Sarah McCreanor on the ‘How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular’

Continue reading Sarah McCreanor on the ‘How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular’

RECAP: Keith Urban LIVE at the HP Pavilion in San Jose

On the morning of October 1, I received this awesome email that told me that I had won two tickets to Keith Urban’s Get Closer tour that night at the HP Pavilion.  SCORE!

Granted I’m not a huge country music fan, but I’ve been a Keith Urban fan since college. I remember hearing “You’ll Think of Me” on the radio and swooning over his voice. I was not about to pass up on an opportunity to see him live, even if I was fighting off one of the worst colds ever. Robitussin cough syrup, kids. Works miracles.

I have to say that Keith Urban is one helluva performer! This show had all my favorite things: a great stage set-up, with a huge digital screen as to see Keith’s beautiful, smiling face throughout the show, audience participation, a flow to the set list, and cute boys playing everything from bass to banjos.

Continue reading RECAP: Keith Urban LIVE at the HP Pavilion in San Jose

Enrique Iglesias to Bring Euphoria to the Bay Area

Enrique Iglesias kicked off his current Euphoriatour last month, along with Pitbull and Prince Royce, in support of his ninth studio album, Euphoria, which spawned the hits, “I Like It” and “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You).”

Before the singer-songwriter embarked on his latest journey, he spoke withEnrique Iglesias credit: EnriqueIglesias.com media outlets about how the Euphoria tour differs from his previous tours, the visual elements of the show, and what you might find on his tour rider.

Iglesias has been on the road almost non-stop since last year, most recently visiting the UK and Australia before hitting up the States.

So what’s the difference between this tour and his previous tours overseas?

“Well, the thing is that this one, there’s a much larger combination of songs. That’s due a lot to this album. It’s more eclectic musically than any other tour I’ve ever done,” Iglesias shared.

“At the same time, too, I also get to create a setlist where I can cover songs – even Spanish songs – from 1995 to now. So, when you think of a setlist, being able to do a song like ‘Experiencia Religiosa,’ which a song that I first sang on my first album in Spanish, to songs like ‘I Like It’ or ‘Dirty Dancer’ or ‘Tonight,’ they’re very, very different.”

Even in a large arena, such as the HP Pavilion in downtown San Jose, California, where Iglesias will be playing Friday, October 7, the fans should expect somewhat of an intimate performance from the singer throughout his show.

“The cool thing about the stage, it’s very interactive with the audience. I always like getting as close as possible to a crowd, even to the people that are all the way in the back,” the singer explained. “We like to set up a B stage because I feel that an arena is that perfect size. I know for some people, it might be a little big. But I actually think they’re my favorite venues to play, because they’re big. They can be up to 15,000 people or more, but still you can make it very intimate.”

Continue reading Enrique Iglesias to Bring Euphoria to the Bay Area

Backstage with ‘American Idol’s’ Stefano Langone

Before the Top 11 contestants from the tenth season of American Idol took the stage at the HP Pavilion in San Jose on July 13, I had the opportunity to sit down for a one-on-one interview with Washington native, Stefano Langone.

Langone and I talked about the current tour, his post-tour plans, and his advice for the American Idol season 11 hopefuls.

How has the tour been going so far?

The tour’s been going great. We’re getting some great reviews. Just trying to establish myself as one of the top-notch performers. Everything’s been working out.

So you tried out for Idol initially in San Francisco, and now you’re performing tonight in the Bay Area, how does it feel to kind of come full circle?

All of my family’s from the Bay Area. I’m really, really pumped to perform tonight. There’s going to be a lot of Langones in the house.

Stefano Langone live in Oakland, CA - credit: Karen DatangelWhat has been the most fulfilling part of the tour so far for you?

Just getting to see the crowd’s reaction, and getting to see the fans after the show. My goal really is to make a name for myself, and really show people who they voted for and just making more fans, you know? Creating a buzz and making sure I establish what I want to do after the show. Unfortunately I didn’t get to pick the songs that I wanted to do, and I didn’t get to perform in the way I wanted to, but I’m taking what I’ve got and I’m making the best of it. I’m going out there and giving great performances and that’s number one.

Having to perform the same set every night on tour, how do you stay amped for each show?

It’s the crowd. The crowd keeps you hyped up; you can always count on that. You can’t get sucked into the, “Ugh, I’m doing this again.” You can’t get sucked into it; you’ve got to realize what you’re doing it for and why you’re here. It’s about the music and about your performances.

Continue reading Backstage with ‘American Idol’s’ Stefano Langone

Backstage with ‘American Idol’s’ James Durbin

Hours before the Top 11 from American Idol season 10 took the stage at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, I had the opportunity to talk with a certain Idol contestant that was extremely excited and happy to be back in his neck of the woods.

Santa Cruz native, James Durbin and I sat down backstage for a pre-show chat, where he discussed getting the crowd up and on their feet during the tour, writing and recording for his album, and the episode of Idol that neither of us will be forgetting anytime soon.

So how does it feel to be performing in the Bay Area?

It feels great. We did Oakland last night, and that was insane. I’m really excited for tonight.

It has to be a cool feeling to have tried out for the show in San Francisco, and have this full circle kind of moment.

This place, HP Pavilion, I came to my very first sporting event here. It was the Sharks versus the Avalanche. I was five-years-old, packed arena, and out of every single person, my one seat, I won a CD player. And then a hockey puck got hit over [the barrier] and landed right next to me. Unfortunately the Sharks lost, but two out of three things ain’t bad.

I’ve been here so many times. I’ve seen countless wrestling shows here. I once waited for three hours and climbed on top of that cement wall to catch a glimpse of Chris Jericho. Now I have him on speed dial. We were just texting and he’s in Europe with his band touring. We went and saw Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks, Poison, and Motley Crue, and hang out all the time. It’s so crazy, it’s a full swing.

Very cool. Have you been able to get back to Santa Cruz while you’re here, or does everyone kind of have to come to you?

Everyone’s had to come here. I’m dying to go to Socrates and get a sandwich, but unfortunately not, which really sucks. It’s a twenty minute cab ride. I could grab lunch and come back.

So, how has the tour been going so far with the handful of shows you’ve done so far?

This will only be our sixth show out of forty-seven. It already feels like it’s been awhile, but it’s only been a blink. But, it’s gone really good; every show’s been great. Everyone’s been really receptive, everyone’s there to have a good time. Sometimes they need to be reminded that they’re supposed to have a good time. A lot of people have been sitting down.

You know, I’ve gone to a handful of Idol tours, and sometimes people treat the live show like they’re at home watching y’all on TV, instead of embracing the vibe of being at a concert.

I know some people get agitated if people are standing up, Sit down! We’re trying to watch the show! It’s a concert; you’re supposed to stand up! We enjoy it when you stand. That’s why when I come out for my set, I come out through the crowd. I want people to stand up! Stand up! Try and find me!

Continue reading Backstage with ‘American Idol’s’ James Durbin

Concert Review >> American Idols Live! in San Jose, CA 07.13.2011

This week the American Idols Live! tour rolled through San Jose, CA to the delight of the masses who showed up to see one particular Santa Cruz native by the name of James Durbin. Just the mere mention of his name at the top of the show by season 10 runner-up, Lauren Alaina, resulted in an eruption of cheers from the crowd.

And I must say that Durbin didn’t disappoint. He appeared in a couple group numbers during the first half of the show, but it was his entrance for his two-song set that had the audience at the HP Pavilion on its feet.

Entering from the back of the building wearing a San Jose Sharks jersey, singing Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine,” Durbin shook hands as he made his way up to the stage. Towards the end of the song he held his microphone out to the audience and, without any real prodding, they sang the chorus back to him. I have to hand it to Durbin. He’s charismatic, has great stage presence, and absolutely relished every moment of his solo performance, wherein he took the time to thank the fans for voting for him and for the overall support he received from the Bay Area.

But Durbin wasn’t the only Idol who amped up the crowd. Paul McDonald got the people on their feet in the first half of the show during his lively performance of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” Naima Adedapo’s rousing rendition of Jennifer Lopez’s current hit, “On The Floor,” complete with an African dance break, was one of the most well-received performances of the night.

Continue reading Concert Review >> American Idols Live! in San Jose, CA 07.13.2011