MUSIC I fell in love with this Summer

MUSIC

Tori Kelly 

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Inspired by True Events [released August 2019]

So I actually saw Tori back in April for the her Acoustic Sessions- where she not only performed songs from her incredible Gospel album “Hiding Place”, but also a lot of unreleased music that she just recently released in this new project.

And holy crap…what an absolute masterpiece. Not only are the songs/lyrics incredible… but the concept “Inspired by True Events” is so beautiful and personal. She wrote from personal memories and she even included voice clips of her younger self. It’s just so amazing.

My favorite tracks are, Coffee, 2 Places, Kid I Used To Know, and Pretty Fades.

Shawn Mendes

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Self titled album [released May 2018…but it’s been releasing new material well into this year.]

My favorite tracks include, Senorita, If I Can’t Have You, Fallin’ All In You, Where Were You In The Morning, Nervous, Particular Taste [Gives me serious Prince vibes!], Mutual,  Queen and When You’re Ready [That’s like the whole album LOLOL, omg I told you I LOVE his music.]

The Shawn Mendes Tour

I saw Shawn in concert at Barclay’s Center on August 23rd. I randomly bought tickets because it dawned on me how much I love his music- I’ve been listening since Handwritten, yo! I also became obsessed with his new single “If I Can’t Have You.” So my friend and I were super excited to get our cougar on, and go and sing our asses off with all the little teens. Fun Fact: we were those some older girls a few years back when we went to see Justin Bieber. Haha.

However, I promised you the full concert experience story so here it goes…

Shawn Mendes was AMAZING! Such a stinking cutie pie. I know I have a few years on him, but I have such a stinking crush on this cutie! If only I was 21 again. 😉 Boy can SING! And his music is so damn good. I kind of was hoping for a Camila Cabello surprise, but she wasn’t there. He did do a short mash up of Senorita/I Know What You Did Last Summer, but we definitely missed Camila. He shortened the songs significantly. He also surprised us with a coldplay cover and a FREAKIN WHITNEY HOUSTON cover. LIKE BOY….WHAT? He definitely put on a great show.

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BUT had it not been for one sweet woman who exchanged our seats for closer ones, I think I might have had a panic attack in that arena in the upper level. I had purchased tickets in section 206, because frankly it was all I could afford. The structure is INSANELY dangerous. Walking up those stairs was terrifying. I just tried to keep my cool, because it would have been very easy to let my anxiety take over. But I knew I had to keep it together, if I had any chance of enjoying the show.

My friend has a fear of heights (which sadly I did not know, otherwise I never would have bought those seats!) and so I realized quickly we needed to do something. Thankfully she came up with the idea to see if we could get our seats changed. And so the craziness continued. Not only did the venue let us in later than they should (seriously how do they expect thousands of people to be seated in 10-15 minutes/security check alone was like 10!), and they let us in a weird side entrance where we could not catch an elevator, escalators weren’t working and there was no one really telling us where to go. We had to walk up flights of stairs to get to our seats, not to mention that you had to walk a marathon to get food. All of this drama, causing so many people to miss the opening act- Alessia Cara. I heard her and caught a few bits, she was AMAZING. WHAT A DAMN VOICE. SHE SANG “How Far I’ll Go” from MOANA! #FEELS

I have to say in an emergency situation, I would not have felt safe in that arena. It just seemed like no one cared.

Anyway once we let Alessia’s set finish, I knew we had a small window to change our situation before Shawn took the stage. So my friend and I had to look for an usher, yes WE HAD TO LOOK FOR THEM, and ask if we could get our seats changed. I have to be honest, I didn’t think that was a thing. But my friend was like, we have to try, and she was right, the longer we sat up in those steep seats, the scarier it got. We definitely would not have felt safe to get up, let alone dance.

So the usher (although nice) told us he couldn’t help us and to go to guest services, to which the man there kept ignoring our complaints stating, “you don’t have a disability,” so he can’t help me. I was pissed.

So finally another woman told us to try the box office. We get to the box office and they tell us to go to guest services, and I was like “no, we were just there, they sent us here.” She almost told us there’s nothing they can do, that all we can do is purchase ANOTHER ticket. MIND you those nose bleeds seats COSTED $85. I was like “That’s insane, we paid to be here, and we can’t sit there, I’m not asking you to give me some crazy front row seats, we just have to get out of ours.” The woman was very understanding, but you could tell she was not sure if she could help us, claiming that guest services keeps sending people to her. So, this is not the first complaint they’ve gotten. If you have vertigo, you’d probably pass out up there. I mean I myself almost had a panic attack up there, it was so scary. Anway,  the woman came back a few minutes later with two tickets, saying, “It’s your lucky day.” And it got me thinking, how many people who complained weren’t THAT lucky.

There really should be a change made. I know we are not the first people to complain about the steep seating. Not to mention that Barclays Center actually has a policy that says special accommodations can be made at the venue day of. I understand anxiety may not be a disability, but it IS real. We happen to get “lucky” that the seats we were given were being saved for someone who didn’t show. We went from section 206 to 124, and it was AMAZING. We were able to dance freely and enjoy the rest of our night…thankfully. Just out of curiosity I looked up our tickets…and they were about $200+. THAT’s INSANE. I guess safety costs! HUH?

I’ll just leave this article HERE. Because I am not the only one who feels this way. Concerts are supposed to be a fun experience not a dangerous one. (And no I wasn’t drinking, (and my friend barely finished hers because she got so anxious from the seating) I can only imagine how many people have fallen because of the combination of alcohol and steep seating.)

^ The left we were sitting way high up in the nose bleeds. The right we were in our new seats.^

From all these pictures you would never know the kind of concert experience we had! I may not be a fan of the venue, but I am a fan of the very sweet woman who accommodated us when no one else would. I will NEVER purchase tickets that high up again, and if this venue wasn’t so convenient for me to go to, I probably would never purchase tickets there again at all. An unforgettable night for sure, a list of things that went wrong. But girl, we hung in and we conquered it! #FightForYourHealth #Memories #AnxietyIsReal #SafetyIsAPriority

Shawn is a class act, the arena lit up beautifully with everyone wearing the bracelets they gave us as we walked in. And Shawn barely ever left the stage, performing an epic 23 song set! He is an insane talent. THAT is what I am choosing to focus on, that in the end, we were STILL able to have a good time. I just hope that Barclays takes measures to create a safer environment for concert goers.

 

Set list (via setlist.fm)

Lost in Japan

There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back

Nervous

Stitches

Señorita / I Know What You Did Last Summer

Mutual

Bad Reputation

Never Be Alone

B-Stage:
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
(Whitney Houston cover)

A Little Too Much / Because I Had You / Patience / When You’re Ready

Life of the Party

Like to Be You

Ruin

A-Stage:
Treat You Better

Particular Taste

Where Were You in the Morning?

Fallin’ All in You

Youth

If I Can’t Have You

Why

Mercy

Encore:
Fix You
(Coldplay cover)
In My Blood

By the way…Here was my concert going outfit. I was really excited about it!

I basically just wanted an all black base so I could rock this funky kimono. And of course I did gold jewelry and gold nails. Mind you, I was on a budget and this WHOLE outfit (aside from the bag and jewelry which I already had) costed me about $40! I think it kinda turned out pretty cool! 🙂

Taylor Swift

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Lover [released August 2019]

We know how I feel about this new album!

***** 5 Stars!!!

My favorite tracks include- I Forgot That You Existed, The Man, I Think He Knows, False God & Afterglow. But honestly I love every single track. Her lyrics are GOLD! She truly was born to do this!

Ed Sheeran

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No. 6 Collaborations Project [released July 2019]

Some of my favorite tracks are Beautiful People ft. Khalid, South of the Border ft. Camila Cabello & Cardi B., I Don’t Care with Justin Bieber (of course cuz it’s a JAM!), I Don’t Want Your Money ft. H.E.R, Put It All On Me ft. Ella Mai [this gives me suchBlackstreet & Mya-“Take me there”/City High “What would you do” vibes and the very beginning of this track is very “My whole life has changed” by Ginuwine.

Ok so I know I’ve been sleeping on this album and I’m kind of mad at myself because I consider myself an Ed Sheeran fan. He is actually on my concert bucket list, along with Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Joy Williams (previously known as 1/2 of The Civil Wars). I had given it a quick listen one day, but didn’t really let it sink in, but recently I have just been playing it at random times, and I mean I totally dig the concept of creating a full album of collabs. He really collaborated with such a variety of artists and he killed it. He really can do anything. Such an incredible artist. I’m just going to leave you with this Dublin concert video, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this in the past….him and a loop pedal…EPIC!

The Jonas Brothers

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Happiness Begins [released June 2019]

So this was a THING! The brothers reunited musically after being separated for the past 6 years. I wasn’t A HUGE DIE HARD fan of the JoBros, but I did vibe with them and their music. I LOVED their A Little Bit Longer Album and I’ve loved their solo music too. When I heard they reunited, my boy band loving heart was HAPPY. If tickets were cheaper, I’d probably go see them just to fill my boy band void. #IMLOOKINGATYOU*NSYNC

My favorite tracks include, Sucker (OBVI…it’s a damn BOP!), Only Human (loved it before it was a single), I Believe, Used To Be, and Rollercoaster.

I really like this album. Do it JOBROS! I know it’s been a minute, but I love that they are brothers/family first.

 

You can listen to these albums on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, etc.

 

*I do not take credit for any album art used.*

*All other images are my own.*

-<3-

 

 

 

Tori Kelly Concert Review & Outfit

I know it’s been a minute, and I’m not going to bore you with excuses. Who knows, how many people out there are even out there reading this. Lol. But for those who are, no matter how long I may be MIA for, know, I always come back! 😀

Back in April I got to check another artist off my concert list, when I saw Tori Kelly live.

TK Acoustic Sessions

Set List:

(To the best of my recollection)

Language

Nobody Love

Coffee

Never Alone

Pretty Fades

Actress

I Was Made For Loving You

Take Back Home Girl

Two Places

Keep on Singing My Song (Christina Aguilera cover)

Only Exception (Paramore cover)

Bring Me Home

Thinkin’ Bout You

Suit & Tie (Justin Timberlake cover)

^It’s like she knew I was coming^

Confetti

All In My Head

Paper Hearts

Dear No One

Unbreakable Smile

Kid I Used to Know

Hollow

Your Words

Psalm 42

Sorry Would Go a Long Way

Funny

Should’ve Been Us

Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing

Change Your Mind

* Her guitarist- Mateus Asato was INSANE. His solo was out of this world. And at one point she and her guitarist had this like voice/guitar off. Tori would sing and Mateus would match it with his guitar cords. And then they switched and Mateus would play his guitar and Tori would have to match it with her vocals. INSANITY! Such an amazing duo.

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The Tori Kelly Acoustic Sessions concert was held at a theater so it was a very intimate setting. Our seats were great and the price was so reasonable. Tori took the stage with just her acoustic guitar and her voice, with the help of another electric guitarist. The stage held only a few lamps, and a couch, while the back drop was ruffled theater curtains, the lighting changed coloring with each song.

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It was so incredibly simple, but amazingly profound. Her talent is extraordinary and she is such a sweet soul. As she performed a mashup of old, new, some covers and unreleased music, she also walked us through the story of her journey with music. There was even a moment where she was singing a new unreleased song, about her grandfather (I believe it was “Your Words”) and it was so silent in that theater, you could hear a pin drop. I had goosebumps on and off throughout that whole night! I love when artists chat with you, it just makes you feel like they are your best friend chatting with you in their living room.

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What an insane talent. It was an incredible show. She is even more incredible live. I am thrilled to be able to check her off my dream concert list. I can’t wait to see her again. Now I have a friend who I made a fan, who I will certainly be taking with me to future shows! I know Tori just wrapped this tour a little bit ago, but with all the unreleased music she was playing, I imagine she’s going to be releasing more, and who knows maybe she will be touring again sometime soon. Catch her whenever you can!

 

***

My Tori Kelly Inspired Look

Leather Jacket

Flannel Shirt

Glitter T-shirt

Black highwaisted skinny jeans

Black booties

Big Curly  hair (cuz Tori Kelly vibes!)

Black nail polish

Hoop earrings

Some fun rings

Cuff bracelet

Medallion Necklace

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I was inspired by Tori’s earlier fashion style. It seems she’s experimenting with more high fashion pieces, sporting more heeled boots and suit ensembles. She’s amazing either way!

 

Visit ToriKellyMusic.com for more information!

*All images are my own.*

(except the Tori Kelly concert poster)

-<3-

 

Fangirl Report: MAN OF THE WOODS Concert Review & Fashion Update

Back during #BLOGTOBER I did a post titled Fall Fashion: Concert Style where I showed my outfit inspiration for Justin Timberlake’s MAN OF THE WOODS tour.

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I was supposed to see him, back in October but he had to reschedule due to bruised vocal chords. So I just went recently on January 31st. Which just so happened to be Justin’s 38th Birthday so that was a fun treat! Not only did we get an amazing show, but we got to spend his birthday with him. This time we got to sing to him for a change. 😉

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My concert morning prep…

My best friend and I got there a little before the opening act ended so we got to hear him a bit. His name is Franceso Yates, and he was definitely good vibes. Not to mention his curls are cool and he was rocking this cool silver sparkly bomber jacket. 3 years ago he lent his vocals to SUGAR (2015), yes ya’ll probably know Suga Suga by Baby Bash and Frankie J (2003) but Yates makes it work too! His voice is damn good!

 

Set List

Filthy

Midnight Summer Jam

Lovestoned/I think she knows interlude

Sexyback

Man of the woods

Higher Higher

Senorita

Suit & Tie

My Love

Cry Me a River

Mirrors

*Happy Birthday Sing Along*

Drink You Away

Until The End Of Time

Morning Light

What Goes Around…Comes Around

Say Something

Montana

Summer Love

Rock Your Body

Supplies

Can’t Stop The Feeling

I felt like this concert has been quite a long time coming. In fact we just passed the year mark on of when MAN OF THE WOODS was released and when Justin performed the Superbowl Half time show. I had wanted to see JT a while back when he was first in the U.S., but I just couldn’t swing the date, and so when he came back I was on a mission to get tickets. So my best friend and I got t-shirts, I had my outfit all ready, and my nails strategically painted to match his album cover colors (as you can see in the Concert Style Blogtober post). But then it was rescheduled for January, so it was another 3 months added to the waiting game. Needless to say, because of all the holiday craziness, it went by quick. Of course the date landed on the COLDEST day of the year, my winter coat’s zipper broke just before I left the house, (so I had to wear a less warm coat but the one I actually bought for the concert to match my outfit lol) and my best friend was battling the start of a cold and her purse strap broke coming out of the Uber on the way into MSG. So we fought some stupid little inconveniences along the way, but it was COMPLETELY worth it! #CHEERSTOINSANLEYEXPENSIVEUBERSANDCABS It felt so good to be there in that arena with him. It’s been a while. It felt like it was all meant to be. I love you JT, you were worth the wait! 

JUSTIN WAS INCREDIBLE! His talent never ceases to amaze me. He came back from that vocal rest like a boss. He can still sing, dance, and own any stage! And he is extremely good at making it so that he can work the entire stage and say hi to all sides. Our seats were pretty good, probably the closest, I’ve seen him so far. Although for his stadium tour with Jay Z, we had really good seats too! One of these days I hope to meet him, maybe even swing some VIP tickets, but I just can’t fathom those prices. Besides I like the option of sitting occasionally! Lol. #GRANNY #BIGPURSEDONTCARE

Justin did all his usual hits, but played a good amount of his new stuff too. It’s cool how his songs are so different live, like you feel every instrument. I love how he did his work on the NI Maschine for “Say Something,” and he just kind of like created this whole unique sound. It was really cool to see. 

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The whole show was visually stunning. The fog rolling in, the grass coming up during certain scenes to add that woodsy feel. The lights, the screens that projected Justin for all to see, but at  times told a story through it’s stunning rain visuals during “Cry Me A River,” and trees and the sun shining during his Man Of The Woods songs. It was all so right. 

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There were so many highlights, so many moments where he joked with the crowd, so many great live versions of songs that never get old. That clap and sing along in Mirrors, never gets old. And Can’t Stop The Feeling was so amazing live and such a great, feel good song to end on. However, I think if I HAD to pick, my highlight had to be when he sang “Until the End of Time.” There was a campfire set up. A real fire pit, with wooden seats around it, as his dancers re-enacted a campfire scene as he played the soft sweet song. This song is one of my favorites live, because this is the cell phone song. The lights sway back and forth, and you try to hit his notes in the sing along part of the song. Such a moment. 

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The only downside was that I know I had seen an earlier version of a setlist that included “Let The Groove Get In” and “Flannel.” Two of which are my favorites. So I was a little bummed when he didn’t play them. “Soulmate” would have been cool, that song has become a favorite of mine too! But we did have a whole Birthday sing a long, so they probably had to take out a few songs to allow the time for that. I thought his Birthday show would have been like crazy! Like maybe a special guest, or something. I also thought he would do the whole fake out end and then come back out, but he didn’t. I’m so used to that! Lol. But when the lights come on you know it’s over. I guess I just wasn’t ready to leave.

You know what else I noticed, he didn’t have many breaks. He didn’t worry about changing outfits constantly either. He made a few changes, but they were super quick and kept in theme with his laid back woodsy vibe. He is the man of the woods, is he not? He didn’t talk too much with the crowd like I’ve seen him do in the past, didn’t really chat about the songs or give some heart felt speech about what the slow jams were about or why he wrote them. He used to do this a while back. Instead he let the music talk. Which I understood. He has 5 studio albums under his belt and only about a 2 hour slot to perform! He can’t do EVERYTHING! Even so, he is a true talent. A class act. He is so good. When I got home I mentioned how it’s a pain to go to a concert on a week day, and my mom said to me, “well this is it, right? I mean you can’t keep going to his concerts.”  And I said, “Um, what? Yes I can! And I will.”  I may be getting older, he may be getting older, but as he said before he took his shot before he performed “Drink You Away,” he “Ain’t done yet!” And as long as he’s singing, I’ll keep listening! Concerts can be transcendent. They can be such amazing experiences, especially when you are that much of a fan of the artist. Especially when you get to go with your best friend. I’ve grown up listening to Justin. So no, I’m not quitting  now. Looking out at that audience it was an incredible mix of men, women, of all ages, and even some little kids. I was proud to see how far he’s come and how many generations his music has touched. He may not have chatted constantly but he was very adorable when he thanked us for spending his birthday with him, “best birthday ever,” he said just before leaving the stage. So what it all comes down to, is that the concert was cool, classic, and absolutely amazing and we got to spend his Birthday with him, and that’s the coolest thing ever. Happy Birthday JT! 

What I Wore: 

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My Target JT T-shirt- Black tank underneath

^ tried to link, but I don’t see it available anymore 😦 

A Flannel because well the song and the woods! lol

Jeans

Tan Boots

I had on pretty simple jewelry- a brown snakeskin cuff, two gold thin rings, big gold hoops, a black tattoo choker, and two gold necklaces for a layered effect. I also painted my nails a natural brown from Essie called- “Clothing Optional.”

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I basically went for a chill, laid back, woodsy/90’s vibe. LOL. My makeup was subtle warm tans and blush tones, and my hair I kept simple in a low bun and some curls to frame my face.

20190131_212208 Flannel by JT

Right behind my left pocket
That is where you’ll feel my soul
It’s been with me many winters
It will keep you warm
Ooh, here’s my flannel
The character’s in the way you wear it (the way you wear it)
It takes your shape while you keep it on (all you gotta do is keep it on)
May we live for many winters
Keepin’ each other warm
And may we live for many winters
Keepin’ each other warm

Read the full lyrics HERE

Listen to the full song HERE

And yes I did treat myself to some concert souvenirs- a tee and a concert program. They were selling the t-shirt I couldn’t find anymore on his merch store website, so I was excited. At first I wasn’t going to buy anything because between the ticket and the cabs,  I was already spending so much $$$! But then I realized I have a concert tee from every show I’ve seen of his. And I’m a major graphic tee wearing girl, so I had to. So I picked this one (it has another image of him and man of the woods written on the back, with all the tour locations.) And I splurged on a program too, because I have never bought one of his programs before. So I figured I should own at least one. I mean I am a self- proclaimed JT fan girl, right? Hey I don’t do this often, you got to live a little, right? 😉 The t-shirt was $40. The program was $25, in case any other fangirls or boys are wondering about prices! 

Well there you have it, another JT Fangirl report from yours truly. 

Until next time.

*All images are my own except JT’s album art picture at the beginning of the post.*

-<3-