One of the BEST SHOWS I’ve Ever Been To… Alicia Keys at The Troubadour (July 20, 2016)

I go to a lot of show, and I mean A LOT. But on Wednesday, I went to one of THE BEST shows I’ve ever been to! There are only a few other shows that come close to this one! It was absolutely magical and exactly what I needed!

I saw the amazing Alicia Keys, someone I’ve admired for 16+ years at the historic Troubadour in West Hollywood! It’s one of my favorite venues in LA. It’s one of my go-to venues in LA. They’re really great and I HIGHLY recommend seeing a show there.

Back to Alicia — I first saw her at The Greek Theater in 2002. I’ve also seen her at The Kodak Theater, with John Legend opening for her, and a surprise appearance by some rapper named Kanye West on one of the two nights. Yes, I saw her two nights in a row. I’ve also seen her at Honda Center, in support of her “As I Am” album.

I’ve been a card carrying member of her official fan club as well! Seriously, you got a membership card! More importantly, I got access to pre-sale tickets, as well as meet-and-greet opportunities! Through the fan club, I was able to meet Alicia before one of her shows, and even got to hang with her on the set of her music video for “No One.”

Oh, and this one time at an event I was working, I didn’t know Alicia was there as a presenter. I was in the production office, and while I was talking to a friend, Alicia walking right by me… I was caught by complete surprise and had a “what just happened… that’s Alicia Keys walking right past me” moment… ha! This professional fanboy kept it together though!

Back to the show on Wednesday… I got an e-mail from Alicia Keys’ site saying she was playing a secret show, when I realized it was at the Troubadour, I JUMPED at the chance to snag a exclusive ticket!

Since it was an intimate venue (I was maybe 10 feet from her, and the people in the back were maybe 25 feet away). She had minimal to no-makeup, which she’s been doing recently, and I was able to see her freckles…it’s a super small venue! Since she was playing brand new songs, there was a strict no-camera policy. Alicia even thanked us for following the instructions as she wanted us to enjoy the moment and to really live and experience it, as opposed to trying to capture it. I completely agree and it was amazing focusing on having a great time as opposed to trying to capture it. I actually had an amazing time, really taking it all in. Apologies to everyone around me who was subjected to my awful singing and dancing, also, I’m not sorry. 

Alicia played an amazing 11 song set, which included several brand new songs that haven’t been released! She also played her latest songs, “In Common” and “Hallelujah.” Of course, she threw in a few classics, “You Don’t Know My Name,” “Fallin,” “No One” and “Empire State of Mind, Pt. II”. Surprisingly, “If I Ain’t Got You” wasn’t on the set, which would have been a perfect fit with theme of the night.

It was refreshing to hear Alicia introduce each of the brand new songs, and give some insight into the origins and message of the songs. They all had incredibly profound or inspiring messages, inspired by the crazy events of the world. Alicia even said, “The world has lost it’s fuckin mind!” I wish I was able to retain and remember more of the anecdotes, sorry.

To be honest, I was so stoked that I don’t even remember the first song, “Gospel,” but remember thinking that it was a powerful song and really set the tone for the rest of the night. The songs all had a great classic hip-hop, R&B sound. We’ve heard the next new song, “28,000 Days” before, and she said it was inspired by a story she read about a guy who wrote a letter to his current self from his future self. The average life-span is 28,000 days, and the song is about making them all count while you still have the chance. Carpe-diem and have the time of your life!

“Pawn It All” had a super catchy chorus, and was about what you’d be willing to give up to start your life over again. There was a song was about the New York she grew up in (it may have been “SDRC” possibly). I don’t remember “SDRC/One Luv”.. sorry! “Ill Bliss” was another new song, it was more of a slower ballad from what I remember, and had a great clapping hook (which reminded me of “Work Song” by Hozier). I remember thinking this was going to be a big hit and an important song.

“In Common” is an amazing live song – it’s so much better live! “Hallelujah” is also another moving and powerful song – one of my favorites from her recent songs! Alicia talked about loving a good basement party before going into “You Don’t Know My Name” which was the first of the older songs she played – and it got an amazing reaction! “No One” and “Empire State of Mind, pt II” were also crowd pleasers and got the place popping, with everyone singing with their arms in the air!

The two standout moments (besides the entire concert!!!):

I can’t help but be moved every time I hear “Fallin” live. It’s such a special song to me, and I think most people. She teased it by singing the opening line like she does in the MTV Unplugged version. It was fairly early in the set (midway, song #6), and I wasn’t quite expecting it that early, so it slightly caught me off guard. She sang it similar to the live version and the “Ali” soundtrack version – a little more stripped. It was AMAZING.

The second standout moment was the end – there was no encore. She played the 11 songs, it was a little over an hour. As soon as she finished “Empire State of Mine, Pt. II,” like a rockstar, she went to the side of the stage, exited the venue from the side door and into a waiting car that took off as soon as she got it! It was amazing to see how quickly she got out of there – not in a negative way, but in a badass rockstar way!

I’ve been to many shows – and seen some amazing ones at the Troubadour, but this one, with one of my favorite artists, in an intimate venue, sharing songs that have never been heard by the public, getting the backstory on the songs, and not having a phone and being in the moment was special. I also got to meet a few Alicia Keys SuperFans while waiting in line, and it was amazing to have this special to share this experience with them.

They had cameras all over the venue, so hopefully they’ll post footage from the show soon! I had an amazing time and can’t wait to hear the new album soon! She said it’s her best one yet, and after that night, I believe her!

MASSIVE Thanks to Alicia Keys (her label) & The Troubadour for an incredible night!

(Photo credit on Featured Image: Alicia Keys Instagram)

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Don’t Miss Gavin James at the Troubadour On November 21

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Gavin James in the past eighteen months! He’s one of my latest favorite singer-songwriters, especially live. The way he manages to hold it down with just a guitar is absolutely astonishing. He’s coming back to The Troubadour on November 21st… seriously, it’s going to be the best $15 you’ve spent on a show!

His songs, especially, “Bitter Pill” always moves me. It’s just an incredibly emotional and powerful song, especially live.

Seriously friends, he’s incredibly talented. He’s also super gracious and one of the coolest, kindest people. I’m so excited for his success, especially the addition of “Bitter Pill” on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2‘s playlist! It’s much deserved and I’m stoked for Gavin!

The last time I saw him was at the Troubadour and he was amazing! I also had a drink with Gavin and James Corden… I mean, what a night!

He did a sweet mashup of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and The Weeknd’s “I Can’t Feel My Face.” Here’s what you’ll be missing out if you don’t get your tix… (added bonus, I”ll be there too).

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Troye Sivan Teams Up With Alessia Cara on New Version of “WILD”

This is amazing!

The only thing better than Troye Sivan teaming up with Alessia Cara on an update on his latest single, “WILD,” is that the two seem to be genuine friends!

They’re two of my favorite breakout starts of 2015, and I absolutely love that they’ve teamed up for this. I didn’t think the original needed an update, so I was curious about it. When I heard it and realized that Alessia does an original verse that’s not in the original, it made sense and I was fully on board.

This is definitely one of my favorite songs and by two artists that I admire for being true to themselves and using their unique voices (literally and figuratively) for good in the world! I love that their friends and that they’re sharing their gifts with us!

And if you don’t have their albums, Troye’s Blue Neighbourhood, and Alessia’s Know-It-All, get them now. AMAZING!

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