It seems as though I was set up all along.
If you don’t know my story yet, here’s a sneak peek:
My Aunt Annie took me to my first concert when I was around 8 or 9 years old and I was absolutely HOOKED.
The lights, the stage, the performers, the ticket-takers. The whole experience left such an impression on me.
And now, decades later, I’ve worked in the world of entertainment and events for the majority of my life, and I can’t imagine doing anything else!
I’ve had the privilege and honor of attending events all over the world, and I wanted to share with you… the Top 7 events that have left a forever impact on me!
So let’s get into it!
#1 – Chaka Khan Concert in the Late 80s
Chaka Khan Concert - late 1980s – at the once historic Starlite Music Theatre in Latham, NY.
I was around 8 or 9 years old. It was the first concert my Aunt Annie took me to. I literally could see the sweat on Chaka’s face and the beautiful glitter in her hair.
One of the things I remember saying to my aunt was that I couldn’t wait to become an adult so that I could put glitter in my hair. Ha!
I think that’s why I’ve kept the blonde streak in my hair for over 10 years!
But mostly, this show was magical and started me on my way when it came to live events!
#2 – B-Boy Summit
Have I told you how much I love all forms of dance?
Most of you know that I actually country line dance and two-step these days, but I grew up dancing all styles of dance from tap, to contemporary, to hip hop.
One of my favorite shows growing up was, “Soul Train”
Here’s a link for my international readers might not have had the chance to see this incredible show:
But yes, it was iconic!
All to say, I’ve always been surrounded by dance culture in some form or another.
After college, I discovered that the underground hip-hop culture was still thriving. Which meant--the dance forms that were birthed during the origins of hip hop were still being done, but by a new generation of dancers: Breakers, poppers, lockers, B-Girls, B-Boys, etc.
(For a little history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakdancing)
B-Boy Summit was and still is an international event drawing in hip-hop dancers and dance crews from all over the world!
I can’t fully put into words what it was like to be in that space surrounded by such athletes. And yes, I call them athletes, because what they are able to do with their bodies is INSANE.
I’ll NEVER forget my first year at B-Boy Summit. It was BEYOND.
And now, it’s such a treat to call many of those dancers that blew my mind all those years ago, friends.
#3 – Coachella
I know. Before you roll your eyes, I wasn’t fully mesmerized about the hype of this ginormous music festival in the beginning either. But you know what I WAS about?
Seeing Prince from the FRONT ROW.
Yes. That Prince.
I went to Coachella back in 2008 and basically lived my best life.
This music festival was huge then, but now, it’s become a worldwide cultural phenomenon.
#4 – Stagecoach
I can’t talk about Coachella and not mention my favorite country music festival: Stagecoach – the highest grossing country music festival in the world, and it happens to take place in my home state of beautiful Southern California—
Stagecoach actually takes places at the exact same location as Coachella, it’s just the weekend right after Coachella finishes.
To see country greats like Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Dwight Yoakam, Crystal Gayle, Tanya Tucker, as well as some newer names in the different genres of country music is always a treat.
Not to mention, I get to country line dance pretty much ALL DAY…
And don’t even get me started, when it comes to hearing live music from the front row, outside-- as the sweet California sun starts to set…. #BEAUTIFUL
#5 – David’s Tent - UK
This incredible 3 day Christian music festival in England was like a dream come true for me--where my faith met with my love of music, and happened to be shared with thousands of people, singing praises and worship unto God. I’ve never experienced anything like it!
And can I just say, I absolutely LOVE my British fam bam!
Okay. So I may have actually been working this televised event in Los Angeles, but I heard every performance at least twice (thank you rehearsals!) and then got to soak in the actual show from the backstage right wing.
To see and hear musical giants live like Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Patti Austin, & Brian McKnight was incredible!
As well as: Jacob Collier, Fantasia, Dave Chappelle, Oprah Winfrey, and 2016 Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo!
Um. Mostly, I’ll never forget this show.
Also, who knew Quincy Jones practically produced the soundtrack of our lives for the past several decades!
I may have started crying within the first 10 minutes of this musical. Not. Even. Kidding.
I saw it with my family, when it first hit the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA in the early 2000s.
I simply was not prepared for the visuals and the live vocals.
It was stunning and all I ever hoped it to be.
And when I remember this event and the story it told, it still makes me want to live creatively, full of joy, and full of courage.