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Carrie Underwood 10/28/16

Friday October 28th Carrie Underwood brought her Storyteller tour to the Mohegan Sun Arena.  The show was “in the round” and the stage took up almost the entire arena floor, with 3 different circles – one in the center and one on either end.

Opening for the show was the Swon Brothers who walked out to the stage through the opening right next to our seats! We had hoped Carrie would do the same, but only the openers.  Carrie and her band and crew had a tunnel set up on the other side of the circle near us to get to the stage area.

I had never seen The Swon Brothers before and I had never watched their season of The Voice either, but i enjoyed them.  The only bummer was that since they were the opener they kind of stayed in one spot on the stage – which happened to be with their backs to us.

Easton Corbin was up next and while he hung out mainly in the center circle, it was spinning around the whole time of his set so that was pretty cool! He walked a bit to the outer circles as well.;

Then it was time for Carrie! It seemed as though everyone loved the circle farthest from us the most, and Carrie was no exception, but she did come to our end of the stage a few times.  It was also my first big arena show with the new camera so I was playing around with all the settings and I think I had found a winner! (Which was perfect timing with my leaving for 9 Hanson concerts the next morning!)

Carrie’s stage had a lot of fun tricks with the stage raising, lowering, spinning, etc. which is always so much fun to see! She changed outfits several times as well.

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Kris Allen Danbury Fair Mall

Kris Allen recently released a new Christmas album and has been doing some shows to help promote it.  Saturday he came to the Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, CT.  The set was a mixture of Christmas and non Christmas songs since he was going to be playing for an hour and didn’t want to play only Christmas music the whole time.  He did a mix of songs off the new Christmas album as well as songs off of his previous albums.  He did a mashup of one of my favorites, “Monsters” with “Hit the Road Jack” which I had not heard him do before that was a lot of fun.  Two of the original Christmas songs that he performed I thought were hilarious and absolutely loved – Baby Won’t You Wait Until the New Year about having your boyfriend or girlfriend waiting until after Christmas to break up with you so the holidays won’t always remind you of the break up and Mommy, Is there More than Just One Santa Claus written from the perspective of a curious child who seems to see Santa everywhere during the holiday season and wonders if there must be more than one of him.  He forgot the words – on 2 of the verses – during Alright With Me which was pretty funny.  A few fans helped him out and got him back on track 🙂   Since this was at a mall, there was a video game store on the floor above where the show was happening and Mario (from Mario Bros.) was hanging out there and watching the soundcheck when I got there.  He mustve also watched part of the set because Kris asked if he was seeing things or if Mario was at his show lol

Kris played for about an hour, met up with VIP M&G winners (which somehow I didn’t manage to win!) and then he came back to sign for the non VIP winners.  It was so nice to see him again! (Especially so close to home!)

Kris Allen Setlist Danbury Fair Mall, Danbury, CT, USA 2016

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Hanson Roots and Rock N Roll New York

The last of the picture posts is the first of the concerts. New York City.  Lighting wasn’t the best but here’s a few that came out a bit better than the rest!

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Hanson Roots & Rock N Roll Tour New Orleans

Some more photos!

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Hanson Photos – Dallas

Some of my Hanson photos from the Roots and Rock N Roll tour in Dallas. Better late than never, right? Looks like I’m working backwards… New Orleans and NYC still to come…

 

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NKOTB 6/12/15

Friday night, NKOTB brought “The Main Event” tour to Mohegan Sun.  At first I wasn’t sure that I was going to attend, but then found a pretty nice single ticket so I decided I might as well.   Opening the show were Nelly and TLC.  Before the show Mohegan Sun presented the guys with a star on the Mohegan Sun Walk Of Fame since they have had 9 consecutive sell out shows there.  (I think I was at 7 of them?)

Nelly was a big part of the reason why I did not want to go. I had no desire to see him.  His performance didn’t change my mind. I feel like the sound was also off for his set and it was hard to hear him. It seemed like no one else had any problems hearing though since when he held the mic out (which was a lot) everyone was ready with the next line.  His setlist seems like it was really long, but it is because he did not actually go through a full version of any of the songs.

TLC was up next. I never saw them before Left Eye passed away and I always feel a bit funny seeing them now.  They had tracks for most of her raps but it still just made me sad.  I loved their outfits and they had a lot of energy and played up the whole stage too which was great.  They also had everyone hold up their phones before Waterfalls for Left Eye and it looked really cool.

NKOTB put on a great show. They have so much fun on stage, joking around and play fighting with each other in the middle of the songs.  At one point Donnie saw a pregnant girl in the crowd and asked her when she was due. “Monday!” she said. “Monday!? Holy shit! Name it Donnie!” he said back before running back onstage.  For “Cover Girl” he also brought up a little girl on stage. I was at a bad angle to get a good photo of her face – but up on the screen she looked like this 😯  huge eyes and just in complete shock she was on stage. Too cute!

For “Tonight”, I thought I had a great spot. The security was all talking about “when they stand on boxes” and telling each other what they’d need to do to keep fans back.  A couple songs before,the box arrived just at the bottom of my section.  Someone else walked by and the girls nearby asked who was coming by us. It was Jordan.  Then the time came and Jordan walked off the stage and went to some random box 1 section over. He didn’t stay there very long and then headed back to the stage so he could get ready for his solo performance. I guess that’s what I get for being disappointed when I heard it was going to be Jordan.

 

Setlists under the cut

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Ed Sheeran Mohegan Sun Arena 5/23/15

Saturday night Ed Sheeran had a concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena. At first I wasn’t sure if his music would do well in an arena, but turns out it actually went over quite well. If you weren’t looking at the stage, you may not have realized that it was just Ed, 2 mics and some pedals where he was able to play percussion by tapping on his guitar, record it, and loop it. He recorded background vocals for himself and looped that and then sang the song on top of it all to a much fuller sound than a guy on stage with an acoustic guitar. (He did have an electric for a song or two.)

The show was amazing and I was thoroughly impressed – if you have a show of his coming up and you’re not going, I strongly recommend that you reconsider!

Opening act was Foy Vance – who it turns out I kept getting confused with Vance Joy – but they are indeed two different musicians. Foy mentioned that he almost did not make the tour because he had visa problems trying to get in to the US from Ireland. This would explain why Ed was having spot openers for a few shows in the beginning of the tour and why Hanson got the nod to open in Tulsa and St Louis earlier in the tour!

I’m not sure that Foy Vance was the right choice for the crowd. He wasn’t bad, but I just don’t think that the young crowd really enjoyed him. My friend Christine said he’d probably do better opening up for Bruce Springsteen or a rocker with an older fan base and I’d have to agree!

Ed came out on stage at about 8:30 and said he would be entertaining us for the next 2 hours – and that he did. Very impressive that he played for the almost 2 hours straight (with a quick break after his ‘technical’ last song and then came back out for the encore) completely by himself and was able to keep up his energy the whole time!

I’m a Mess
Lego House
Don’t / Loyal / No Diggity / Nina
Drunk
Take It Back / Superstition / Ain’t No Sunshine
Photograph
Bloodstream
Tenerife Sea
Thinking Out Loud
Feeling Good  / I See Fire
Afire Love
The A Team
Give Me Love

You Need Me, I Don’t Need You / In The Club / Fancy
Sing

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Tulsa Hanson Trip Recap 2015!

TULSA RECAP

I had originally intended for this to be a 2 part recap on the 20th and 27th, however I didn’t even have my photos uploaded until the 22nd so obviously I underestimated the amount of free time I’d have once getting home! (And I’m still not even unpacked…)

So here goes a bit of a shortened version of the weekend activities!

20150514_042140

THE WAY THERE

I hit a detour at 2am on the way to the airport that had no actual end so I had to turn around and go back. I made it to the airport with plenty of time but got held up at security because of a nail clipper attachment that is considered a “blade”.  I had no idea.  The TSA agent asked me where it was because the inside pocket in my purse was something she didn’t see. (It’s actually rather huge so I’m a bit concerned)  Fortunately I knew exactly where it was and once she had it I was on my merry way.

My flight to Chicago was fine, I slept for most of it. I had about a 3 hour layover in Chicago after they tried to bump me to a 30 minute layover.  Glad I switched things back because they left me in a wheelchair for about 20 minutes because the people who usually transport were “behind”. No doubt I’d have missed my connecting flight!

Chicago to Tulsa was not bad either. There were 2 Hanson fans in the seats in front of me so I basically just eavesdropped on them for the flight. Hey, they were talking loud enough for me to hear!

When I landed in Tulsa I met up with one of my fellow ST Leaders, Tara from Mississippi and she gave me a ride to the hotel and we went to get lunch with some other friends and ST Leaders. It was a nice calm before the storm.

CHECKING IN

We had heard a rumor that check in may start at 2 instead of 4, but in typical Hanson time fashion, that was not the case.  We decided to wait anyway and once the line started moving it was relatively quick to pick up our tickets.

DSC09159THE STORE

I found some other friends and we headed to the Hanson Store – where we waited in line for I’m not even sure how many hours. (Too many.)  I was so sunburned and hot by this point I said I couldn’t wait to get back to my hotel to take a 100 year shower!  I somehow ended up spending nearly $400 despite limiting myself to only 3 shirts (I actually only ended up buying 2!)  It was the accessories that did me in – AND I had friends pick me up MORE stuff when they waited in line and bought more stuff online too. I am out of control!

THURSDAY EVENING

I went to Ida Red’s party with one of the other ST Leaders, Katie and then we went out to dinner at The Brook.  It was nice to finally be face to face with her after chatting with her online for so long!

That night I was on my own in the hotel room and had to work the early shift helping to get everyone checked in Friday morning.  When I made it outside it was raining pretty hard and I was told to wait for the clouds to clear and head down there.  I ended up staying a bit longer than my shift just to help out – the tent kept flying away in the wind.

eab32efb0e79c7bbc8f6c27aff50ce1dPHOTOS WITH THE BAND

Once my friends made it to the front of the line for the photos I jumped in with them. I ended up next to Zac for the photo and he told us that them playing Disney this year was “positive” but that they weren’t really allowed to say.  (At this time last year we were already booked for Disney flight and all so I’m not sure why Disney is delaying things so much!)

LECTURES

After the photos it was time for lectures.  Surprisingly everything was running relatively on-time considering photos were only for 2 hours but had started late and I thought there would be no way they could get through us all in that time!

Taylor was up first and he did “Song Stories”.  Fans who were attending Hanson Day were asked to submit in 300 words or less their stories about Hanson songs and what they mean to them and Taylor would talk a bit about what happened when they wrote them, how they were inspired, etc.  5 fans were selected but were not told until that night that they were chosen. Songs they talked about were Never Let Go, Follow Your Lead, Waiting For This, MMMBop and With You In Your Dreams.  After the chats with the fans, Taylor brought out a keyboard and performed With You In Your Dreams.

Next up was Isaac, who did “Inside This Time Around” and broke down the tracks to the album (which is 15 years old this year) so that we could hear the different elements. He played some of Jonny Lang’s guitar solo isolated, remixed the songs into some rap and metal sounding songs and even explained how usually Zac sings the high harmony but if Isaac is singing lead then Zac sings the low harmony.  He played the isolated Zac track from “Lonely Again” which blew us all away. He also played an unreleased track “Bridges of Stone” which was nice to hear!

Zac finished out the night, where he wrote a song based on poll results from Hanson.net that he had posted. He was bummed that he had robot as a choice but it didn’t win – he loves robots and told us we all failed the relationship test he was giving us!  The song he wrote was “Searching For Signs of Life” about playing a video game (go figure) and the guy you are playing with seems to have gone idle. He did all the instruments and lyrics piece by piece and played them back for us and even had us sing some of the lines as well. He’s crazy and I can’t wait to hear the finished product that should be up on Hanson.net soon!

20150515_204545ST LEADERS DINNER

After the lectures was the Street Team Leaders dinner. There were 24 of us from around the world this year and it gives us a chance to mingle, share ideas, etc. The leaders are a great group and I was worried I’d be a bit of an outsider because they all bonded over a lot of manual labor last year that I couldn’t help out with but they were all very welcoming and willing to help me out J Hanson showed up for a bit to tell us about some of their plans (that were later shared at State of the Band)

THE GALLERY

Saturday morning we went to the gallery to see Zac’s paintings. By that point they were all already sold out (one of these years I’ll get one!) but they were so much nicer in person than in the gallery booklet they had for sale.  I was glad they did have the booklet this year though because at least I have some sort of keepsake if not an original!

Taylor also had some photography displayed and there was 1 photo I ended up buying. The first I had ever bought in the 4 or so years since they had been doing them!

CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE

This is one of my favorite spots and there’s nothing I love more than bringing new people there. I had hyped it up to the point that I think Jillian and Becca were a bit scared as to where I was bringing them – but I couldn’t give it away because the reaction to it has to be natural! I think they ended up having fun with it!

THE WALK

Then we took a walk  to Dwelling Spaces and some other shops which were about a mile from our hotel. With frequent breaks I was able to do it! And the stop for gelato half way through helped too 😉 I picked up a dream catcher at one of the indian stores because I tried to make myself one and failed miserable. So I got a cute little blue one, I just need to figure out where to hang it in my room now!

20150516_152700STATE OF THE BAND

State of the Band is when Hanson lets us know their plans for the upcoming year.  They talked about the website and the new logo associated with it – which I was NOT a fan of but once they explained what it meant I liked it a lot more.  When they had to approve photos and the like, they’d all draw a line and if all 3 of them liked the same photo those 3 lines would become an H which would later be circled. So Hanson.net is Isaac, Taylor and Zac approved.

They talked about their upcoming tour which I am so excited for.  It is 20 dates in 10 cities in October.  Details are coming in June but they did mention New York (and LA and Chicago which don’t really help me any) and that the first night would be a regular Hanson show but the second night would focus more on COVERS! Since I’m all about fun setlists and hearing songs live I haven’t heard before I think this show will help do that J  There will also be after parties.  I’m really excited for June and to get more details!

They did Q&A with the audience but had to stop people from asking what cities were on the tour.  While it is all planned already they don’t want to tell us until June! L

20150516_181439FAN CLUB DINNER

After the State of the Band we went to the fanclub dinner at Mexicali’s.  Not many were there at all – since most wanted to line up for the show. We had a nice time and met a fan from Trinidad!  Everything was going well until I stood up to head to the bathroom and my leg brace went POP! The screw popped out and we got some duct tape from the restaurant to put it back together again.  Of course on the walk down to the venue the other end of the screw ended up digging into my ankle, but we made it.  Unfortunately, the one time things were NOT on Hanson time so we didn’t get as great of a spot for the show as I would have liked, but it was certainly not the worst view I’ve ever had.

THE SHOW

The Members Only show is a celebration of the latest EP release – so they typically sing all 5 songs off of it. (Easy way to boost your numbers for rare songs heard live) however, they started off this set with just 3 of the 5. They did end up playing one more later in the set but never did play “Don’t Hide Your Tears” which has quickly become my favorite track off of the EP. Maybe it’ll end up in a setlist in Jamaica – or maybe even on tour?

In addition to the new EP songs, they did some songs from past Eps as well as a mix of album tracks as well.  Don’t be surprised there’s no MMMBop – it is hardly ever played at Members Only shows – probably because they assume we’ve all heard it many, many, many times before!

They each did solos – I could have done without Isaac’s and Zac’s (I’ve heard them many times) but Taylor’s was a beautiful rendition of Lost Without You and even if I have heard it before it was wonderful to experience again.  A couple also got engaged during this song in the crowd!

Roller Coaster Love is an EP song from a few years back – and apparently Taylor could not remember any of the words.  At one point Zac said “Guys, I’m going to be honest” and then magically Taylor seemed to remember the words? Not really sure what was going on there!

They ended the set with an acapella tease of the song “Sexy Robot” which is a bit of a parody that came along while they were streaming the song writing process for the new EP.  “Sexy Robot” as well as a song called “Guns and Bacon” came out of those nights and have ended up on merch.  One can only hope they end up recorded on Hanson.net one of these days! (Especially Sexy Robot – any song about robots, binary and javascript are ok with me!)

Give Me Your Best Shot
What Are We Fighting For
Scream And Be Free
Best of Times
Been There Before
Heartbreaker
On and On (acoustic)
Lonely Again (acoustic)
Call Me (Isaac solo)
Need You Now (Zac solo)
Lost Without You (Taylor solo)
Grace Unknown
Follow Your Lead
Get Out Of My Heart
Roller Coaster Love
Sound of Light
Rock N Roll Razorblade
White Collar Crime
Hey
Up All Night
Sexy Robot (acapella tease)

 

DSC09173THE AFTER PARTY

After the show we had to clear out so things could be set up for the after party. My friend Keena warned us that a storm would be coming through in about 10 minutes.  It was drizzling so we took cover under the highway overpass.  Keena was right and the skies opened up and it was pouring and lightning and there were talks of possible tornadoes in the area.

We finally get let back in, and we thought we had a break in the rain to make it inside but just as we hit the door the skies opened again.  That’s when the after party turned into a wet tshirt contest!

All the girls had gone to the stage (where nothing was set up at all for Taylor to DJ from) and then he ended up in the back at the sound board so they had to turn around and go to the back of the venue.  In the beginning of the afterparty Keena was texting me and telling me to go to the door to hear Tornado Sirens in person – but I decided that was not going to be happening and was glad that the music was too loud to hear them inside!

The after party was supposed to go until 1 am but ended up shutting down around 12:30.  Probably because Taylor’s computer seemed to no longer be working and we had heard Another One Bites The Dust 3 times.  Not in a row – but it was in the mix 3 times. And No Diggity sounded like it was about to be played for a 2nd time.

Taylor thanked us for coming and reminded us that The Hop Jam would be tomorrow.

We walked back to the hotel and watched the lightning out the window for a bit and the thunder was even shaking our room. The storm doors were also closed from earlier when the sirens were going off!

20150517_114215THE HOP JAM

When we woke up Sunday, the hop jam stage was right outside our hotel room window! We saw the guys walking down the street to get ready for soundcheck and were able to listen from the room. I was surprised they allowed some girls in the street during sound check – the guards last year were much more strict!

I listened to the first 2 bands from the room since my ankle had been bothering me (but Keena bought me some tape so I could get everything fixed up to last me until I got home) but after Jillian and Becca had gotten their photos taken with Zac – I decided it was time for me to head downstairs and check out merch and find Zac.

Little did I know just how easy it would be.  After being outside for all of 2 minutes I found Zac, we took a selife and that was that.  Isaac and Taylor were wandering around too but I wasn’t sure I could navigate in the beer area by myself so I didn’t bother.

I ended up finding a ledge by a restaurant to sit on for the show and stuck it out there for the rest of the evening.  All of the the bands I really enjoyed!

The beer area closed down just before Hanson took the stage so the crowd got a lot bigger, but since I was so far back I wasn’t in the middle of all the chaos of the crowd which was perfect – and I was actually outside unlike the year before!

They ended up cutting a few songs from this setlist as well (Jillian got it after the show from the stage so we were able to compare!) The one I was most bummed about being cut was Okie from Muskogee – just a song I’d never heard before! But they did ‘livin on Tulsa time’ with all the bands on stage as the encore.

Already Home
Minute Without You
And I Waited
Been There Before
Thinking of You
Lost Without Each Other
In The City
Madeline (acoustic)
Penny and Me (acoustic)
MMMBop (acoustic)
Ive Got Soul
Thinking Bout Somethin
Wheres The Love
Get The Girl Back
Roller Coaster Love
Fired Up
Hey
Livin on Tulsa Time

 

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Concert Review: Lee DeWyze at Fairfield Theater

Wednesday night, Lee DeWyze returned to the Fairfield Theater for a show. Opening was My Silent Bravery and Anna Rose.

My Silent Bravery was up first and did a set of 6 songs – POV, To Give with a mash up of Magic!’s Rude, On My Side with a mash up of Wonder wall, Not Necessarily So, a cover of Nelly’s Ride With Me, and ended their set with Amazing. (Gotta love openers who mention all their song names!)

Next up was Anna Rose – who has one of the most amazing voices that I’ve heard in a while. I was incredibly impressed with her set. I guess she tours with Tony Lucca a lot – but Tony always skips CT so I’d never had the chance to see her before.

Then it was time to get Idol spoilers from the Lady sitting behind me. Her husband was texting her as everyone made it through and she felt the need to announce them all. Thanks lady, I wasn’t DVRing to watch when I got home or anything… (I was trying to hard to avoid social media during the show too!)

When Lee took the stage someone yelled out that he was looking fancy and he teased that he could park your car.  Sing you a song and park your car.  He also mentioned that he was drinking on stage and the problem with drinking on stage is that everyone thinks that you’re drunk.  He told us that it was his first drink of the night so no, he wasn’t drunk, and also that if you are drinking on stage if you so much as trip – then everyone thinks you’re drunk.  Later in the set he went to switch guitars and tripped a little and had to laugh.  (The majority of my notes from this show are about him drinking so now I’m going to make it seem like he’s a drunk – he’s not!)  During his Wake Me Up / Stay With Me mashup he got so into it and his drink was near the edge of the stool he had on stage.  And it fell right off the stool. He didn’t even realize it and a few people let him know and he imitated the drink saying it was having so much fun it was going to jump… and then it did.  He went on to talk about one of his new songs that he was going to sing for us called Stone.  Someone asked what it was about and he said “a rock” and went on to explain the song.  He mentioned it had a river in it and everyone started cheering – because venue staff brought him out a new drink.  He didn’t know what was going on and thought we all just really liked rivers.  Then he was talking to the drink saying “Don’t do what your brother did, don’t you do it!” and then said that he was an idiot.

I hadn’t seen Lee live since just after he won Idol so I wasn’t really familiar with too much of his stuff.  I thought he had a really solid set and I loved the covers he threw in – Cecelia, Hallelujah (which he mentioned wasn’t on the setlist – but he makes a list basically telling himself what to do and he decided that he was going to change up what he told himself to do and play it) and the Wake Me Up / Stay With Me mashup – that ended up looping back into Don’t Be Afraid which was the song he had sung before these two which was cool.  And I loved the passion in his voice and how performing some of the songs seemed to just consume him.  It’s a shame that he was playing to a room of only 100 or so people!

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Pentatonix Photo Post

As promised, here are some of the photos I took at the Pentatonix show last weekend!

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