I don’t usually write about my life on this blog, because nothing really exciting goes on in my life worth writing about. I’m a homebody, don’t go out very much, would rather spend a Friday night watching Fringe instead of being out at a bar or club. But this weekend, I was barely home, and it was a nice change.
On Saturday, I went downtown to attend Manifesto Fest’s So Much Things To Say conference. Writer, Dream Hampton, gave the keynote address. I became a fan of Dream’s from Twitter. She’s one of the most interesting people to follow, she posts interesting links, recommends books and uses Twitter to talk about important things. She co-wrote Jay-Z’s bestselling book “Decoded”, which I loved, and she’s written about hip hop for many years. I think she’s brilliant, and as soon as I saw on Twitter that she was coming to Toronto, I knew I had to be there. I don’t usually do things like this, go to hear writers speak, so it was a brand new experience.
The talk she gave was so interesting. She spoke candidly about her life and some of the things she’s been through writing about hip hop for the past two decades. Some of the stories she told were unbelievable, she and Biggie were neighbours and very good friends, she had interactions with a lot of well-known rappers, and was in New York City when hip hop was exciting and innovative. I could have listened to her talk all afternoon. It was inspiring to listen to someone who had been through so much, had so many adventures in her life and wrote about it. Being a writer in New York is my dream, and it was cool to hear from someone who lived that life. It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday, I woke up to news that I won tickets to see Miguel in concert that night. I had entered a contest on Twitter, constantly tweeting a phrase to win two tickets and I won. It was crazy, cause I never win anything! It was the first time I went to a concert by myself. I’ve gone to a lot of shows alone, some musicals, movies, even trips, but never a concert. It wasn’t by choice, I couldn’t find anyone to go with. On such short notice, on a Sunday night, people had things to do. I didn’t really care, I love Miguel and his album and I had to see him perform live.
I got to the venue at eight, Miguel didn’t come on until quarter to eleven. There was a whole lot of standing around. Luckily for me, I spotted a friend I went to high school with and chatted with her until the show started. I have no idea what I would have done if I was alone.
The crowd was small and intimate, so I was able to get a pretty good spot near the stage. Miguel skipped out on stage wearing black shades, a black leather jacket, blue shirt and white bow tie. He started the show off with “Pay Me” one of my favorite songs off his album. For the hour he was on stage, he only did about five tracks from the album, “All I Want Is You”, “Quickie”, “Girls Like You” and “Sure Thing.” I think he did a few new tracks, or songs that are not in the album that have a more rock sound to them. I was a little disappointed he didn’t do more album cuts, I wouldn’t have minded if he performed every single song off the album like Chris Brown did, but it wasn’t that kind of show. A lot of the women around me seemed to only be there off the popularity of “Sure Thing.” At one point he was talking to the crowd about his struggle to get signed, and a girl near me yelled, “Shut up and sing ‘Sure Thing!'”
Miguel is a very talented singer, and entertaining performer. He’s not the best dancer, but he danced a lot, played with his technicolor microphone stand, worked the stage from every side. He was never boring to watch and sang live for the whole show. I was impressed that he wasn’t afraid to mix rock elements in to his show, and not be boxed in as just an R&B singer. Miguel is a lot different from other popular male R&B artists, it was refreshing. He urged the crowd to get his album, saying “You could play that muthafu**a from beginning to end.” I yelled out, “WORD!” because it’s true. ‘All I Want Is You’ is on iTunes now, pick it up, you won’t be disappointed.
That was my crazy fun weekend. I got to listen to a writer I admire and won tickets to see an artist I love.
I wish every weekend was like this one.