Free Meet & Greet With The Script

Once upon a time I met the talented the guys from The Script without actually attending their concert. I mean, I was supposed to attend their concert, but didn’t make in time. Yes, that happened in October of 2012 while I was in LA.

I had been invited for a gathering at friend’s house along with other people and one of the girls there had an extra ticket to The Script concert later that night. While we were all there having a good time, drinking, talking, lunch was served late in the afternoon. I still had to record a recipe for my site Beets & Beats, and as soon as I finished, the girl and I ran out of the door to go to the Greek Theatre, where the concert was being held.

Too late! When we got there, the bad had just finished! Shame on us! Still, we decided to stay a little and see what would happen, since was saw their busses and a line forming in front of them. We stayed at the ned of the line, and struck a conversation. Soon, we realized that an hour passed by without nothing happening but the line getting bigger. I was like: “Should we go…? It’s been an hour…”, to which my friend replied “Let’s just wait 5 more minutes”. That’s when we looked between the busses and we saw the guys walking towards the line!

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They talked, signed autographs and took pictures with every single person on that line! Mark started in our end, while Danny and Glen started the opposite way. We couldn’t believe it! I’ve been a fan of the band since 2008. There’s something in their sound and lyrics that really captivated me from day one.

Well, the guys were so cool and reachable. I took pictures with all of them, and got autographs, which I used on a giveaway I did on Beets & Beats. Mark was the first one, so he was the fastest around us two. Second, came Danny! OMG! He’s very tall and good looking. Of course I took a picture. My friend and I even talked to him what had happened that night, that we missed his concert. I guess he felt bad for us because he came back and gave each of us the tightest and longest hug I have ever received. He really squeezed me, it felt so good. Last, but not least, Glen showed up. Glen was such a cool guy, we got to talk the longest, asked him questions and everything.

For sure we had to ask when would they come to Brazil to perform since they have many fans here. They all seemed very excited with the idea but so far “we got nothing”. See what I did here? Anyway, it was an amazing night, the waiting was so worth it. I still hope one day I will see them live.

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Lots Of Fun With The Foo Fighters!

Once upon a time I attended a Foo Fighters concert. That’s right, Foo Fighters. I’m a big rock fan! That happened while I lived in West Palm Beach, Florida circa 2008. All because my friends were going and I found out I had the night off, so I thought to myself “Why not?”. That was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

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Their concert was on a Wednesday night and I went with no expectations whatsoever. I was lucky enough to get a field ticket, so when I entered the venue, I tried to find a place near this walkway and to the front. My friends got seated tickets, so we didn’t stay together inside.

I went to Foo Fighters concert thinking “I’m just gonna have some fun, at least I know some of their songs, it’ll be cool”. Turns out, I basically knew their entire set! They sang so many hits like “Let It Die”, “Times Like These” and “Learn To Fly”. They had an amazing energy, a great vibe all around.

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Soon after, they walked right by that walkway and so close to me, it was unbelievable. That’s when a smaller stage came down from the ceiling and they sang some ballads, including “Walking After You”.  Returning to the main stage, they kept on singing new and old tunes. Foo Fighters finished their much fun show with the great “Best Of You”. It was definitely one of the most fun night I’ve ver had!

**Read while listening to “Times Like These” and “Best Of You”.

Backstreet Boys: A Concert I Won’t Ever Forget

The first international concert I attended here in Brazil was the Backstreet Boys in 2001 when I was 18 years old. I have been a fan of the group since 1996. At that time many other boy bands were surfacing every day, but the BSB had something different, something that really captivated me inside and they still do to this day.

Back in 2001, when I heard they were going to be performing in Rio de Janeiro at Maracana Stadium, I started asking my parents every single day to let me go, after all I didn’t live in Rio at that time. I had arranged everything for my travel over the internet. Even the girls I met online, we talked of meeting outside Maracana. With that, I got my parents consent.

The day finally arrived and I was in Rio! It was May 3rd, Thursday, and I had gotten up early to get ready to to the concert. I arrived at the stadium around 3:30pm ish and waited a little while to meet with the girls. The stadium had this different vibe with thousands of girls, boyfriends and look alike. It was magical. I had described what I was wearing to the girls because it would be the first time we were meeting in person. Soon, they found me and with the gates already open, we entered Maracana.

It was Backstreet Boys’ Black & Blue World Tour. The opening act was a girl named Krystal, which the Boys were supporting at the time. She had one famous song “Supergirl”, which she sang on the piano. It was cool. After we waited another long hour, they finally emerged on the stage. It was pure frenzy. The stadium had 90.000 thousand people going wild! It was well produced with fireworks, change of clothes and more.

They sang songs from the new album as well as all their success, including the smash hit “I Want It That Way”. They did a medley of “As Long As You Love Me”, “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)” and “All I Have To Give”. I screamed and sang so much that by the end of the night, I had lost my voice. The girls and I were in complete awe. They played for 2 hours.

I did take pictures, but at the time my pictures still had to be developed, which is why I don’t have any in this post. I have them developed, of course, but not digitalized. The beauty in all of this, besides being able to see my idols live, is that the girls Dani and Stella and I are still good friends, so thank you Backstreet Boys for a night I won’t ever forget and  thank you again for bringing new friends into my life.

**Read this while listening to “Everybody”, “Larger Than Life” and “Shape Of My Heart”.

Alicia Keys in Santa Barbara? Yes, please!

Hello! After taking a much needed vacation, I’m back to write more!!! To start 2015 in great (music) taste, I chose to review Alicia Keys concert, which I attended mid August of 2008 in Santa Barbara, California.

That’s right! At that time, I was living in SB and working at the Four Seasons Resort and Hotel there. One of my coworkers, Francisco, took me to buy my ticket (which I got in the 4th row!!!) and then later dropped me off at Santa Barbara Bowl, where the concert was being held.

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It was a full packed house! I was so close to Alicia, it was an experience I’ll never forget! The crowd sang all of her songs in a unison, it was incredible. She sang hit after hit, going from “You Don’t Know My Name”, to “Unbreakable”, to her first single “Fallin'”, to finish with “If I Ain’t Got You”. Her vocals mesmerized everyone in the audience along with her piano skills. She’s a complete artist that I fell in love with from the moment I heard “Fallin'” and since then, I’ve been following her career. To have had the opportunity to ser live felt like a dream come true.

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Of course during her set I took many pictures and recorded small videos. While I was recording one the security came to me and said that no videos can be recorded. Ok, so I “faked” that I was taking pictures, while I was “positioning” the camera, I was actually recording! Ha!

When it came to an end, everyone wanted more. Alicia is one of those people you want to listen all night long, you never get tired of her. Definitely it was an amazing evening in a very special place that is SB to me!

30 Seconds To Mars in Rio, Baby!

The date: October, 19th, 2014. The place: Fundição Progresso in Lapa, the bucolic neighborhood. The city: Rio de Janeiro. The band: 30 Seconds To Mars. The scenario was set for that wonderful Sunday afternoon. It was a sunny and hot day and I was ready to see live in concert one of the bands I grew to love so much over the past few years.

As the usual, I was going to their concert by myself, but right as I took the bus, I met 2 girls that were going as well. That bus ride went by fast and I soon noticed we were right there and the line was huge. We got into line, talked, took pictures, all while the line was moving. When we looked, we were in front of the door. It was the first time I went to see a concert in Brazil, after moving back from the US. It was, also, my first time at Fundição Progresso. The concert venue is different and the theatre area isn’t huge, but it’s high.

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When we entered, the place was already packed! After half an hour of waiting, Jared Leto & the band appeared on stage singing “Birth”, followed by “Night of the Hunter”. The crowd went wild! They sang every single song in a unison like I’ve never seen it before. I sang it too, don’t get me wrong, it was just impressive. The girls and I were having such a blast, jumping and singing song after song. The band put up on quite an awesome concert and overall incredible experience.

Some of the highlights of the night were “This Is War”, “Kings and Queens” and “Do Or Die”. My personal highlight was when they sang “City of Angels”, because it brings back so many amazing memories I had while I lived in LA and so many great friends that still live there. With each song, Jared made an unique performance, so upbeat and energetic, like very few I’ve ever seen.

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After an hour and a half of the best music, the band finished their concert with “Up In The Air”. The audience, myself included, definitely wanted more and more. They could’ve sing for another 3 hours and we would still want more. It’s safe to say that Jared and the band left us all in ecstasy. What an unforgettable Sunday!

John Mayer Gave Me “Clarity”!

I had a special list of artists I’d like to see when I lived in LA. Fortunately, one more from that list became real: John Mayer. I went to his concert in August of 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl on a beautiful and sunny Sunday afternoon. That day was simply amazing. Summer was finally here! The Bowl was packed! There was no single seat left in all of those 18000 seats! As for myself, I went alone, like I usually do, but really enjoyed my own company.

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John Mayer’s concert was scheduled to start at 6:30pm, so I was there around 6pm because I like to observe the atmosphere. People were meeting friends, hanging out, and having their picnic everywhere. It was a busy day. Everyone seemed to be ecstatic with the concert. I went to my seat and soon the opening act begun. It was a band named “Owl City”, which played for 45 minutes. They have very nice songs, being “Fireflies” the most recognized so far.

Then, John Mayer came for a four-song duet with jazz musician Brad Mehidau. Brad is known for his own compositions as well as for jazz arrangements of popular and rock music. Their duet included “Wind Cries Mary” (Jimmy Hendrix), “Can’t Find My Way Home” (Blind Faith), “Going to California” (Led Zeppelin), which transitioned to Mayer’s own song “Stop This Train”. The best of all was, without any thinking, “Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. I was in ecstasy! One of the top moments of the evening for sure. That also was Mayer’s joke, that this set was his opening act for himself.

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When he returned to the stage, he begun with “Clarity”, “Chesty Fever”, and “Why Georgia” as his jumpstart. The concert goes on with him singing songs from his latest album “Battle Studies” as well as from previous albums. During the songs, he was playing different kinds of guitar, proving to be a great musician too. Everything sounded and looked too good to be true, but it was that evening. I waited for so long for a chance to see him live that I wasn’t even blinking! I didn’t want to miss anything, although my camera left me empty-handed when the battery died before the end of the concert.

 Mayer talked between songs, told stories and jokes, but none of them were in a bad way or diminishing anybody. It was all personal, which brought the audience closer to the artist. He felt and made us feeling like we were home having a nice conversation over a cup of coffee.

He continued to perform in a concert that lasted more than two hours. Another highlight point was the cover of “Don’t Stop Believin’”, by Journey, and “Waiting on the World to Change”. The audience was more than pleased singing along every song and cheering every moment possible. I knew it was coming to an end…The one I didn’t want to come. He finished with “Edge of Desire”, leaving everybody wanting for more. He sure knows how to use his charisma and charm. Mayer put on an amazing and entertaining show. To me, he could sing all night long and I wouldn’t have gotten tired of it.

A Half Performance By Caetano Veloso

Caetano Veloso. When you hear his name, for those who know him, automatically you associate it with one of the best and most popular musicians from Brazil. That’s how I know him, considering that he started his career way before I was born, back in the 60’s. When I read that he was coming to LA for a concert, I thought, “Wow, this is the kind of concert I can’t miss”. I knew it would be memorable, quite an experience. It certainly was, but not exactly in the way I had expected.

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For that occasion, I invited a Brazilian friend, Karla. I mean, I practically had to convince her because the location of the concert was the Greek Theatre, a place I hadn’t been before and neither had she. It has an open sky dome and she was afraid of getting really cold. Luckily, the weather collaborated that day. It was a beautiful spring day in LA in 2010 with a gorgeous sunny, blue sky, not too hot, not too cold, just perfect.

As we made our way to the theater, we were very excited about what Caetano Veloso  represents in Brazil’s music. Getting there was easy and fast. We found our seats as we waited anxiously for his concert to begin. It got chiller at night but we had enough warm clothes.

Soon, came the first song… which none of us knew, but sounded interesting from the rhythm side. The second song came and again, another one we didn’t know. Then, the third, the forth, and the fift song were pretty much, all the same. This scene repeated during his entire concert. Karla and I kept saying, “Perhaps the next one will be “Você É Linda” (You Are Beautiful)”, which didn’t happen at all.

Well, what I considered to be his major moment in the concert was when he sang four songs only followed by his guitar. That’s when I thought he was going to sing “Sozinho” (Alone), one of my favorite songs of all time. Instead, he made a cover of “Billie Jean” from Michael Jackson! Unbelievable! In the true sense of the word! Unbelievable because he didn’t sing the one I wanted to hear. Unbelievable because MJ’s cover was too slow for me and a few other people that I overheard talking about it.

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Another thing that I felt missing was his interaction with the audience. It was minimum. Just a few words here and there, but nothing really catching. He sang mainly the songs of his new album “Zii e Zie”, released in 2009, which explains why I didn’t know most of it. His voice is still amazing, and the tone is beautiful. However, besides the interaction, I felt something else was missing in the concert. To me, he lacked enthusiasm in his performance. I mean, he danced and everything, but still there was something not quite right. To be honest, unless you were there, it’s difficult to put into words.

With all that said, I will change to the good things. There were some songs that I found very interesting from the beat and arrangements to the lyrics. They talked straight to my heart, making me feel warm and cozy like when someone gives you a bear hug. Even though I didn’t know these songs, it didn’t mean I didn’t know how to appreciate them. That’s also what Karla told me. She felt the same way. Caetano sang in English as well, which shows he recognizes that not everybody in his concert speaks his native Portuguese.

As time went by, we realized he wasn’t singing any of the songs we came to hear. Just like that, it came to an end. That’s when the audience shouted “Bis, bis”, making him came back and sing the only song I knew from that evening, “Tieta”. I have to admit, it was a nice surprise. After that, we left with astonished faces processing what had just happened. It certainly was quite an experience, very much different from what I had envisioned in my mind. That’s why it probably didn’t meet Karla’s and mine’s expectations, but it fulfilled our emotions in a distinctive way.

**Read while listening to “Você É Linda” and “Sozinho”.

Exene Cervenka Plays At Amoeba Music Store

Throughout the year Amoeba Music Store in Hollywood has live performances. I’ve never had the chance to see one until I saw this lady’s name Exene Cervenka outside as the last live performance of 2009 and decided to check it out for many reasons. First, I’ve had never heard of her, I had no clue who she was. Second, I’ve been trying to go to Amoeba and check their performances for quite some time, like when “Mutantes” played and I only found out one day later (I still can’t believe it), so this was actually the first time I made it possible. Third, it was the second time ever I stepped into the store.

The performance was scheduled to start at 7pm, so I arrived at the store one hour before because I wanted to have time to explore it. The store is huge with many posters on the walls and uncountable CD’s, DVD’s and vinyl’s. I checked every aisle. They have a lot of cool material, rare and masterized. I saw many CD’s that either my father and my mother would love it and decided to come back another day to get it, which I did a week later as Christmas gifts!

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Well, around 7pm, I positioned myself right in front of the stage only to wait 20 minutes more when Exene finally started her performance. The store was full, people were in between aisles to watch her pocket show. I could notice a big number of people in their 40-something, but also a good number of fresh faces enjoying the act. For me, honestly, it was something very different from what I’ve watched before and frankly not so enjoyable. Probably because I didn’t know her music style.

Her songs tend to sound folk, a rhythm that I don’t know too much and because of that I don’t really follow it. Totally different from her “X” group music. She was there mostly to sing songs from her new solo album, “Somewhere Gone”. To me, the songs didn’t really touch me the way I was expecting or thought they would. I felt that she was there just to play her music and nothing else. She barely talked to the audience. I was there just as a body rather than with my head. I watched people’s reaction. They seemed to like it a lot. It was like that pretty much during Exene’s whole performance until the last song. That song touched me in a way the others hadn‘t, truly a great one. With that, she finished her 40-minute show.

After ten minutes, she came back to sign autographs, she seemed more sympathetic thou. I watched it for five minutes and decided to leave. Days later, talking to friends, they suggested me that I should try to contact her for an interview, which I did promptly. I tried every way possible, but I didn’t get any response from anybody. That’s all my report.

**Read while listening to “Los Angeles” and “Cloud 9”.

An Unforgettable Brazilian Concert In LA

“São tantas emoções! E que emoções eu vivi!” These words once said by another great Brazilian musician, Roberto Carlos, express exactly what I felt when I watched “Blame it on Rio” concert with two of the best new generation of Brazilian music, Bebel Gilberto and Seu Jorge with the Bowl Orchestra. It all started this on a Sunday, September 13th, 2009, when I combined two great things: the concert and my first time at the Hollywood Bowl.

The sunset was perfect making the entire place, THE place to be. From the minute I arrived there to the last minute, my whole experience was amazing. I explored every single centimeter of the Bowl, including the museum, the food market and the concert area. I couldn’t stop but thinking, “Why hadn’t I been here before?”

Around 7pm, I saw so many people bringing their own picnic, with lots of food and drinks, wine mostly, that just made me wish I had done the same. The scene created by the people and their food was so bucolic, that reminded me of a painting, making me feel like I was back at the 18th Century. I had some wine too. There was a lady giving free samples of a wine from Sonoma/Napa Valley and, of course, I didn’t miss the opportunity, but trying ’em all. I had set a goal for the day, which was to embrace and enjoy everything the Bowl had to offer and for that I can pretty much say, “Mission accomplished!”

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Finally, I got to my seat, between two couples, both American as the majority that was there. My first thought was, “Wow, there’s no spot left for anybody else.” The Bowl was completely filled. Yet, I saw many compatriots that made me feel close to home and this sensation is incredible. Five minutes later than what it was scheduled, the Orchestra commanded by Thomas Wilkins, playing only Brazilian songs, started. From the kink of Bossa Nova, Tom Jobim, to the Samba of Seu Jorge, the diversity was spectacular! The impeccable orchestra was in total harmony with traditional rhythms. Then, came the first special guest, Bebel Gilberto, with her mix of Bossa Nova and electronic beats and her soft voice. She even brought another more than special guest: Carlinhos Brown. I wasn’t expecting him at all, so it was a great surprise. Together with them, girls dressed in Carnival costumes dancing samba. All I felt can be summarized in one word: FUN!

Alas, the whole weekend was sensational, totally dedicated to my home country, Brazil. On Saturday, I enjoyed some good food and nice fellows at the Brazilian Day, celebrated in honor to our Independency, which was on September 7th. Sunday, this magnificent concert that even brought tears to my eyes. The fact is that as much as I enjoy living here, events like these truly makes me miss the country, the people and the culture. For me, being able to see two phenomenon singers singing lyrics that probably most of the people couldn’t understand, just made more than special.

Yet, I gotta continue…

Then came the second special guest, and what a guest! Seu Jorge is a genius with his music. A complete artist who writes, sings and play instruments. With his first song “Carolina”, the audience went crazy! The best part was being able to sing every single word when no one else around me could do it. It made me feel so powerful in front of all those people. I won’t deny it, a moment that I enjoyed to the maximum. In my opinion, his performance was, without a doubt, the BIG moment of all. He had the audience once again when said he wanted to speak Portuguese and not English! His full act was hit after hit, amazing!

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What I thought it’d be the gran finale with beautiful fireworks (and boy, I love fireworks!), Bebel and Jorge came back singing together! That was definitely the best ending EVER! It’s still difficult to put in words all my emotions over this outstanding day because they are still mixed with everything that I witnessed and my feelings over Brazil. Just to be lucky enough to be here in the USA and be able to see Brazilian music transcending barriers was so unbelievable wonderful! It made my day, my week, my entire month! Therefore, I keep thinking, “Can I do it again? Can I do it again?”

**Read while listening to “All In One” by Bebel Gilberto and “Carolina” by Seu Jorge.

Gavin Rossdale + The Grove = Best Place To Be

On a hot summer night in LA in 2009, Gavin Rossdale gave a free concert at The Grove. I can tell you all straight up that he’s amazing, but he had two opening acts that I’ve never heard before at that time. They were Amy Kuney and Varsity Fanclub. Perhaps I should be open to new people or at least pay more attention to what’s going on in the music business now, the fact is that from all the people that I talked that night, nobody knew them. Apparently, both are well-known from their myspace pages.

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This time, I got there early to find a good spot to watch the concert, take pictures and document everything that I could. It all started with the girl from Oklahoma State singing songs from her album, Bird’s Eye View, followed by the five guys singing and dancing like ‘N Sync ten years later. All I can say is they were so amusing because it looked like they were more concerned about the dance moves than the singing itself. It was quite funny and entertaining.

Finally, Gavin Rossdale showed up! My first impression of him was that he’s skinnier live than when on TV, but still in good shape. Besides, he has such great energy on stage that really amazed me. He surpassed my expectations. I must confess that I didn’t know all his songs because I didn’t follow his career since he was in Bush, but to my surprise, he pulled it out a great concert for around 10.000 people that evening. On the opposite side, I met two girls that were almost passing out with the idea of being there, especially because anyone close enough could notice that the girls are hardcore fans since Bush, when they were around 13 years old. Jenny and Samantha Pilcher, said the concert was incredible, outstanding. Honestly, I even felt a little embarrassed, the girls were singing all his songs and I was trying to capture everything around me.

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He switched between ballads and heavier sounds. Definitely one of the coolest moments was when he and the whole audience were singing in one choir “Love Remains The Same”. This concert was part of Summer Concert Series that The Grove puts on each year. For this year, they had a partnership with 104.3 MyFM, which promoted the concerts for a month.

The night was going so good and just like me, people were truly making most of their time there. Putting all those elements together plus his impressive performance only made the night perfect! Unfortunately, pleasing moments as this one always come to an end. Without nobody even noticing, he had to say goodbye.

**Read while listening to “Glycerine” and “Love Remains The Same”.