Music Monday! Warped Tour + Vacation Vlog

Hey everyone!
Today’s Music Monday is a little different because it’s not JUST focused on music. This week’s MM will include some clips from my very first Warped Tour (!!!! Read below for a quick recap) but also has some footage from a mini vacation I took with my family! Again, this video features Danny from Savage Squad – if you like drinking & shenanigans, please go check out his channel – here.
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A few thoughts on Warped Tour…
For those that don’t know, Warped Tour is a huge multi artist concert for the pop/punk genre. It’s like Stagecoach, Coachella, etc. For the last 10 years I’ve wanted to go but never have. As a teen I never went even though some of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE bands were going to be performing because it was “expensive” & I was insecure about fitting in with the crowd. I’ve talked about this anxiety in previous Music Monday posts.
Now that I’m older I care way less what other people think so I decided this was the year I went! My decision was also motivated by the fact that one of my favorite bands, Yellowcard, would be performing & they recently announced the band is retiring. I, of course, am devastated, so I needed to make an effort to see them ASAP.
I went into this experience essentially blind. I knew there would be a ton of “kids”, the food/drinks would be expensive, there would be drugs, & it would be blazing hot. All of that turned out to be true, the biggest surprise for me was the set times. I didn’t realize each band only got 30 minutes. Upon further reflection, of course this makes sense because how else would they get all those bands to play in one day? While there were other bands I was excited about, Reel Big Fish, New Found Glory, Sum 41, etc, I was really there for Yellowcard. They were amazing, as they always are live, & I’m really glad I got the chance to experience their last show at Warped Tour.
Bottom line, would I ever go to another Warped Tour? Probably not unless it was a similiar situation & one of my all time favorite bands was playing. 30 minute set times isn’t really enough for me to want to deal with all those sweaty drugged out kids & get a sunburn. Haha, I guess I’m officially old.

I hope you liked this vlog! Please keep sharing my posts & vlogs with your friends! Until next time… 🙂

Music Monday! Harry Potter in Concert – Hollywood Bowl

Hello all!
Today’s Music Monday is going to be a quick recap of Harry Potter in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
HB occasionally puts on these Special Concerts where they show a movie & have a orchestra play the score live. Previously, they showed “The Little Mermaid” & I’m sad to have missed that because they had celebrities come out & sing the songs. The score for Harry Potter is all instrumental, so I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but I was still excited for another amazing Harry Potter themed adventure! Click the video below for a super quick vlog of the Event & keep reading for my thoughts overall…

The Venue –
I’d only been to the Hollywood Bowl once before for a “Behind the Scenes Tour” when I did the Disney College Program. I remembered there was a LOT of walking & I’d heard Event parking is a complete train wreck. They “stack” the cars so you end up boxed in on all sides, which is insanely inconvenient if you’re ready to leave but no one around you has left yet. On the advice of a friend we purchased off site parking, but couldn’t find the lot. We ended up just driving to the Event & paying again for on site parking. While I was deeply unhappy from a financial standpoint, because we had arrived late the only parking was right in front, not boxed in, & the chances of people arriving later than us seemed pretty slim – woo hoo! We strolled right into the venue but finding our seats was another story…we should have called ahead to find out the options for those with disabilities. We had nosebleed seats & even with the escalators, it was quite a struggle. The venue is extremely dark, which obviously makes sense because they want people to see the movie, but made walking/climbing stairs with no railings quite precarious. When we finally found our seats, we discovered we were in the middle of the narrow row & no one would get up to let us by! While this was rude, the bigger issue was that there was no space for us anyway! We let an attendant know, they conferred with their supervisor, & next thing you know we’re sitting in box seats way down in front! Amazing! Big thanks to the staff that made that happen, it definitely made our experience better! Next time, we will be purchasing more expensive but closer seats – it’s way worth it! Also, arriving late for parking worked in our favor as no one arrived after us, so we weren’t boxed in.  We were on the freeway in about 15 minutes!

The People –
I was disappointed by the negative response from the people in the row we were supposed to sit in. However, I guess I should be thanking them because they helped us get better seats! As I mentioned, super happy with the staff of HB! I wish we had thought to get the names of the staff that helped us because I would have written a “thank you letter” to compliment them personally. Beyond that initial negative experience, the crowd was…unified. That’s the only way I can explain it. Whenever something special happens for Harry Potter, there’s always this feeling of, dare I say, magic in the air. I think that’s because a majority of the crowd are real true fans. They’re willing to wait for hours to buy a new book, see a movie, spend the day in a theme park, etc, these types of Events aren’t for casual fans. They bring out the die hards, people in cosplay or themed outfits (I was wearing a Hufflepuff shirt!), people that know all the words to the movies & cheer when Harry catches his first Snitch or boo when Wormtail appears because they know what role he’ll play later. It’s truly, again, magical, to sit in a crowd of people & know that you’re all part of something. In a world that sometimes feels like it’s falling apart, it’s nice to know you can turn to your fandom.

The Performance –
I had no idea what to expect from a Harry Potter Concert! I had read a few articles leading up to the Event & mostly they talked about how difficult the performance was going to be in regards to pulling the soundtrack from the film but keeping all the audio. I did find the music overwhelmed the audio at certain times, but I realized I had to restructure the way I was thinking about the Event. Somehow, I wanted the music to just quietly frame the movie, but be really awesome & powerful! There’s no way to accomplish that. The point of this Event was to focus on the beauty of the music & how it added to the film. Once I kind of let the film take a back seat & focused on the music, it WAS really awesome & powerful. I noticed certain nuances I’d never noticed before when I’d watched the film & focused only on the dialogue. This is definitely an Event for music lovers. You must love the sound, the feeling, the epic-ness! of live orchestral music. Obviously these musicians are extremely talented & I was thrilled to see the Conductor wearing a Hufflepuff tie & pin!

The Final Verdict –
People always say to arrive early for parking, but we found that arriving later worked WAY better & will most likely do so again. As I said, there may be other options that we were unaware of, but based on what I saw, this Venue is not very “disabled friendly”. I will need to investigate other options for the future & definitely feel it’s worth it to pay for more expensive seats closer to the front. Overall, an extremely enjoyable & unique experience that brought together a lot of people & helped strengthen their love of Harry Potter. What could be better?! I hope Hollywood Bowl continues to put on these Special Events, especially if they continue with the rest of the Harry Potter series & Disney films.

Have you ever been to this Venue or seen a Movie/Concert like this? Please let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading 🙂

Music Monday! Concert Reviews – @TheRocketSummer “Zoetic Tour” in Phoenix/Santa Ana/San Francisco

Hey everyone!
Today’s Music Monday once again features my favorite band,  The Rocket Summer!
I’ll be covering Concert Reviews of the 3 “Zoetic Tour” shows I saw (Phoenix, Santa Ana, San Francisco) after the L.A. performance mentioned in a previous Music Monday. These will be done in more of a summary format, quick descriptions of the night as a whole rather than breaking everything down because with 3 Concerts to review, I’m going to struggle to keep this short!
Please keep reading to see which venue I liked best & watch the video for clips of the performances! Please Subscribe, Follow, Like, Share, & Comment on this post & the YouTube video!

1. Phoenix – May 10th – The Rebel Lounge
Parking is shenanigans here. The venue lot is SUPER small, so a majority of guests parked in the surrounding neighborhood. Luckily, there was plenty of parking, however there are NO street lights. I was thankful others arrived at the same time so I had people to walk in with for creeper safety reasons, but I did trip on the sidewalk about 3 times because I couldn’t see anything.
I really enjoyed the opening act, The Foxies. They were by far my favorite openers. Lead singer Julia Lauren is gorgeous & has this Gwen Stefani/Kesha/Lady Gaga kinda look/sound going on that is engaging to watch & enjoyable to listen to.
Bryce was amazing as always. He has a great sense of playfulness & connection with the crowd. He changed the lyrics to “FL, CA” to reference Arizona, something he usually does at shows when his songs reference specific states, & the crowd went wild to have that local touch. Being from California, I was a little bitter to have my home state get the boot, but I knew that seeing him in CA later would make me feel better!
The crowd at this show was not my favorite, but not the worst I’ve experienced. One group in particular was over the top distracting. At one point they were singing other TRS songs OVER Bryce talking – rude! The loudest girl had a beautiful voice so at least she sounded pleasant. I spoke with her after to compliment her voice & she was really sweet, but part of me still wanted to chastise her, because I’m 25 going on 86, haha!

2. Santa Ana – May 12th – The Observatory/Constellation Room


Just two days after seeing TRS in Arizona, I managed to find my way to a whole different state to see another show! The CR was my least favorite venue of the tour. It was $10 to park but the lot was full so you had to park several blocks away. I’m glad I had someone with me so I didn’t have to walk alone in the dark. The CR is a small room INSIDE The Observatory & there were two concerts going on with very distinct crowds & it was quite an interesting sight to see these two types of fans mix. My Chucks, no makeup, & jeans fit right in with my fellow TRS Family, but looked quite slovenly next to the full hair/make up, bandage dress wearing girls at the rap show! Security was INTENSE, they patted me down more than I’ve ever been, even at the airport.
We missed the opening act, arriving just in time to scoot to the front & wait a few minutes. Again, awesome performance from Bryce & the band. Although, he seemed to have some trouble engaging, but I blame that on the crowd. He kept trying to get us to clap along – we started clapping 20!! times, yes, I kept track. It was too much, almost awkward.
In addition to not loving the venue, I didn’t love this crowd. There were a handful of extremely intoxicated girls behind me that kept stumbling into me, yelling at Bryce to take his clothes off, & spilling their drinks on me to the point that I left the venue smelling like Jaeger. After one girl elbowed me in the head, she draped herself on my shoulder, slurred an apology, & began petting my hair – no thanks! One bright spot was getting to meet a couple my mom had met at the LA show. They were wonderful & have been TRS fans as long as I have & we had a lot in common. Those are the types of people I love to meet at shows, they’re the real TRS Family.

3. San Francisco – May 19th – Bottom of the Hill


Back to where it all started last November, good old San Francisco, at Bottom of the Hill. This is a great venue. I’m not sure if I feel that way because I’ve been there before so now I have some sense of familiarity, because they have amazing food, or because it’s in my hometown, kind of.
SF was easily the best show overall, again, maybe I’m feeling some sort of hometown pride, or maybe because it was the last show of the tour, but it was just epic. The crowd was awesome & supportive, not overly aggressive about what songs Bryce should play & I think that allowed him to feel more comfortable & perform differently. He played “Get Over It” from the newly released “Zoetic” album & I was excited to hear it live as it’s one of my favorites. He also jumped into the crowd more than he did at the other shows I attended which is always so much fun.
I think I mentioned this in my LA Review, but I only wanted to wait for him after the SF show because that was the first place we met so it was the perfect bookend to this tour. I had carefully thought out what I was going to say – no embarrassing quoting his own lyrics to him this time! Unfortunately I ended up having only a super small window of time & didn’t get to say hardly anything I wanted or ask any of the questions I had! Bleh. It’s okay, lesson learned! The short moment was really special, he remembered me from November, what I was wearing, where I had come from that day, & saw me in the crowd in LA. He also told me I had great hair, which I’m still way too excited about, haha! In the selfies we took, which you can see at the end of the YouTube video, he’s holding our hair together in a comparison of greatness!

One additional thing I want to mention a bit more depth, as I touched on it briefly in Phoenix & Santa Ana – my annoyance with the crowd. I had an amazing time at each & every one of these shows – mostly thanks to Bryce & the music. However, a disappointing common theme I found among the crowd was, what I felt to be, a general lack of respect. A majority of the obnoxious guests seemed to be first time TRS show attendees, but people need to shape up. I don’t mind screaming for requests, especially when he asks, but when he’s playing the opening to a song & you’re yelling “NO NOT THIS, PLAY ‘TV FAMILY’, ‘TV FAMILY’ BRYCE!!!!!”, you are being rude & inconsiderate not only to him, but to fans that WANT to hear the song. It’s not all about you. This isn’t a private show. You probably think I’m being a grumpy old lady, but as I’ve mentioned, these are relatively small, intimate venues so it’s super distracting to be dealing with these chicks riding the Hot Mess Express when you’re there to focus on the music & have this spiritual experience – which is what TRS shows are for me. Also, I think it’s completely classless to yell at anyone, but especially a married man whose wife is in the same room, to take his clothes off & “Show Me Everything You’ve Got” – an innuendo based on one of his song titles.

Overall, seeing 4 shows total of the “Zoetic Tour” was quite an interesting experience. I naively thought going to 4 shows was going to make me special in some way, but I talked to at least a handful of people that had gone to the same shows as me plus others. Someone even traveled from Brazil to see him in SF – that’s dedication! I’m sure it’s obvious, but I highly recommend listening to The Rocket Summer & going to the concerts.

Huge thanks to the entire crew & band for a magical tour – shout out to Tyler for giving me a set list in SF! Teddy for putting up with my shenanigans via Instagram, you owe me a selfie, haha! & Tara, for approaching me & remembering me from the November show, it makes me feel so special to know that I made even a small impact on someone that’s made an impact on me as well. Please hire me 🙂
Of course, thank you to Bryce. Thank you for this music & the experience of these shows. As I mentioned, your music is a spiritual experience for me, & you probably find that somewhat blasphemous, but don’t worry. I know you’re not perfect or God like, that’s what’s important. You have bad days & things make you mad & you want to change, yourself, other people, the world, but you also find the beauty in things. If I was ever as talented as you, I would want to make this music, I would want to spread the same message & give people the same hope you’ve given me, all of us in the TRS Family. I have struggled the last few years, & especially the last 6 months. TRS music has always been my go to for inspiration, for cheering up, or to get out some angst. The last few months of having these shows to look forward to has kept me going & given me things to look forward to because I know that for one night, I will be in a room filled with people that look to your music for whatever reason & we all have that connection. Like you say, even when you’re alone, you’re not alone. Oh crap, I did end up quoting his lyrics to him 😉

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for TRS & in turn, for myself. I think of how different my life was when he released the album previous to “Zoetic” & I’m excited to see how things will change when the next album is released. Maybe I’ll make it to 5 shows next time! What do you think? Have you ever followed your favorite band/musician on tour? What other music should I be listening to? Please let me know in the comments & don’t forget to Subscribe/Like/Share!

Concert Review! Britney Spears “Piece of Me” Tour at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas

Hey everyone!
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m somewhat changing what will be showcased here & how/when. I’m working towards having content posted every day & with that being said…
Welcome to “Music Monday” – each Monday I will (try to) have some sort of music related post, wether it’s a Concert or Album Review, talking about music I like, or “performing” – if I can work up the nerve!

Anyway, this post has been a long time coming, sorry for the wait!
This is a recap of my experience at the Britney Spears “Piece of Me” Tour at AXIS in Planet Hollywood Las Vegas! Due to copyright issues I’m not sure how long this video will remain up on YouTube – so watch now before it potentially gets taken down!
A few months ago I was talking to my best friend about what to do for Halloween & the idea of going to Vegas came up. She said, “I’ll go – but only if we see Britney!”
At the time, I was not that enthusiastic because I had heard nothing but horrible things about Ms. Spears’ Vegas Tour. It was over priced, she can barely keep up with her back up dancers, & she doesn’t sing live. Being poor/just recently employed I was not looking forward to spending money on something like that. However, with my friend’s excitement coupled with the fact that it was Halloween – I was all set to at least get glammed up & see what Vegas had to offer. In a turn of events I didn’t anticipate – I was pleasantly surprised by my “Piece of Me” Tour experience! Click on the video below to watch some clips from the show & keep reading below to see my thoughts on the experience!

Be warned – this video will not load in certain countries or on mobile devices due to copyright issues!!

The Venue – AXIS is amazing! It’s a smaller venue, I’ve definitely walked by it several times during past Vegas visits & never even noticed it. Our seats were great & somewhat reasonable for how close we were. I would be willing to return to this venue & pay more to sit up closer, even just a few rows, because it’s definitely worth it. Before heading to the seating area, there was a museum like display of Britney’s famous costumes that you could take pictures with & learn little fun facts about. Of course, they were also selling a copious amount of merchandise & alcohol – these items are pricey! You don’t necessarily have to spend your money though…depending on how much pride you have. We stayed a bit after the concert ended to take pictures & noticed that several people had (drunkenly) left their souvenir cups behind. An Usher encouraged us to take them home & wash them, obviously, because they were just going to get thrown away. Woo hoo, free stuff!
One negative thing I will say is that we kept seeing ads for a “Britney Spears After Party” at Drai’s, but we couldn’t find any other information. Did it cost money? Did you have to be on a Guest List? What time did it start/end? etc, none of that was answered & we didn’t feel like going on an adventure that might not be successful, so we didn’t even attempt it.

The People – The other concert goers were SUPER friendly, like, invade your space/come up & talk to you loudly type of friendly. This is probably due to the fact that they were some combination of drunk/high/excited. 99.9% of people were in Britney related costumes & I’m not sure if that’s because, they were paying homage to Britney, it was Halloween, we were in Vegas, or again, a combination of all three. We were approached by several people & pulled into group pictures with strangers, but it was all good fun! The crowd was a melting pot of age/race/gender/sexual preference/couples/friends/Bachelorette Party/Girl’s Night Out/Mother-Daughters etc. Everyone we encountered was polite, but if you can’t handle lots of loud, rowdy people, this wouldn’t be a good fit for you – but if that’s the case, most likely any concert wouldn’t be a good fit for you.

The Performance – WOW! I was blown away. The props, setting, costumes, back up dancers, everything, was over the top & awesome. It was exactly what you would expect from Britney Spears & Las Vegas. To address my earlier concerns, does she sing live?…I really don’t think so. Did she have a hard time keeping up with her back up dancers?…Sometimes, occasionally she stopped dancing altogether & just did sexy poses & threw her hair around while they did the bulk of the work. Bottom line – I’ve seen her do better performances in her “youth”, but I’ve also seen her look like way more of a trainwreck. I was surprised by how inspired I was by watching this show. I went into this experience thinking about how I’d be watching this empty headed, sexed up, washed up Pop star attempt to relive her glory days, but it wasn’t like that. It was a well done tribute to a woman that has worked her ass off to make a name for herself in the Entertainment industry. Yes, she’s definitely had some bumps along the way, but that’s life, especially when you live in the public eye. Just thinking about the physical aspects of the show, that’s all her! She may seem like a robot in interviews, but those abs…that’s on her! That’s hard work! Somewhere in there, she still wants to work hard to be the Pop star she used to be – or is working towards becoming someone new. To me, that’s really inspiring, after everything she’s been through, she’s still getting up & working towards new goals.
I will warn you though, this is not really a concert – it’s a Vegas show. Some of her songs are mashed up/remixed/cut short – so don’t expect to hear the classics exactly as they were originally recorded.

The Final Verdict – Like I said, I’m not even a huge Britney fan, so I was pleasantly surprised by my experience & would gladly see another Britney Spears concert/show – if the venue/price were right! If you can, I would definitely recommend seeing her show in Vegas. I was under the impression “Piece of Me” ended in January to make way for Jennifer Lopez’s tour. However, if you go on Ticketmaster you can still buy “Piece of Me” tickets until February. So maybe there’s still a chance? If you’re at all a fan of Britney, dance music/big party scene, or 90’s pop culture icons, this is a show you won’t want to miss!

Let me know in the comments, have you ever seen Britney in concert? What other concerts would you recommend I go see? Do you have any thoughts about the video posted above? Thanks for reading 🙂

Vlog #6 – 5 Maui Must Do’s!

Aloha!!!
Today I’m going to be sharing with you a short, silly, vlog I filmed while in Maui a few months ago. I was going to make this a multi-part video covering every activity of the trip, but I just couldn’t bring myself to film every day. Wouldn’t you all get tired of just watching me lounge around? Haha!
I’ve been to Maui several times, it’s one of my favorite vacation spots! With that being said, there are a lot of activities I’ve done there but won’t get into because I didn’t partake in them on this most recent trip. If you’re at all interested in adventure, surfing, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, & swimming with manta rays are all AMAZING. I also didn’t feel the need to get into great detail about every beach you should visit because that’s a pretty standard activity, 99% of the beaches are epic & there is a ton of info available online & on the island.
For this vlog, I narrowed my footage down to 5 Maui Must Do’s/Travel Tips. However, of course I encourage you to hike/kayak/helicopter tour – whatever will make your trip amazing! Maui is a magical spot & you really can’t go wrong with anything you choose to do.
Click on the video to watch the vlog & please look below for my 5 Must Do’s/Travel Tips!

Must Do #1: Costco
Costco is 100% the way to go! If you can go to Costco right away, do it! You will be hungry when you get off the plane & won’t want to waste time grocery shopping later. It is a tradition for all my family members that vacation in Maui to stop at Costco by the airport before heading to the hotel. As you saw in the vlog, stopping by Costco is also a great time waster before checking into your hotel. Of course it’s always a good idea to get big dinner items, like ribs/chicken/veggies to grill, especially if you’re with a group. However, don’t ignore snacks, especially portable ones. A big part of your time in Maui will (hopefully!) be spent outside of your room & having snacks in the car or on the beach are great. Also, spending a lot of time in the sun & water can tire you out & cause you to get hungrier, faster, so you won’t want to wait to eat back at the hotel. Even if you intend to chill by the hotel pool your entire trip, you will want to purchase your own food rather than constantly rely on room service or hotel restaurants because that can get expensive. Again, portable snacks are a great idea in this situation as well so you’re not constantly having to go back to your room when your tummy starts rumbling.

Must Do #2: Investigate the Hotel/Room – Ka’anapali Beach Club
Okay, yes, part of this is a shameless plug to showcase my family timeshare, the Ka’anapali Beach Club – if you ever want to stay there, let me know! Also, this Tip is practical for a couple reasons. After Costco, checking into/investigating your hotel situation is a great idea. It’s always wise to familiarize yourself with the area & the amenities your property offers you. Concierges will have all the inside scoop to add activities & memories to your trip! Some activities only take place during certain times or weather conditions, so it’s wise to try to book things in advance. It sounds like simple logic, but sometimes people get “vacation brain” & don’t think about things like this. Also, it’s key to check out your room ASAP  to make sure it’s safe & clean. Let’s say you head right to the beach then come back to your hotel expecting to find a comfortable place to shower/sleep, but the hotel isn’t what you expected. Now it’s dark, you’re driving around in an unfamiliar area, wet & sandy, trying to find suitable accommodations. If you discover a problem right away, it can be handled right away! Also, while I’ve never had a safety problem in Maui, it’s generally never a great idea to leave your luggage in the car for an extended time period. Drop it at the hotel THEN go enjoy your vacation! Another random fun thing to do in Maui is go check out the lobby/pool area of other hotels. Most hotels are fine with you wandering around as long as you’re not bothering anyone or using the pool. The Grand Wailea is a beautiful property & the lavender fields nearby are awesome too.

Must Do #3: Drink!
Only if you’re 21+ obviously, haha! Really this Must Do is just meant to be a Tip to remind you to RELAX – however it is you make that happen. If you want to get a massage by the beach, or you prefer sipping a pina colada (or 2 or 3, no judgement!) in a pool chair – Maui has several ways to help you relax. Not every day has to be filled with wild adventure – unless that’s what helps you relax. That’s one of my favorite things about Maui. There’s something for everyone. Whenever I vacation with my mom, one of my goals is usually to get her to drink because she very rarely does. As you can see in the video, I have way too much fun giving her a hard time about drinking. Something fun & new we did on our trip was visit a Vodka Distillery. We chose to visit the Haili’imaile Distilling Company which is home to Pau Maui Vodka, Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar Rum, Paniolo Whiskey, & Maui Moon Vodka. There’s a law on Maui that the Distillery MUST educate you in some way before letting you sample Spirits so we took a tour of the facility & it was actually really interesting! They have several flavors of Spirits to choose from, you pick 3, no chasers/mixers! The Tour Guide/Bartender told us that to really taste the complexities in each Spirit we’d have to be really familiar with the Spirit in general beforehand – we clearly are not that familiar because we both agreed everything just tasted like drinking fire, haha! Overall, still a fun experience, always cool to try something new.

Must Do #4: Warren & Annabelle’s Magic Show
OH. MY. GOSH! If you like magic or theatre or good food or good drinks or a good time, you should definitely go see Warren & Annabelle’s Magic Show on Front Street!!!!! No joke, I have been waiting basically my whole life to see this show. You have to be 21 to attend & this was the first time I’d been to Maui over age 21, so this was the first time I was able to go. Warren is a Magician & Annabelle is a ghost that haunts the parlor room. You enter the parlor via secret passage that you find based on clues Annabelle gives you. You enjoy dinner while Annabelle plays music, then you enter a small theatre for Warren’s Magic Show. Warren Gibson is the namesake of the show, but he doesn’t always perform. I was lucky enough to see his performance & while a bit old fashioned, he’s truly amazing. You can tell he’s very passionate about his work. We ordered the Royal Flush Package which includes (per person) Admission to the show, 2 cocktails, a plate of appetizers, & a dessert. The food was delicious, the dessert (Creme Brulee) was delicious, the drinks (Lahaina Lollipop – Malibu, Midori, pineapple juice, orange juice & Caramel Apple Martini – Caramel Vodka, Sour Apple Pucker, Butterscotch Schnapps, Sweet & Sour Mix) were delicious!!! It was truly magical – highly recommended!

Must Do #5: Go to a Luau!
Of course if you’re going to Hawaii, you have to go to a Luau at least once! The Old Lahaina Luau is the best! I’ve been several times & never grown tired of it. The food, drinks, & service are always top notch. The Luau is extremely creative & tells the history of Maui in a really beautiful way. I’ve seen people of all ages enjoy themselves at this Luau. Really, how can you go wrong eating a delicious dinner while watching a time honored tradition against a glowing sunset on the beach!?

An additional activity I would recommend is going to Whaler’s Village. I didn’t make it there this trip so I couldn’t include it in the Vlog & I was super disappointed. It’s just a shopping center but hidden inside is a museum that teaches about the culture of a whaling town, which Lahaina was from 1825 to 1860. I love the atmosphere of the Village, it’s definitely worth a trip to look around!
This is another activity that didn’t make the Vlog because I’m going to do a separate Concert Review on the experience. I would recommend checking out what mainland musical acts/movie festivals etc might be visiting the island. I had never thought to do this before but I will definitely be investigating in the future. Just by luck we found out that Country Music artist Billy Currington was going to be performing at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, so we bought tickets & it was a great show at a great venue!  MACC has hosted other cool performances like “Straight No Chaser”, “Last Comic Standing”, Santana, & on April 6th 2016, Lee Brice!! I smell a return trip in the works 😉

Alright, so there you have it, a few Tips, Must Do’s, & Recommendations to have the best Maui vacation ever! What do you think? Do you love Maui as much as I do & have a few suggestions to add? Please let me know in the comments below! Are you planning a trip to Maui soon? If so, please take me with you, we’ll go get tattoos on Front Street at Skin Deep, eat lunch at Aloha Mixed Plate, then go catch some sun and surf – Alooooha! Mahalo for reading 😉

Concert Review! Luke Bryan “Kick the Dust Up Tour” at Levi’s Stadium

Hey y’all! On Saturday, August 29th my Gemini spirit sister Katie & I went to see Luke Bryan’s “Kick the Dust Up” Tour at Levi’s Stadium. We had an amaziiiiinnnggg time – so much fun! Watch the video below for some clips of the concert & some commentary from me. We weren’t down in the pit so the video clips aren’t amazing, forgive the quality and distance, but it’ll give you some idea of what the stage looked like & all that jazz. Most of the clips aren’t long because they’re from my SnapChat (@missal_leigh). Sometimes it’s hard to run my social media, take pics/video for the blog, & also actually be in the moment, but those are the struggles of a blogger I guess. Also, please excuse my awful singing! I tried to cut out video where you can hear me but sometimes my voice got in there sooooo enjoy!!

I didn’t mention this in the video but if you’re going to an event at Levi’s Stadium – be warned! Parking is a complete and utter NIGHTMARE!!!!! We got dropped off thinking that would be the easiest way to move through all the traffic, getting in wasn’t too bad, but leaving – we had to walk a mile, which would’ve been fine except with my hip, I was suffering. The struggle was real.

Let me know in the comments below if you were also at this show and what you thought. I’m going to a Country Music Festival in Vegas that I’m SUPER excited about, what concert are you headed to next? Maybe I’ll see you there 🙂 Thanks for reading!

LATE POST! CONCERT REVIEW! – @Yellowcard @HOBAnaheim, House of Blues in Anaheim 10/6/13!

Again, I’m ashamed of the length of time it has taken to get this post up. New Year’s resolution number one: be a better blogger! That’s been my resolution for about the last 3 years though, so we’ll see how it goes this year.

Anyways, Yellowcard. Yellowcard and I have a rather interesting history. I started liking them when Ocean Avenue came out in 2003. Just like every other teen at the time, I was obsessed with the song “Ocean Avenue”. While I enjoyed the other songs and really connected to the lyrics, I didn’t know why. I hadn’t experienced anything like what the songs were talking about, there was just something about them. As I got older and experienced more things, I found myself going back to Yellowcard and seeing deeper connections to songs I’d always loved. My relationship never really grew past Ocean Avenue. I own Lights and Sounds, but I never bothered to find any of their older music or buy new music beyond Lights and Sounds. Despite this, Yellowcard always had a special place in my heart and I always considered them one of my favorite bands.

Yellowcard was another concert on my bucket list, much like Fall Out Boy. The events that unfolded were unbelievable! My friend and I didn’t arrive that early because we’d been told by other YC fans that people don’t really line up beforehand – wrong. There were two fairly long lines already in progress. One of them was the “Pass the Line” line, people bought $20 of merch from the HOB store to get in before the regular ticketed people. We ran to the store to look around but the stuff was kind of expensive and we had nowhere to put anything. As we were walking around an employee came over & gave us a discount, now we only had to spend $10 to get in the VIP line. Yay! We were still looking around when a few minutes later he came over and just GAVE US the VIP passes! We were speechless! We ran to get in line and had barely been there for 30 seconds when the same guy found us and brought us into the venue, letting us cut the ENTIRE line! I know without him there’s no way we would’ve been in the front row. I’m so thankful and amazed at his kindness. I sincerely hope I’m not getting him in trouble, he should get a raise! Unfortunately I don’t remember his name, but I know his name tag said he was from Orange, CA  🙂

My friend Jeri & me with our "Pass the Line" voucher, generously gifted to us!

My friend Jeri & me with our “Pass the Line” voucher, generously gifted to us!

*Note: The show ran about an hour late, with no explanation. I was really not happy about that. I understand things happen, but at least come out and tell the crowd an ETA.

Opening act:
Honestly I don’t even remember the guys name, but he was an odd duck. It was some guy who used to be in the band Thursday (I think) trying to launch a solo career, or something. I was not impressed. The only song I enjoyed was one he sang that was originally performed by his band. I’m pretty sure dude was drunk the entire set, he did a lot of cursing and mumbling and just…being weird.

Main event:
Yellowcard more than made up for the weird opening act and the lateness. They were fantastic. Full of energy, clearly passionate, and they just seemed really grateful, thankful, and happy that after 10+ years in the music industry there was a full crowd of people singing along to every word of their songs. I mentioned in the Maroon 5/Kelly Clarkson post that I really appreciate when artists are clearly passionate about their work. To add on to that, I also really appreciate when artists are really grateful for their fans. The guys of YC could NOT stop thanking the audience for being there. It was really sweet and heart warming. It made me glad to have spent my hard earned money on tickets to their show. Everyone in the band is super talented. I’ve always loved YC because of the inclusion of the violin. I also think the material they write about is really interesting. From songs about 9/11 to the movie Big Fish…a lot of topics get covered beyond the traditional ones.

The set up of the show was totally cool for those who aren’t opposed to surprises. It started out with an acoustic set of Ocean Avenue which they played straight through, just like the album. I enjoyed 99% of the acoustic versions of the songs, but was wishing I could hear the songs as I first fell in love with them. The band obviously knew people were wishing this because they made several jokes about how being acoustic meant they couldn’t really “rock out” and then….they took a break and came back out and played a TON more songs from Ocean Avenue AND their other albums – all with electric instruments. IT WAS SO COOL! I basically got two concerts in one night and all my little teenage dreams were fulfilled. That was my favorite part of the night. I was happy they thought ahead to what the audience would want. I was very pleased at how focused they seemed on keeping the crowd happy.

Speaking of the crowd, they were pretty pleasant at this show. No pushing/shoving/crowding, and I was in the front row right alongside the fence. HOB has a no crowd surfing policy that of course people were breaking. That kind of upset me because the rule was obviously put in place for a good reason & you don’t HAVE to crowd surf to have a good time. There was no need for people to do that. I felt bad for the bouncers who were working that event because the crowd surfers were giving them sass and just being difficult.

On a non music related note, the guys in YC are really hot. Really. I never noticed this before, probably because I was 12-13 when Ocean Avenue came out and they were already in their 20’s and I probably thought that was really old. Ugh, my young self would think I’M old now 😩 Tragic. Moving on, their hotness is only enhanced by their personalities, which I really connected with when they talked to the audience and joked around with each other on stage. Obviously as a fan girl, I have a special place in my heart for lead singer/guitarists like Ryan Key, but violinist/back up singer Sean Mackin is definitely giving him a run for his money. Also, I got to meet LP, the drummer, after the show 😀 SUPER STOKED!
117Final thoughts:
Although I’m sure it doesn’t need to be said again – this show was fantastic! Way better than Fall Out Boy and only a hair shy of what I experienced at Maroon 5/Kelly Clarkson – but that was my fault, because I didn’t know ALL the YC music so I was kind of out of the loop for some songs. If you ever get the chance to see Yellowcard, GO! Go to their show & bring me with you! These guys were so high energy, full of life, passionate, and inspiring. I hope I can see them again! Here’s some video and a slideshow of pictures, enjoy!

“Ocean Avenue – Acoustic”

“Only One”

“Here I Am Alive” One of my absolute favorites!!!!

“Ocean Avenue” with electric instruments

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