Review: @RadioDisney Concert with @InRealLife & @SkylarStecker – Celebration, FL | #review #lifelines #irl

IMG_9911

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:

IMG_1510As 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)
Tattoo
Feel This Christmas
I’ll Be Home This Christmas
Eyes Closed

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!

Boy Band Friday! | New Music

Today unexpectedly became the day for boy bands to release new music! I’m not complaining either. Well, besides the fact that it’s not *NSYNC, but that’s besides the point.

In Real Life has been on a whirlwind since being crowned the winners on ABC’s Boy Band show this summer. They released their debut single “Eyes Closed” and a Christmas EP with an original song, “Feel This Christmas,” and a cover of the classic, “Home for Christmas.” Today they released an acoustic version of “Eyes Closed” and I think it’s really good! For being fresh on the scene, they’ve been really busy getting their name out there – which is no surprise considering they’re being managed by boy band genius Johnny Wright, who also currently manages my No. 1, Justin Timberlake. Check out both versions of the song and let me know which one you like better (if you can bear to choose between them).

PRETTYMUCH also released a new single today called “No More,” featuring French Montana. Ok, I have to admit that this one of my new favorite boy bands since *NSYNC. Their performance level is through the roof! These guys can dance! This is their fourth track release and every one of their songs so far have been bangers. Definitely check out “No More,” and you can also listen to “Would You Mind,” “Teacher” and “Open Arms.” PRETTYMUCH is managed by Simon Cowell, who put together one of the biggest boy bands, One Direction.

I’m happy to say that one of the old school boy bands of my day is still alive and thriving. New Kids On the Block released a new EP today titled “Thankful,” and it has a Christmas vibe to it. These guys aren’t going anywhere any time soon, so check out their old stuff and enjoy the new music as well!

Age knows no bounds when it comes to boy bands. At 33, I find myself enjoying some of the new bands (mentioned here), and my niece, who is 13, enjoys going with my to NKOTB shows. I know she’ll be right there with me if there is ever an *NSYNC reunion show also! So, if you’re a music lover and can appreciate harmonies, catchy beats and occasional pelvic thrusts, give these guys a listen and, as always, let me know what you think!

#MusicMonday | Sam Smith, Maroon 5, One Republic, Jordan Fisher, In Real Life & Fall Out Boy

IMG_0525

What’s up, everyone??

Welcome to #MusicMonday here at According to Kristin! I’ve been wanting to get a bit more personal on the blog, and Music is the most personal for me…so here we are! I’ll be posting here on certain Mondays, and sometimes I might add in a podcast or two. I’m hoping to have guests on and even try scheduling some interviews, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know! Let me know what you’re currently listening to, what albums and tours you’re excited about. You can even tag me on Twitter with a performance you think I should check out. I’m open to all suggestions!

I’ve always been a music fanatic, so I’m sure Mondays will be extra therapeutic for me now as I’ll be able to discuss all of the aspects that make up one of my first loves. Music is my escape from the world. When I’m stressed at work, the power of an ear bud is priceless. I just pop one into my ear and the calmness takes over. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it (both music, and the ear bud lol).

So, here are some of the things that have interested me in the music world this week:

 


Sam Smith
has (finally) announced a new album and tour, following the release of his newest single, “Too Good At Goodbyes.” The single is lit and the album and tour are sure to be just as incredible-it IS Sam Smith, after all. The album is titled “The Thrill Of It All” and will be available on November 3rd. You can pre-order the album on his web store HERE. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram by clicking on the respective links.


Not to be left out, Maroon 5 (@maroon5) also announced details for their new album, titled “Red Pill Blues,” set to be released on the same day, November 3rd. Here is the track listing for both the 12-Track Standard Edition and the 15-Track Deluxe Edition of their sixth studio album:

12-Track STANDARD EDITION TRACK LISTING

Best 4 U
What Lovers Do feat. SZA
Wait
Lips On You
Bet My Heart
Help Me Out with Julia Michaels
Who I Am feat. ft. LunchMoney Lewis
Whiskey ft. A$AP Rocky
Girls Like You
Closure

15-Track DELUXE EDITION TRACK LISTING

Best 4 U
What Lovers Do feat. SZA
Wait
Lips On You
Bet My Heart
Help Me Out with Julia Michaels
Who I Am feat. ft. LunchMoney Lewis
Whiskey ft. A$AP Rocky
Girls Like You
Closure
Denim Jacket
Visions
Plastic Rose
Don’t Wanna Know ft. Kendrick Lamar
Cold ft. Future


One song that I’m really enjoying this week is One Republic‘s “Rich Love,” and you can catch the video for that below:

If you haven’t seen One Republic (@onerepublic) live before, I strongly suggest you change that. I saw them in West Palm Beach, FL when they went on tour with The Script (who will definitely make an appearance on #MusicMonday) and it was nothing short of amazing. They’re high energy throughout the whole show and their vocals are always on point. Do it and you can thank me later!


The next two artists that I want to mention are both signed to Hollywood Records.

Jordan Fisher (@jordan_fisher) is a triple-threat who is soon to be dominating the charts with his upcoming debut album. He’s currently dancing his way to the mirror ball trophy on Dancing With the Stars, he has a new single, “Mess,” which was released last week and an album that is on its way to the shelves. Not sure if you familiar with him? He was on Broadway with the hit show Hamilton, he was on Disney’s Teen Beach Movie and he also played Doody on the live version of Grease. Check out his new single, “Mess,” wherever you download/stream music and also feel free to check out his videos on YouTube. Again…you can thank me later! I’m just wondering if dude could show me how to dance lol!

I’ve posted a few times about In Real Life (@inreallife) because they’re new to the scene and they deserve the exposure. I was exposed to them when my niece started watching ABC’s Boy Band, and my friend Jesus @thisfunktional got a chance to speak with them out in California last week at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event. I was excited for them when I found out that they’ll be under Johnny Wright’s wing for the duration (hopefully) of their career because he’s worked with some of the best in the industry! Their debut single, “Eyes Closed,” has done well since its release and they have a fantastic marketing team that has been putting them in some of the best places since the show ended. They’re currently playing little shows while they record new music and they just wrapped a music video for their original Christmas song that should be released soon.


fall-out-boy-mania-art-2017-billboard-embed

Last, but certainly not least…my little sis, Brancey, absolutely loves Fall Out Boy (@falloutboy), so it wouldn’t be a discussion about music without talking about their new single and their pushed back “Mania” album, set to release in January 2018.

 

 

You can hear Brancey and I rambling on the podcast below. Also, don’t mind the little section in the middle where Skype decided it hated us and cut off our recording lol. Shout out to Jesus for splicing them together for us lmao!

IN REAL LIFE Talks with @ThisFunktional at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor

IMG_9911

Jesus of ThisFunktional.com & According to Kristin got the chance to speak with newly formed boy band, In Real Life, at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event in Long Beach, CA.

After winning spots in the final band on ABC’s Boy Band, a debut single that charted soon after its release, a debut video that has surpassed the milestone of 1 million views, a contract with Hollywood Records and a manager (Johnny Wright) who has worked with some of the top artists in the industry (*NSYNC, Justin Timberlake, Backstreet Boys), In Real Life is in a great place right now and this is only the beginning.

With some long distance help from yours truly, they spoke with Jesus about getting more involved in the writing process, how much creative control they’re being given, being role models and working with Johnny Wright.

Check out the interview below:

Meet the guys:

Chance Perez, 19, of Seal Beach, CA – He’s a loving father of a beautiful 2-year-old girl, Brooklyn, and was a fan favorite on ABC’s Boy Band from the beginning. Chance almost gave up on music in order to pursue a career as a firefighter, but luckily he gave the show a chance and made the final 5.

Drew Ramos, 19, of Bronx, NY – Drew won us over during his audition when he proudly stated that he was a momma’s boy. His love for music led him to singing on the subway in NY and now he’s 1/5 of the world’s newest boy band. He’s a self-proclaimed nerd who loves Star Wars and video games, and we’re all on board!

Michael Conor, 18, of Cleveland, OH – Michael gave fans something different throughout his time on the show. Not only is he a creative genius who can rap & freestyle his way out of anything, he’s also a violinist and a loving big brother. At times Michael had to work harder than most in order to embrace the singing part of the show, but he succeeded and made his way to the final band.

Sergio Calderon, Jr., 16, of Redwood City, CA – Sergio also brought something different to the show by adding Spanish verses to the songs. He gave up his dream of playing professional soccer in order to pursue a career in music. Now he’s part of In Real Life, singing and making everyone laugh one day at a time.

Brady Tutton, 15, Shorewood, WI – Brady was one of the youngest on the show, but proved his talent when he sang in Italian during his audition and consistently wowed the judges each week. As a classically trained singer, an actor, and an all-around lovable guy, Brady gets to showcase his talent with his unofficial big brothers.

Also, check out this adorable shout out Jesus managed to get for my niece and me since we weren’t able to be there:

You can follow the guys on social media here:

In Real Life:               Twitter | Instagram | #lifelines

Chance Perez:           Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
Drew Ramos:            Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
Michael Conor:         Twitter | Instagram |
Sergio Calderon:      Twitter | Instagram
Brady Tutton:           Twitter | Instagram

 

To learn more about the legendary Queen Mary, click HERE

Meet Your Newest Boy Band!! @InRealLife | #boybandabc #music #InRealLife

IMG_9911

You guys!!! For the past 10 weeks, we’ve had the chance to watch a group of young boys work their butts off as they competed for a spot in the newest boy band, which has now been revealed as IN REAL LIFE.

I started watching the show because I’m fascinated by the inner workings of these types of shows, and also because I grew up in the boy band era and simply can’t forget my roots! There was really no intention to continue watching past the first episode, but I got reeled in alongside my thirteen-year-old niece, Briana. I never would’ve imagined that I would become so invested in another boy band experiment, but this one was different to me.

All of the boys on the show ranged in age from 14-19 (after some 20-somethings had been eliminated) and had such a positivity about them that was infectious. These boys showed love to their families, they showed love and affection towards each other and aside from the MILD drama here and there behind the scenes, it was so refreshing to get caught up in something with some positivity. I can say that, personally, it’s brought a bonding between my niece, my mom & I that I appreciate so much. My niece was able to witness a group of people around her age that were working hard for something they really wanted to accomplish and never faltered in their love and respect for themselves or for others. A message I hope she retains for her own future.

IMG_9910I can’t say that the final band was my top 5 throughout the season though. Initially, our top 5 was JHype, Michael Conor, Chance, Drew and Mikey. When JHype (wrongfully) got eliminated, his spot on our list went to Marcus. However, that’s not to say that I’m upset about the final band either. I think any of the final 8 would have been a great addition. Jaden Gray has one of THE best voices I’ve ever heard and I truly hope he continues pursuing a career in music because it would be tragic if he didn’t. Marcus also has that star quality that I’m sure will drive his already budding solo career forward. We’re mostly sad for Mikey because I really think he fought for his spot in the band. After being in the bottom two (WRONGFULLY) twice, he still managed to win America over in the voting process and made it to the final 8. I was really hoping that they would add a 6th member to the band, but I’m just hoping he doesn’t give up on music because he’s such a personable and lovable kid with talent and the motivation to succeed. He definitely won us over, and we’ll continue to support anything he does after this.

With that being said…the final band is:

Chance Perez, Michael Conor, Drew Ramos, Brady Tutton and Sergio Calderon!!

You can watch their first performance of ‘Eyes Closed’ below. Keep in mind that they didn’t know who was in the band until right before this performance, so as each person was announced throughout the hour episode, they were given specific parts of the song that belonged to them on the final recording. Each person had to learn every part of the song in preparation for the final decision. I give them A TON of credit for knocking out this performance with so little mistakes! I can’t wait to see where this takes them, and here’s to hoping for a tour that reunites the boys with past contestants (:::cough cough::: JHype, Jaden, Mikey and Marcus)!! Here’s to also hoping that Timbaland and Justin Timberlake reach out to JHype too! lol.

Make sure to download the actual recording on whichever platform you use for downloading or streaming music too! Let’s get these boys some exposure!

 

 

New Music Friday! | #music #newreleases #tour

 

YoursTruly

Good morning, music lovers!!

Ok . . . so I had to take a minute to compose myself after the influx of music releases and announcements over the past two weeks! How did you all hold up? lol . . .

So let’s talk tours first! Fans received announcements from some of their favorite artists regarding upcoming tours and, personally, I couldn’t be more excited! I’m hoping to make some contacts so I can keep up with all of them and get some show reviews posted for you all! Fingers crossed on that. Some of the artists who posted tour announcements include Fall Out Boy (dates posted below), Halsey (dates posted below), Janet Jackson, Harry Styles (dates posted below), Linkin Park, Sabrina Carpenter, Kendrick Lamar, an extension of the current Kings of Leon tour, the list goes on and on! Not to mention the fact that some of our favorite artists are currently working on new music, which means (hopefully) even more announcements are sure to be on their way!

 

Also announced in the past two weeks are singles, singles, and more singles! Fall Out Boy released “Young and Menace,” Imagine Dragons released “Thunder,” OneRepublic released “No Vacancy,” Harry Styles released “Sweet Creature,” Halsey released “Eyes Closed,” Paramore released “Told You So,” Niall Horan released “Slow Hands,” X Ambassadors released “Torches,” etc., etc., etc.

In light of all of these announcements, we also got a few music videos to watch! Anyone else miss when MTV and VH1 used to play music videos? Do they even do it at all anymore? Let me know! Here are a few of the new ones:

 

 

 

Which artists are you more excited about? Are there any tours you’re planning on attending? Are there any new artists I should be listening to? Sound off in the comments or tweet me @thisiskristin_! I also would LOVE to know who’s planning on attending ‘Kinky Boots’ on Broadway this summer to see Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco playing Charlie? I know I am!  🙂