PRETTYMUCH: Funktion Tour 2018 | Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 10/29/18

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Hey there, concert-goers!

Guess who spent 11 hours at Revolution Live on Monday because they’re the best aunt ever?? This girl right here! I’d bought my niece & I VIP tickets so she could meet PRETTYMUCH, and that pretty much (pun intended) included sitting outside the venue from 11 am until the show was done at almost 10 pm. In Florida. Where we don’t participate in gorgeous, chilly Fall weather. Nope. We sat (thankfully) in the shade with the sun glaring down around us for most of the day.

If you weren’t already aware, PRETTYMUCH is composed of Zion Kuwonu, Brandon Arreaga, Nick Mara, Austin Porter and Edwin Honoret. They were put together in 2016 by Syco Music founder, Simon Cowell and have been working extra hard to get their name out there in the music industry.

The “meet & greet” at our show started between 4:45 and 5 pm, and was a quicker experience than I thought it would be. I know that’s not up to the guys though, and all the girls seemed to appreciate what little time they did get with them, so we do as good family members do and shell out the cash to make them happy doing the things we didn’t get to do when we were younger. I happened to have bought myself a M&G ticket before I knew my niece had a friend coming down for the show, so I gave her my wristband so she could meet the guys.

After the meet & greet, fans with VIP tickets got to head inside of the venue early in order to score some merch and grab their spots as close to the stage as possible. I opted to stand where the parents were in order to avoid getting trampled by excited fans (believe me, I understand the excitement lol). Doors for those with GA admission entered the venue at about 6:30 and the show actually started at 7:30 with opening act, Gunnar Gehl.

Gunnar was great at hyping up the crowd before PRETTYMUCH hit the stage. He had a mix of upbeat songs and slow, acoustic songs, as well as a medley of covers that the crowd knew and loved.

PRETTYMUCH hit the stage at about 8:30 to hundreds of high-pitched screaming fans that couldn’t wait to catch their favorites up close. I have to admit, I’ve been to A LOT of live shows in my life so far and this had to be one of the most lit crowds I’ve experienced. From the moment the guys stepped on-stage, the energy level was through the roof. If you’ve ever watched their performances on YouTube (I’ve seen plenty), you know that that’s their reputation. Their performance level is always beyond 100. What I like about watching them perform is that rather than trying to be completely in sync with their dancing, they each do the choreography in their own respective styles. There’s just something different about them that I think really resonates with their fans. They dress different, they dance different, they are different and that’s a great message to spread to their young fans. They’re not a cookie-cutter boy band and they’re likely not going anywhere for a while! Which is cool because even though I’m 34, I actually really like their music and their dancing  (don’t judge me).

While performing, there were huge bursts of smoke that shot out over the crowd when the beat dropped, which only seemed to hype the fans up even more. Their set was about 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes of non-stop excitement and I definitely recommend checking out one of their shows if you can.

You can check out the set list below:

Setlist:

  1. Real Friends
  2. Jello
  3. Hello
  4. Teacher
  5. Open Arms
  6. Summer On You
  7. Healthy
  8. Denim On Patrol
  9. Sauce
  10. Mind of Poseidon
  11. If I Ever Fall In Love
  12. 10,000 Hours
  13. On My Way
  14. Solita

Encore:

Would You Mind (dance break)

 

Head over to my YouTube channel for videos that I recorded at the show HERE.

You can also visit their official site for more remaining tour dates, etc. HERE.

 

SAM SMITH: The Thrill of It All Tour 2018 | Miami, FL – 7/14/18

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Hello again, music lovers!

I’ve been to a lot of live shows in the past two months or so, but it’s still not enough! This time, my niece and I got to see Sam Smith’s ‘The Thrill of It All Tour’ at the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami on July 14th. Sadly, our seats were in the nosebleeds, but it didn’t even take away from the incredible show that he put on for everyone.

The show started promptly at 8pm with his opening act for the night, Cam. Cam is a country singer who I’d never heard of before, but she has a great voice. She was interacting with the crowd throughout her set and really tried to get people to see a personal side to her. This isn’t an easy task when you know the crowd is there to see someone else. With that being said, I felt like she held her own up there! I would definitely check out her music HERE.

Sam’s set began at about 9pm and lasted almost 2 hours. I’m not sure if it’s because of where we were sitting, but the sound for this show was absolutely fantastic. Sometimes at live shows, you can’t hear what the artist is saying because of the acoustics in the venue and where your seats are. This one, however, sounded great. Here’s what the setlist for our show looked like:

  1. Burning
  2. One Last Song
  3. I’m Not the Only One
  4. Lay Me Down
  5. Omen (Disclosure cover)
  6. Nirvana / I’ve Told You Now
  7. Writing’s on the Wall
  8. Latch (Disclosure cover)
  9. Money on My Mind
  10. Like I Can
  11. Baby, You Make Me Crazy
  12. Say It First
  13. One Day at a Time
  14. Midnight Train
  15. HIM
  16. Too Good at Goodbyes

Encore:

  1. Palace
  2. Stay With Me
  3. Pray

At one point, Sam addressed the sadness in his songs by joking, “I was sitting in my home and realized how fucking depressing my music is.” He wanted to make it a point not to have us leave the room “feeling like shit” afterward and I think he succeeded.

One of my favorite moments of the night was during “I’m Not the Only One” when he put his mic down and had the entire crowd singing his words back to him. It was so loud and beautiful. Those are always my favorite moments during a live show, but this one seemed particularly moving.

There was also a fantastic moment at the end of “HIM” where the lights went out and a light bar on stage lit up in rainbow colors.

One thing that I found particularly funny was right before the encore performances. The amount of people that were walking out was puzzling. I had to ask my niece if they were new to the art that is a live show. You don’t leave until the lights come up, people!

Here are some pics I took from the show (again, I apologize for the distance lol):

To be quite honest, despite the distance of our seats from the stage, this was one of my top 3 shows I’ve ever been to (and I’ve been to A LOT). Everything about it was worth the mission getting to the AAA. If you have a chance to catch the show, I highly recommend it. You can even get the “cheap” seats and still have a great time!

Get out there and support a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve and is unapologetically proud to be who he is — a musician with true talent and a voice we all love.

HARRY STYLES: Live On Tour 2018 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 6/9/18

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Hey there, music lovers!

I’m back with another concert review, and this time it’s for the highly anticipated “HARRY STYLES: Live On Tour” from his stop in South Florida on June 9, 2018.

We bought the tickets last year for my niece’s birthday when they were first released and had to wait a whole year for the show, but I have to say it was worth the wait! I’ve been to a lot of live shows and this, hands down, was the loudest I’ve ever been to. It all started when we arrived at the BB&T Center. We got there about 45 minutes prior to doors opening and this is the view we were greeted with:

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With that being said, I don’t think it’s necessary to arrive any earlier than the time the doors actually open. Especially if you have an actual seat. If you have general admission, however, I would advise getting there EXTRA early, unless you’d like to wait for a crowd like this to get in before you do. Also, take into consideration that everyone in front of you has to get through metal detectors, bag checks, etc. Another observation was that there were several merch tables set up inside the BB&T Center and each one had extremely long lines.

After braving the lines for merch, we sat in our seats and waited and waited. At one point, they played “Olivia” by One Direction and the crowd went nuts. They sang every word at the top of their lungs — you would’ve thought 1D was out on that stage singing with them. My niece decided she wanted more merch, so her mom and I went out to brave the lines again and missed the start of Kacey Musgraves’ set. We got to see her halfway through though and she was great. She even sang “Tearin’ Up My Heart” by *NSYNC, so she had my vote lol.

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Via Harry Styles on Twitter | Ft. Lauderdale, FL 6/9/18

Once the lights went down the crowd went crazy once again. Harry’s first song began to play and then . . . silence. There must have been some technical difficulties, so the spotlights cut off, the music stopped playing and all the lights came back on. Once everything was sorted out, the show went on without a hitch. It was actually very good! At one point, Harry walks down the middle of the crowd to a B Stage in the back of the venue. Here’s what that looked like:

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His stage set-up was great, the lights were fantastic and the vocals were on point the entire time. There was a nostalgic vibe to the whole set-up that fits the vibe of the album.

At certain points throughout the show, he would take some time to talk to people in the crowd and thank everyone for supporting him and the music, which was nice. During one of his songs, the crowd held up the flashlights on their phones and the whole venue lit up in rainbow colors. I was kinda salty that we weren’t informed about it lol, but it was a really special moment in the show. Here’s our view of what it looked like:

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Here’s the set-list for our show here in South Florida:

  1. Only Angel
  2. Woman
  3. Ever Since New York
  4. Two Ghosts
  5. Carolina
  6. Stockholm Syndrome (One Direction cover)
  7. Just a Little Bit of Your Heart (Ariana Grande cover)
  8. Medicine
  9. Meet Me in the Hallway
  10. Sweet Creature (on B Stage)
  11. If I Could Fly (One Direction cover – on B Stage)
  12. Anna
  13. What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction cover)
  14. Sign of the Times
  15. From the Dining Table
  16. The Chain (Fleetwood Mac cover)
  17. Kiwi

 

I highly recommend making it out to one of the remaining shows on the tour. This one was really special because we were there for my niece’s 14th birthday. The crowd was amazing and the whole vibe was positive and supportive. Not to mention that this album was actually fantastic and Harry does a great job performing it.

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JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Man of the Woods Tour 2018 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 5/19/18

Ladies and gentleman, I got to experience something incredible this past weekend. I ended up with front row tickets to The Man of the Woods Tour and it was something I will truly never forget. At one point, the first time JT stood in front of us, I felt a sharp pain in my chest and was convinced I was about to have a heart attack. Luckily, it passed and only got better from there! But, first, let me tell you how I got there:

I (finally) got my Bachelor’s Degree last August and, as a graduation gift, my aunts surprised me with tickets to see my Day 1, Justin Timberlake, on one of his stops here in South Florida. I’d been pretty bummed because the tickets were rather expensive and I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to make it to one of his shows for the first time ever. So, when my aunts surprised me with FLOOR tickets, I was stoked! This would be the first time I’ve ever had floor tickets and it was for Justin freaking Timberlake. The only issue was having to wait months for the show!

Nevertheless, May 19th finally arrived and my niece & I were getting ready to head out to the show. South Florida has had an extremely rainy past few weeks, so I was iffy about heading out early and waiting in line for doors to open while getting soaked in the rain. Doors were supposed to open at 6pm and the show was scheduled to start at 7:30pm. We got there at 4:45 and there were about 35-40 people ahead of us in the GA Floor line. Luckily, Verizon members who are enrolled in the Verizon Up Rewards program are able to enter the venues via “fast lane,” so my niece and I ended up being second in line. We got in and raced to find a good spot in the front.

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DJ Freestyle Steve began playing music, and then JT’s opening act, The Shadowboxers, made their way on-stage. They played about 3-4 songs and had great energy. The Shadowboxers was founded by Adam Hoffman, Matt Lipkins and Scott Tyler and is based out of Atlanta, GA. They later added Cole McSween on drums and Carlos Enamorado on bass. After a tweet from their Twitter account in 2013, telling JT to check out their cover of his song “Pusher Love Girl,” their relationship with him took flight. Their EP titled Apollo was released on March 23, 2018 and now they’re touring with him on The Man of the Woods Tour.

Justin’s set began a little after 9pm and the BB&T Center was living. As close as my niece & I were to the back stage, we were unable to see the main stage, so keep that in mind for future shows. Although I’m sure the fans up front were unable to see the stage we were at also.  The show was absolutely incredible. I’ve been to a lot of concerts at the BB&T Center and I’ve never been to one that looked completely sold out. Even the seats behind the stage were sold out. Luckily, with JT’s current stage set-up, everyone in the audience gets a little time with him. Even the crowd behind the stage got some time with him when he went out on a little riser behind his band, The Tennessee Kids.

The lights, the lasers, the little campfire sequence, the dancing, the sound, the vibe, everything was spot-on. Here is the set-list if you’d like to brush up on your lyrics:

  1. Filthy
  2. Midnight Summer Jam
  3. LoveStoned
  4. SexyBack
  5. Man of the Woods
  6. Higher Higher
  7. Senorita
  8. Suit & Tie
  9. My Love
  10. Cry Me A River
  11. Mirrors
  12. Drink You Away
  13. Flannel
  14. Until the End of Time
  15. Dreams (performed by backup singer, Zenya Bashford)
  16. Ex-Factor (performed by backup singer, Nicole Hurst)
  17. Come Together (performed by backup singer, Kenyon Dixon)
  18. Thank God I’m A Country Boy (performed by backup singer, Jack King III)
  19. Morning Light
  20. What Goes Around . . . Comes Around
  21. Say Something
  22. Montana
  23. Summer Love
  24. Rock Your Body
  25. Supplies
  26. Like I Love You
  27. Can’t Stop the Feeling

IMG_0216Another fan had sent me this photo that lists the set list along with where each song is performed. I found this to be very accurate aside from No. 24 being performed on the opposite side listed on the map. The blue circle represents where I was for the show.

Songs 13-18 were sung around a campfire that rose from beneath the stage and some of those songs were performed by the backup singers, individually, with an assist from JT.

“Cry Me A River” was performed on all three stages and walkways that were covered with smoke.

Also, keep in mind that at times throughout the show, panels would lower and double as screens for those who might be unable to see clearly. I’m not certain because I was beneath them, but they seemed like they might obstruct the view of the actual stages a bit when they’re down. Either way, they provide cool visuals that fit the theme of the album.

“Rock Your Body” was performed off to the side (the side I was on) in the VIP section. This was done on a light-up disco floor surrounded by VIP ticket holders.

Here are some pictures I took from my cozy little spot at the show:

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I might be a bit biased because, as I mentioned, Justin Timberlake is my Day 1, but I highly recommend this show. The energy was through the roof, everyone involved is so incredibly talented, and I love how interactive JT is with everyone in the room. He really tries to give everyone an experience they’ll never forget.

You can find more info, including remaining tour dates, by visiting JT’s website HERE.

30 Questions with Kristin | Part 1 of 3

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Good morning, everyone! I saw this questionnaire on Twitter yesterday and thought it might be a great idea to create a blog post answering the questions. It’s 30 questions, but I’ll break it down into three separate posts. We live in a time where people “get to know you” based on quick little pic posts on Instagram or character-limited posts on Twitter. I wanted to give a bit of insight as to who I am away from the screens, so here goes nothing:

  • Explain your Twitter handle.

I wanted to have the same handles for all of my social media platforms and there was always one that was already taken. So, I tried this one out, it was available, and I liked it. Simple as that! (After I changed it, the show This Is Us aired and it’s one of my favorites. So @thisiskristin_ reminds me of the show now, too)

  • Who inspires you and why?

To be a walking cliché, I want to say my mother because she’s held my family together for the past 40+ years. When my dad passed away, she took a huge step and moved out of our old house, which I never thought she would do. She’s not the type who likes change, so I was really surprised when she packed up our home of 28 years without hesitation. She’s strong, she’s funny and she’s just the best.

On a professional level, I would have to say one of my friends, Keisha Hatchett. Keisha and I have always had similar interests (i.e. baseball, TV shows and writing), but there’s one huge difference between us. She was determined enough to sell her car and pack her things for an internship in New York. She’s fought her way through internships and freelance jobs to a position at TV Guide and I couldn’t be more proud. We don’t get to talk as much anymore, but she inspires me to fight for what I want and to be a better writer.

  • Do you care what others think about you?

As much as I try to convince myself that I don’t care what others think about me, I think everyone does on some level. In some areas of my life I really don’t care. But in other areas, I do find myself wondering what people think about me. I haven’t had much luck in the guy department (thanks, Miami), so sometimes I wonder if they thought I wasn’t good enough or whatever. It’s a horrible thing to do, but for the most part I’m the way that I am and, in the end, I think that’s a good thing. While I might care in some aspects, I’m proud of myself for not changing to conform to their idea of perfection.

Also, when you’re a writer who submits work to literary journals, it’s hard not to question your abilities when you receive rejections from people that have no idea who you are. Their opinions are based solely on your work, and it’s so incredible subjective. When I get rejections I start to question whether I should continue pursuing a career in writing, but then I remember that Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and a ton of other authors also received rejections. Look where they are now!

  • What are you most looking forward to?

At the moment, I’m looking forward to seeing Justin Timberlake live (again) here in South Florida this May! Long-term, I’m looking forward to establishing my career now that I finally have my Bachelor’s Degree in English/Creative Writing.

  • What is one life rule you follow?

I actually have two that I like to follow:

The most important is to stay true to yourself. I’m okay with having to ask for help rather than trying to pretend like I know everything. I’m not the smartest or the funniest, but I try to be the best version of those things every day. I’m awkward, I have anxiety, and I’m way too trusting of people, but I’ve learned to embrace those things about myself.

The second life rule that I follow is to never go after a guy that one of my friends is interested in or has been interested in. A “friend” of mine didn’t follow that rule, and it resulted in literal heart break for me. I would never inflict that kind of pain on anyone.

  • What’s your dream job?

When I think about my dream job I immediately picture Liza from the show YOUNGER on TV Land. She works for a publishing company and started her own imprint with her friend, Kelsey. I would love to write for a magazine or to work in publishing. Being able to read books and discover unknown authors would definitely be a dream. Either that or something (anything) in the music industry. Recently, I’ve been looking into being a music journalist–someone who goes to live shows and reviews them.

  • Which fictional character do you wish you could meet?

I have three, actually. Four (Theo James) from Divergent, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). All of them are bad ass characters who fight to protect those around them. Corny answer, I know, but it’s true. Plus, they’re all gorgeous.

  • As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually always wanted to be a writer or singer. Writing and music have always been two of my favorite things, so to be able to do either? That’s what I wanted, and that’s still what I want. It’s taken me a while to figure out where to start, but better late than never!

  • If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

A lot of friends have told me I should dress up like Daria for Halloween lol. She’s extremely sarcastic (which I can be) and pessimistic (which I am not), but she kind of looks like me, so I’ll say her. It’s hard to think of a cartoon character that I would want to be anyway lol.

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  • What skill would you like to master?

Oh wow. This is a loaded question because I think there is always a skill that needs to be mastered. Right now I would have to say grammar lol. I always thought I was great when it came to correct grammar in writing, but after taking a course at UCF, I realized just how wrong I was. I mean, I know the basics, but there are so many rules and exceptions when it comes to grammar. I would love to master that for sure.

 

Well, that’s it for Part One! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me. Feel free to comment with some of your answers to these questions! Post Two will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned for that!

Have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

COMCAST ANNOUNCES INTERNET ESSENTIALS PILOT

Comcast also doubles Internet speed and offers Wi-Fi at no additional cost


Comcast today announced several significant enhancements and milestones for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive high-speed Internet adoption program.  The company said it plans to conduct a pilot program for low-income senior citizens in Palm Beach County, and is doubling the service’s download Internet speed and providing a Wi-Fi router for no additional cost.

Now entering its fifth year, Internet Essentials has connected more than 275,000 low-income Floridians to online access at home, of which more than 182,000 live in the South Florida area. However disparities in Internet connectivity rates continue to persist and for the senior population the digital divide is wide.  According to Pew Research Center, just 47 percent, or less than half, of seniors (aged 65 and older) have high-speed Internet at home.  But when it comes to income level, only 25 percent of seniors with household incomes below $30,000 have home broadband, compared to 82 percent of seniors with household incomes at or above $75,000.

“We have made significant progress toward closing the digital divide for low-income parents and children across the country.  In less than four years, Internet Essentials has connected more than 500,000 families, or more than 2 million low-income Americans, to the power of the Internet at home,” said David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer.  “With the increase in the program’s Internet speeds and the addition of Wi-Fi, these families will have even easier access to the Internet and its life-changing resources for education, employment, healthcare, communication, and entertainment.”

The Internet Essentials pilot program for senior citizens is designed to better tackle the unique challenges of helping low-income seniors cross the digital divide and learn how to use the Internet. The first senior pilot program will take place in Palm Beach County, where Cohen was joined by City of West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, Palm Beach County School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa, and Urban League of Palm Beach County President and CEO Patrick J. Franklin to make the announcements.

“Senior citizens can be an afterthought when it comes to addressing digital literacy and use of the Internet,” said Franklin.  “However, the Internet has a tremendous power to help change their lives for the better by tearing down the walls that geography may have put between them and the ones they love.  It can also help restore a sense of community and inclusion, bonds that can weaken as we grow older.”

Comcast also announced it is doubling the speed for Internet Essentials to 10 Mbps downstream, which is enough to power multiple devices simultaneously. This is the third time in four years Comcast has increased speeds for customers. In addition, by offering Wi-Fi routers, customers will be able to connect any Internet-enabled device, such as a tablets or smartphone, which could help save money on monthly wireless bills.

To receive the faster Internet speed, customers simply need to reboot their cable modems.  Existing customers who would like a Wi-Fi router just need to call the dedicated call center and either request to have one shipped to them for free, or they can schedule a professional installation, also for no additional cost.  New customers will have the option to receive a Wi-Fi router when they sign up.

Internet Essentials Investments

In 2014, Comcast launched four new Internet Essentials Digital Learning Zones in South Florida at ASPIRA, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, Chapman Partnership and Overtown Youth Center (OYC), which provide additional opportunities for low-income students and families to access the Internet and receive digital literacy training.    Comcast aims to help complete the continuum of connectivity, in which students spend the school day in wired classroom, stay connected after school in Internet Essentials Learning Zones and end their days connected at home, where families have online access through the Internet Essentials program. Comcast has dedicated $1 million in grants to create these zones across the country.

Through a partnership with The Urban League of Palm Beach County, Comcast offers a Digital Connectors Program that provides digital literacy training for students in Palm Beach County. Almost 60 low-income local youth have graduated from the program, which was launched in 2007.

Through Internet Essentials, Comcast has invested more than $240 million in cash and in-kind support to help fund digital literacy and readiness training and education, reaching nearly 3.2 million people through national and local non-profit community partners.  Through the end of June 2015, Comcast has:

  • Provided more than 41,000 subsidized computers at less than $150 each.
  • Distributed for free nearly 46 million Internet Essentials program materials.
  • Broadcast more than 7 million public service announcements, valued at more than $90 million.
  • Welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors to the Internet Essentials websites in English and Spanish and its Online Learning Center.
  • Fielded more than 3.2 million phone calls to our Internet Essentials call center.
  • Offered Internet Essentials to nearly 48,000 schools and 5,000 school districts, in 39 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Partnered with thousands of community-based organizations, government agencies, and federal, state, and local elected officials to spread the word.

Follow all the news about Comcast Florida on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComcastFlorida and on Twitter @ComcastFL