Good morning, music lovers!
This past weekend (December 9-10), my niece & I headed up to Orlando from Miami, Florida to see In Real Life perform for Radio Disney at Celebration Town Center. Before I get to the review, let me give a bit of back story . . .
Over the summer, my niece became invested in a group of guys competing for a spot in the newest boy band. Every week, my mom & I sat with her and watched the performances and their Instagram lives, and became invested ourselves. As a lover of music, I enjoyed seeing this young group of guys with the drive and determination that most adults don’t possess. There was never drama between any of the boys, no petty controversies or bickering. Their families all got along and it just seemed like one big family. The final five ended up being Michael Conor, Sergio Calderon, Jr., Chance Perez, Drew Ramos and Brady Tutton.
The boys were swept into a mini promo tour as soon as the show wrapped and it was announced that they would be managed by Johnny Wright, who also manages Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys. Knowing this, we knew it was a matter of time before the boys would be making a trip to Wright’s compound in Orlando, Florida. Sadly, they made that trip in October, just ONE DAY after my niece and I left Orlando to return to Miami. She literally missed them by one day. (You can read more about our misadventures that weekend by clicking HERE). So, needless to say, I had to take another trip up to Orlando with her when it was announced that they would be performing for Radio Disney on December 9th.
Florida doesn’t get “winter weather” too often, especially not in Miami, so we were excited to hear that we’d be getting a cold front for the weekend! We drove up to Orlando Saturday morning, checked into our hotel and headed over to Celebration Town Center early so that my niece, Briana, would have a good shot at meeting the guys. She was also meeting up with another fan around her age, Cristina (aka tattoo girl lol). As soon as we met up with Cristina and her mom, Paige, we found out that she’d met the guys in Starbucks right next to where Briana and I had been sitting. She was so close yet again! (Side note: I tried to get in touch with someone about scheduling an interview with the guys for my blog, but it was such short notice and pretty much impossible to get in touch with someone from their team.)
Now let’s get to the review:
As we were sitting by the empty stage about four hours before the show, we heard a loud crash. The roof of the stage collapsed and missed the workers by inches. This made it impossible for the guys to come out for a proper sound check. Instead, they came out and did a mini sound check behind the stage with an audience of possibly 12 girls and their moms (& aunts). I felt like they probably could’ve come over to meet the few girls that were there in the cold so early, but they were rushed into a nearby hotel for a warmer rehearsal. They were able to give quick little hugs to a few of them before they left though. The rest of us stayed out in the cold while another stage was brought in. The girls all went over to get black wristbands that gave access to the meet and greet that would take place after the show.
After what seemed like forever, the show finally started with 15-year-old Skylar Stecker. I’d never heard of her before, but she actually has a great voice. I felt for her dancers because they looked like they were freezing the whole time. Her set was about 3-4 songs and then they took another break for what seemed like forever before In Real Life came back out to perform.
Their set was actually impressive considering they’ve only been together for a few months and only have three official songs released for download and streaming. This was their set list for the night:
That’s What I Like (Bruno Mars cover)
Feel This Christmas
I’ll Be Home This Christmas
The show sounded fantastic, the guys looked comfortable (despite the cold) and they seemed extra happy when they were able to point the mic out to the crowd and hear the fans singing the words back to them. That has to be one of the most rewarding parts of the music business. There is so much talent in this band, but there has even been a huge improvement with their vocals collectively since they were formed. Props to the guys for improving on choreo also! I give major credit to the people setting up the stage(s) who managed to reposition the sound equipment with no time setbacks or mishaps. It really was a great show and I’m glad I got to experience that with my niece.
There was another long wait between the end of the show and the meet and greet, and at that point the cold was almost unbearable for those of us used to Miami “winters” lol. They probably should’ve moved the meet and greet inside somewhere, but it took place out in the cold. Not many of the fans knew who Skylar Stecker was and, absolutely no disrespect to her, but I felt like they should’ve had two separate meet and greets. Instead, they had a joint one that ended up being more of a take-your-picture-and-then-keep-moving, as opposed to actually having a minute to actually meet the guys. In any case, the girls were ecstatic and the guys made them feel as special as they could in such a short amount of time.
Here are our pics with the guys & Skylar Stecker (sorry for the blurriness):
Here are some more pics from the day:
A huge THANK YOU goes out to Radio Disney for putting on this show (even though I wish it was in Miami), to In Real Life for coming out and giving 100% to their fans in the cold weather, to John Clubb for being so sweet to my niece and for giving the gifts she brought to the guys. Another shout out to the girls who became friends with my niece at the show and to Paige for being such great company! You have to love when unexpected experiences bring people together. That’s MUSIC for you!
If you ever have a chance to check out In Real Life in person, do it! They’re still extremely new, but they have such a great stage presence and they really appreciate the fans so much. That in itself proves that these guys still have that drive to succeed.
Keep it up, guys . . . the hard work is paying off!