Saturday, March 28, 2015

Maroon 5 - 3/21/15

I am probably going to get some eye rolls, boos and complaints about this blog but here goes anyway.  First let me say that I really love Maroon 5’s music and I love watching Adam Levine on The Voice.  Renee found out Maroon 5 was going to be in Kansas City at the Sprint Center so we decided to have a couple’s weekend and go see the concert with our hubbies.

2 years ago, almost exactly to the day, we saw Maroon 5 at BOK Center in Tulsa - again with our hubbies.  Let’s just say that dinner was fantastic and so was the wine.  The wine was so fantastic that I really don’t remember most of the concert from that night.  I do remember that we had seats off to the side of the stage and there were giant screens behind the band that we missed a lot of because of where we sat.  So we needed a do over and the closest they were coming was KC.  Let’s go!

My kids weren't very happy with me that I was going to see Maroon 5 without them but it was nice to have an adult weekend away.  We went to dinner at a nice seafood restaurant just down the street from the Sprint Center called Bristol.  This time we took it easy on the wine.

The first opening act was Rozzi Crane.  We looked her up and apparently she is the first artist signed to Adam Levine’s label.  That girl had some pipes!  It seemed extremely effortless for her to hit the big notes.  However, her movements were quite odd.  I would say she was a little like Lourde at times but then she would break out in these little dances almost like Debbie Gibson.  She was just strange to watch.  She did a cover of Heart’s “Barracuda” and killed it!  I have mixed feelings about her.  But I will give her one thing – the girl can sing!

The next opener was the reggae band Magic!  They sing the song “Rude.”  I loved them.  They had so much energy and were fun to watch.  I am totally going to buy their album to listen to on days I just want to sit back and chill.  Renee loved their style – matching suits with no socks and loafers.  They did a cover of The Police’s “Message in a Bottle” and I was belting it out!  Side note: I absolutely love The Police and Sting is a bucket list concert for me!

On to Maroon 5.  OK, so here’s where I will get the eye rolls.  It was good.  Yes, I said just “good”.  The band played well and Adam sang well.  They played all the radio songs.  There wasn't a single song you didn't know, which always makes for a fun time.  But there just wasn't that extra something that makes you go “Man, that was great!” 

Before you boycott me, let me explain.  If you read my blog “What makes a great concert” you will know that, for me, the biggest thing that makes a great concert is connection of the band to the fans.  That was missing from Maroon 5.  I am very sad to say this because I am a big fan of theirs.   

This was more of just a performance rather than an experience.  I prefer to feel like I got something out of the concert that I wouldn't have gotten just watching them perform on TV.  I’m not saying they need to do a lot of talking, but as a fan, we want the artist to make us feel like they care you are there.  That comes in the form of waving to people, making eye contact with the people on the front row, talking to us, etc.  I will say that Adam paid attention to the people on the side and back seats several times, which was great, and he did acknowledge early on that it’s the fans that keep them able to do what they do.  But in general, there was a disconnect between the fans and the band.

The first 25 minutes of the show they never stopped in between songs.  They just blended them all together.  Now, you would think that’s a great thing.  Cram in all the songs you can.  We came to hear them sing, right?  Well, yes and no.  Here’s where I think the disconnect started.  We, as fans, were never given the chance to really cheer for them because they never stopped the music.   It’s honestly better, in my opinion, for the performer to be a little vain and stand there and let us cheer.  It makes us connect with them better.  When the next song starts immediately, that connection part is missing and it becomes just them up there singing.

There also weren't those big screens behind the band they had at the last tour.  They had the normal 2 side screens for the higher seats but nothing on the stage.  Instead they had a fancy light set up.  Sorry, I prefer screens.  I want to feel like I am up close and personal with the band no matter where I’m sitting.

We didn't have great seats but they were decent.  Lower level about 3/4 of the way back.  There was a runway that came out to make a V at the end and it looked like a big arrow.  The tip of the arrow was right in front of us.  When we got there, we saw the runway and were pretty excited.  Adam Levine should be coming down our way and we should feel close!  Well, not exactly.  Through the entire concert he would walk down the runway about 2/3 and then turn around and go back.  He didn't even come to the V part until the encore.  That was very disappointing.  Why make a runway that long if you aren't going to use it? 

And on the encore note, they played for exactly one hour and left.  They came back for the encore and did 4 songs.  I really feel like a band that big can play for longer than 1.5 hours.  It just seemed so short.

So, overall the concert was good.  Am I still a fan?  Absolutely!  Would I go see them again?  If I won tickets.  :-)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Brett Eldredge - 3/5/15

Brett Eldredge..…WOW!  He has it all going for him - the looks, the voice, the stage presence.  Man can he put on a show!

I had seen him do an Unplugged concert thanks to K95.5FM along with Josh Turner, Jerrod Neimann, Easton Corbin and Dustin Lynch back in December and really liked him the most out of the 5.  So when they announced his show at Cain’s Ballroom I set my sights on going….and meeting him.

I know that our country radio stations like to do meet and greets with the artists that play Cain’s.  That is how I met Parmalee in January.  So, naturally, I kept my eyes and ears out for contests.  Unfortunately when they did the first round of meet and greet contests I was still ineligible because of my Parmalee win.  I saw Sunny Leigh from 98.5 KVOO at a women’s expo and asked if she was going to do more meet and greets.  She said they would during the week of the show.  OK!  I’m on it!

A little wrench got thrown into my plan to see him.  Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty, Sexy, Funny show was coming to Tulsa at The Joint in the Hard Rock Casino the same night.  Oh man!  I wanted to see them both.  Well, I decided to try to win tickets for Jenny and if I did then I guess I was meant to go see her and I would skip Brett.  And guess what?  I won tickets for Jenny’s show from 103.3 The Eagle.  So, there’s my answer.  Right?  Well, not exactly. 

The week of the show came and I talked with my BFF Renee about trying to win for Brett.  We were still undecided.  I mean, we already had tickets for a show that night.  But I really wanted to see Brett’s show!  Ok, I’ll try to win.  The morning of the show I called in to KVOO and played “Showbiz Smack Down” with Sunny Leigh for the meet and greet tickets.  I’m pretty good at pop culture but I’ll admit that this time I beat her because her co-host, Rowdy, had tweeted out several stories that morning and 2 of them he asked about in the game.  Thanks Rowdy!

I was pretty excited!  I really like Jenny McCarthy and especially her husband Donnie Wahlberg from NKOTB but this time she got trumped by Brett Eldredge.  Unfortunately I couldn’t transfer my tickets so I didn’t even get to give them away for someone else to go.

Later that night Renee and I headed to Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ next door to Cain’s Ballroom for the Pre-Voo party where they had a local singer Jesse Joice and his band play for us while we had dinner and waited for Brett.  I found out he is from my hometown of Bixby, OK.  Go Spartans!  They did a great job.

Brett came out and Rowdy and Sunny interviewed him a little bit.  Then we all lined up for our pictures.  We said hi and he said he liked my hair color.  I’m officially never changing it!  LOL  We got our picture and got in line to get to the stage as soon as they opened the door.  Cain’s is standing room only so you fight for your spot and we were determined to get front row!

We got our spot in the front row!  However, I was standing right in front of a speaker.  I think my ears are still ringing.  But it was totally worth it!  We made friends with those around us so we could help each other throughout the night if need be.  Gotta have allies to help hold your spot if you need to go get a drink or use the restroom!  Renee became the official beer runner for our little group which made it nice.  We only had to hold one spot while she was gone.

Ryan Kinder opened the show.  He killed it!  He sounded a little like Matchbox 20 to me.  He was really good on the guitar.  Where we were standing it was hard to hear the words over the instruments.  That same thing happened with the opening act the last time we were at Cain’s too.  His piano player was in front of us.  He was really animated and a lot of fun to watch.

The place was sold out so when Brett came on stage the crowd erupted!  I have been to a few concerts at Cain’s and this was by far the loudest crowd I have heard there.  He came out and owned that stage from the very first song. 

He did all his radio songs including my favorite “Beat of the Music”.  At one point early in the show he dropped a panel in front of the piano to reveal bottles of whiskey then poured himself a drink and sang a little bit of  “Fly Me to the Moon” as he raised his glass to toast the audience.  During “Mean to Me” he found a girl in the front row to sing to and even brought 2 little boys on stage and gave them guitars to play while he sang a song.  It was adorable.

He covered Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” and John Mayer’s “Gravity”.  His encore was a long medley of songs including Brooks and Dunn’s “Red Dirt Road”, Garth Brooks’ “Callin’ Baton Rouge”, The Police’s “Roxanne” and John Mayer’s “Your Body is a Wonderland”.  He has a lot of range and could really sing any genre of music.

After he finished his last song his band continued to play and he came up to the crowd and started signing all kinds of things - shirts, hats, boots, tickets – you put it up there and he was going to sign it.  He was also grabbing phones and getting selfies.  He seems to be a pro at that.  Case in point…the selfie he took with my phone.  I also was able to get my ticket signed.  Being in the front row definitely had its disadvantages at this point.  We were getting pushed up against the stage quite hard.  At one point we just had to stick our booties out and push back so we  cut in half by the stage.

All in all, I’m really glad we made the decision to go see him in concert!  We had the best time!  Sorry, Jenny.  I think he is going to be really big and I plan to see him every time he comes back to Tulsa!