Brazilian National Team Causes A Stir In Boston

The Brazilian National Soccer team paid a visit to Beantown on September 8th to compete with good ‘ole Team USA. The countries faced off at Gilette Stadium with Brazil ultimately taking the lead in a sweeping 4-0 end score.

Screams weren’t only heard from inside the stadium. The Brazilian Men’s team had been staying at the Four Seasons Hotel on Boylston Street, and true fans knew they had to be checking out at some point. Barricades were set up from the hotel entrance leading to the street where the team’s official bus awaited. The situation was initially kept very discreet. To the average passerby, it looked to be some groups of people standing around two parallel facing slabs of wood. But to the fans, the anticipation of knowing the Brazilian National Team could walk out at any given moment built as the minutes slowly passed by.

“When are they coming out? They were scheduled to be outta here an hour ago,” said a male in a Brazilian soccer jersey to his friend.

As time passed, the crowd grew bigger and bigger. Fans were teased by the sight of security men pacing around, the lower storage doors of the bus being opened, and, of course, Louis Vuitton after Louis Vuitton bag being brought out by bellboys.

Just when the crowd thought they’d go crazy if they saw another LV logo pass by their faces, the doors of the Seasons opened. All heads jerked forward as fans excitedly whipped out their flags, soccer balls, and any scrap of paper they could find to get signed. Others extended their arms with phone in hand to prepare for a quick selfie.

Security tried to tame the chaos as shrieks and shouts were released at the sight of the men in green polos. The team trickled out from the hotel doors, many of the players taking time to stop on either side of the barricades to say hola and offer an autograph. The screams got increasingly loud – notable from the females – when Ricardo Kaká made his strut toward the bus. The last ones to step into the vehicle were the coaches, who actually put the most effort in pausing to speak with fans.

“I got it!!! I GOT IT!” a man exclaimed as he waved around his soccer ball covered in black Sharpie markings from Luiz, Neymar, Silva, and Vieriea amongst others.

And, as rapidly as they appeared, they were gone. The bus drove off and Boylston Street returned to normal – whatever that may be. 

Baseball Star Joe Torre Debuts Human Trafficking Film

Former Major League Baseball Joe Torre is known for his greatness in regards to the New York Yankees and Mets. But now he has another admirable title to wear: domestic violence changemaker.

Joe Torre is the founder of Safe At Home, a foundation with a mission of using education as a tool to end the cycle of domestic violence and to save lives. Safe At Home has helped to educate thousands on the effects of domestic violence. The foundation has also worked to create “safe rooms” called Margaret’s Place (after Torre’s mother) throughout various schools. These safe rooms serve as a comfortable space for students to go to learn about healthy relationships and abuse prevention, and to help those who are currently facing violence or domestic abuse in their lives. The Margaret’s Place program features individual / group counseling, peer leadership groups, faculty training, family outreach, and anti-violence campaigns.

Joe Torre and his Safe At Home foundation recently sought a new medium to get their message of putting an end to domestic violence out: through film. The film, titled Stuck in Traffick, is about a teenage girl’s troubles coping with domestic violence. Her abusive home life leads the teen to harmful choices, such as isolating herself from her friends, hanging around the streets late at night, and entering the world of human trafficking. The film was directed by five youths who are Peer Leaders in Safe At Home Margaret’s Place Program.

Stuck in Traffick made its debut in Player’s Theatre at the Manhattan Film Festival. The screening of the film was followed by a live panel discussion with the youth filmmakers and Joe Torre himself. The audience was welcome to ask any questions they had and offer any comments on the film. In addition, Joe Torre spoke about his personal experiences with domestic abuse and not feeling safe at home. It showed a lesser known side to the man who has always been known for his baseball fame.

Stuck In Traffic is the latest of the many ways Joe Torre and those involved in his foundation are raising awareness of domestic violence and providing resources to those who experience it. It speaks for the hope that the youth filmmakers, the workers at Margaret’s Place, and Joe Torre share for a world where everyone can feel safe it home.

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World Wide InstaMeet 11: Community First

[ Click play on the video above for an inside look at Boston’s InstaMeet. ]

From the sea of thousands of phone applications built for passively staring at a screen emerges a tidal wave to break the monotony: Instagram. Instagram is a popular smartphone application made for sharing photographs and videos. Instagram promotes interactivity by allowing users to engage with one another. Users post their own content as well as follow and explore the works of others. Though digital, the impact of Instagram has extended far past the online world. Instagram’s motto is “Community First” – and the tag couldn’t be more accurate. Instagram prides itself on connecting people, both online and in person. It has blossomed into something far more experiential than just scrolling and tapping. It has become a way for like-minded individuals to share their passions and develop a sense of togetherness.

Perhaps the most powerful example of Instagram’s “Community First” slogan in action are the InstaMeets held around the world. An InstaMeet is a get-together of Instagram users that gather to take photos and exchange photography skills. A WorldWide Instameet happens once a year and is coordinated by popular users/accounts in an area. They take place in cities around the globe and promote exploring and capturing your home city while bonding with others.

The 11th World Wide InstaMeet saw an exceptional turnout from the Boston photo community. The event was hosted by @igboston, an account with roughly 50,000 followers (and growing) that features stunning photos of Boston’s scenery as captured by different users and hand picked by a team of moderators. The InstaMeet kicked off with a photography discussion at District Hall, a dedicated civic space for innovation and creativity. By the time the discussion began, virtually all of the seats of the expansive gathering room were filled. The forum began with a greeting by the IG Boston moderators and a behind-the-scenes discussion of how @igboston is run.

Next came the icebreakers. Each person in the room went up one by one and introduced themselves by writing their Instagram handle on a giant whiteboard and offering a fun fact about who they are and why they chose to attend. Through this activity, attendees were able to get a feel for who was in their photo community – and they were not only Boston locals. Instagrammers from countries such as South Korea, Mexico, Russia, and many U.S. states were present. Some introductions were humorous (“I’m from Kazakhstan. Trust me, it’s not as dangerous as it sounds.” “I’m single.. I like long walks on the beach..”) while others were more honest (“I’m just starting out and this is my first camera, but I’m hoping to learn from all of you.”)

The next phase of the forum was a photo discussion including tips and tricks from a few of Boston’s most highly praised Instagrammers. The presentations offered something for everyone, from iPhone users to professional DSLR camera shooters to strictly Instagram-only photographers. New photo editing apps were introduced, as well as tips for more popular photo apps such as Snapseed.

Soon after, a bag was passed around containing slips of paper with the usernames of those present at the InstaMeet written on them. Each attendee drew a name and faced the challenge of finding the person behind the handle. This person was to be your “buddy,” and the goal was to photograph him or her at the InstaMeet. Seeing how packed the large lecture room was, the hunt for the “buddy” was an adventure in itself. People flaunted their nametags while holding up the slips of paper, calling out and asking around in order to find their elusive match. Among the chaos of running around and eventually uniting with this new other half came the excitement of potential friendships and the opportunity to engage with new faces. No longer was this a room full of strangers – it was a gathering of “Insta buddies.”

As the confusion died down and the hunt came to an end, it was time to head out. The main attraction of the InstaMeet – the walking tour – was beginning. Walking tours allow for attendees to discover cool spots around the city and take spectacular shots, all the while engaging and collaborating with other photographers. The first stop on the tour was the Courthouse T Station. Underground and featuring futuristic architecture and neon lights, the location is reminiscent of being inside a space ship (if it’s possible to be reminiscent of such a thing). ‘Grammers mingled and followed each other on the app as the tour continued outdoors in the Seaport District. Prime photos were taken of the Boston Harbor and its beautiful boats and buildings as seen from across the bridge. More creative shots were taken from up on top of the bridge of the Instagrammers gathered below. Some of the more adventurous photographers dodged cars as they got down on the pavement to capture the perfect angle of a friend posed in the middle of the road.

The walking tour continued across the bridge and into Boston’s Financial District. Mother Nature was on the InstaMeet’s side with pure blue skies and full sunshine, making for some spectacular lens flares and fun opportunities to play with the light. This was no silent point-and-shoot session; the attendees helped each other frame shots and even posed for one another, all the while bonding and creating friendships. Lively conversation was heard all throughout the walk with smiles exchanged as frequently as usernames (who doesn’t love new followers?!). The IG Boston family may be of all different ages, backgrounds, and photography levels, but their common passion creates something beautiful.

Now fully acquainted, the InstaMeet finished off with a reception at Sip Wine Bar & Kitchen in the Theater District. ‘Grammers socialized and ate delicious appetizers with VIP treatment in a private room of the restaurant. As the event drew to a close, among the laughter and smiles echoed a shared feeling of community. What was previously an assortment of digital strangers had morphed into a family, united by identical interests.

“We’re all photo nerds,” IG Boston moderator Brian said jokingly. “It’s fun to meet other people who do the same thing.”

Moderator Ash agreed.

“All of us local photographers getting together and meeting in person beyond just online.. that truly is community.”

IN STUDIO: Alvvays

We’re kicking off Live Music Week 2015 at WERS 88.9 with in-studio performances, on air band interviews, and plenty of free giveaways to listeners who call in and pledge!

Indie pop band Alvvays visited the studio and gave a phenomenal performance of songs off of their self-titled album. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, band members Molly Rankin, Kerri MacLellan, Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy, and Phil MacIsaac are currently on tour with The Decemberists and have two sold-out shows at the Boston House of Blues on April 3rd and April 4th. The band performed at SXSW in March and have a handful of music festivals and a UK tour awaiting them this summer.

Alvvays’ sound is the musical equivalent of a day spent on the beach on the west coast. Their lyrics add depth to the calm tone of Rankin’s voice and the nostalgic guitar strokes, telling stories of love, loss, and the ups and downs of living. 

Tune in to 88.9 to hear the band’s performance of “The Agency Group,” “The Ones Who Love You,” and “Next Of Kin,” and hear them answer your burning questions. Check out wers.org to see how you can get involved in Live Music Week. (Who wouldn’t want a chance to win sweet merch, Boston Calling tickets, and a trip to Iceland?!)

Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Fashion: Trilogy of Style at the Liberty Hotel

Boston got an exclusive glimpse into the fashion world with the Trilogy of Style at the Liberty Hotel. The “trilogy” aspect of the name stems from the three fashionistas featured in the event: Ali Ehlrich, fashion stylist and personal shopper; Cindy Wurderman, professional men’s stylist; and Cibeline Sariano, women’s fashion designer. The event featured personal style advice, on-spot fittings, and a fabulous array of men and women’s clothing and accessories. The sweeping city views from atop the Ebersol Penthouse Suite made for the perfect backdrop to this spectacular fashion fiesta. Missed the event? Experience the latest styles, live music, skyline views, and personal interviews below!

Special thanks to the glamorous and inspirational Ali Ehrlich for making this all possible! To learn more and to book an appointment, check out http://www.rightupyourali.com.

Fitz & The Tantrums live at the House of Blues

    

Energy. That is the first word that comes to mind when asked to describe a Fitz & The Tantrums show. I advise you rest well before attending a F&TT concert, because you will be in for a night of jumping, dancing, and singing your heart out.

Fitz & The Tantrums rocked Boston on the 15th when they performed at the House of Blues in Fenway.  Upon entering the venue, each attendee was given a free F&TT bracelet featuring a heart that lit up to the surrounding volume levels. The setlist of their headliner tour was full of variety, featuring crowd favorites, cover songs, upbeat dance tunes, and slow melodies that had you reaching for a lighter to wave in the air (or, considering this is 2014, your cell phone screen).

When it comes to stage presence, Fitz & The Tantrums never fail to impress. Lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick, whom the band’s name originates from, is constantly dancing and moving about the stage. He speaks directly to the audience several times, giving the show a highly personal feel. The band make it a priority to interact with the crowd. Fitz’s comments range from quirky stories as a prelude to songs (one was about having a great day only to come home to find your significant other in bed with a different lover) to extensive thank you’s to all the fans (his speech about how much the band loves Boston and are grateful to every person in the crowd went on for minutes straight – all of which I couldn’t stop smiling through). The other band members are also on par when it comes to bringing the energy. Singer Noelle Scaggs both appears and sounds absolutely flawless, constantly smiling and moving to the beat. Her soulful voice makes for a superb combination with Fitz’s. And who needs a guitar solo when you can have a saxophone solo? James King blows the crowd away every time with his incredible saxophone skills. I’m still in amazement by how long he can hold his breath for.

At one point in the show, the crowd was demanded to get down on the ground. Anyone still standing was personally called out by Fitz himself. The crowd was directed to simultaneously jump up on his cue as the music got louder. This is just one of the many ways F&TT make it a point to not just play music, but to entertain. Notably was the set design and lighting of the stage. Behind the band was a giant electric heart, mirroring the one on the album cover of their most recent release More Than Just A Dream. The heart changed different colors to mach the theme of each song. During “Fools Gold,” the heart was gold; during “Money Grabber,” it was green; and during “House On Fire,” it glowed red. Additional lights fired out at the crowd and around the stage. Toward the end of the performance, loads of confetti rained from the ceiling, making for a memorable closing.

By the time I left the venue, my voice was gone, my feet were sore, and my pulse was pounding. And that is how you know it was a good show.

BOSTON FASHION WEEK: Global Citizens at the Liberty Hotel

In honor of Boston Fashion week, vintage favorites The House of Findings put on an incredible fashion show boasting pieces from all around the world. Titled Global Citizens, the show was hosted by Mayra Gonzalez, The House of Findings’ creative director. Mayra buys beautiful clothing and accessories for the brand’s online boutique and traveling pop-up shows. She says the inspiration behind the looks of Global Citizens come from her travels and all different cultures. The fashion show was held at the Liberty Hotel in Boston. Once a prison, the Liberty is now a top-rated luxury hotel. It made for the perfect location for a highly unique fashion show. The lobby of the Liberty features 4 open floors that see down to the main ground (such was the setup of the original prison). For the fashion show, the models began at the bottom level, making their way up the escalator to give an up-close view to attendees on the main floor. They posed on makeshift pedestals and even concierge desks. The models, accompanied by a male counterpart, then walked on to the next level, posing on the above floor for those below to see when looking up. It was a dazzling show with a “runway” unlike anything viewers had seen before. Global Citizens truly brought Boston Fashion Week a world of color and culture.

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I produced and interviewed at the event with YourMag TV. Check out footage below!

Ashley Colburn: Taking On The World, One Episode At A Time

To try and categorize Ashley Colburn into one title would be wrong.

As someone who believes the best jobs are created – not found – Ashley is living her dreams as a travel writer, a television show host, and a production company owner.

She began her journey by producing and anchoring for her college’s campus TV station and interning at ABC in Los Angeles. She later began working at Wealth TV and created her own travel show. Ashley filmed in 24 countries in just 2 years for her show “Take Off!” which was received with much success. From there, she decided to take the wheel on her own and created Ashley Colburn Productions – a choice she refers to as “the best decision I have ever made.” She is now her own boss. A typical week for Ashley involves distributing shows, attending conferences, and networking worldwide.

Forging her own path and achieving her dreams took an immense amount of drive and confidence. For Ashley, being shy was not an option. Her comfort zone was abandoned long ago as she began immersing herself in different cultures and building relationships with those she met worldwide. She has found success by learning to be comfortable in her own skin and eagerly communicating with others despite differences in culture, religion, and language.

What makes Ashley such a natural on camera is that she plays the role of herself. On her show, there are no scripts or rehearsals – just her enjoying cultural experiences while a camera happens to be filming. This allows viewers to connect with Ashley and her travel stories on a more real and personal level.

Though much of Ashley’s life is portrayed as fun and upbeat on camera, it is not to say that her work in the travel media field is without challenge. Ashley says that her number one task to do each day is to problem solve. Hectic situations are constantly thrown her way, and it is up to her to remain collected and resolve them. It is not uncommon for Ashley to find herself lost in a foreign country, facing language barriers, or responsible for taking care of her crew. Through this all, she relies on her problem solving skills to get the job done.

From her extensive travels and incredible experiences, Ashley has acquired many tips for those looking to trot the globe. She recommends fully immersing yourself in a new culture without any restraint. This means trying their foods, participating in their events, experiencing family gatherings, and so on. She believes the experience is much more authentic and rewarding when you are not afraid to indulge in new things and live like the locals. For long term travels, Ashley strongly suggests having an international phone stocked with travel apps. She cites how there is so much helpful technology out there that should be taken advantage of to assist with navigation, offer recommendations, and help you keep in contact with those back home.

When people tell Ashley they “want her job,” she points them in a different direction of thought: for them to not mimic the actions of another, but rather to discover their true passions and from that create their own career. Ashley has faced rejection countless times, joking that she “has been told NO probably more than anyone I know.” What has made her so successful is that she kept fighting on. She says that all it takes is for one person to say “YES” for your life to be changed.

Ashley’s courage and determination through fearless pursuits brought her to where she is today. She wakes up every morning excited to check her email and see if she is one step closer to a new destination. Ashley believes that when you truly love your job, it doesn’t feel like a job at all. Where she will go next and what she will experience ahead is unknown, but that’s all part of the excitement. One thing is for sure, however: wherever Ashley may find herself, she will be welcoming her new surroundings with open arms and the people within them with an open mind. And that’s the way of the traveler.

Governor’s Ball Music Festival: Top 10 Highlights

Coined by The New York Times as “the festival with a New York heart,” the Governor’s Ball music festival has been drawing music lovers from near and far since its creation in 2011. The first year the festival ran, it was held on Governor’s Island. It has since moved to Randall’s Island, and while that has drawn questions about the sense of the festival’s name, it has not changed the spirit of the event. With each successive year, Gov Ball has grown bigger and bigger, expanding its lineup and drawing more popular headliners each year. Even with some unprecedented challenges (its 2013 run will forever be known as “mud ball” in honor of all of the rain that flooded the grounds), the festival has proven strong enough to last beyond a New York minute. After attending Gov Ball every year since its birth, I can say with confidence that this year’s festival proved to be the biggest and most hyped of them all. Here are my top 10 highlights from Gov Ball 2014:

10. Silent Disco Let’s set the scene. You’re walking by a giant tent, and under it are groups of people dancing like madmen and jumping all over the place. The thing is, there’s no music playing.. Or at least, so it seems. For silent disco, each participant is given a set of headphones. Everyone under the tent hears the same music in their headphones, provided by the DJ of the hour. Basically, from afar we all look like a bunch of crazies dancing around in silence. Silent disco made the list mostly because of all of the random friends made while dancing, including some dude wearing a croptop who apparently is internet famous.

9. The Leading Ladies of Lucius  Lucius is an indie-pop band hailing from, surprise surprise, Brooklyn. Frontwomen Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig stole the show with their complete coordination, from hair to outfits to dancemoves. The two fabulous ladies were dressed in matching ensembles that were composed of rainbow sequins. They both sported blonde bobs with bangs and long hanging earrings. They sang and danced in unison, their moves perfectly in sync. How’s that for seeing double?

8. Phish Food You may know the band Phish for their music. Or, more importantly, their Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor. B&J’s had a booth set up on the Gov Ball grounds and gave out free ice cream all day, every day, for all three days. Sure there were lines, but the feel of the cold treat on a hot, sweaty day plus the fun photo op was worth every moment on line. So much so that I may have gone for seconds. Or thirds. Or tenths. I lost count. Whatever. Plus, the people handing out the ice cream were super nice. One of the guys saw me use my camera and made a scene. “Wow, I haven’t seen one of those in a WHILE! So traditional of you!” He was referencing the fact that everyone uses their cell phones for pictures nowadays. Does this make me #vintage? Anyway, that was some good ice cream.

7. The Artwork The Gov Ball grounds aren’t home to just stages. Art installations could be seen all around Randall’s Island, many of which were by local artists. It was photo op central with features like a giant picture frame (perfect for group photos), a Hollywood-style G O V B A L L N Y C sign (my friends and I each chose a letter to climb on), and a colorful mural of the notorious B.I.G. Stunning graffiti art was spread throughout the fields, making for great meeting places (“Hey, wanna meet up at the punk jellyfish mural at 6?”). The colorful pieces both supported local artists and added vibrancy to the festival.

6. The Statue of Judging You All Speaking of installations, it would be wrong not to mention the giant Statue of Liberty head emerging from the ground. Lady Liberty was rocking a pair of shades as she stood (err, sprouted?!) in between the Honda Stage and the Big Apple Stage. The apathetic look on her face made it seem as if she was judging everyone who posed in front of her. Especially those girls taking a hundred selfies. And the ones throwing the peace sign up in the air. (Disclaimer: I may or may not have been one of said girls)

5. Empire of the Sun I refuse to pinpoint one specific moment. The entire set was glorious. Empire of the Sun brought the party in a performance unlike any other. It didn’t feel like being at a concert – it felt like watching a Broadway show. Just with a lot more bass and sweaty bodies. The lead singer rocked bright blue eyebrow makeup and a giant golden triangular-shaped neckpiece. Professional dancers performed in the background on stage, grooving to each song. Toward the end of the set emerged a gigantic Dia de los Muertos skull that puffed out smoke into the audience. The set design, lighting, and of course the music had everyone loving every minute and feeling so alive (see what I did there?). Still recovering.

4. Two Words: Food. Trucks. As a New Yorker, I am completely spoiled when it comes to food. I’ll say it. We have the best food around. Much more than just our pizza and bagels (although those are delicious). That’s why it was so incredibly genius of Gov Ball to bring in all their favorite eateries from around Manhattan and Brooklyn and have them set up tents and food trucks to serve their goods. Tacos, sushi, whoopee pies, falafel, and practically anything you could dream of was available for purchase within the grounds. There were also plenty of options for a veghead like me, which I can’t say I’m accustomed to. Can we talk about that crepe cone filled with yogurt and fruit I got? I still dream of it every night. The best part is, these NYC-based eateries are getting tons of exposure thanks to Gov Ball. I keep in mind the names of the food stands I loved at the festival and make a habit to go visit them in the city. Gotta support local businesses!

3. The Crowd at Disclosure We knew British dance darlings Disclosure’s set was going to be a scene and a half. What we didn’t know was that it would take place in broad daylight. Seeing the “Latch” DJs while outdoors under the sun made for a strange experience. When I picture a Disclosure concert, I picture a dark club at night with flashing lights. Nevertheless, having their set in the open during the day made it all the more memorable. It was one of the most condensed crowds I had been in at the fest, and that comes as no surprise. Being packed together like sardines, we were able to make friends with the people around us. Good convos and lots of dancing were had. For most of the set, my friends and I created a circle within the crowd. When anyone would try to walk through it, we would yell “NOOOO” and “YOU RUINED IT!” Obnoxious? Yes. Fun? Extremely. I didn’t realize the full capacity of how immense and energized the crowd was until we played back footage on my friend’s GoPro which we had taken turns holding up on a stick. So much jumping. Sorry, feet.

2. Andre 3000’s “Art or Fart?” Shirt  I have waited my entire life to see Outkast live. That is not an exaggeration. I have stayed a loyal fan from their Hey Ya! days to Speakerboxxx vs. The Love Below (no, I’m not going to take a side) and beyond. The problem was, I could never see them because they stopped touring. When I heard they would be reuniting at Coachella, I screamed in agony because I knew there was no way I could afford a flight out to Cali. But by some miracle, they came right here to New York. And it was everything I’d ever dreamed of. First of all, Andre 3000 was wearing a shirt that said “Art or Fart?” Again, I’m not taking sides. Secondly, what was on his head? A hat? A wig? I don’t know. But it was beautiful. Highlights include: seriously jamming to I Like The Way You Move and me puncturing everyone’s eardrums as I screamed every word to Roses. Almost every word, at least (hey, Big Boi raps really fast). At the end of their performance, I walked up to the barricade to get a closer look at the set design. It was here I met random friend #183472 who when asked my name, I responded with “Amanda 3000.” I think I made him laugh a little too hard.

1. Drumroll please… THE STROKES!!!!!!!!! Every one of those exclamation points was necessary. This was their big reuniting moment. Right here in New York, where all the band members are from. Just to put things into perspective: when the complete Gov Ball lineup was released, there were actual tears of joy in my eyes. Whenever anyone tried to talk to me that day, all I could respond with was “yes, but have you seen the Gov Ball lineup?” I was obsessed. A major reason being The Strokes. And let me tell you, their set was amazing beyond anything I’ve heard/seen/experienced. I’m 99% sure I was projected into another galaxy. The crowd must’ve felt the same, because there were more people jamming their hearts out than any other set I’d gone to that day. Their setlist spanned songs from all of their albums, from Is This It? to Comedown Machine. They played every single one of my favorites. Julian Casablancas wore a bright blue Hawaiian shirt and was smiling and laughing with his bandmates at some inside jokes. It was also great to see Albert Hammond Jr again on stage. I had seen him earlier in the year on his solo tour when I got press passes to photograph him. I met him after the show and he was super friendly and goofy. Those same character traits translated on stage. The crowd lost it when Julian said “YOLO” and proceeded to play the opening chords to You Only Live Once (they coined the saying waaaay before Drake). If only the look on my face had been recorded when the first notes of 12:51 were played. It’s one of my all-time favorite songs, and definitely my favorite Strokes song. It’s also my good friend’s favorite Strokes song who was in the crowd beside me, and we physically held on to each other during the entirety of it to keep from floating away. I have never smiled so genuinely as I did in that crowd, singing along and looking out at the New York skyline. It reestablished to me that I am happiest when I’m surrounded by good people and live music, all in a place I love.

And the award for worst part goes to….
1. The Subway Station to get Home. The photo says it all. I considered crowdsurfing when it was time to get off at my stop.

…And the countdown to Gov Ball 2015 begins!