We Can Survive at the Hollywood Bowl

Each year during mid-October, radio station 97.1 Amp Radio hosts a benefit concert at the Hollywood Bowl for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

They collect donations and $2 from each ticket sold benefits the Young Survival Coalition, which is an organization that supports young women diagnosed with breast cancer. This year was the Sixth Annual “We Can Survive” concert with performances by Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Ella Mai, G-Eazy, Khalid, Marshmello, Meghan Trainor, NF and Tyga.

     

        

The concert lasted approximately four and a half hours, with nine artists scheduled to perform. Altogether, the performers spanned multiple genres of music, including rap, pop, R&B, EDM, and more. Instead of focusing on the artists individually, I want to tell you more about the experience of sitting front row at such a large venue.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend this amazing concert four years in a row, and the past three times I’ve won upfront seats on the radio. The first year I won, I had third row seats and access to a private pre-show to watch the radio station interview the artists. Last year, I had front row seats and got to meet Harry Styles. This year, I had first row seats, which situated me in front of the barricade, where I could physically touch the stage and reach all the artists. And let me tell you – once you’re front row – you really can’t go back. But regardless of where you’re seated, this remains one of the very best concerts of the year. Even experiencing the concert from the back-most row is worth it, as you’re still able to witness all these extremely talented artists.

Meeting Bebe Rexha at the 2016 We Can Survive Pre-Party

 

Meet and Greet with Harry Styles at We Can Survive 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While sitting front row at a concert, you get a completely different experience; You get the chance to personally interact with your favorite artists, including making eye contact, or even being serenaded to. And if you’re lucky enough, you can even catch a guitar stick from Brad Paisley’s drummer, or snag a setlist after the show.

The first thing you’re surprised about when you’re sitting up close at a concert is that you can see ALL the features on the artists, including the sweat on their face! It’s harder to notice these fine details when you’re sitting far away, or looking at them through the screen. However, if you’re not jamming out and having a good time, the artist may not notice you. During Khalid’s set, after he stopped right in front of me, I got his attention through singing “Another Sad Love Song” as loudly as I could. I knew this tactic would be especially effective, since other people at the concert weren’t likely to know the song as well as some of his bigger hits. Fortunately, he noticed, pointed to me, and sang to me directly.

          

Another way we got attention was by putting our hands up and throwing our energy out anytime they came anywhere near us – through this we were able to touch nine different artists (Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, Shawn Mendes, Tyga, Chris Brown, G-Eazy, and Anthony Russo)! The thrill of being cut after touching Chris Brown’s  hand since his ring was so sharp was a moment I’ll probably never forget. The excitement of being cut by hundreds of thousands of dollars of diamonds is an immense one! I also managed to catch G-Eazy’s sweat towel (which sounds gross, but I like to think of it as a souvenir from this experience) and make eye contact with many of my favorite artists.

        

Finally, it’s so cool to see these people who you look up to and listen to in person, where you can see their every move on stage, when suddenly, the realization that they’re actually real people too comes. Overall the front row experience is surreal, and easily ranks among one of the best night of my life, making the experience something I’ll never forget. I would recommend everyone be in the pit or front row at some point in their lives, as long as they are truly passionate about the artist they’re seeing, since it’ll make the experience way more fun and memorable.

I would also highly recommend the We Can Survive concert for everyone; they always have surprises and a variety of artists, the Hollywood Bowl is one of the nicest venues in LA, and it’s all for a great cause. Overall, you can’t beat that!

     
   
Review By: Ally Will
Photos By: Ally Will

Does an Artist’s Personal Life Matter?

More often than not, when we consume media, whether we listen to a song or watch a movie, it is hard for us to not consciously or subconsciously focus on the artist’s personal life. Or if we do not know much about the artist initially, it is common for the majority of us to Google them and find out about their personal life. Thus this begs the question: does an artist’s personal life matter when consuming their art, or are the two things completely unrelated and should it even be taken into consideration?

I have always felt conflicted with this question, because I am myself guilty of consuming media by people who have in the past or currently do not engage in exemplary behavior. For example, I am open about the fact that I am a huge fan of Woody Allen’s films, and have yet to find a film of his that I dislike. I love the style of his films, the quirkiness and charm of virtually all of the movies that he releases. However, the allegations of child molestation and abuse made against Allen by Dylan Farrow, his former partner Mia Farrow’s adoptive daughter, are no secret. She claims abused her at the age of seven.

On a slightly different note, I have also always been a fan of Chris Brown. I listen to his music all of the time and find him to be extremely talented. However, his personal life is very well-documented and public, and it is no secret that he has in the past been very abusive and hot-tempered, especially against his partners.

So keeping those two examples in mind, I believe that domestic abuse and child molestation (as well as other such despicable acts) are inexcusable and disgusting, and should not be overlooked when we look at an artist, no matter how much we admire their work. Choosing to ignore such behavior perpetuates this idea that it is not a big deal and that it is virtually okay for things like this to happen. This behavior becomes normalized, which is one of the many reasons victims don’t come out and speak out about their abuse: they feel like they won’t be believed, virtually no action will be taken against their perpetrators, and/or people in power can get away with anything. Just look at the cases of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, as well as a stream of other rich public figures that are in positions of power.

Thus, all in all, although I’m guilty of supporting problematic artists, I now do realize that it is hypocritical on my behalf. While an artist and their art are technically separate things and one has nothing to do with the other, in the grand scheme of things, supporting one’s art is supporting an artist, both monetarily and politically. So with that being said, if you truly stand against the terrible things that an artist does, but then you go out to watch their latest film or you stream their newest track, you are inadvertently letting them get away with it and furthering the power that they hold .

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