It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! What better way to start off the Holiday Season with some acoustic music to help us express our joy. On December 13, 2017, Mix 96.5 brought in special guests to start off the holiday joy! The lineup included: Lights, Bleachers, Phillip Phillips, and All Time Low. Having the opportunity to assist to this event was remarkable! All the performance were not only entertaining, but also inspirational.
To begin with, House of Blues always has staff that is willing to help you have a good time. As soon as we arrived, we were directed to get our tickets and waited in line for the doors to open. The things I find the most interesting is the waiting. I know for a fact that there is several people who don’t like waiting in line but I do. While I wait, I find it as an opportunity to make interactions with other people. Behind my friend, Jose, and I, there was a couple who were really eager for the show. As we made small talk, we noticed that we shared different musical interest. We shared our own knowledge about the musicians that were going to be performing and learned new things from each other. Next thing we know, it was already time to begin.
Lights is the solo name for a Canadian musician named Valerie Anne Poxleitner. Not only is she a musician, she is also a singer and songwriter. During her performance, she was accompanied by Brody on stage with a guitar and sub vocals. I do have to admit that her vocals were amazing. I personally don’t know much about her but i did enjoy her set. She made a special interaction with a fan and noticed that the girl, Summer, cosplayed as a character of one of her albums that recently came out. As soon as she said her name, there was comments on how her name was “Summer” and this was a “Winter Holiday.” She even dedicated her the following song she was going to sing. Lights did comment that she will be coming back to Houston really soon.
I was amazed when she said, “I never had my music played on the radio in the US.” That is when I found out she was Canadian and that Mix 96.5 were the first ones to play her music on the radio in the US. She also said, “…leaving a mark. However big or small, this is our time on Earth.” Little does she know that she left a mark herself that night. She has so much more to come in her music career and I sure can’t wait to hear more about her.
Bleachers is the official stage name of songwriter, Jack Antonoff. It is an American indie pop act based in New York City. He was also accompanied on stage who played the piano and the saxophone. I am still not 100% sure if they always perform together or if it was just for tonight, but I am sure that their set was amazing. I don’t think I have ever seen a performance featuring a saxophone.
When the first song began, the crowd was already hyped. In between songs, there would be this one person that had a scream that sounded really familiar. As soon as I heard someone commented what it sounded like, I remembered. Jack recognized it as well and told him to do it every time between songs. “You do you Matt!” Jack would even call Matt during a song for him to scream, making the crowd laugh.
“A lot of other things feel crap and this doesn’t.” For the Winter Holidays, it is nice seeing everyone together. He even admitted that although he is Jewish, he respects and loves each and everyone of the people that was in the crowd that night. It reflected that religion, ethnicity, or skin pigment should not interfere with union and happiness. As soon as I arrived home, I was eager to hear more from him.
“Phillip Phillips” is the stage name for an American singer and songwriter named, Phillip LaDon Phillips Jr. While we were on our way to House of Blues, Spotify played one of his songs. Our friend that was driving us then recognized that he was the winner of the eleventh season of American Idol. In my perspective, it was interesting being able to see the performance of an American Idol winner. Being on stage can be a hassle and he even mentioned that he was nervous and he didn’t know what to say. “Sing along if you know the lyrics. And even if you don’t sing something.It can be another song.”
The crowd was proudly singing along with him. To my surprise, I was familiar with his last song but I didn’t know that he was the singer. I tried to join the crowd by singing along, even if I didn’t know the lyrics. Next time, I’ll make sure to know the lyrics and enjoy it to the fullest.
All Time Low
Before the last group was introduced, the crowd was already hyped! All the cheering fans were screaming, “All Time Low!” At this point, I was ready to scream my heart out and sing along! My friend was telling me to calm down since I was jumping excitingly but I didn’t care. As soon as I saw Alex walk in, I was already screaming really loudly. I’ve been a fan for about 5 years and seeing them live for the first time was truly amazing. Not only are their songs awesome, but their performances are always off the roof! Especially their fan interactions on stage.
All Time Low is a band from Baltimore. The members are: Alex Gaskarth, lead guitarist and backing vocalist Jack Barakat, bassist and backing vocalist Zack Merrick, and drummer Rian Dawson. Throughout the years, I’ve noticed that they always talk to each other and to the fans. The most interesting part about their set, are the gifts. That night, there were more gifts than usual. The reason was because the day after, December 14, 2017 is Alex’s birthday! In between songs, the crowd managed to sing him “Happy Birthday.” Many fans were throwing letters and unusual gifts on stage for him to see. They varied from letters, IDs, girl bra, and even their own shoe. Alex retrieved the show and informed her that she was not getting it back, therefore she decided to throw her other shoe on stage. When Jack retrieved a college student ID, he managed to keep the crowd entertained and made sure to give it back to its rightful owner.
“Gotta keep you confident. Gotta keep you singing.” Just like that, the crowd was singing along and jumping on their feet. Alex did have a moment on stage were he played his classic solo song, “Therapy.” While I was hearing this song, it kept bringing me so many memories, good memories. I always seem to find a personal connection when I hear their songs play. Since it was an acoustic event, their songs were smoothly and relaxing. You could see couples swaying together to the music.
Overall, the event was a success! The fact that everyone was gathered together, listening to the same music, making new interactions really brought in the Holiday spirit. Some attended because it is finals week and they needed something to smooth them down. Acoustic songs seem to reach the mind and the heart more. There is something about guitar chords playing that gives a sense of relaxation. A special thanks to Mix 96.5 for this wonderful night.