Global Festival 2012

I spent Saturday in Central Park with 59,999 of my closest friends. Those friends include new ones like my Global Citizen Crew pictured below, and old ones like Band of Horses, The Black Keys, and Foo Fighters who in the spirit of charity all rocked out free of charge.

The show aimed to raise 500 million dollars for charities that makes the world a better place. And that day if nothing else, they succeeded in New York City. Things kicked off with K’Naan and then moved to Band of Horses, an old favorite of mine who had quite the sense of humor about being part of the festival. Their set was peppered with comments like “This is for the three of you who know who we are.” Their self-deprecation was charming and only strengthened by the fact that they brought out the big guns, playing “No One’s Gonna Love You” and “The Funeral.”

After that, things started getting tense. The crowd thickened and the tallest, widest men decided to take position in front of the shortest girls they could find, one of which being me. But it was okay, because I learned that The Black Keys will still blow your mind live, even if you can’t see them. The one big complaint I think I share with most concert attendees (who didn’t spend a bagillion dollars on VIP tickets) is the poor stage design. The giant horseshoe thing blocked most people’s view of the huge central monitor, and then the smaller side monitors were resting on the ground, making them impossible to see. So unfortunately, the majority of the audience had no view whatsoever of what was happening on stage. I did get one peak of Dan Auerbach amidst dancing my pants off, so it wasn’t a total fail. I definitely plan on checking The Black Keys out next time they’re in town. Cause even though my experience was audio-only, it was still out of control.

The only time Olivia Wilde will be totally ignored is if she’s talking right before a Foo Fighters show. I feel really guilty, but there were a lot of amazing public figures, speakers, and short films proceeding the Foo, and along with the rest of the audience, I didn’t pay attention to any of them. At one point, a big-wig-charity-doing-good-samaritan interrupted his own speech by noting, “I promise Foo Fighters will be out very soon.” The whole audience had the fever. And man oh man did the boys deliver. They played a well-crafted mini set that included songs everyone in the audience would know and the highest energy new tracks from Wasting Light. Dave proclaimed this to be their last performance in a good long while, and I felt privileged to be one of the witnesses. Luckily the giant men chose to block someone else’s view at this point and I was able to sort of see. Enough so that I took this poorly-composed video of the boys playing “These Days.”

Neil Young and Crazy Horse closed out the show with a semi-bizarre series of 20 minute long guitar wanderings, which I think people were equally blown away and perplexed by. I shall now refer to him as “The Godfather of Grunge” as his set made it clear that he was who my musical heroes looked up to. Dude has lived and been around the block, made evidence by his scowl and scuffed up guitars. He looks like that person in the neighborhood who is always on the porch with a Budweiser, but once he straps on his Les Pauls, that all changes. Neil Young unleashes in a way I totally wasn’t expected. Even during the surreal encore when he was joined by all the Foo Fighters, both Black Keys, the whole Band of Horses, and K’Naan in a rendition of “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World,” he kept it gritty and hard. Reverb and distortion abounded and it was freaking incredible.  They all thought so:

Global Festival was an incredible day and a very unique, special experience. There is only one thing that could have made it better…

A girl can dream…

 

 

 

 

New York’s Hottest Club is Central Park

This summer, I saw the 1978 classic “Animal House” on the big screen, got soaking wet with a crowd of hipsters at a Beach House concert, stuck out a storm while seeing The Givers, and cheered on No Doubt for a morning TV show, and I did all this in the same place. A place that I am now deeming Stefan-style as New York’s hottest club. I did it in Central Park.

I have spent more time this summer in the Olmstead-ian masterpiece than I’ve spent there in my ten-year NYC tenure, and the fun is just getting started. On September 29th, I have a ticket to attend a Foo Fighters/Black Keys/Neil Young/Band of Horses show, which a “friend” once described as a dream concert in her OK Cupid profile (not me), but will soon be a reality.

By now, the City Park’s Foundation must be swimming in praise, but I want to add another shout out to the pile. Every event at what might as well be my new pied-a-terre has been well organized, a good experience, relaxing and super fun. The staff and volunteers couldn’t be nicer, and whoever is curating the events has been spot on with their selection of bands, performers, and films. They even have good food! Mile End, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Asia Dog, free caramel corn… be still my heart.

The other upside to all the fun is that you’re in the middle of the park itself. There are few other ways to feel like you’re escaping the city without actually leaving it. You can feel grass on your toes, skip rocks, and sunbathe, right in the middle of Manhattan. Pretty cool, right?

I know I’m a little late in the game here, but there is still some time left to take advantage of the CP fun before we lose the summer sun. And when you go, feel free to say hi… I’ll be camping out to to get a good spot at Foo Fighters.

We totes Good Morning-ed America

Holy balls, you guys, this morning I saw No Doubt!! Definitely more to come on this, but for now check out these two amazing pics. One was tweeted by Good Morning America anchor Lara Spencer (@LaraSpencer) and the other was tweeted by some chick named Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani)…

My bright eyed, bushy tailed, got up at 4am self is in both of them. Shout out to Emily  (@EmilyTarver) for being the perfect person to share this with! What a sweet time! If you live in NYC, def hit up these GMA concerts. They’re free, easy to go to, and super fun.

Emily and I dancing it up to “Underneath it All”

Emily, Me, and Gwen Stefani’s Thumb