Drive-In Concerts

An idea, inspired by an event Keith Urban put on for healthcare workers just outside of Nashville recently. Now this is a concept I can get behind.

Just imagine it, we can all enjoy the experience of a live concert, safely inside our vehicles. The stage could be set up just like it would be at a festival, at a drive-in theater location, or even in a random field outside of the city. Put up two screens on either side of the stage, so those who are not close can still see the artist, while the speakers still protrude the voice of the artist, live in the flesh.

It’s not through a screen. It’s not prerecorded. We still get the lights, the instruments, the background vocals, that we would for a live show. Artists could go on tour, safely. They could still make an income. We could get that concert fill.

So…anyone want to start a new concert venue with me?




Are Virtual Concerts the New Normal?

We’re all suffering from no concert depression, am I right?

I fully regret not taking advantages of concerts when they were so readily available to me. Which could be said for a lot of stuff in our world right now. We’re grieving (in a way) what we lost. Is this the new normal?

I’ve only gotten a chance to watch a few virtual concerts and a few things I’ve noticed:

  • They were prerecorded (probably for editing sake)
  • No production (to be expected under the circumstances)
  • Some of them are “from the archives” (so just old videos…..)

These just don’t give me the excitement like I would have if I were going to see an artist live. I’ve had to get used to watching church online, with not having a building to go to. It appears we are going to have to adjust in that same way to experience a concert in our living room. We have to accept it for what it is at the moment, because if we’re being realistic, it will probably be a while until we all can be squished together in a concert venue, getting the true live experience.

I’m very intrigued to see how creative artists will get when it comes to doing a “show.” Will they still do a production like they would if they were touring? Would there be concerts specials on big television networks? What if they were broadcast like an awards show is?

I’m also wondering what live streaming service could handle a large amount of people watching? Hulu live? Netflix live? YouTube live? Could Spotify create a livestream platform for artists to do virtual concerts?

SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

So for now, I guess I can suggest: watch old concert videos, music videos, listen to new music being released. There are also some music platforms doing “virtual concerts” (Live Nation is doing a “Live at Home” series & IHeartRadio is doing a “Living Room Concert” series). We have to take what we can get & adjust to take in whatever we are able to get, for now….

Soon enough we will be back to only suffering from the post (actual) concert depression….


How Will Coronavirus Impact the Concert Scene?

Is anyone else really bummed their escape from their day to day life of attending a concert is indefinitely postponed? The live music industry has severely taken a hit due to coronavirus & I’m absolutely devastated that there’s no solid return date for when concerts will be happening again.

I have seen artists hosting virtual concerts but tbh, I haven’t had any interest in that because it’s just not the same. A concert experience for me allows me to be present & in the moment. If close enough to the stage, we have the opportunity for the person up there to look us in the eye, point at us, NOTICE us. We don’t get that capability through a computer screen.

My mind is racing as to how concerts are going to be run or what it will be like to attend a concert in the future. 99.9% of the concerts we attend, you have absolutely no personal space. Are people going to be too scared to be in that close proximity to other people considering we’ve been social distancing for 2 months now? Are people going to be required to wear masks to any show they attend? Are venues going to limit the amount of people that can attend (even under capacity) to allow people to social distance?

I’m trying to rack my brain around what solutions there may even be for this. Anyone else a little perplexed too? What will concerts look like in the future?I regret not taking advantage of a live show when we had the opportunity. I would decide not to attend, even if I wanted to, because I didn’t want to spend the money or because I just didn’t “feel like it.” GUYS, we have to start living in the NOW. Taking advantage of the things we want to do WHEN we want to do them. No one EVER thought the opportunity to go to a concert would be taken away…

If you have feelings, or solutions, or questions, go on, leave a comment below.


Phones at Concerts

Does it bother anyone else if the person they’re next to at a show is recording THE ENTIRE TIME? It’s the worst when you’re at a general admission concert, and all you see are phone screens in front of you – this blocks your view even more, especially if you’re short. Now I know this may be a little hypocritical as I have to record & take photos to get content for my posts on this exact blog, but I honestly believe as a concert-goer, it takes away from the experience if you just record the whole thing. And let’s be honest, do you really go back and rewatch all of your videos? I know I don’t.

Although it could be therapeutic for some (to get over that post concert depression, am I right?) to go back & watch the videos taken at the concert, I don’t believe that should be the experience when going to see an artist or band live. You don’t get to be in the moment. You’re watching the show through your phone screen, rather than watching it live. You can’t fully embrace the concert experience this way.

I remember when I saw Maroon 5 a couple of years ago, Adam Levine asked the ENTIRE crowd to put away their phones for ONE song. Granted, this was an arena venue, so a pretty hard ask, but I really enjoyed that moment because he truly wanted everyone to experience it with their own eyes, not through their screen.

My suggestion: take a short instagram story clip, a few photos & then PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY. You want to dance, don’t you? You want to scream the lyrics at the top of your lungs, don’t you? And…if you’re close enough, you want to be able to lock eyes with whoever is on stage, DON’T YOU? Be in the moment. Engage. Enjoy.

Sometimes I wish concerts were like comedy shows, where you’d get kicked out if you get caught with your phone out. If this were the case, people would actually be surprised by the show & not have already seen it on someone else’s Instagram story.

Music industry, DO YO THANG.


WORSHIP

The first time I connected with God through worship was when I decided to make church a priority in my life. Someone on stage had said: “If you connect through the lyrics, raise your hands.” I cannot remember what song & I cannot remember the exact lyrics, but there was a moment I could feel His presence. So…I raised my hands and I instantly started bawling my eyes out. I could feel Him & He was there with me.

Some people don’t like all the flashy, over the top production when it comes to worship, but it feels like a concert to me. It’s the two things I enjoy most: God & concerts. I enjoy worship the most after a sermon, singing songs carefully chosen to accommodate the message, listening to the lyrics, & feeling His presence there with you.

This is a scary time in the world – coronavirus is really making people reevaluate what they turn to when they are down, struggling, sad, weak. This is the EXACT time that we should realize that the ONLY thing we should turn to is God. He is the only thing that can heal us, make us feel better, & validate us. Alcohol won’t do that. The gym won’t do that. Eating won’t do that. Heck, a concert won’t even do that. These “idols” we place in our life are only there for a moment, but God is forever. He’s not a fleeting moment in our life, He is there with us ALWAYS & worship is one the most powerful times we can spend in His presence.

Recently, we haven’t had the opportunity to experience worship in person, so we are learning to make it our own. The church I attend has been going through a series (before all this craziness started) called “Take Home Faith.” This is exactly what we need to do when it comes to worship. What we see and feel during service, take it home & recreate it….in the best way we know how. Turn on a worship song. Raise your hands right there in your living room. Dance around. GO CRAZY. And I think the biggest thing to take away: listen to the lyrics. Lyrics are powerful. Lyrics can speak to you in a different way, emphasizing what God speaks to us through His word. Allow them to penetrate your soul.

If you need something to look to during these difficult times, God could be that resource. He will give you the best & most absolute peace you’ve ever felt in your entire life. My suggestion: start with worship.


Check out the following worship:

Hillsong Worship

Elevation Worship

Red Rocks Worship

Follow along on spotify:

Calming Christian

WorshipNow

Top Christian

Love Coffee, Love Jesus


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…