Viva Vegas!

It’s been..well..FOREVER since I’ve last posted anything here. I try to keep one relevant theme rather than post a bunch of BS that doesn’t pertain to much in particular though I do miss writing and expressing myself so I figured why not? I was in Vegas on the 9th to see David Cook so there would be no better time than now to write a bit about the happenings of the 4 day venture that was Las Vegas.

As most of you know, I used to live in Las Vegas about 3 years ago. That was how I’d first met David, though it was a complete off chance meeting, since it was basically me running through the Mirage Hotel like a crazed TMZ paparazzo.  I ran up next to David and had a small exchange of words that I’ll never forget, nor will probably ever have the courage to do again.  Since then I’ve been waiting patiently for the chance to go back and relive the luck I’d had in meeting him the first time.  I managed to take a day off of work and headed to Vegas, trekking through rain and snow (in the DESERT!) the whole way. The weekend in Vegas was a relaxing one, having been excited just to be out of my routine for a couple days. Though going back brought up a lot of bad memories I had to deal with head on as living there was not only the happiest time of my life, it was also the most emotionally draining. I had been considering not even going as I didn’t want to be there. I just wanted to see David and remind myself that I was happier because of his music. Sure, I don’t know David Cook personally- but his music saved my life one lonely night 3 years ago and brought me some of the best friends I could ask for so the least I can do is support his music any way I can.

I made the venture back to Vegas with my sister in tow once again. I put my car through the wringer having driven 5 hours through rain, snow, and the freezing cold- not to mention 3 stops at various gas stations to refuel along the way.  We finally cleared the rain once we made it to the Hoover Dam bypass, though Vegas was still cold and windy, but now at least the sun was shining. Upon arriving at my aunt’s house, we were temporarily locked outside for about 20 mins while we attempted to find the elusive house key that was hidden outside somewhere. After my sister did some sleuthing, we finally found the key and unpacked for the weekend. The rest of the night we just relaxed having been wiped out from the drive. I wanted to be well rested for David’s show, having been not at my prime physical condition with various health concerns as of recent. Luckily, the day of the show my concerns managed to stay tolerable. We woke and got ready, taking note the sky was looking rather dark again and what looked like a massive storm was headed our way. I threw on a couple of layers and we headed up to CVS for some umbrella action as we were ill-prepared for braving mother nature. Once locked and loaded, we jumped on the freeway and headed out to Henderson. While driving, it started to snow! Snowing in Las Vegas. That was definitely a first. Even for me having lived there, it’d never gotten so cold enough to snow! We lucked out again having been driving the opposite direction away from the storm. We made it out to Russell Road and the sky was just starting to go dark with cloud coverage. We parked at the rear of the venue and as soon as we stepped foot outside, the gusty winds chilled my sister and I to the core. It was brutal! I almost decided against going in right away to see if perhaps the weather would change. But knowing the rare breed of David Cook fans that were already parked in front of the stage unyielding in their reserve, forged on to see what kind of spot I could stake a claim on. I managed to be on Neal’s side (stage left) about 3 people deep. (one day, I WILL see David Cook from the front row..though it hasn’t happened yet!)  It was a nice vantage point, knowing the radio station that was holding the event was doing interviews with each performer right next to where my sister and I were standing, which meant we’d be the first to see David when he came in to interview. After watching the very talented and very ill (at the time) FeFe Dobson take the stage and own it (despite being sick! Rock on, girl!) David soon came out and did his brief interview with the station. When this transpired, I’d seen him come out and settle in. There was about a 2 minute period where nobody saw him and I managed to sneakily ask my sister to go snap a picture of David before anyone caught on. She obliged and he looked right at us when she took the picture (you will see it uploaded on the gallery page). As soon people took note of our camera being out and pointed at a subject, it was like the flood gates opened and people stampeded around where he was. From then it was impossible to get any more pictures. From where we were we couldn’t really hear the exchange happening between David and the interviewer. So we waited patiently for the stampede to return to their statuesque positions in front of the stage. Some of you should seriously consider a career in bouncing! My god, I’d rather shoot myself in the foot rather than take someone’s spot. I’m a jerk- but not that big of a jerk. So the two girls behind my sister and I that were basically part of our anatomy from being so damn close, take note. I don’t try and spot steal because it’s just plain shitty to do to someone. Don’t try it on me and next time I won’t threaten you with a knuckle sandwich! True I did tell them if they tried to cut me I’d punch them in the face. Yes, that was a jerk move. But don’t do that shit. Seriously. Have some respect for people. You’re not entitled. Ok, so mini rant out of the way, the weather started to clear up and the clouds finally disappeared right before David went on! The station cued up the interview we couldn’t hear and about 10 mins later, David and Co. took to the stage.

I seriously regret when I go to these shows that I’m more preoccupied with getting pictures than to actually enjoy the show. I was frantically snapping away and having my sister record songs so I could TRY and enjoy what I’d driven 300 miles for.  Of course when you drag your sister who’s not really a fan along, the pictures and video don’t exactly fall to your standards. God love her for trying, but the videos were not so good. Also, the bass was so loud it blew the speaker on the camera so you can’t really hear much of anything. All the pictures are up on the gallery page as well as my Facebook. It seemed to blow right by. David had an 8 song set and did some amazing covers. If by now you haven’t either heard or seen one of the various versions of ‘Rolling In The Deep’ floating about youtube, check it out below because it IS amazing and you WILL like it.
David did a new track from his forthcoming Sophomore album This Loud Morning which will hit shelves on June 28h. To his most loyal of fans, this song is by no means ‘new.’ He’s played it a number of times at shows prior to this and it is a lyrically charged track called Paper Heart. I do love this song and can not wait to hear the final mix on the album once it’s released! Also of note, David intertwined Champagne Supernova with his own original track Heroes and it was flawlessly executed. One of things that sets David Cook apart from most other artists is his uncanny ability to really hear a song and make it his own. This has been said since his Idol win in 2008, but it really can not be stressed enough. By the end of the song, he had all the attendees singing along.

Another highlight of the show was his other cover of The Cars’ track, ‘Drive.’ The song itself is already dripping in emotion and hearing it live was incredible. If you’ve never been moved to tears by hearing music, then you’re not really living. This song was really interesting not only in hearing it sung by David, but also the fact that he also had a slight interruption towards the end of the song that could not have been timed any perfectly if scripted. As the show was at a venue to raise money for local animal shelters, the pets were out in full force. Some little guy off in the distance decided to bark and it caught us all off guard, even David- who tried endlessly not to break the intensity of the song, but couldn’t help but laugh.

Somewhere in the midst of the set, David brought out his brother Andrew as well as his puppy, Dublin. The rest of the set was filled with the familiar tracks David had played already throughout his 153 city tour in 2009.

After the set concluded, it was a mad dash back to the interview tent to meet him. Unfortunately his handlers once again decided to be stingy with their fan appreciation and only allowed David to say for half an hour after the set. You would have thought since I was close to where he was, I’d manage to get in line quickly and FINALLY talk to him again and get the autograph I still don’t have, but that was to no avail as my sister and I were separated amongst  a Jumanji-like stampede of cougars and fangirls clawing at their chance to see David. By the time I finally found the end of the line, I was more than halfway towards the end of it and lost the chance to see him yet again.

In the game of live shows and touring like a real groupie, you win some, you lose some. It’s best to go in large crowds, and the buddy system is your friend. Unfortunately for me, my chance to talk to David was foiled. Here’s to hoping my next endeavor won’t end on a low note.

Taking it Too Far…

Is Idol castoff Adam Lambert taking it too far? Does he just try ANYTHING to get a rise from people weather it be good or bad? I honestly am starting to believe so. I think he’s so desperate to leave an impression, that he’s going out of his way to create reaction. You might ask yourself, what’s so wrong or different with that from say, the likes of Lady GaGa or her predecessor, Madonna? Adam’s been out of Idol six months, been turned in to an overnight star, and now has fallen victim to becoming a bit jaded with his fame. Millions of people have his support, so why is it so hard for the man to come out and sign autographs after a show? ‘Entitlement is not sexy’ tweets Lambert in regards to his fans’ dismay at him not appearing. Sorry, Adam. I wasn’t aware you’d already made the untouchable ranks of A- listers like Britney who aren’t as publicly accessable as some other starlets in Hollywood. My bad, next time I vote for American Idol, I’ll keep that in mind. I only voted for you a couple thousand times, but it’s ok. I’m not ‘entitled’ to a picture, hello, or a sharpie squiggle of your name because you said so. Honestly I’m already fed up with the guy. If he fizzles out before the dismal movie he sang the title track to, 2012, miraculously comes to fruitition, I’d have spoken too soon. Take a lesson in “Idol” ethics from Carrie Underwood or David Cook. They seem to not take their fans for granted. Maybe you could learn a thing or two. Maybe if you’d appreciate your fans more you wouldn’t be so desperate for a reaction from everyone and feel the need to go over the top.

Declarations in Phoenix

Just so everyone knows, I’m writing this immediately following the Phoenix show on David Cook’s Declaration tour with The Anthemic. While things might not exactly be in the order it actually happened, I’m more or less just writing it as I remember it while it‘s fresh on my mind!!

I figured I’d better update my blog at long last. 6 months. What a wait! But it was worth it.
While Del Mar’s disappointment still hung fresh in my mind this morning, I went in to today with some low expectations. Lucky for me, everything worked out in my favor. Even me showing up at the last minute to see David Cook perform an acoustic set of 3 songs. It gets better..but first let me start at the beginning.

Last week, a contest launched on a local radio station to meet David Cook and see him perform live in the studio. I was completely obsessed with winning this upon hearing about it.
I only remained obsessed with it for about 24 hours as the very next day, I called in and won! My sister and I both called the station at once, and she was the lucky one who got through and immediately handed her phone off to me as I gave them my details and they added me to their list of exclusive winners. After panicking up until yesterday (after winning last Wednesday) that they never told me what time to be at the station, I called and finally spoke to the promotions manager, and she apologized deeply and gave me all the info I needed. I woke early, having not slept much at all last night. I got all dressed up for David, keeping squarely in my mind that I WAS going to get my picture with him at long last, come hell or high water. We left at 11AM and headed to the fair. Immediately we ran into problems. My sister and I hit a financial bump having arrived to the fair at noon to find that they would not stamp our hands for re-entry later that evening after everyone told me prior that they would. I left the fair frustrated and now with only about 45 minutes to get down to the radio station to meet David. We flew back across town, went home, and I scoured the house for some extra cash to get us in the fair. We hopped in my car, filled up the tank just enough for today, and jumped on the freeway. Strike two. As soon as I was on the access road to enter, major construction was happening. They were re-paving the freeway on ramp. Traffic was backed up a mile and crammed in to a single line of cars. I waited another 20 mins, now we were down to just 25 mins to make it from one side of town to the other. The tags on my car are expired and I decided then that if fate were truly against me today, I’d get pulled over at some point for either A- Speeding to make it on time or B- having tags that were 20 days expired, or C- get the double whammy combo ticket. Throwing any inhibitions I had about getting a hefty fine aside, as soon as the freeway cleared up, I sped like a bat out of hell to make the station on time. I managed to get there with a minute to spare. I won’t tell you what speed or the amount of stunt driving I did. Think of the movie Speed. Except going faster and not in a bus. We got out of my car and ran inside. There was a line of people cluttering the first floor. Someone told us to go check in at the desk in front of the elevators. We did. They checked my ID and crossed my sister and I off a list and handed us passes on lanyards to wear during the duration of our visit to the station. Just after, a man came down and said we could go up in to the studio. My sister and I were first on the elevators up having strode in late and just checked in!! We went up and were ushered in to a conference room, and the station provided us with pizza and drinks. After about another 15 mins, we were asked to form in a single file line and be led in to the green room to see David. Since my sister and I were close to the door, we managed to be in the front of the line, which again paid off BIG. We headed in the green room, which was set up with 2 mics, and David and Neal’s acoustic guitars. The station ushered people to the back of the room and my sister and I immediately jumped at the chance to sit directly in front of the mics, as the front of the room was open. They never said we couldn’t!! As everyone filled the room, they had the DJ come in and talk to us a moment before letting David and Neal join us. Once they were seated in front of us was when I honestly thought I was dreaming. Here was David Cook, in front of me yet again, and closer than I’d ever even been to the guy. I honestly could have reached out my arm and touched him I was so close. (for those that were wondering, he was wearing his signature red cowboy boots, a ‘Sunny in Philadelphia’ shirt- his favorite show, and tight blue jeans, which I kinda accidentally felt up…but we’ll get to that.) The DJ asked them how they were, welcomed them to Phoenix, and David talked to us a bit before launching in to the first song, Heroes. Great start to the small set Neal and David preformed and a good kick off to the day! After Heroes was over, the DJ and David bantered a bit about how ‘A Ficus Flows Between Us’ received a lot of flack from and if David would do another one. He said probably not just because of the response it got from MTV. He also talked about Pork Beans and if the ‘Green Man’ would make a return to the last leg of the tour. David said that many antics were planned, but he didn’t want to give away any secrets. David talked about how he thought nobody would recognize him as Green Man, but his fans immediately recognized him from just seeing his body in lycra. He joked that there was no other time when he felt he needed to diet so badly in his life.

They transitioned to their next song, Mr Sensitive. Upon hearing the first few bars, the lady sitting next to me let out a very audible gasp in excitement. Everyone in the room burst in to laughter.

(the station muted the part where the lady next to me and that’s why David starts laughing)

He looked at me and asked, “Who was that?” and I pointed to the lady next to me. He said to her, ok- just so you know…we’re gonna try this again. You know, just so everyone‘s prepared. He had Neal re-start the song and again had to turn away from the mic and just laughed. It took him and the rest of us another moment to regain composure and then for the third time, he launched in to Mr Sensitive. You know, David has a lot more of himself to show when he sings acoustically. He sings a lot softer, which in turn, shows off just how much control he has over his lower register. It’s rare when he does it, and finally incorporated that in to his show at the state fair tonight, which again, I’ll get to later. They opened the floor to questions from the audience. He was asked about the new album. David said they had started writing, but there’s been no real time to start any honest work on it. He said it wouldn’t officially start until February next year. He was taking December off to ‘be a bro’ to his little brother Andrew, who was graduating college. He also said he was doing Idol Gives Back, and that he had just gotten done taping his performances for Carrie Underwood’s holiday special that airs later this year. He said he had ideas for the new record, but he wants to focus on finishing the tour first.

David and Neal then preformed Lie. Which if you heard David sing acoustically and literally two feet in front of you, you might have some sort of coronary as it’s the one song that just pulls at your heartstrings.

This was then I noticed how blue David’s eyes were up close. I’ve seen him enough times in pictures and videos, but the guy is seriously handsome in person. Everything about him screams at you in an, “i’m-a-sex-symbol-but-I-don’t-even-have-to-try” sort of way. If you ever get the chance to do it up close, check the man out. Bucket list it if you must because I recommend it. Strongly. I don’t exactly know what it is about him, the lips? The eyes? The arms? Who knows. He’s pretty much perfect as himself without being so over glammed it’s disgusting like the rest of Hollywood. After my tedious 3 minute daydream about possible ways to corner the guy, they re-opened the floor to more questions. Someone asked about “One Second to Change Your Life” David confirmed that no it was not his next single, but didn’t hint at it not being released as a possible B-side. So we may still see it pop up in the near future.

Since the guys had to head over to the fair and do their sound check, they drew the questions to a close and the radio people cleared them out and moved the guitars and mics. I rose to leave, and one employee at the station said, just wait a moment, we’re bringing David back to take pictures with everyone!! And guess who was first?! ME! Finally, the station brought David back in and they were like, OK go ahead!! And my sister and I went up and got our pictures taken with David. My sis then stepped aside and asked (as I was in a complete stupor now from having touched the man) if I could just have my picture with him. David was like yea, sure! Go ahead, but it’s not up to me… and pointed over to the photog. The guy behind the camera was like: OK! And I went back and got my picture taken with David on my own. This is when the awkward ass grab took place. As I removed my hand from David’s back, I kinda did an un-intentional ass graze. I stood there like OMG WTF do I say? And David just smiled and said it was nice to meet me. I said, you too finally! And thanked him for taking a pic with me. I forgot to mention when we first went up there, David and I had another awkward moment. My sis and I went up, and David was greeting us all politely like he does with everyone, and goes to shake my hand and then he decides to just hug me, so I was sticking my hand out to shake hands and then switched to hug, to which David saw and giggled at and also shook my hand after the hug. I think David does a serious moisturizer and I need to know his secret!! That guy has some abnormally soft skin…and a nice ass. I swear it was entirely accidental that I did a David Cook ass graze!!! For those that want to know…yes. It was firm.

The show here in my hometown later in the evening was absolutely amazing!! The seats were great (and thanks again to Mary aka CoolShades over on DCO for hooking me up, you‘re amazing!!), the opening act was brilliant! (I’m pretty sure I love the lead singer of The Script now, Irish and cute. Win Win.) David and the guys were better than Del Mar by a long shot. Everyone was on their A game. It was nice to be in an indoor venue and see their set complete. Big venue, loud. Everything was just awesome. I got a Cook shirt to add to my ever growing Cook memorabilia. (Guitar Pick, Bracelet, Jacket, Pass, and now Shirt) It’s the tan one on the site, in case you were wondering.😉 And yes, I AM enjoying the fact that David’s face is on my chest. I’m a fan girl, sue me. The Script took the stage at 6.30 and man those guys are energetic!! It was their first show on their US tour, and it definitely showed. Their energy was infectious! They had us all up out of our seats jamming with them even though most everyone wasn’t exactly familiar with their material. If there’s a band out there to make you feel good about life, it’s definitely these guys. They had a solid half hour set and I was sad to see them leave, but I was more than ready to see David again!! I think a collab between the Script and Anthemic is in order somewhere along this last leg of the Declaration tour. When it happens, someone needs to record it for me!! The roadies came out and started tearing down The Script’s set, switching gears for The Anthemic. My sister wasn’t feeling well, and so she was seated for about 75% of the entire show. She had me extremely worried as she said she was feeling hot and dizzy. I went to get her some more water during the break and had her remain in her seat in case I needed to go get some medical help. She normally doesn’t ever get dizzy for no reason, and figured maybe it had to do something with the heat, but she had drank two large bottles of water and they didn’t seem to help. I gave her candy, thinking it was blood sugar, that didn’t help either. So I was really worried. We come to find out, she’d just started to feel under the weather with flu (and NO not ’H1N1’) because my mom had been out of work for 3 days with the same illness already. (and now that I am continuing to write this a day later, I’m now feeling the same effects as her and I’m pounding on the Gatorade as I type!!) I came back after about 15 mins (having had been sent on a goose chase to find the merch table and cold water for my sis), and made sure my sister wasn’t going to pass out on me. She rested her head a moment and closed her eyes and just as she did so, the house lights went down and David & Co. came up stage left and were ready to rock. I felt bad for being so excited to see David again when my sister was feeling so crappy and I kept asking her through the duration of the show if she was okay, I think she might have gotten annoyed with me, but like I said, I was concerned. Though long story short, she made it out okay. I think she just wanted me to enjoy the show knowing how much I was infatuated with David Cook. I got a load of pictures, albeit most turning out blurry despite my statuesque poses in a desperation to capture as much of the show as possible. I had about 45 mins of recording time on the camera, but I decided to not numb my limbs and miss out on a damn good show. What was funny was I was seated at the end of a row, and security was telling everyone not to use flash or record the show. I blatantly whipped out my camera (which does a weird auto setting that doesn’t require flash) and recorded a couple of songs and one from The Script. One of the security guys actually came up next to me while I recorded and watched me do it through my camera, and had people walk around that might have bumped in to me, ruining the shot I was getting. I guess he knew I was intent on capturing it. But hey, I had my own camera police! So thanks for letting me get some decent recordings, security guy! I hope you see them on you tube!!

As the show went on, it was clear David was happy to be back out on the road and finishing his tour. He said he wanted to give 175%

Some major highlights from the show, I would definitely say Lie was #1 on the list of the evening. David brought some serious new life to the song as he sang a few paces away from the mic during the hook leading in to the chorus. He quieted the few thousand in attendance as he just let loose and let his voice create the entire song. It was an incredibly raw, candid moment, and as he sang, my heart broke for him. There’s a lot of pain behind those lyrics and he was showing everyone just how vulnerable and hurt he was. You wouldn’t be able to tell earlier with his sunny demeanor, though. Even though there were so many people there to see him, the moment felt entirely intimate. Almost more so than seeing him sing the song earlier at the radio station.

Another great moment during the show was Declaration. I can’t stress enough how much I love this song. I would love to see it as a potential single in the near future. It’s such an uplifting song, you can’t not like it! There was so much energy in that live performance, everyone was up out of their seats. Overall, the show was just plain fun. The set was a decent hour-long set, a major improvement from the 45 minute set in Del Mar.

I’m still searching for my picture I took with David on the radio station’s website, and as soon as I find it, I’m sure you’ll see it pop up. I posted over 100 pictures from the day over on my Facebook page, feel free to add me and search my albums to see them. Over all, the whole day was a complete 180 improvement over my first experience. Meanwhile, my dirty guitar pick sits nicely amongst the album memorabilia I have at home. I just hope that my next meeting with David Cook comes sooner than later!!

Time Management With David Cook!

What else can I say about David Cook other than oh my god? There’s just something about him that makes me get weak in the knees and feel as if I’m dreaming. And maybe I was yesterday, as there are barely any pictures of me floating about the interwebs with last year’s American Idol. 

I touched down in to San Diego Wednesday evening too see Cook preform at the Del Mar County Fair last night with that being the only expectation on Thursday’s agenda. I’ve had this trip planned since March, and unknown to me- was a plan in the works to meet David prior to the concert yesterday evening. As soon as I was in the car, I was informed that I’d be meeting David at an exclusive meet & greet in downtown San Diego. Part of me could not accept that as fact, that is to say, until he was standing less than five feet away from where I was sitted. If it wasn’t for the vodka I’d quickly downed prior to his arrival, I think I may have fainted.  I arrived an hour early to the meet & greet venue, which was a very posh little, three-story bar in the heart of Downtown. There was not a soul in sight, and I’d started to wonder if there was any truth to the information that was passed along to me. I took a walk in to little Italy, grabbed a tea at a local coffee shop, and rang my sister to pass some time. About half an hour later, I walked back to the venue to find a reasonable line forming in front. A positive sign. Save for the demographic I saw before me, which startled me slightly. The cougars were on patrol! I took a quick glance inside, and saw people bustling about, hanging signs for the radio station that was hosting the event. Security confirmed I was indeed on the guest list, and waited about 15 minutes until being allowed inside. I wasn’t sure what to expect when the 30 or so guests, including myself, were ushered to the topmost floor, as it was the smallest. We were served champagne and cupcakes, and so began waiting patiently for the man of the hour to arrive. I talked to other attendees, took business cards, schmoozed a bit. Mentally noted the layout of the venue, watched a sound check happen on the stage on the first floor. 2:30 rolled around. Still no sign of David Cook. The radio station informs us he’ll be late. Typical, I thought. I waited some more. Again we are told to wait another half hour. Then 15 minutes. Then yet another 15 minutes. And hour and a half finally passes before the fans gather at the windows to wave at David as he makes his way inside at long last. The frenzy begins. The cougars get their claws ready. I sit patiently at the table I was seated at, had being previously informed that they were going to seat David just adjacent where I was already at. I had no reason to move, I had the best seat in the house! A line forms, small children are getting anxious, and people are readying their cameras and sharpie pens. I wonder if I should get another hard drink. David finally gets upstairs and immediately the screaming begins, his handlers tell him where to stand, he obeys diligently. One by one, the fans go up like routine and get a picture taken by a local paparazzo, and are told no other pictures can be taken, or items are to be signed, due to his tardiness. I sit and watch some rather interesting meets take place. A cougar asks for a kiss on the neck in a raspy, low voice. David is taken aback, and has to sit and laugh a minute before regaining composure for the line that’s barely moved. Everyone gets a shot at him, the handlers rush the meet onwards, making our hour and a half wait seem like it was for nothing. Eventually, the people stop coming up, as everyone just remains near that’s already had a picture, polluting the view and completely screwing me of my chance to spring from my seat and get a chance to at least say hello. Immediately as I go up to David, he’s whisked away by a tall woman with black hair. My frustration is seen. Outcrys are heard. I flew from Phoenix to see him, after all. David looks my way and apologizes and that’s that. The meet is over. I got nothing. No hello, no picture, no signature. Just an apology for my 2 hour wait for him to arrive. I leave, biting my tongue and cursing the time wasted on a fruitless event.

Time to switch gears, concert time. After the letdown from earlier, I wasn’t expecting much. And indeed, that was what I got. The set for the stage was set up like some poor game of Tetris, and severely inhibited the vision of most the patrons on either side of the stage. I was just off stage left, and had to crane my neck a bit to see. More waiting. I start to get cold. I go up to the little white tents marked with ‘Concert Merchandise’ painted on, and get myself a David Cook hoodie as it’s now late evening, overcast, and getting darker by the minute. The line was long, and I’d asked a lady in line what the time was. She said 7:40. Ah, again with the lateness. David was to take the stage 10 minutes ago. The line progresses, I get my items, and head back to my seat. I waited about another 5 minutes and finally see David come up stage left and begin the set. Another 15 minutes gone.   The concert itself was great, David hits every note flawlessly. He mentions said cougar from earlier who wanted a kiss on the neck and dedicates the song of the same title to her, as she’s in attendance. David banters with his band, and the audience, and presses the set forward. We get a new song added, and it goes over without a hitch. The band takes a short 5 minute break during the set, leaving us wondering if the show is over, but the frenzy and screaming continues those five long minutes to bring David back singing Light On, to which he flubbed his own lyrics. A few other songs get sung, and before the 45 minute mark draws to a close, so does the concert. I was more than a little disappointed. 60 dollars a ticket, and we didn’t even get an hour set. I managed to snag a guitar pick despite my displeasure with the entire day, and left feeling slightly cheated. And that was that. The three month wait for my belated birthday came to an end with me clutching a dirty guitar pick with tiny red font that read, ‘David Cook’.

Entertainment Weekly Gets Glambertized!

That’s right, fans of the lovingly dubbed, “Lord Screamanova,” Adam Lambert just landed solo on his first magazine cover. Adam and his EW spread hits the news stands tomorrow, but you can check out the cover and article on Adam right here.


Understanding the Outbreak

What do we truly know about the H1N1 strand of influenza more commonly known as the, ‘Swine Flu?’  So far, the threat level of this new virus has been raised to worldwide pandemic, and that’s reason enough to worry. The first confirmed cases of the new pandemic have been reported in the U.S. since last week, and today, the first confirmed death from the virus was reported in Texas. How do you combat a new strand of virus that within a week, has already reached global pandemic? To understand it is how to first combat it. Knowing what it is, where it originated, and how to take precautionary measures to cease all possible transmission of the virus. As historians believe, history repeats itself, and indeed, we have seen the Swine Influenza reach  pandemic in the world before. So why aren’t precautions being taken currently to stifle the spread? Restrictions on the U.S./Mexico border would be a start. From what is understood of the virus’ origin,  the first reported recent case of the Swine Flu came from a young boy on a pig farm in Mexico. Within a few days of contracting the virus, he’d spread it to over 400 people in his community. First and foremost, all travel to Mexico should cease. If you are planning a trip, absolutely do not go.

Where the concern lies for the virus is in it’s ability to evolve. Your basic Flu virus grows and evolves, making some minor changes to it’s makeup every couple of years, outgrowing your body’s basic defenses and also rendering any vaccine near useless. There is still no cure for the common flu virus due to this ability to evolve. The vaccinations make the symptoms less severe by shortening the time it takes to recover. Since 2005, only 12 reported cases of the Swine Flu were in the United States, with none of them being lethal. However, this strand of virus has indeed evolved and is now capable of being spread just as the common cold would. The newer strands of the virus have bonded with basic human influenza, which now is able to be passed from swine to humans. Whereas before, swine flu was strictly prevalent in stocks of swine and turkey and could not be transmitted to humans. This particular strand of influenza lies dormant in only these certain stocks, but since bonding with the human influenza virus, is now able to be contracted and passed by humans. You can not contract the swine flu by eating pork or turkey.

Combating the virus is the next step. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  projects a vaccination will be ready by late 2009. So what do we do until then? Basic precautionary measures can be taken, such as washing your hands, covering a cough or sneeze, or staying home from work or school if symptoms persist. Since the Swine Flu behaves identically to the common Flu virus, there are no specific symptoms that set it apart to make it immediately detectable. However, if you do contract flu-like symptoms that last more than the span of a few days, do seek medical attention. The Swine Flu has been known to last from several days, to a couple weeks. What makes this particular flu deadly is it’s ability to raise the body temperature and keep it high. Fevers of over 102 that persist for days are sure cases of the virus and need to be treated immediately. Treatment includes receiving one of two flu vaccinations, Tamiflu or Relenza. The US government has issued over $2 million dollars worth of each drug to be made available in each state, if the severity of the pandemic grows.

The Swine Flu is not lethal by nature, the only concern for it lies in those not capable of combating the virus due to weakened immune systems. This could be due to an underlying health issue, or a person’s age. Those of a much younger age have been known to contract the virus and be contagious for up to 10 days, with a full recovery after 2 weeks.  All those infected with the Swine Influenza have made a full recovery and have had no serious repercussions from contracting the virus.

Wolverine Visits the Valley of the Sun

Probably the single largest voting event that’s taken place besides American Idol, the race for the World premiere of X-men Origins: Wolverine came to a close last week. Cities all over the globe held massive voting competitions against each other for the grandiose Hollywood premiere. The winning city? Tempe, Arizona. Last night, Tempe became Hollywood as the District at Tempe Marketplace got to host ‘Wolverine’ at the Harkins 16 Cine Capri Theaters. Hosting the evening’s events were none other than the familiar voices of the Valley, Johnjay and Rich, of  the nationally syndicated KISS FM. The event kicked-off with ASU cheerleaders dancing to the sounds of the Tempe High School marching band, and Woverine himself, portrayed by Hugh Jackman- zoomed in to the Marketplace in style on a vintange Harley Davidson.  Jackman promoted the online contest to see which city, over 1,000 possibilities, would prevail as host for the World premiere.

Thousands turned out for the premiere, with some camping out for several days just to get a good look at their favorite stars. Jackman, impressed with the dedication from the fans, even went so far as to buy the campers breakfast early Monday morning.

“I was like, ‘Man, that’s what I love about Wolverine fans,'” Jackman said.  “They’re so passionate. I said the least I could do is buy them a muffin and a cup of coffee. I’ve been to Cannes, I’ve been all over the world, I’ve done premieres for big movies.  Nothing beats this.  You know why? These are the real fans,” he added.
Fellow Castmate Ryan Renyolds reiterated the sentiment,”You get to see all these people. You don’t get this in Los Angeles. You really get to actually spend time with the people here, and that’s a beautiful thing,” he said.

All 16 theaters simultaneously screened the movie at 7:30PM yesterday evening, making it the biggest World premiere to date. X-Men Origins: Wolverine opens this Friday nationwide.