Cal Scruby

We drive by the venue & see a line. We had no expectations of what this show was going to be like. Our (more so mine) experiences have been opening shows or local Ohio shows, where Cal is from. His first headlining tour. HEADLINING.

This. Is. A. Big. Deal.

His first stop of tour: this show. Denver, CO. I can’t explain to you how exciting it was to be at a show outside of Ohio surrounded by other Cal fans (even though people still think his last name is pronounced SCRUB bee – it SCREW be, people).

It’s snowing…not ideal for waiting outside before the doors open. We get there early – my friend & I of course bought VIP, the only way to go to a show when you’ve been following him since 2012.

Eventually we are able to enter the venue & make our way over to the man himself. It had been a few years since I’d seen him, so I was nervvvvvvy. Why? Prob cause I’m a big Cal supporter, but a sucky fan (I sorry Calvin). We catch up, get our picture & then plop our butts on the speakers in the front row. This venue (Lost Lake Lounge) was so small & intimate, which is my favorite kind of venue. You can get an up close & personal show in this kind of place, it even had a disco ball in the middle of ceiling!

Let me start by telling you: there was NO OPENER. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good opener as it gives me the opportunity to see someone I may not have heard of or known otherwise. But, getting right to the nitty gritty & the person I came for: that is the icing on top.

Performing almost all of his legendary Unsigned album, the show starts with none other than: Shut Up. The beginning of the song inundated with a monologue of Cal talking about how people didn’t believe in him, how his old label was BS, & everything people try to tell him about making it in the music industry. Proud of you Cal – you do you, booboo.

Clip of Cal performing Shut Up

The entire show, Cal just spit fire, with everyone around us in the crowd spitting game right along with him. I cannot describe what a cool feeling it is to be at a show where EVERYONE (except me: bad fan, remember?) is rapping all the lyrics along with Cal. An artist who deserves everything he’s worked for. Although, I’ll never personally experience that feeling (thanks to my terrible voice & non musical abilities), that has to be one of the coolest things to experience as an artist.

Continuing to take us through a musical experience: Cal hit us with some upbeat songs [Taylor Swift, Kobe with the Fro, Who are you?], took us down with some very real, very emotional songs [My Anxiety, Worst Day of my Life], & got WeIrD in between them all. I’ll never forget Cal referencing a tweet that he would take a shit on stage if he sold out the show (JOKES, OBVI – if you followed Cal, you’d get his weird humor) & a fan next to us yelling “let’s all shit our pants together.” Let me tell you….that was fckn weird.

Clip of Cal dancing like he’s Taylor Swift

Even though I spent most of my time in the front row pretending to know the lyrics (my brain & mouth cannot compute the lyrics & raps that encompasses Cals songs), I had a very real moment when it got to the point in the show for the song: My Anxiety. I’ve been in a weird season in life, more anxious than normal, more stressed than normal, & a lot of change happening outside of my control. I’ve felt off balance & sometimes not like myself. God is definitely testing me & teaching me to rely on Him right now, but this song really resonated with some of how I’ve been feeling. I shed a few tears listening to the lyrics, these one’s especially:

I’m looking happy online but it’s not what you think
I’m losing touch if I’m touching a screen
One minute, I think I love everybody
And then I’m like fuck everything

For anyone who struggles with anxiety or depression, the lyrics of this entire song put so many feelings into words. It’s crazy how perfectly Cal describes it. If anything, I hope this song can help anyone who may be feeling that way, to help them get out of that head space, & to make people realize they’re not alone, even if it may feel that way.

We eventually find ourselves at the end of the show: Kobe with the Fro. Cal expresses that he is unable to do an encore, but whaddya kno, he comes back out & performs one of his classics; Wasted. Us bitches for sure got basic. It was the BEST way to round out the first night of tour. To top it off, his manager advised against hanging after shows with fans, but here we were: waiting in line again to spend some quality time with Cal himself.

The amazing night still lingering in my mind, a month and a half later. That is post concert depression, y’all…

Photo with Cal Scruby & his DJ Tron after the show

X Ambassadors

LISTEN UP – X Ambassadors is the most underrated band, I swear. Even before the concert last night at Red Rocks (which is AMAZE bee tee dubs), they weren’t really on my radar, besides the songs I knew from the radio (i.e. Renegades & Unsteady). I am completely floored & flabbergasted by them.

First of all, let me give all my praises to the man behind the keyboard. I am LIVING for him. As I said above, I went in completely not knowing who X Ambassadors is & who is in the band. To my utmost surprise, the keyboard player was led out by the lead singer (who is also his brother) while maneuvering a walking stick. Yes, he is BLIND. Emphasis on the BLIND because what a true talent to be able to push past something that would most likely hold others back, get on stage, & ROCK OUT playing a show of probably 9,000 people. I was seriously so impressed – jaw to the floor the entire time. Not to completely focus on his disability because he is obviously is more than that but I am just here to give my many praises because he’s pushed past the boundaries of the “norm.” I have never personally seen that before at a concert & the only other artist I know of is Stevie Wonder. Again, I AM HERE TO PRAISE THIS MAN.

*disclaimer: I don’t remember their names & again, trying to keep it authentic here & not just google up all the facts*

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way – let me just discuss the openers:

Allan Rayman: So I didn’t know who he was before & still not sure how I feel about him. I am not here to be negative but to give an honest review. Myself and the strangers around me (as I again went to another concert alone) agreed that we liked his sound (has some grit to his voice) but actually watching him perform gave me the heebie jeebies. Okay, I’m being over dramatic but it was definitely weird. There were some moments where he was just laughing into the microphone; which reminded me of that Gorillaz song, Feel Good Inc. (had to google that one, oops) from way back when. Props to him but not my cup of tea for live performances.

MisterWives: I have all the positive things to say about their live performance (have seen them plenty of times before this as well). They bring SO MUCH energy to the stage & not to mention the lead singer, Mandy, has THE most amazing voice I’ve heard – video below to prove my point.

Playing their first ever show at Red Rocks, it was an iconic performance. They performed some songs off their last album, such as, Coloring Outside the Lines & Drummer Boy (which Mandy wrote for their drummer, Etienne – they just got engaged within the past year: S’CUTE) as well as some oldies but goodies, Reflections (holy tbt) & Our Own House. 

A cool part during their set while performing Imagination Infatuation, the entire band lowered to the ground to the tune of “a little bit softer now” then BOOMED back up to the tune of “a little bit louder now” – as you can hear, the crowd was cheering ’em on!

During their final song, Our Own House, they rocked out on some drums – love these kinds of added bonuses in a performance. The video shows it A.L.L.

Alright, alright, alright (Matthew McConaughey voice) – back to the headlinerz, X Ambassadors, babay. To note: this was their first HEADLINING show at Red Rocks. && it was hoppin’. I only knew a few of the songs, but was having a grand ole’ time. The lead singer could hit notes I didn’t even know existed. The high range he could go to was unimaginable.

It also felt at times I was being taken to a church/choir show (in the BESTEST way possible). There were 3 background singers who brought that added pizzaz to the show, singing background vocals to put some umph into each song X Ambassadors performed, as heard below during Renegades.

Something I unfortunately didn’t get on video was a transition between songs, where the lead singer was introducing a new song – preaching not to be afraid to be yourself, don’t give a f*ck what other people think of you & that they accept everyone, whether you are black, white, Christian, Muslim, LGBTQIA, & so on. I was clapping THE entire time. I love hearing inspiring speeches such as these. He said they are with us. No matter what. Standing for what’s right. I WAS THERE FOR IT.

Let’s also talk about how they performed half of their set while it was raining. Spewing directly onto the stage & soaking the band. Talk about FREE-ZING (as I was). You would think the crowd would have dispersed because of the rain, but it appeared that everyone stayed put to enjoy the amazingness of their set. I unfortunately did not plan well & left a few songs early because I could not feel my feet! First Red Rocks concert & did not expect to be freezing my arse off. However, walking out of the venue hearing the crowd soar & scream & cheer for the end of their set, I had a huge smile on my face because of the night I just had. It was pure bliss…

And then…the Post Concert Depression set in…


Camila Cabello

It’s been 5 days since I attended this show last Wednesday at the Paramount Theater in Denver, CO — as a part of her Never Be The Same tour — & I am still depressed that it is over. I keep going & watching Instagram stories of the shows following mine trying to relive that night. IT WAS THAT AMAZING, I swear. I’ve always been a fan of Camila, even when she was in Fifth Harmony, as she was my favorite of the group. Her voice is KILLER – I am so amazed at the variation she uses when performing, especially when she hits those high notes during Consequences, singing “No, ooh-ooh-ooh” so beautifully. 

To start off the show, Camila had support of NY based, Loote – performing a smaaaash called High Without Your Love along with their version of Cheat Code ft. Demi Lovato’s hit, No Promises, because THEY WROTE IT. From what I gathered during the show, the duo consisting of Jackson & Emma (I don’t know their last names & yes I could google, however, trying to provide only information gathered at the show. Cool? Cool) were song writers before they started working on original music. Even though I didn’t know the words, I was dancing in my seat (all by my lonesome, because yes, I went alone). Definitely an artist I will continue to follow, as should you!

I had just moved to Denver about a week before, so was completely clueless Camila was coming until the night before the concert. I spontaneously bought a ticket the morning of for about $20 through Stubhub. Come to find out when I got to the venue, I was second to last row in the venue’s balcony (sorry, I won’t have that great of photos for you this concert). Surprisingly, I still had a great view of the stage. Camila had a giant screen behind her — starting the show & most transitions between songs displaying slow motion video of her while softly speaking to introduce her set or the next song she was about to play.

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Above shows the first image you see to start her set. BEAUTIFUL. Camila opened up with Never Be The Same & throughout the set played songs off her self-titled debut album, such as She Loves Control, Inside Out & All These Years. The two songs I want to touch on, though, are Real Friends & Somebody’s Gotta Give. During Real Friends, Camila brought up a girl, Elena, who was celebrating her 8th birthday. I think I melted – it was one of the sweetest moments I got to witness. The little girl was so excited, exclaiming that “she’s never been on stage before.” Camila even let her sing some of the words. I UH-dored this moment. OH, we also got to sing her happy birthday. If I was Elena at her age, I would NEVER stop talking about it. Talk about being the “cool kid” at school from now on.

On a more serious note, during Somebody’s Gotta Give, the screen behind her displayed images from the Florida school shooting along with images from the March For Our Lives event that happened this past March. I immediately teared up when the video of the students exiting the Florida school popped up. I. Did. Not. See. That. Coming. (Hence why my video did not capture it). I was so moved! I truly appreciate artists who stick up for what they believe in.

Let me also touch on the whole production & performance. I typically am not a fan of the “pop star” on stage trying to over perform with backup dancers. However, Camila did it just perfectly. She had about 5-6 backup dancers to support her throughout her set. It was just enough that it wasn’t overdone or overbearing. The reason I’m not usually a fan of this type of performance is because I go to listen to the VOICE of the artist I’m seeing. Camila danced her ass off while also maintaining a dominating vocal performance. She also knew when to slow it down — busting out her skills on the keyboard — && getting the crowd into their feels. She empathized with the crowd. She brought the energy. She even gave us some acapella during In The Dark (while *unironically* singing it in the dark –which I LOVED, don’t go hatin’ on me now).

Camila eventually ended the show with her mega hit, Havana, & once it was over…

The Post Concert Depression set in…


Check out both artists below:

Camila Cabello:

Website: camilacabello.com

Facebook: facebook.com/camilacabello

Twitter: @camila_cabello

Instagram: @camila_cabello

Spotify: Camila Cabello

Loote:

Website: lootemusic.com

Facebook: facebook.com/lootemusic

Twitter: @lootemusic

Instagram: @lootemusic

Spotify: Loote