Formation Tour

Sometime around 4th grade or so, I developed a keen interest in the Supremes, and especially Diana Ross.  I think the glamour of girl groups drew me in, and Diana Ross was intriguing, especially with as how glitzy she was, with her long dresses, big hair, and close friendship with Michael Jackson.  I started getting books on her (this was kind of before the internet), and was fascinated by a story about her performing in the rain in Central Park in 1983.  I mentioned it to my dad, also a fan of anything Motown, when he mentioned that he’d been at the concert with one of his sisters, the night that Diana Ross performed in the rain until all of the instruments shorted out and she nearly fell off the stage.  My dad witness something that I read about in a book, and I always found that so cool.

On Tuesday night, Austin and I headed to Carter-Finley to see the Queen, Beyonce, perform.  I’ve seen her a few times, twice with Destiny’s Child, and a few more times on her own, but as she’s released her albums, and they’ve gotten progressively better, her show’s gotten better.  The only solo tour I missed her on was the On the Run tour a few summers ago because the closest date, in Baltimore, fell right around when we were getting married, and right around the time that I started my job at the Y.  This was Austin’s first show.

So, on Tuesday night, after class, we battled traffic (which was absolutely horrendous), we made our way into the stadium and down to our seats with plenty of time for the show to start.  It was incredible to see 40,000 people filing into the show, and the weather, which was predicted to potentially be a little dicey, seemed to have passed pretty quickly.  It was Bey time.


Immediately, as the show started (with an incredible rendition of Formation), the party started.  Beyonce sang (like, really sang), danced (again, like, really danced), and killed every single one of the 26 numbers she began with.  There was not a moment that I thought she faltered.  And then the rain came.  She continued, like the professional she was, as the rain fell a little harder, and even did the infamous chair flip without busting anything.  But as that number wrapped up, and she ran offstage, and the jumbotron lit up with some footage, lightening struck….hard, and a man come out (to spirited boo-ing) to inform us that due to the dangerous conditions, we would need to evacuate, either to nearby practice fields, the PNC Arena, or our cars to wait out the storm.  We filed out, sort of started toward the doors, but by the time we went to the restroom (I am still very pregnant), and stood around for a second, the police and stadium employees  were letting us know that she’d be coming back on soon.  We filed back in.

At 11:20, she began again with Daddy Lessons, and gave us music until nearly 12 am.  She finished with a stunning performance of Freedom and Survivor, and then really finished with Halo, which she performed wet (at this point, it was raining again), and barefoot from her Freedom performance.  It was incredible, and her obvious hard work and dedication was super inspiring.  Like as dumb as it sounds, even getting up early to teach the 5:45 am Body Pump class felt a little less like a tall order, and more like something I felt honored to deliver to folks.

The performance, if you go back and look at the comments at our local news (just…don’t, take my word for it), was really shrouded in controversy.  Some folks said she’s anti-police.  Some folks said that she was lazy (impossible to believe, especially if you’ve ever seen a live show.  Some folks said that she was greedy to continue with the show among our HB2 drama.  Some said she was talentless.

Literally, she blew every single one of those arguments right out of the water.  She was beautiful, talented, humble, and thanked the audience profusely once she began the show, for staying and sticking it out with her.

Now one last thing…

I repeatedly said to Austin that I would do just about anything, anything to dance with her.  I don’t even have to be one of the front girls, even the back will be fine where no one would really be paying attention to me.  Just to see what it might feel like to be a part of something that brings 40 thousand people so much joy.


Who’s your favorite person you’ve had a chance to see live?

Something to look forward to – Summer Shows!

I love live music. It’s like top 4 things I like to spend my money on. The others being food, races, savings/paying off bills, and mani/pedis. Best money spent in life (I feel like).

So when Beyonce happened to mention that she was launching dates for her Formation World Tour at Sunday’s really disappointing Super Bowl. Made less-disappointing by that fact that we had a bunch of friends over. But still. So Bey announced the tour in the most Bey way possible, by inciting a little controversy (which, I’m not here to argue about), and then running this commercial that looked like an ad for her new fragrance.

And this ceremoniously kicked off my personal tour de music for the warmer months. Which makes me hopeful because this cold weather is absolute trash and I really want nothing more to do with it.

Here’s what I’ve got so far!

April 8th – Gavin DeGraw at Red Hat – this will be my second time seeing him at this particular venue, and probably like my 5th time seeing him in real life.  Every time I’ve seen him has been awesome, and I stand by my confidence in the fact that he once called me pretty.  ::tosses hair::

May 3rd – Beyonce at Carter-Finley – this will be like my 4th or 5th time seeing her altogether.  Acquiring tickets may be tricky, so I’m going to go into this process with a really open mind and hope for the best.  But if I don’t get to see her, Bey, there’s always next time.

May 11th – Pentatonix – I have never seen this group live, but I’m so looking forward to this.  Can’t Sleep Love ended up being one of my standout faves from the album, and I desperately adore Mitch and Scott.  Avi is bae.  I would love to have dinner with these guys.  INTERVIEW THEM FOR THE BLOG?  Even though as I say that, I have no idea what the heck I would ask them, and would probably just creepily sit in the corner as they filmed Superfruit, laughing my head off.  Just a guess.

July 2nd – Demi Lovato – I saw her once before in Charlotte, and she was really awesome.  The show was full of tweens, but I think we’ve established that I really am not super affected by the audience.  She was really good.  I think my fave was Nightingale, because she through in a BANANAS key change after the bridge.  YAS!

July 6th – Justin Bieber – This will be my second show with the Biebs.  I actually just went back and listened to the singles off Believe, and I am so stoked for the show.  Love him or hate him, he put out some good stuff with Purpose and I’m here for all of it.

Wish List:  These are artists I’m really needing new music from/would love a tour from sometime this summer.

Allen Stone – he is at Bonnaroo this year.  Something tells me I won’t be making it to any festivals this year, so I’d love a small show.

Katy Perry – I’m ready for a tour AND new music.  I’m very much a Teenage Dream fan, so I’m ready for another album with FIVE hit singles on it.

And this is what I got!

What shows are you excited about seeing this summer?

What’s the most you’ve ever (you would) pay for a concert ticket?

Stevie Wonder – 11/22/14

When I was in like, fourth grade, I used to have this dream of inviting Stevie Wonder to speak to my class, and surprising my dad with a meet-and-greet with Stevie Wonder.

Sadly, that never happened, but this past weekend, I did the best that I could.

Stevie Wonder announced a tour in early September, which immediately, I knew that I wanted to go to.  But unfortunately, scalpers made the process of buying tickets extremely difficult, and by mid-October, the price of tickets had climbed to over $700 in some cases.  But after reading a few reviews of the show, I knew I had to go, and if I didn’t go, I’d regret it.

For about a month, I researched.  I entered radio contests, contact virtual strangers, and trolled the internet for a non-scammy, fair ticket price, and finally found one in a lawyer in Atlanta, who I purchased the tickets from for $300.  I gave my dad the news, and Saturday morning, we were cruising down to Atlanta to see the man that gave me my name (My Cherie Amor = Cheri Armour).

There are no words for the concert.  But there are pictures!

Stevie Wonder 1Stevie Wonder 2Stevie Wonder 3
Stevie Wonder 4Stevie Wonder 5Stevie Wonder 7

Concert Highlights

  • No one opened for Stevie Wonder, so literally, when it was go time, Stevie (who I’m apparently on a first-name basis with) walked out, introduced his two kids and India.Arie, and started the show.
  • Speaking of, India.Arie, who I’ve seen a few times, performed a few songs with him.  She is great, and her voice is as velvety as it’s ever been.
  • During Pastime Paradise, If It’s Magic, and Village Ghetto Land, Stevie Wonder straight-up stood up, looked straight into the audience, and just sang the songs.  Kind of a novel concept in the time of an artist flying around on a harness and relying heavily on dancers and a light show, but this was awesome.
  • He also made a few political statements.  Stevie Wonder doesn’t hate guns on their own, but feels we have a gun problem in this country and that something needs to be done so that folks can’t buy guns off Craiglist with the serial number scratched off.  That IS a felony by the way, but the point is, that guns are getting into the wrongs hands, and it needs to be stopped.  The execution is/will be difficult, but it absolutely has to be done. [Rant ovah]
  • Stevie Wonder evidently has an alter ego called “DJ Tick Tick Boom” who likes to play hits other than what’s on Songs in the Key of Life.  He sampled Part Time Lover, Do I Do, he covered some Michael Jackson (The Way You Make me Feel), and sang My Cherie Amor (!!).  It was hysterical and incredible.
  • Stevie Wonder’s daughter, Aisha, whom he wrote Isn’t She Lovely for, was at the show and gorgeous. 
  • Stevie Wonder is also a huge supporter of making love, not war.  He mentioned love, and I nothing but little heart emojis as I left the show.  He especially mentioned it during If It’s Magic, which was backed by this magical harp.
  • Keith John has been with Stevie since the 80s (my dad saw him in ’88).  Mr. John’s voice is stupid how similar it is to Stevie Wonder’s.  Watch all of this video and tell me you weren’t confused at the end of As…
  • And it was really, really cool to turn to my left, and see my dad actually participating in and enjoying a concert.  He sang a little bit.  He smiled during Ordinary Pain when the background singers were cussing Stevie out basically, and stood up for some of it.  The last concert I saw him do that at was John Mayer in like 2008.

Truthfully, this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in my life.  And I’ve seen Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Gavin DeGraw (more times than I care to admit), and John Legend.  I make a practice out of seeing good shows, and this $300 I spent was the literal best money I’ve ever spent.  Annnd Stevie played for 3 hours, a record for all the shows I’ve ever been to.

What’s on your concert bucket list?  What’s the best concert that you’ve ever been to? 

Summer Concert Schedule.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting here with a clearing face mask on.  I was totally gonna take a picture of it for you, but it literally is so scary, I couldn’t do that to you.  So, just use your imagination.

Okay, so not sure if you know, but the summertime is my absolute favorite time for a number of reasons.  Summer nights in North Carolina are ridiculously beautiful, and the best best part about North Carolina summer (not the heat for sure) are the live shows that I’m so looking to go forward to.

So here are the shows I’m looking forward to.

tumblr_mzorblChMz1r85uiyo1_500Paramore @ Walnut Creek – July 22 – I saw these guys once, with the old line-up.  I really liked the new album, and I have always loved the concept of Hayley being the only chick in a really bad-ass band.  SO into it.


John Legend @ Red Hat Amphitheater – July 30th – I saw him live once time at Duke.  Dude sounds way, way better live than he does in studio.  He’s going to be with Earth, Wind, and Fire, so I’m thinking this is going to be a pretty epic, do-not miss sort of show.
tumblr_mtwi2i344I1rtt08so1_500Gavin DeGraw @ Red Hat Amphitheater – August 5th.  I have seen him live like 3 or 4 times.  He was amazing all of those times, and once told me that I was pretty.  So if you ever try to tell me that I’m not pretty, consider yourself ignored, because what you say doesn’t matter.

tumblr_mtvj5rOBnT1rvcjd7o2_250Demi Lovato @ PNC Raleigh – September 12th.  I saw this amazing chick in February and me and Deb vowed to go again.

I’m really pumped to see all of these shows, but because of our upcoming wedding and me recently tightening my belt when it comes to money-related issues, I may have to forgo a few lattes to makes sure I get to see these shows.

What truly excites me, however, is live music.  I love the way a live band sounds.  I love to hear and feel how excited the crowd gets.  I love to dance like a complete idiot with virtual strangers.  And my favorite thing is to hear the crowd singing a song word for word, fully along with ad libs and all.

Now all of that endless blathering aside, what bands or solo performers are you excited to see this concert season?

Lake Street Dive! And Valentine’s Day recap!

So I gave you guys the little teaser yesterday.  In case you like, forgot or didn’t read it or something I provided that awesome linky for you to review.

But we swapped everything all around Valentine’s Day weekend.  Since Lake Street Dive was recently on Colbert Report, and had blown up, the tickets were super sold out, so a lot of my snowy week was spent begging for tickets on the internet, which I found, 4:00 pm the day of the show.  So hubby and I headed down to Carrboro, the land of the super-cool and laid back hippies, parked, and headed in for the show.

First, we passed by the Fleet Feet Sports there, and I chatted for a little while with the guy who was closing up the store.

P1160173Very pretty store!  And we headed in for a sold out show.

P1160175We were right up at the front, and it was a super, super sold-out show.  Also, side note.  It is a CARDINAL SIN to try and push your way to the front of a general admission show when you came in late.  Don’t do it or I will say something to you.  So serious.  

The opening act was awesome, and they were super sweet.  Here’s Miss Tess…

photo 3-1Who looked like they stepped right out of the ’50s.  Here’s me and the drummer after.

P1160178Sweet guy, and we gave him some suggestions on where he could eat in Asheville, where he was headed the next day.

photo 3 (1) photo 3

The show was awesome.  Rachael Price, lead singer, has a voice that’s like butter, and really really refreshing to hear.

And the best moment of the night?  

P1160177When me and my Elon University Jazz professor got to meet Lake Street Dive!  Can you tell from the photo how excited I am?!


Ugh.  I cannot tell you how freaking excited I was.

But the show was awesome, I wish I could have taken you guys out there with me 🙂

photo 4-2And finally, we headed to the Irregardless Café in Raleigh on Saturday for our Valentine’s Day date.  I forgot to take a pic for you guys until I’d eaten all the veggies, but this is the vegan shepards pie.  Super tasty, and Austin bought us a lot of Prosecco to split.  It was really romantic because we got to dance with all the old people to real music.  Two nights in a row of good music!  How did I get so so lucky?

So I really hope your V-Day weekend was great, and single or taken, I’d love to hear about what you did!  How was your Valentine’s Day Weekend?  

That time I ran into Miley Cyrus’ brother.

So the big Lake Street Dive post is coming, but not til tomorrow.  Suffice it to say the show was awesome and I got to meet all the band members and tell them how awesome their show was.  !!!  So pumped about it! But here’s a little taste.

photo (5)Anyhoo, so back to the story at hand.

So a few years ago, I was at a show at this same venue with my friend Alexa, the one who got married last spring.  She is amazing, ps, and has been really helpful with wedding stuff.  Anyhoo, so we went to this show, where Breathe Carolina was the headline.

Well Miley Cyrus’ brother was performing with his new band there, and after they performed I really had to go to the ladies room to powder my nose.

imgresWell Trace was standing by the bathrooms, and covered in tattoos and no shirt, we bumped into one another and kind of blinked for a second.  Me because of all his tats, and him probably because I was very rudely staring.  So finally, he gave me a big hug, and we chatted about his show for a while before I continued to do my bidness, and he went along to do whatever.  And that is the time I met Miley Cyrus’ very scary-looking, very nice brother.

What famous people have you met?  

And as a side note, that same night, the cutie from the Ready Set hit me in the face with his water bottle when he threw it.  I think I might have saved it for a while.