Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors at The Warehouse

Thursday night, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors came to The Warehouse in Fairfield to play a show, just like he had promised during his set with Darius Rucker in Bridgeport last summer.  The band is touring to support their most recent release, Strangers No More, and recently announced that Strangers No More Volume 2 would be coming out in September. (All the songs on Volume 2 were recorded at the same time as Volume 1).   “Find Your People” quickly became a favorite song of mine and it earned the band their first #1 Americana Single!  I was surprised to see that this was the song they chose to open the set with, but by the time the show was over it made perfect sense.  He quickly captured the audience and didn’t lose them until the last note.  Their latest single, “Suffering” didn’t come until much later in the set.  They closed the set out with “Dance with Everybody” which I’d been hearing on TV during a March Madness TV commercial!

The hour and a half set also included a cover of Fairfield native, John Mayer’s “Gravity” and an absolutely amazing cover of Adele’s “When We Were Young” which had Drew standing in the middle of the crowd.  He also called opener Donovan Woods on stage to join him for the song they wrote together “For Some Reason”.  The Warehouse was certainly rocking to close out the night by Dancing with Everybody – including Drew, who once again made his way in the crowd to, in fact, dance with everybody.

Another highlight included Drew calling over an adorable little girl who was rocking a very sparkly jacket and a Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors t-shirt to give her a vinyl from the band.  Also kudos to her parents for having her wear adorable pink noise canceling headphones throughout the show as well.

I am very much so looking forward to see what gems may be hidden on Strangers No More Volume 2, but for now I’ll continue spinning “Find Your People”, a song that very much so reminds me of my closest friends.

I received a free ticket to the show in exchange for this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

The Mighty Tour 2

Friday night The High Kings and Gaelic Storm brought their The Mighty Tour 2 to Foxwoods Premier Theater.  We had seen the first part of the tour last year and were excited to see it again in a much larger theater.  The Waterbury PD Pipes and Drums opened the night at about 7:45.  The High Kings came out around 8 to open the show.  I didn’t keep track of the setlists for either band and can’t find them now, but I did write out what I could remember.  I am pretty sure that the 4 part harmony of 1845 was my favorite song they did last time, and it was this show as well.  After an intermission it was time for Gaelic Storm.

One of the band members, Twigger, has been recovering from a medical issue so he is not on the tour and they had two guitarists helping out to cover his parts.  While we did miss Twigger, the two gentlemen that they had on stage with them were wonderful as well.  Pat always makes me laugh – and Friday night was no exception.  During Darcy’s Donkey they often encourage fans to dance like they are riding a donkey in a race around the venue.  But Pat decided security at the front of the stage weren’t doing anything because it was an easy crowd and had them come up on stage to ride their donkeys for the crowd.

For the encore both bands came together to play a few songs together including John Denver’s Country Roads Take Me Home and then had the Pipe and Drums band come out and join them again.

Oh Maggie
Men of Aron
The Lonesome Boatman
The Fields of Athenry
Chasing Rainbows
Whiskey in the Jar

The Night Pat Murphy Died
Johnny Tarr
Rum Runners
Darcy’s Donkey
Raised on Black and Tans

Joey & AJ – A Legendary Night

Thursday night Joey from *NSYNC and AJ from the Backstreet Boys teamed up for a legendary night at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT.  We had purchased Soundcheck upgrade packages and needed to get there early to check in for the 3:30 soundcheck.  The guys tried a couple of new things with the band and then answered questions from the fans that were in attendance.  It was absolute chaos, as expected.  After the soundcheck we waited for the M&G with Joey (AJ’s was before soundcheck) and then had some time to kill before doors for the show.

I opted to sit in the front row center spot I had snagged for my friends and I, and while I did have a couple of moments where I thought I might stand, seeing how close AJ was coming to the edge of the stage I knew I would never be able to handle it.  The show was more fun than I was even expecting – they started with some *NSYNC and BSB songs, AJ ended up doing some of his own solo stuff as well.  They did a medley of TV Show themes, a medley of “Girl Power” songs by female artists.  They also had and inflatable die and bounced it through the crowd and when the DJ’s music stopped whatever number it was on was the song they would sing.  This is also when the fans with couch passes were on the stage. They had intended to do 3 songs for this but ended up doing 4. They closed the set out with more *NSYNC/BSB songs.

Pop / I Want You Back
Larger Than Life
Tearing Up My Heart
Burning Up
TV Themes (Cheers, Duck Tales, Full House, Fresh Prince, Golden Girls, Knight Rider, Friends, Greatest American Hero)
If I Ain’t Got You
Hit Me Baby
Bad Romance
Always Something There To Remind Me
All The Small Things
No Diggity
Part of Your World
My Own Worst Enemy
Good Enough
Poison / This Is How We Do It
Space Cowboy
I Want It That Way
Bye Bye Bye



90’s Con 2024 + Pod Meets World

When I was in 4th grade I had a hermit crab named Rider Taylor Keegan.  If you’ve seen the lineup for this past year’s 90s con, you will know that I was beyond excited that 2 of the 3 namesakes were in attendance. (Will I ever meet that elusive 3rd? I don’t know – but I’m hoping some day it will happen!)  I went for all 3 days this year, but due to some medical issues I tried to stay seated in the panels for as much of the con as I could.  This meant I met less celebrities, but honestly there were only a couple I was thinking about trying to meet in addition to the ones I did manage to see.

Friday there were no panels so that was the day I opted to do my Boy Meets World cast photo. There were 9 cast members in attendance – William Daniels (Mr Feeny), Danielle Fishel (Topanga), Rider Strong (Shawn), Will Friedle (Eric), Trina McGee (Angela), Betsy Randle (Amy Matthews), William Russ (Alan Matthews), Anthony Tyler Quinn (Mr Turner), Bonnie Bartlett (Dean Bolander)  I was the first one to enter the photo op with my “Best Is Grumpy” pod meets world shirt which Rider was really excited about and the rest of the cast applauded me.  We took the photo and they said it was good so I went to leave, only for them to say we were going to take a second photo.  This time Danielle yelled “RIDER! DO GRUMPY” so I was able to get 2 photos (BONUS! as screamed by Tony Quinn when they said we were taking a second) and have a grumpy Rider pose in photo #2.

After the photo op I met up with a friend, we went to see Jeff and Drew from 98 Degrees and then Andrew Keegan.  I cased out where I’d need to be for Geena Davis on Sunday morning and we ended up heading out to grab dinner.

Saturday morning first thing I went and lined up for the panels as they were kicking off with Boy Meets World.  I managed to get an ADA seat about 4 rows back in the center and stayed there through Sabrina the Teenage Witch and 98 Degrees.  The Boys Meets World panel had the same cast members as my photos – Bill Daniels came on stage to a wild ovation – the man will be turning 97 at the end of the month and is still doing these cons to meet the fans. Amazing.  He is a bit hard of hearing, but Bonnie helps him out by repeating questions and he will tell a story or two.  The Sabrina cast was without Caroline Rhea but did have Quiz Master Alimi Ballard instead!  To finish up my first shift of panels was Jeff and Drew from 98 degrees.  After that panel I left to have a quick snack and went downstairs for my Hollywood Darling Photo Op.  With some time before hand I managed to get a photo with the Golden Gays, which I had missed out on last year.

I was a little worried with a 2:50 photo op and a 3pm panel I wanted to see I wouldn’t make it in, but I was about the 3rd for Hollywood Darlings (Jodie Sweetin, Beverly Mitchell and Christine Lakin) and made my way upstairs for Dawson’s Creek with James Van Der Beek and Kerr Smith and a very kind volunteer found me an ADA spot in the 8th row.  I had considered leaving early, but decided since I had a decent spot I’d stay for the Full House panel with Dave Coulier and Jodie Sweetin – and good thing I did because Andrew Keegan showed up to apologize for his character on the show.

Then I had some time to eat dinner and relax before the After Party. They ended up letting ADA in “first” from a further door and then let the VIPs in as well and so it was pure chaos. I opted to just sit in the back.  Jodi Benson came out relatively early to perform “Part Of Your World” and said she had hoped to be in her PJs and in bed by 8:30pm.  Goals.  Jeff and Drew from 98 Degrees (or is it 49 degrees?) came out next and performed “I Do” and “Because of You” and then did a bit of “Because of You” with a fan.  I ended up leaving after that because I was exhausted and it was going to become a karaoke party.  I guess I missed out on some more Andrew Keegan fun, but I am pretty sure I made the right choice to get some sleep.

Sunday I had an autograph with Geena Davis at 10:15.  I got in line and had met her and gotten my baseball signed by 10:13 (thanks for being early, Geena!) and that gave me enough time to get upstairs and get in line for the panels.  They let ADA in first – which somehow was only me?! I got a spot in the 3rd row on the side and that was where I stayed all day!  The first panel was “And the Award Goes To” with Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon and Mira Sorvino and that was probably my most favorite panel of the whole weekend.  They were so real and honest with us – Mira even teared up about her career being stifled by Harvey Weinstein and they talked about how there are still people who knew what was happening and letting it happen in the business and that needed to change.  The next panel was 7th Heaven with Beverly Mitchell (Lucy), Barry Watson (Matt), Catherine Hicks (Mom), Mackenzie Rosman (Ruthie) and David Gallagher (Simon).  They talked a lot about their auditions, how they became a family and are still in touch with “Jessie” (Jessica Biel).  Up next was Disney Princesses – Jodi Benson (Ariel) and Linda Larkin (Jasmine).  There was originally supposed to be a couple more princesses in attendance but they unfortunately had to drop out but I think they handled the panel just the two of them really well and the kids had some adorable questions for them!  Next up was Step By Step – Patrick Duffy (Frank), Staci Keenan (Dana), Angela Watson (Karen), Christine Lakin (Al), Brandon Call (JT), Christopher Castile (Mark), Sasha Mitchell (Cody) and Jason Marsden (Rich).  They started off by talking a bit about Susanne Somers who was the Mom on the show and recently passed away.  The crowd went wild when Sasha spoke – and was exactly like Cody – and lost it again when Sasha laughed – and it was exactly like Cody.  It was interesting to hear what sort of jobs the ones who left the business have now – and they all seem really happy with where they are at! 3pm brought Hey Dude – David Lascher (Ted), Christine Taylor (Melody), Kelly Brown (Brad) and Josh Tygiel (Buddy) – the highlight of this panel was them all singing the theme song! Josh also brought some photos of when he visited the area the set was recently and showed what was left of it.  The final panel of the day and of the con was with the “core 4” from Roswell – Jason Behr (Max), Brendan Fehr (Michael), Shiri Appleby (Liz) and Majandra Delfino (Maria).  The most impressive part of this panel was how Jason was just rattling off the titles of all the episodes that they were talking about like it was nothing!


I then went to my room and had a bite to eat before grabbing an uber to the Pod Meets World Live show at the Bushnell, about 10 minutes away.  Mr Turner was walking out looking confused and when he showed up at the theater about 10 minutes after me, I slightly regretted not offering him a ride in my uber.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the show compared to Boston – but they did manage to switch things up a lot.  Rider’s poem had some CT centric items in it, and of course some parts about Will Friedle being from here.  The skit ended up having Mr Turner, the Matthews parents and Angela in it and then all of them joined for the Q&A.  Will did some CT trivia with Danielle and Rider (which seemed to SHOCK them and I loved it) and there was a new skit added to the end.  Overall it was so much fun and I am so glad I went again! My only regret was that I didn’t get the M&G – initially I thought I’d be going home right after but opted to stay over another night instead so I definitely had the time for it. Oh well. Next time!


Peter Frampton at Oakdale

Peter Frampton was an artist my Dad and I enjoyed.  We had made plans to go see him together, but for whatever reason it didn’t end up working out.  My parents did end up going to see him as the last concert they went to together before my Dad passed away.  This summer, Peter was at the casino but I had a conflict so when I heard he was coming to Oakdale in March, even thought it was a busy month for me, I knew I had to go.  Of my concert bucket list – it basically consists of Peter and Aerosmith (who I had tickets for but that show is in limbo).

I wasn’t really sure what to expect – the only thing I was hoping for was that since Peter would sit, the crowd would too.  After he came out to a standing ovation, the crowd did end up sitting for most of the show (save for a few other ovations and a couple of songs on the encore).  The show seemed to go on forever – he came on a little later than the 7:30 start time and played until 10:15. (Which still got me home before bed time!)

The highlight of the night for SURE was the cover he did of Black Hole Sun that he sang through the talk box. I am not sure I will see anything as amazing for the rest of this year, if not longer. The guy sitting next to me and I completely lost it.

I do hope that Peter is able to continue touring despite his muscle issues – since he said when he sits down with the guitar he seems to be fine. Funny how music can heal like that, even if only for a short time.

Peter Frampton Setlist Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT, USA 2024, Never Ever Say Never Tour


Book Review: Emily Posts

Emily Posts is about a middle school girl named Emily who looks up to Emily Post and tries to use her life lessons in her own life.  To be honest, I’m not really sure what made me choose this book to review, and while it is geared towards kids it took me a bit to get through because Emily and her friends can be absolutely insufferable at times.  Yet, somehow, representation matters and I was pleased to see that her younger soon to be step brother’s best friend was a wheelchair user that had cerebral palsy (and was also super sneaky!)

Emily works on a podcast at school, but when a partnership comes from a large company with the school it seems that the climate march Emily is concerned about and wants to publicize gets shut down by her principal.  In order to distract her, they change the visit of a famous actress who was coming to the school so Emily won’t try and get her friends to skip school and attend the march.

Meanwhile, there’s also a new girl in school and Emily is quite a bit jealous and not so great to her.

Overall, brought me right back to middle school and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.  But it does have some good lessons about working together, standing up for what you believe in and perhaps how to go about getting what you want in the right ways so you won’t get in a lot of trouble with, well, everyone.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.


Middle school podcast advice columnist + social media influencer wannabe Emily Laurence takes on the principal at her school to stand up for a climate march, in this fun, school-based drama for ages 10 and up. For fans of Gordon Korman and Susin Nielsen.

Emily is the ringleader for her school podcast, Cedarview Speaks — Sponsored by CoastFresh! But her plans for middle-school fame and social media influence are derailed when Amelie joins her eighth-grade class. The new arrival has a seemingly endless supply of confidence and a gift for leading people. Or leading them astray, as far as Emily’s concerned.

Emily puts her old-fashioned sense of etiquette into practice. Rather than confronting Amelie, she focuses her energy on creating a podcast story about an upcoming climate march. But her story is censored by the school principal. When she protests, Emily gets cut from the podcast crew . . . and Amelie takes her place!

Can Emily use her influence to spread the news of the climate march, reclaim her place on the podcast team and expose the flaws of CoastFresh? Can she balance her impeccable manners with twenty-first century activism? And how will she ever manage to work alongside Amelie?

With a light touch and plenty of humor, Emily Posts explores issues of social media, influence, corporate sponsorship . . . and the fraught waters of middle-school friendship.

Jewel Paradise Cove Drink Challenge 2024

For our mission to drink every resort drink we used the 2 menus that seemed to be at most of the bars.  We did end up finding a variation menu on the resort website so we did add a couple drinks from that throughout the trip.  We also came up with a scoring system for each drink – which we only needed to take 2 sips from to count as trying.  I had started out keeping notes about what I liked or didn’t like, but that got old fast so please see the drinks, ingredients and my rating.  After a weeks worth of research we found out that the drink we had been drinking all last year (Jamaica Smile) was indeed our favorite, but we also learned that we also liked the Blue Hawaiian. Any drinks that were mostly just juice and liquor were not a favorite and we liked the frozen drinks more – even if there were no straws.

🌟– gross
🌟🌟– ok but wouldn’t get again
🌟🌟🌟– ok and would get again
🌟🌟🌟🌟– like and would recommend
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟– ok drinking only this

Jewel Delight – Tuesday Gem of the Day
Appleton gold, apricot brandy, lime juice, syrup and pineapple juice.


Paradise mule 
Vodka, ginger beer, strawberry, lime juice
Jamaica smile 
Gold rum, rum cream, strawberry daiquiri, pina colada
Gold rum, white rum, passion, orange juice, lime juice, grenadine
Emerald Wednesday Gem of the Day
White rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice and lime juice
Blue Hawaiian (add on)
Vodka, blue curacao, pina colada
Mai tai
Gold rum, Coruba, triple sec, pineapple juice, lime juice, clear syrup
Coco loco
Coconut Rum, Gin, Lime Juice, White Rum, Pineapple Juice, Simple Syrup, Tequila Silver
Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, a dash of lime juice
Bob Marley
White rum, blue curacao, mango daiquiri, strawberry daiquiri
Golden lady – Thursday Gem of the Day
Coconut Rum, Creme De Banana, OJ, apple juice and ginger ale
Jamaica kiss 
Coffee liquer, dark rum, milk
Vokda, orange juice, cranberry juice
Amaretto sour
Amaretto, orange juice, lime juice
Mango tango
Rum, mango daiquiri, strawberry daiquiri
Red ruby Friday Gem of the Day
Gold Rum, OK, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine and Ginger Ale
Electric lemonade
Vodka, Melon Liqueur, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup
Purple rain
Vodka, Blue Curacao, sweet and sour, grenadine
Jamaica gem – Saturday Gem of the Day
White Rum, Blue Curacao, Sweet and Sour, Cranberry Juice
Bahama mama
Coffee liqueur, dark rum, coconut liqueur, white rum, lemon juice, pineapple juice, grenadine
Vodka, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice
Harvey Wallbanger 
Vodka, galliano, orange juice
Dirty banana (add on)
Rum, Coffee liqueur, creme de banana
Jade Samurai – Sunday Gem of the Day
Coconut rum, peach schnapps, oj, lime and grenadine
Sapphire – Monday Gem of the Day
Vodka, triple sex, blue curacao, sweet and sour and soda
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