Saturday, December 15, 2007

Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden on December 14, 2007

I took my daughter and one of her friends to Z100's Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden in New York last night. This is the second year we have gone. Last year I had to become a ZVIP and get a password and then buy the tickets online. I would try to get the best available tickets but all that was returned in the search were "The Worst Seats in the House" that Z100 reserves for their ZVIPs. I have to say that this is truth in advertising since these are not great seats if you are interested in viewing the stage.

Last year we sat in the 400 section (I screwed up and did not take the 200 level seats that came back in the first search). The tickets turned out to be not as bad as I expected. We could see part of the stage but we were in the first row of the section so we had a great view of the back stage which was kind of interesting. The stage rotates and the band's/artist's rigs are setup and configured and then rolled around to the front. We always got to see the next act getting ready to get on. The down side was that we did not have a good view of the jumbo screens that displayed the live feed from the front.

This year we sat in the 320 section. We were right behind that left side of the stage. We had a good view of the jumbo screens but not much of anything else. We had a good time even though it made for a late night since we did not get home until 1 PM. It was an even longer day for me since my flight from Richmond on Thursday evening was cancelled and I had to catch a 7 AM flight on Friday morning.

The girls want to attend the all access lounge at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th Street. So we took the 1:03 PM train out of Middletown, NJ. This got us into NY's Penn Station at around 2:30 PM (it is a mid day local that stops at all stations on both the North Jersey Coast Line and the Northeast Corridor.

There is alot of graffiti along the train line. I took this picture at a stop in Linden, NJ.

The Empire State Building from the Secaucus Station. On clear days it almost appears as if everything is magnetized.

Inside the Hammerstein Ballroom and the all access lounge. This was actually the low point of the evening for me but I was trying to make the best of it. In order to get all access it was necessary to get a pass. Winning these passes were tough. My daughter and her friend spent a couple of hours trying to get Backstreet Boys and Jonas Brothers meet and greet passes but it did not really work out too well. Eventually we started looking for a place to eat and we ended up at the ESPN Zone at Times Square. The food is better than I though it would be.

This is the view from out seats. I guess it is all about the scene. The show was much better paced than last year. The acts were definitely better last year but there were some highlights of this year's show. Avril Lavigne was good. She seems to be having fun and played 6 songs which was the most by anyone all night. Most acts only play at most 4 songs. Fall Out Boy played 6 as well. Alicia Keyes was great. Great voice and a great band.

Fall Out Boy was their usual selfs. I took my daughter to the Honda Civic Center over the summer at the PNC Art Center. At list point I am not sure if I am a fan. The lead singer and the drummer (he was playing a single bass setup this time) are good. I am still trying to decide if the bass player and second guitarist add that much to the sound. They do play with a lot of energy though.

I was disappointed with Timbaland's performance. I was really expecting that this was going to be high light of the show and Timbaland would showcase some of his genius at merging genre's but it did not really happen. Timbaland had a tough time keeping the energy level up. The performance would move in that direction but before it really gained momentum it kind of died. The band OneRepublic performed with Timbaland and I kind of felt sorry for them since there big opportunity to play Madison Square Garden was marred by equipment/sound problems that did not effect the other acts. OneRepublic played the All Access lounge earlier and they sounded my better. Really a shame since from what I could tell they had the opportunity to really shine.

However, the mostly early teenage girl crowd was there for the Jonas Brothers. We stuck around for 2 songs by the Jonas Brothers but we really wanted to be on the 11:30 PM train home so we left a little early. Waiting until 12:37 AM was not really a good option.

While the music showcased is not really my type of music I am open minded enough to enjoy whatever music is being played. Just like last year there were some great drummers and I usually listen to the drummers when I listen to music.

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