Last week I flew up to New York to see my favorite band, The Killers, perform at their album release #AMEXunstaged show at the famous Paradise Theater in the Bronx! Read on to discover the epic-ness that transpired:
Location: New York City, New York
“Smile Like You Mean It”
I arrived in New York City on Monday, a day before the first Killers show. My longtime friend Alfonso, and his girlfriend Anna accompanied me. Upon arriving, I checked my email and discovered that I won 2 tickets to see The Killers Wednesday night for a private performance at the Ed Sullivan Theater, after the Letterman taping. So this means I will be seeing The Killers 3 times in 2 days! Are you kidding me!! Minutes later, Alfonso found out that he also won 2 tickets to the private show! Craziness!
The first thing we did in the city was take a walk through Central Park.
It was a beautiful sunny late afternoon in New York City. We found a nice little spot in the park and listened to ‘Battle Born’ as the sun was setting. A beautiful moment indeed.
Afterwards we walked around the city for a few hours, eventually making our way to the Empire State building. It’s absolutely break taking up there, a must see especially at night, with the city lights shining back at you.
Location: Bronx, New York
Venue: The Paradise Theater
“All The Pretty Faces”
We arrived at the Paradise Theater in the Bronx shortly after 5:30am. We planned to go earlier but was warned that the area was really bad. When we got there we discovered that there were already a dozen people lined up! You’ve gotta love these dedicated Killers fans. I have to admit, this was one of the more difficult queuing experiences because of the inclement weather; it was raining the entire day with huge gusts of cold win. Being that I’m from Miami, I had trouble dealing with the cold wind (I must sound like a wimp).
We managed to get through the day; it was so worth it because we were able to reach barrier, right in front of that wicked awesome lightening bolt!
The concert was being streamed live via YouTube.com as part of the American Express Unstaged concert series. You can view all the videos online by clicking here. I appeared several times in these videos; it’s pretty damn cool watching the videos and seeing myself rocking out. Just look for the tall, sharp dressed white man rocking out in front of the lightening bolt, it ain’t hard to miss me.
The Killers were on top form, playing classic hits mixed in with a bit of new material. The concert was produced by famous directer Werner Herzog; he strapped a camera to the chest of drummer Ronnie Vannucci’s chest, and also had a floating fan cam that went around the crowd. Fun times!
Here is a pictures of me rocking on, captured as a screenshot from the youtube live stream.
Location: New York City, New York
Venue: Ed Sullivan Theater
“Outside The Sun Is Shining, It Seems Like Heaven Ain’t Far Away”
After getting a much needed full nights rest at our hotel in New Jersey; we hopped on the subway and headed to the Ed Sullivan Theater. As it turned out, the Letterman taping tickets that I won was for the show that was being aired on Wednesday night September 19th; originally this was the episode that The Killers were going to be on. Come to find out, they switched the date last minute, so that meant The Killers would be on the September 20th taping. I was disappointed because I had tickets to the first taping. Luckily for me and my friends, we put ourselves on the standby list and we were able to get last minute tickets to the taping that The Killers would be on! (They actually taped both shows on that Wednesday) The Killers taping was at 6pm, a few hours before The Killers private show (at the same venue). I know this might be a bit confusing but stick with me.
It was really cool being able to see what goes behind the scenes at these late night show recordings! Letterman was hilarious as usual. After Letterman introduced The Killers; they began to play the opening notes to “Runaways”, a few seconds in, lead singer Brandon Flowers turns to the band and tells them to stop. Brandon then proceeds to walk off stage, into the dressing room area. Being the comedian that Letterman is; he started speaking into his mic in an effort to imitate Brandon Flowers, saying “I forgot what song we are playing, is it Mr Brightside?”, and “Man, I really gotta take a leak”. Haha it was all in good fun, and so hilarious!
Brandon came back on stage, Letterman did the introduction one more time, and The Killers “Killed” it. (I’m so funny) The sound at the Ed Sullivan Theater is so loud and crisp. I really enjoyed the Letterman performance of Runaways. Watch below!
After exiting the Letterman taping, there was already a line formed outside the theater, by the lucky people who were going to the private show of The Killers. I hopped right into that line! Ha, it was really crazy (and awesome) getting out of the theater, and then hopping right back in line to enter the theater again. The tickets for the private show were really cool! (pictured above) Since we weren’t toward the front of the line, we had to sit in the balcony area. No big deal because we still had a pretty good view of the stage. (Pictured below)
This private show was special because it will probably be the smallest crowd that I’m ever going to see The Killers in; there were only about 450 lucky people in the audience. This was part of the Live at Letterman taping that can be found on CBS.com. The Killers played for a little over an hour, mixing it up with classic hits, and a few new tracks from Battle Born. As mentioned a bit earlier, the sound in the Ed Sullivan Theater is incredible; it’s like super, SUPER HD! So loud, so crisp! The bass of Mark Stoermer resonates in your chest. The vocals of Brandon Flowers enters the core of your soul. The guitar riffs of Dave Keuning supplants part of your brain. And last but definitely not least, the drumming of the one and only Ronnie (Unstoppable) Vannucci Jr., turns your feet into dancing slaves.
Before I end this post, I want to give a shot out to my buddy, Ted Sablay (touring guitarist for The Killers), Jake Blanton (touring Keyboardist/Guitarist for The Killers), my friend, James Gebhard (Audio Engineer for The Killers), a new buddy, Steven Douglas (Visuals for The Killers), and the cool and handsome Rob Whited (tours with The Killers, also band member of Most Thieves). Each concert is an epic experience with the help of all these guys I just mentioned, plus some other people behind the scenes. I have high respect for everyone in The Killers camp.
To view all of my photos from this trip, check out my Facebook album; Boy You Was Battle Born
I recorded a video blog of my entire trip so you can sort of feel like you were right there with me! Watch below, and enjoy! All comments, shares, and likes will be greatly appreciated.