in checking out The Last Bandoleros at The Wolfs Den. I really had no idea what to expect (w

e had met one of the members something like 10 years ago!) but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought they would be more country but they were not so I am sold! I picked up their EP after the show and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.

Jeff Dye
Lauren also dragged me to see Jeff Dye. You may know him from Last Comic Standing or Better Late Than Never. I typically don’t like comedians but Jeff had me laughing his entire set and he was a lot of fun to chat with after the show as well. I’m pretty sure this won’t be my last blog post about him.

Kinky Boots
David Cook made his Broadway debut in Kinky Boots in NYC – so of course I had to check it out! Also in the show was Wayne Brady and Kirstin from Pentatonix. I wasn’t sure what to expect since he would need to have an accent since the show takes place in England. But he did great and it was so fun to hear “him” come through on the songs. A really, really fun show as well.

Andy Grammer
Andy Grammer took his “The Good Parts” tour to the Ridgefield Playhouse. We had about 6th row for the show. Everyone was sitting until Andy made a comment on it and said we could stay seating if we wanted, but we could stand too. I had a feeling that would be how it works because the Playhouse tends to sell their closest seats to members of their ‘club’ and they are usually there moreso to support the venue than as a fan of the band. Although I’m not sure how you can sit still listening to Andy and all of his upbeat songs! After the show we had a chance to meet him briefly and snap a few photos. Always enjoyable!

*NSYNC Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Sometimes all the stars in your life align up perfectly and you end up getting booked on a trip to California just a few days before *NSYNC is set to get a star on the walk of fame, so you ask your manager if you can extend the trip out a bit and she agrees… so a baseball game, Disneyland and seeing all 5 members of *NSYNC on stage together again end up happening. The ceremony was a LOT of standing around and I am not sure I will ever get feeling back in my legs or feet but it was truly amazing to be a part of such a special moment! Now I have to plan a trip back to LA because we were far too exhausted after waiting for the ceremony and then for The Dirty Pop-Up Shop to head back and see the star!

Ruben Studdard sings Luther Vandross
You know I love me some Idol, so when Ruben came to the wolf den to sing the songs of Luther I had to check it out. Unfortunately we didn’t get in line early enough to get a good seat and for a while we weren’t even sure we would get any seat, so I think being on the side of the stage kind of lost some of the interaction for us, but I thought Ruben sounded great and it was a lot of fun to hear him do a different song catalog (even though he did do a few Luther songs back on Idol).

Tim Tebow and The Rumble Ponies
Tim Tebow is a Met… so when the Binghamton Rumble Ponies made their way to Hartford to play the Yard Goats, we went to check him out. 2 rows from the field yielded some great photos and an autograph for my friend Christine. Tim ended up coming out of the game early, but it was also a work night so we were happy to have an ‘excuse’ to leave early! We had fun playing baseball bingo during the game and enjoyed some great BBQ. We’ll be back when he makes his triumphant return next month… hopefully this time I can snag an autograph for myself J

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Trent Harmon in the Wolf Den

Saturday night reigning American Idol winner Trent Harmon took the stage at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect from a show – but I left very, very pleasantly surprised – the show was high energy and a TON of fun.  Unfortunately I don’t have the setlist so this review is going to be pretty short and sweet.  Trent also didn’t come out to sign after the show, which was a disappointment, I really would have loved to meet him!

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Throwback Thursday: Carrie Underwood 3/16/10

Headliner: Carrie Underwood
Opener(s): Craig Morgan, Sons of Sylvia
Venue: Arena at Harbor Yard
Cost: $66.35

Setlist:

 

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Throwback Thursday: Kris Allen 12/8/09

Headliner: Kris Allen
Opener(s):  NA
Venue:  SBC
Cost: $0

Setlist:

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