Tag Archives: music lover

Lady Gaga’s artRAVE: The Art Pop Ball

I recently had the pleasure of seeing one of my all-time favorite artists live in concert, in Philadelphia. This is the fourth time I’ve seen Lady Gaga, but what made it really special is that it was the first time I got to have my sister with me out on the East Coast (more on that, later). My sister, Monica, and I are huge music fans. She’s always been a great concert-going partner and I’m excited to continue our ritual all across the country.
After a day of delicious food, amazing coffee and one of the best conversations we’ve had in a long time, we’re ready for the show.
We arrive early enough to explore Wells Fargo Center. It’s nice taking public transportation & not worrying about traffic or having to look for parking.
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Every time I see Lady Gaga live, she just gets better and better and so do her fans. Walking around the venue, you see so many decorated people in different iconic Gaga looks. You can tell so much work & effort has gone into crafting the pieces. It’s hard not to stop and take pictures…

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20140529-132714-48434887.jpgThese ladies were adorable. When I told them about #StartingAt30, they let me know that they’re all my age & on the same page. I met quite a few thirty (something) year olds while mingling. There’s plenty of us out there…

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We make it to our seats in time to see the show start. artRAVE: The Art Pop Ball has begun. The Queen takes her place on stage & everyone in on their feet, dancing and singing along to G.U.Y. , Gaga’s latest single.

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I’m on my feet all night. I can’t sit through all the excitement! As Gaga takes us through a wonderful journey with songs from her latest album and classics from her albums before…from her amazing voice, to her flawless choreography, to her eccentric costumes & exquisite lighting, #artRAVE is a real party!

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There’s a point in the show where Lady G asks everyone to “Put away their f*cking cell phones and just be in the moment.” It’s such an amazing feeling of unity when you’re lost in a sea of people who are feeling the exact same thing as you are & love is flowing…
*The below photo was not taken during that moment. My phone was tucked away in my purse, as per the Goddess’s request. ūüôā

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Gaga continues to move the crowd with beautiful words, both sung & spoken. She even takes the time to read letters & share gifts that have been tossed on stage from the crowd. Inspiring stories of overcoming & healing win a few lucky fans backstage access to meet their idol.

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After raving with us all night, it seems it’s time for Lady Gaga to say goodnight. She thanks us for joining her and heads off stage…but, there’s one thing my professional concert-going sister has taught me over the years… the show is never really over until all the lights go on. So, while the crowd starts to make their way out, I know that there’s one more song to be sung…
The crowd erupts when Gaga makes her way back on stage. I’m extra excited, because I just know she’s going to perform Gypsy, my favorite song to date…it’s practically my life’s theme song with lyrics like “So I just packed my baggage and said goodbye to family and friends and took the road to nowhere on my own.” She ends the song (and the show) naming regions of the world, saying how different countries & cities can “Be (her) home just for the day.” Because, after all, she’s a Gypsy, hey!

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The night was full of messages of love, inspiration, empowerment & unity. Thank you, Lady Gaga, for a wonderful show, for your music, and your message!

*Find tour dates, ticket information, music, merchandise & links to fan photos from the tour all on LadyGaga.com

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*Special Thanks to my personal Wonder Woman, my biggest supporter, my big sister, Monica Salcedo, for traveling all the way across the country to take me to this amazing show…and for all you continue to do!

Thanks for reading along, friends &
family. Who are some of your favorite artists? Have you been to any great shows lately..?

Mums In The OC – Stepbrothers at The Observatory

It’s no secret that I love Evidence…I guess you can say it’s pretty evident. ūüėČ So, when I saw that he had a show in Southern California with genius producer & fellow rapper The Alchemist (who also shares my birthday) when I’d be in town, I reached out about attending the show & covering it on the blog (again).
I had some time off this past weekend & really wanted to make the most of it…I planned on being in San Francisco for a baby shower on Saturday for one of my dearest friends. So, I squeezed in as much family, friend & fun time as I could in 4 days.
I flew to San Diego to spend time with my family before heading to Nor Cal. It all worked out great, too. I had originally planned on taking my bestie & her husband to the Stepbrothers show at The Observatory in Orange County, but our schedules didn’t allow for that. My mom “jokingly” asked if I’d take her instead…I thought it was a great idea! I checked the website & once I saw that it was an all ages event, I invited my little (13yr old) sister, too! This should be fun…hip hop with my mom & the lil’ sis…!
When I’m going to a show, I like to bump the artist’s music. It gets me in the mood for what’s to come. So, the soundtrack for the drive from San Diego to Orange County is, of course, Lord Steppington. I promise my mom & sister that I’ll have them at the venue by the time the album is over…& I keep my word. We pull up listening to Bally Shoe, the last track on the playlist. Once we’ve parked, we walk through the rain to the box office. As promised, my name’s on the list. Thanks, Ev… I “drove too far to hear they closed the guest list.” Ha!
When we get inside, we’re a little late… We’ve missed Bambu‘s & Fashawn‘s sets. I’m pretty bummed, but what can I do? At this point, I’m just excited to be there in time to catch the closing act.
I lead my mom & sister through the crowd, as I keep looking back to check on them. I remember hearing my mom say, “It looks like the Eminem movie in here.” Lol. We find a place near the stage, with a great view….and just in time, too. Evidence & Alchemist hit the stage with Just Step, a very playful & fun track from the album… With lyrics like “Rawr Rawr like a dragon dungeon. Change your shitty drawers cuz your pants got dumped in.” The guys are energetic & they have the crowd enthralled as they “spit each word meticulous…” They set the perfect tone for the night.
Being from Southern California, they are literally at home on stage. I heard the guys mention in an interview that they would utilize their European tour as a “survey” or “case study” to “watch the crowd” and see what works… & even though I didn’t think it was possible, they have absolutely perfected their set since I saw them at the opening of the tour in Amsterdam in January! Their connection to each other, to the music, and to the crowd is undeniable.
The audience sings along as the guys perform tracks from their debut collaborative album, some Dilated Peoples hits, and of course, solo classics. My mom & little sister are enjoying the show. My mom is especially ecstatic when Ev performs her personal favorite, You, the banger produced by the legendary DJ Premier on Ev’s Rhymesayers debut, Cats & Dogs. Mum’s got good taste. ūüėČ
The show goes on to be a real crowd-pleaser. Everyone is cheering, hands are in the air…& when the guys say goodnight, per crowd request, they return the the stage for an encore. They close the show with the intro track from Lord Steppington, More Wins…and I must say, this show was definitely “another victory” for all in attendance. Bravo, gentlemen. Well done!

You can get upcoming show info, purchase tickets and buy the album here!

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After the show, Evidence stuck around to sign autographs, take pictures & connect with the fans. He didn’t leave until the venue was cleared. I even caught a quick pic with Fashawn. As you all know, I have nothing but love & respect for such humble artists.

One of my favorite things about shows like this, is the community…other fans, followers, hip hop heads who love the music & support the movement…my fellow travelers who catch shows in a city near them, or better yet, chase the tour!

http://instagram.com/itstheally
http://instagram.com/jo66prod
http://instagram.com/bossman75
http://instagram.com/aagatka87
http://instagram.com/buddhalovescats
http://instagram.com/nydia_lm
http://instagram.com/bobbyblunts619
http://instagram.com/mikesumoto
http://instagram.com/_arfkillah

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Special thanks to Mr. Michael Perretta for allowing me & my family access to this amazing show.

Special thanks Reina Salcedo for assistance with photography

420 with Devin the Dude

I started last week absolutely exhausted. I returned to Philadelphia on (Easter) Sunday, April 20, from back-to-back international trips. I worked Barcelona, followed by Madrid (blog posts soon to come) and my love for music wouldn’t allow me to stay in Philly to rest.
As soon as I landed and went through customs, I headed back through security to board a flight to Austin, Texas to catch Devin the Dude at The Historical Scoot Inn . I had the next day off & I had already reached out to Devin about attending the show. I was under the impression that 11pm was his set time. It was perfect, because my flight landed at 9pm…then, I got the update that he’d hit the stage at 8:30. It was too late at that point. I was already on the airplane, ready for take off. I was hopeful that I’d at least catch one song.
The flight was great. I had a wonderful crew…I actually kinda knew one of the girls. We have a few mutual friends. She offered to let me stay in her hotel room, which was awesome, because I hadn’t planned that far ahead yet.
When we landed, I rushed upstairs and changed for the show. I called a cab, while I had a drink with my new friend in “our” room. ūüėČ
I hopped in the cab, took the 3 minute ride to the venue, paid the man & jumped out. I was greeted by Rico, Devin’s manager, only to find out that the show had just wrapped up. (Womp Womp)!
Rico was nice enough to escort me into the Scoot Inn, as he guided me up on stage, where I encountered Devin signing autographs, taking pictures & connecting with his fans. I’m always overcome by joy when I see artists take the time to show love to their supporters. This is why I’m a loyal fan of the Dude!
I waited patiently for my turn & when he had a moment, Devin greeted me with a warm smile & a hug. I got a few words in with him & of course, we snapped a quick pic. After the crowd cleared, I stayed behind, making friends with some of the other performers.
My night out in Austin ended up being a lot of fun. I went out with some of the guys, partied with locals, and talked music all night. It was a blast.
I plan on catching another one of Devin’s upcoming shows soon (and getting there in time for the show)… You can too, by clicking here.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

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Grouch & Eligh, The Tortoise & The Crow Tour – Boston and Philadelphia

As I mentioned before in several of my posts, I love music! Being from San Diego, I’m used to always catching great hip hop acts near by. Since I’ve been out in Philadelphia, it hasn’t been quite as easy for me. So, when I saw that two of my favorite California MCs, The Grouch and Eligh, were hitting the road to promote their new album, The Tortoise and The Crow/333, I knew I had to be a part of it!
I noticed that the guys would be hitting the East Coast & I immediately checked the dates to see what worked with my schedule. When I saw that they’d be in Boston during my days off, I made plans to be there. I arranged to stay with my cousin, Jennifer, and I was so excited!
Jennifer had never been to a live hip hop show before, and since she’s originally from California, too, I thought this would be the perfect way to get her feet wet… Two Cali girls, supporting two Cali guys out on the East Coast. Clayton, Jennifer’s roommate – also from CA, decided to join us. You met Jennifer and Clayton in my last post.
When we arrive to The Middle East, we notice that the venue has two levels. There’s a comedy show going on upstairs and the audience is enjoying wonderful menu items. Everything looks & smells fantastic. Too bad we just had dinner…
We make our way downstairs & fall in love with the decor. We take tons of pictures with the cool backdrops.

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When the guys hit the stage, we’re enthralled… Their stage presence is captivating. This is my first time ever seeing these West Coast masters rock an East Coast stage…it’s magical. In the crowd, hands are in the air & lyrics are being spit word-for-word. The guys are performing classic G&E hits, notable solo joints, and some of their new stuff. It’s a great show!

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After the performance, the guys stick around to sell merchandise, sign autographs, and to pose for pictures with fans. They have such a personable approach.
I stand back & wait my turn…I’ve been to plenty if their shows & have had the pleasure of meeting the guys on numerous occasions. It’ll be nice to catch up. After the crowd clears, I make my way over to say hi. They’re both sweet & sincere…they take such an interest in me & stories of my travels. I’m proud, because I know that they’ve had their fair-share of seeing the world, too.
It’s pretty cool that these two remarkable human beings – who have created such amazing lives for themselves – are impressed by what I’m up to in life. They’re just as impressed by Jennifer (the Harvard grad)….Their humbleness impresses me even more than their astounding talent. I’m reminded of why I love their music & more importantly, their message.

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A couple days later, I head back to Philadelphia to prepare to be on-call for work. It’s pretty cool that my commute to work is on an airplane. I’m listening to the album the entire flight. It’s beautiful looking out the widow, flying through the clouds, listening to their always-inspiring lyrics.
I’m off duty tonight & the guys have a show here in Phillly. They’re nice enough to add my name to their guest list. I bring my friend, Brittany, along. You met her in my first Puerto Rico post.
The crowd is a little smaller at The Barbary, but the enthusiasm is still there. When these guys are on stage, they ignite crowd participation. I’m enjoying every minute of their performance.

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After their set, they, again, stick around to sell merch, sign memorabilia, and take pictures. They even continue our conversation about travels. These guys really know what life on the road is all about…it’s great sharing stories. We snap a few pictures & say good night. The guys are off to get their rest. They’ll hit the road in the morning, off to the next city, and next show…

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Also touring with guys is DJ Fresh

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and Pigeon John

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If you get the chance, I urge you to catch these guys on a stage near you! They’re heading back to the West Coast this week…
Get your tickets here.
Buy the album here.

Special Thanks to The Grouch and Eligh for allowing me access to these amazing shows!