That Time I Had To Give Away Concert Tickets

I was recently given tickets to the Demi Lovato, Christina Perri and MKTO concert. Unfortunately, I had to give them away due to my work schedule but since I was given them to review the night on my blog, I was sure to pass them along to a friend who would enjoy them...Isaac. He has done a guest post in the past for me and since he's the only Demi fan I think I know, he seemed like the perfect choice. Here's his hilarious account of the event...

I’ll be honest: I’m not really a big “pop diva” fan. I’m not gaga for Gaga, I don’t listen to Katy Perry, and (looks around nervously)…I really don’t care about Beyonce. But occasionally I’ll make an exception and go to a big concert. One of those exceptions is Demi Lovato (it also helps when I get tickets from a friend).

Demi recently kicked off her world tour and one of the first stops was here in Pittsburgh, where she performed at the Petersen Events Center in Oakland. Due to some bus mishaps and general unfamiliarity with the Center on my part, my friend and I missed the opening act, a group called MKTO that seemed pretty cool for the 20 seconds I got to hear them. We were then taken to our lovely seats, which faced the side of the stage. We were close to the action but all picture attempts usually ended in blurriness.

Her second opener was Christina Perri, who I know of but don’t listen to. She opened with “Jar of Hearts” (“Oh, her.” I said to myself.) and then did her more recent songs. She sounded really great and the audience loved her. Even though I still don’t think I’ll be buying her albums anytime soon, I’ll give props and will openly testify that Christina Perri sounds great live.

Also before Demi came on she had a sort of motivational speaker. I forget his name, but he was a young man who’d lost his legs and told his incredible story of not letting that stop him from accomplishing things. He kept using the lyrics from Demi’s ballad “Warrior” as a mantra and kept telling everyone in the audience that they were warriors. Looking around at the crowd of teenage/college-aged girls taking duckface selfies, I have to respectfully disagree, but I get his intent.

Seriously, everyone in that crowd was so young. Which I had expected, but still it was jarring to look around at everybody. I am 25; I felt 47. The only people there older than me were the dads that had accompanied their daughters and looked miserable for 3 hours. By the end of the night I was frantically looking for my daughter, and then I would remember I don’t have one.

Anyway Demi put on one heck of a show. She kept things simple, with four backup dancers and two backup singers accompanying her. Unlike that Miley Cyrus with her “Look at this little person! Look at this bear! Look at my tongue! So much is happening!!!” routine. She had great energy for all her “dance” numbers, including the great single “Heart Attack” and “Let It Go” from Frozen. A surprise cover of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was also fantastic, especially since it took place after a quick costume change (girl was looking great all night).

But as fun as her fast-paced numbers are (my friend calls them “Club Demi”), my favorites are when Demi just sat on a stool with a piano and a guitar and belted out some ballads. Whatever jokes you want to make about a former Disney Channel Star (and you can make a lot), you have to admit that this girl’s got talent and she’s a pro. Her powerful voice soared above the audience during her power ballads like “Warrior” and “Skyscraper”, which never fails to move me in some way. I can’t remember all the songs she sang (girl has four albums) but she rocked them all and the crowd loved it.

So yeah, I’ve crossed “See Demi Lovato in Concert” off the bucket list I didn’t know I had. I’m very thankful to Chelsea for passing me along her tickets. I had a fabulous time at a concert that’s much bigger than the ones I usually go to. I’ve been told my hearing will return by Monday.


End of 2014 Reading List

I have been slacking on my reading this year. I recently got the app, My Book Tracker, to obviously, keep track of the books I'm reading and it's kind of depressing me with the low amount of books I've gone through in 2014. So I'm making this list to keep myself on track, let you guys know what my reading plans are, and hopefully we can discuss some of these if any of you have read them! I'm pretty excited for this list and am going to do my best to stick to it.

The first two are from the library, which is why I'm reading them first. And most of the descriptions below are from Amazon. 

An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation. Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

Brianna Karp entered the workforce at age ten, supporting her mother and sister throughout her teen years in Southern California. Although her young life was scarred by violence and abuse, Karp stayed focused on her dream of a steady job and a home of her own. By age twenty-two her dream became reality. Karp loved her job as an executive assistant and signed the lease on a tiny cottage near the beach. And then the Great Recession hit. Karp, like millions of others, lost her job. In the six months between the day she was laid off and the day she was forced out onto the street, Karp scrambled for temp work and filed hundreds of job applications, only to find all doors closed. When she inherited a thirty-foot travel trailer after her father's suicide, Karp parked it in a Walmart parking lot and began to blog about her search for work and a way back.

With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man - also named Jonathan Safran Foer - sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.

A copy of the prayer journal written by one of my favorite authors!? Hello. I'm all about writing down prayers and have a prayer journal of my own, but as I skimmed the pages of Flannery's I realized that she is a true writer. Wow. I cannot wait to read through this because of her elegant writing.

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances. 

I bought this while I was in grad school, so I'm long overdo for reading it. This poetic and compelling masterpiece is a heartbreaking look at a marriage and the way we now live. Full of shocks and aftershocks, By Nightfall is a novel about the uses and meaning of beauty, and the place of love in our lives.

I got this for Christmas last year, so I figured that a year on my shelf is too long for this story. I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

Have you read any of these books? What's on your end of the year reading list?

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