Thursday, March 6, 2014

Live Nation SF Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Sweepstakes Win - 2/25/14 SAP Center San Jose, CA

On Febuary 19th I saw a tweet by @livenationsf about a chance to win tickets for Miley Cyrus' shows in the Bay Area. I admit I watched Hannah Montana when I had a TV. I also love her song "Wrecking Ball." I figured it wouldn't hurt to enter the contest. I entered it once and didn't think about it again.

Fast forward to February 21st, I checked my e-mail and saw there was a message with the subject "Congratulations! Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour Sweeptakes. I quickly opened the message and read that I was a potential winner for two tickets valued at $119. I followed the instructions to redeem my prize. I had to reply that I read the rules and with the show date I wanted to attend. My choices were February 24 at Oakland Arena or February 24 at SAP Center in San Jose. I picked SAP Center because it's closer to me and it was on a Tuesday. In about an hour my win was confirmed by a Live Nation representative.

I looked forward to hearing "Wrecking Ball" live. I wish I had more time to listen to her album so I had an idea what to expect. I only had the opportunity to listen to it once.

I asked my mom if she wanted to go to the concert with me. She said yes.

Parking at SAP Center makes my wallet cry. The last time I was there for the New Kids/Boyz II Men/98 Degrees Package tour I paid $20 for parking.I tried to find parking at the train station across the street but all the signs said parking was $25! I thought if it was $25 both outside and inside the venue then I might as well park inside. It amused me when the parking lot wasn't filled up. (Apparently other people have their secret parking places?)

I go to the box office to pick up my tickets. A SAP employee asked me what I needed to do and I told him I needed to pick up my tickets. He directed me to an open window. The lady then asked me how I got my tickets. I felt ultra special telling her that I won my tickets. She gave me the tickets and then I go stand in the line to get into the venue.


I secretly hoped for lower level seats but I ended up with nosebleeds. It's okay. I can't complain since they were free. I was given section 203 row 10 seats 4 and 5. When I got into the venue I saw that I didn't have to walk far to get to my section. It was near the box office side entrance.
 
My mom wanted to get food so I bought her a hot dog which she ended up giving to me after one bite lol I also got nachos and soda all for $21.75! O_O I was amused the hot dog was $5.75 because I could get almost 4 hot dogs at Costco for almost the same price lol
 
My mom and I then go to our seats. Hanging above the floor seats were balloons. There were also balloons along the stairs for the audience to get to their seats. The balloons were arched like M's which I believe were supposed to stand for Miley but they reminded me of the McDonald's arches instead.
 
The view from the seats was okay. Unfortunately the huge screen behind the stage was obstructed by the lighting equipment. Upon entering section 203 I smelled something funny but more on this later.
 
The first opening act was Skye Ferreira. She didn't really have stage presence. She actually stopped in the middle of singing one song and said that she was going to sing another song. That felt awkward.
 
The second opening act was Icona Pop. I loved their energy! They really got the crowd pumped up. It was fun hearing "I Love It" live. The last time I was at SAP Center NKOTB played "I Love It" during their song so it was nice to actually hear it live.

 
The wait for Miley felt very long but then she finally makes her grand entrance by sliding down a slide in the shape of her tongue. She was dressed in a very flashy outfit. That definitely set the tone for the night. She does her first batch of songs and then does a costume change into a Marijuana printed leotard. She sits on a toy 4x4 for her song by the same name and proceeds to make it rain by throwing money all around the stage.
 
Speaking of Marijuana there was a group of people in the next section, 204, smoking weed during the show! I couldn't believe they got away with that. I would have snitched on them but my seats weren't in the aisle so it wasn't so easy to maneuver out. I thought it was so lame people were getting high at a Miley concert. I know Miley is pro-weed but still, if getting high at a Miley concert is your idea of fun then you're a loser. Hashtag just sayin'.
 
For her song #GETITRIGHT she sat on a HUGE bed on stage. Honestly, I was kind of scared of what she would do on that bed. Throughout the song, her back up dancers started to crawl out of the bed to join her. First was her little person dancer who cuddled up with her. When the song was halfway through I swear there was like 10 people in that bed with her and they were rolling around being naughty. (I thought, why couldn't my bed be like that where Nick Carter would come crawling out of it :p)
 
For her song "Adore You" she had her version of "Kiss Cam." On the screen was an image of a ring and throughout the song the cameras would focus on people making out in the venue. They showed both straight and gay couples.
 
The show was very Miley though. She had a huge puppet on stage for one of her songs.

 
Her dancers were also dressed in costume. 
 
 
There was a huge wolf during "Can't Be Tamed" and she gyrated and humped its legs.

 
There was a part of the show where she moved from the main stage to a tiny near stage in front of my section. She did an acoustic set there which I enjoyed. She performed acoustic versions of Outkast's "Hey Ya" and Dolly Parton's "Jolene." During this part she wore a long t-shirt with her face on it.

 
I remember there was a part where she wore chaps that was very reminiscent of Christina Aguilera during her Dirty phase.

 
The show felt extra long because I didn't know most of the songs. I just wanted to hear "Wrecking Ball" and "We Can't Stop."

Near the end she got on a giant hot dog and rode it around the venue. I thought that was funny since earlier I ate a hot dog. I found out later the name of the song she rode the hot dog is called "Someone Else." I wish I had the chance to appreciate the performance more because after the show I listened to the song and I ended up falling in love with it. 
 
Finally it was part I waited for. Miley came out wearing a silver glittery leotard and sang "Wrecking Ball." Then after that she sang "We Can't Stop."
 
It amused me after "We Can't Stop" people started leaving already. They obviously don't know the concept of encore lol They stopped leaving when Miley came back on stage for "Party In The USA." She wore a wig and patriotic looking leotard. Her back up dancers were dressed in patriotic costumes like Mt. Rushmore.


 
The show was a very interesting experience and it was nice to see a show other than Backstreet Boys. Actually, in a way her show made me miss Backstreet even more because they're very good at interacting with the crowd. Miley didn't really interact with the crowd much. I understand she's all about shock value right now but it's like then what when the novelty fades away. 
 
I also felt she was trying so hard to be sexy but it came off more dorky and awkward. The girls who sat next to me were practically lol'ing through most of the show because they thought she was ridiculous. They actually left almost over halfway through the show. 
 
Although my eyes may have felt violated at some parts I am very thankful to Live Nation for giving me the opportunity to see her show and expose me to her album. After the show I listened to her album Bangerz on Youtube to review what I heard live and it's not bad. The songs on her album that stand out to me are "Someone Else," "FU," and "Do My Thang." It's too bad she's letting shock value and thirst for attention drive the direction for her show. I think if she tried less hard the show could have been bettered produced.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Catching Fire Victory Tour @ Facebook - Prize from Covergirl - 11/6/13




Twitter is one of my primary sources for information. I saw a tweet from @43kixsanfran about a contest to meet Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemworth in San Francisco. I entered hoping to win. I also tried to find more info on the location.

My research brought me to Covergirl's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/covergirl). I saw their post directed to San Francisco Bay Area fans that said to comment on why you're a big Hunger Games fan. I made up a silly poem on the spot and posted it in the comments section:

It would be a shame if I'm not chosen to meet Katniss, Gale, and Peeta of Hunger Games.

Katniss is flawless.Gale is a hot male.Peeta is sweet like a Margarita.

To meet them in the Bay Area would give me such euphoria.

I got hooked on the first book and the first movie was groovy.

I can't wait to see Catching Fire, it is my current desire.Please pick me so I can meet the three for free!

The next morning I got a comment from Covergirl's Facebook that said to email them. I sent an email and got a reply saying they were giving me wristbands to meet the cast of Hunger Games. I was shocked that my silly little poem earned me those wristbands. I was even more shocked that I was the only one to make a comment on their Facebook page. I thought a big company like Covergirl and a popular franchise like Hunger Games would attract more entries.

The odds were definitely in my favor!

The e-mail wasn't very detailed in what was going to happen. It mentioned that I would get an autograph with the Hunger Games cast at Facebook and that we were to meet at the Shoreline amphitheater to take shuttles to Facebook. Nothing was mentioned about which cast members were going to be there. I could only assume what @43kixSanFran tweeted about was the same event with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth.

Since the event was in a couple of days I scrambled to find people to go with me. I posted on Facebook asking if anyone was a Hunger Games fan. One of my Facebook friends Vanessa replied saying she loves the book and Peeta so I sent her a message about the event. She happily accepted my invitation.

A few days later I finally announced on Facebook that I was chosen through Covergirl to attend the event and saw one of my Facebook friends Arianna reply saying she wanted to go. I had an extra wristband so I offered it to her and she gladly accepted.

I also had another extra wristband which I offered to my mom. At first she didn't want to go but she decided due to having a stressful day she wanted somewhere to escape and relax.

My mom and I arrived to Shoreline around 2:30 PM. Vanessa was already there. Arianna had arrived a few minutes after me. We then pick up our wristbands and then head to one of the shuttle busses. They were very strict on the "no bags" policy. I feel naked without my bag so leaving it behind was tough.

We sat in the bus for a very long time and then it starts to take us to Facebook. What I love about living in the Bay Area is it's very close to big name companies like Facebook. I finally got to see where Facebook is. It's a group of buildings in Menlo Park.

We're dropped off right in front of where the Global Fan Event is happening. My mom and I sat in the 3rd row. Behind us were about probably 300 Facebook employees sitting down to watch the event. There were probably about 200 fans total there.

About 5 minutes later Kurt from Mashable walks on the stage. He served as the host for the event. He then introduced Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Francis Lawrence (director of Catching Fire). Behind the cast was a map that showed how many people were watching from around the world. Nearly 32 million people were watching online!

I felt special watching the event live in person. When they all took their seats, Jennifer says hello to our phones and we all laugh at her remark.

The whole event can be watched here: https://live.facebooklive.com/videos/390

One of the funniest parts for me was when the trailer for Catching Fire was shown on the screens behind the cast. Josh tried to look behind him and then he got out of his chair and crouched as he watched the trailer.

Then when the exclusive clip was shown, Josh did the same thing and Jennifer pointed out to him that there were screens in front of them they could watch without having to turn around.

From the first book of Hunger Games I gravitated more toward Peeta as the choice for Katniss so meeting Josh Hutcherson was something I looked forward to.
Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures with the cast during the meet and greet. First at the table was Liam Hemsworth. I mostly know him as Miley Cyrus' ex-fiance and Chris Hemsworth's younger brother. I really haven't delved into who he is.

When I saw him up close I was immediately hooked into how attractive he is in person. The pictures I've seen of him online don't do him justice. I noticed his eyes were blue. I didn't know what to say to him.

My mom was next to me so I told him that my mom was tagging along for the event. He smiled he said in his Australian drawl, "That's an easy enough job."

I told him, "Thanks for coming to the Bay Area."

He said, "Thanks for having us."

After he signs the poster he looks right at me and said, "It was nice meeting you."

That did it for me. I was in lust. He was so friendly in person. I had this impression of him that he would be an arrogant person that wouldn't say much but I really loved that he made effort for eye contact and for a brief small talk.

Next to him was Josh Hutcherson. Like Liam he was very friendly. He signed my poster and I was about to move on down the line when I decided to go for what I had in mind to ask him. (I didn't know if I'd ever get this opportunity again.)

I whipped out a picture of him and Nick Carter from earlier this year at the Grammy League basketball game. I told Josh. "I've always wondered what Nick was saying to you in this picture. It's okay if you don't remember and if you don't you can make something up." 



Josh takes the picture and looks at it. Then he said, "I remember. He was talking about one of the players on the team named Braison (SP?) who jumps really high.

I loooooved that Josh answered my question. He could have easily given me a WTF look or said that he didn't know. I thanked him for telling me what was going on the in the picture.

Next was Francis and Jennifer who were in mid conversation when I got to them. They weren't as engaging with me as Liam and Josh were. I actually thought since Jennifer was very talkative during the interview and Q&A she'd be the same but she barely said anything to me. Oh well, the charm and friendliness I got from Liam and Josh overshadowed that.

After I got my poster it was back to the bus. The bus was more livelier with mostly everyone smiling andbeaming that we got to experience something very unique and special in the Catching Fire world.

I'm forever grateful to Covergirl for giving me the opportunity to go to the event. I'm also happy that I could share it with my mom, Vanessa, and Arianna. I can't wait to watch Catching Fire when it's released.