Previously, I was never one to pay for a concert. I never saw the appeal of seeing someone perform live. I never idolized a musician enough or thought the amount of money was worth the couple of hours I had to give up to watch them. Though this blog and everything I write on is a good example of: you don’t know, if you don’t try.
It wasn’t until my first concert did I see the value and knew the excitement of attending one. It is not just about the artist on display, the songs that they play, or the pageantry performed. It is also about the experience and atmosphere: the sights, the sounds, and the sensations. This night I was paying a higher dollar to be entertained by someone highly sought after. Though not all concerts feature A-listers. The prices aren’t set, they are based not only on the performer, but the venue chosen as well. There was an over head and as the consumer, we was paying for it.
My first concert was Janet Jackson live, and I was hooked. I didn’t know all her songs, and even today I can’t tell you one of her singles. But when the music came on and the crowd got going I was right there with the rest of them bouncing around and attempting to sing lyrics I have never heard. You just get caught up in the warming sensation of being together. Together with others in like harmony. Together in this heavily filled building. You never felt like you belonged anywhere more. And that is why I go to concerts.
Since I’ve met my partner, I have been trying to give him the same eye opening experience I got from Janet so many years ago. I want to offer him the ability to enjoy this form of entertainment as well. His first concert was Jay-Z and JT. He is a big fan of both, so it was enough reason to go. And even with $40 nose bleed tickets he enjoyed himself. Tonight was only our second concert together, after Kayne cancelled twice on Vancouver. (Don’t even get me started on that one). So any chance a decently large hip hop or rap artist comes to town I am determined to bring him so he can enjoy and regale in their talent. But having been to a concert before, he understood and now wanted to pay more for closer seats. Being surrounded by people as apposed to the corner of a sea of people makes a huge difference. Everyone is singing, everyone is jumping, everyone is dancing. There is no judging, just pure enjoyment.
But first, the hunt for tickets. I am a plan ahead of time and know exactly what is going to happen person. I leave nothing to chance. My partner is the complete opposite, he is go with the flow and come what may kind of person. He believes in buying tickets last minute in hopes of getting a better deal. He is willing to put in the leg work to search for the right ones, on the right Craig’s List ad. I couldn’t be bothered with the time it takes, and the amount of distrust you have to go in with, when purchasing from someone you just met online. However he delivered. He founded three tickets in the lower bowl for under $125, he even bartered and got an additional $20 knocked off. The most difficult part was trusting the seller. Especially if they meet you up in a beat up car and a worn out tank. He assured us that these were authentic tickets, that we would not be refused entry when they got scanned. He cemented trust by showing us his driver’s licence and leaving us his business card. Though realistically, if he did scam us, how much could or would the police do to help us get $320 back? Apparently the story was that he was just helping a friend resell them, because they couldn’t attended. Do people actually buy tickets from official sellers to flip them at a profit? Can someone actually make a living from that? I know you see hawkers shouting from corners, offering tickets or upgrades as you walk up to the venue. What is their story?
Stadium drinks are expensive. We made a point to pre-drink at home, to save the bulge in our pockets. I cut myself off when the Asian glow kicked it. I was no where near buzzed, but the thought of being turned away for looking intoxicated (cherry red) was not a gamble I wanted to take. Not if I wanted to enjoy the show I paid over $100 per ticket for. Sadly not everyone had the same thought, even before the show started we saw patrons getting kicked out. Most of it was for drunken behaviour. We saw a girl get into a fist fight with two security officers, another one collapse, one guy got taken out strapped to a stretcher, and many more escorted out for being belligerent. Sadly most of this was even before the headliner got on stage. They would miss the show and not even know it. It is here I came up with a new reality show, “the morning after”. Catching up with people who got horribly drunk the night before. Watching their friends tell them what they did and close ups of them reacting to photos taken and video shot of their disorderly behaviour. For those who liked “the jersey shore” this one is for you.
The usual concession stands were open with plenty of beer, wine, and coolers being served. Being at a concert is like being at a club, you enter expecting to drink. One of the few occasions where you are able to drink in public with the lights on. But better than being in a club, their is air conditioning, so you aren’t sweating and having to dry your brow and bangs in the washroom. And there are plenty of washroom stalls so although there are still lines for them, there is less waiting in them involved. And the best part of being at a concert is that there is designated seating. So you aren’t jabbing someone in the side, looking for some personal space. And you have the ability to sit down and rest when your heeled feet hurt. Based on my logical thinking, you can probably assess that I am much older and have cast away my clubbing days.
I will not be reviewing the concert or the performers. Instead I am just documenting the concert experience from my perspective.
The Pinkprint Tour is the third concert tour by Nicki Minaj in support of her third studio album, “Pinkprint”. Here in Vancouver, she was on her second North American leg of the tour. With her she brought Meek Mill, Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe, and Dej Loaf to open.
The night began with Tinashe performing her first single, then Rae Sremmurd performing a few of theirs.
Next, Meek Mills came on to sing the choruses and rap the verses of his several radio played tracks. This was before hyping the crowd up for his fiancé. The mostly women audience loved the way he talked her up and later gushed when he and Nicki took the stage together.
Then with DJ loaf on the stage it truly felt like a club. He was playing hip hop top 40 and it got everyone to their feet to dance. It pumped us all up for our headliner to come.
Nicki Minaj played a few tracks from her new album, but made sure to give us her more popular tracks from past years too. The set list showed how much she was involved in and how many artists she had collaborated with. Though the tracks go fast when you are only playing the chorus and performing your lines. And as a result the show went by quick.
Most disappointing was the fact that she didn’t perform “pour some more” with Rae Sremmurd, when they took the stage in the middle of her set. Instead you heard her singing the chorus from a prerecorded track as they did their thing live. Isn’t the point of having artists on tour with you, to be able to perform with them?
Well this time was actually used as an intermission, to give her the time needed to change into her next elaborate costume. This would be the duet time for her and Meek. There was a close up of their engagement ring, and after their us verses them duets, there was a kiss. The girls screamed, a few must have seen their own dreams in that moment.
The concert ended with the up beat message that “Starships were meant to fly” and that “The night is still young”, and everyone belting along.
And like a club, after a night of hard drinking and excessive moving, what do you do? Eat! My choice for after drinking, late night eating is poutine. We had a regular with ketchup and the “Honey chicken bacon poutine”.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
All and all this was easy and enjoyable concert. They didn’t take themselves too seriously, things were kept light hearted and we all had fun. I got some video footage for memory sake, but was not about filming the whole thing, then watching it again. It would never be as good as seeing it live with my two eyes. I will definitely be back for more upcoming concert events in the near future.
800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver BC, V6B 6G1