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Tag: On the Scene (31-40 of 75)

On the scene at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, day two: Lady Gaga takes over the show

Leave it to Lady Gaga to co-opt a music festival featuring dozens of top-line pop stars and make it her own.

The Lady appeared on stage as the final performer last night at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and stayed on stage for well over an hour—much longer than any of the other acts. “They told me I was only allowed to play for 45 minutes,” she told the crowd. “But I think you’re all pretty drunk so you probably don’t know what time it is, do you?”

And it’s true: No one was complaining when she served up hit after hit, including “Judas,” “You and I,” “Just Dance,” and “Bad Romance,” which basically blew the roof off the arena.

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On the scene at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, day one: Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, and Jay-Z

When you think about it, there’s really only one way to kick off a pop music festival: with the gyrating, electro, pulsing sounds of the Black Eyed Peas, of course.

The foursome opened the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena last night with laser lights, a cadre of jailbird-themed backup dancers (in a word: divine), and one of their signature songs, “Boom Boom Pow.”

It’s almost needless to say, but the party-rocking vibe the show’s producers were no doubt hoping for coalesced perfectly, as the crowd spiraled into dancing through songs like “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “Don’t Stop the Party,” “The Time (Dirty Bit),” and the perfect set-ender: “I Gotta Feeling.” (Personally, I was hoping for “Shut Up,” but no one ever seems to be into that song as much as me.)

Of much interest — at least to me — was Fergie’s delightful getup, which included glittery knee-high boots and onesie, and fascinating, gold fingernail/cap things that contributed to her overall drag queen look. She was Vegas to a T! (Then again, she always kind of is.)

The tone was set from the first act: This show was definitely all about the hits, and the 12,000 fans in the audience at the MGM Grand Garden Arena seemed to get just what they wanted. From top to bottom, the show was quite the Vegas production with huge screens flanking the stage, more than one confetti blast (the first one came at the almost-still-daylight time of 8:01 p.m., no joke), and, yes, Ryan Seacrest as host.

He first appeared after the Black Eyed Peas left the stage to introduce the show: “This weekend,” he said, in a trademark way that’s both overly dramatic and overly bombastic, “all roads lead to Vegas.” Well, all roads carrying the biggest pop stars, at least. And it was during this interlude that he announced something that made the crowd go completely wild: Lady Gaga—already confirmed to be performing during the festival—would appear on Saturday night with Sting. In two words: Instant death!

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On the scene at Yankee Stadium: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax crank and shred

Over the course of his band’s two-hour set to close out the Big 4 show at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night, Metallica frontman James Hetfield repeatedly asked the assembled crowd of over 41,000 headbangers, “Can you feel it?”

He didn’t have to worry; the collective had no trouble feeling it. Or hearing it. In perhaps a grandiose feat of overcompensation for the outdoor venue and the noise from the adjacent subway line, everything was cranked up to 11 from the first note to the last bellow.

Of course, this is metal, which means the louder the better, and while everybody brought their best noise, Metallica reigned supreme above them all. The bands populating the under-card all fared well, with Anthrax picking up points for sheer enthusiasm — most of the members are from New York, they were celebrating the release of their new album, and there was a spry joie de vivre that infiltrated even their thrashiest material, especially on the set-closing “I Am the Law.”

Megadeth primed the crowd for the headliner with some early shout-alongs (the one-two punch of “Symphony of Destruction” and “Peace Sells” was surprisingly anthemic), and Slayer bowling over everybody with a solid hour of ritual eardrum destruction (“Mandatory Suicide” was especially savage).

But then Metallica emerged, and everybody was reminded exactly why they remain one of the biggest bands in the world. Aided by some well-orchestrated pyrotechnics, a healthy dose of theatricality, and a bucketload of massive songs, the members of Metallica spryly navigated the huge stage parked in the outfield and held heavy court. READ FULL STORY

Rock the Bells: Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu and more live at NYC's Governors Island

The most well-dressed folks on New York City’s Governors Island last Saturday looked the bummiest. On the balmy last Saturday of the summer, cutoff shorts, tank tops, dirty sneakers and worn-in sandals were among the best things to be wearing for the daylong hip-hop festival that is Rock the Bells.

Elaborate outfits highlighted by fresh tennis shoes, high heels (wedges, too) or anything that gave off a vibe of effort earned more laughs than sartorial appreciation at rap’s lone major fair.

I mean really, how can you appreciate grimy sets from Wu Tang Clan members, Slaughterhouse, and Mobb Deep when you look so, so clean?

Not I, Mixers. In beat up five-year-old Air Jordans, a star spangled tank top (it was Labor Day weekend!), and a pair of shorts, I came to sweat. And from 2pm to midnight, that’s exactly what I did.

My day began with Black Star. The duo featuring Brooklyn rhymers Talib Kweli and Mos Def performed cuts from their 1998 album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. They also broke away to perform solo hits. Kweli did his uplifting “Get By.” While Mos, dressed like a substitute teacher in his tie and short sleeve white shirt tucked into his jeans, broke out “Umi Says.”

Things continued with Erykah Badu, who ran through 1997’s Baduizm. Eclectically clad in a fedora, blazer, and pants tucked into her knee-high gold boots, she killed with her mellow “On & On.” Between singing and crowd cruising, she even showed off her production chops by hopping on MPC drum pad for some quick beats.

Next up was Lauryn Hill. Surprisingly, she was bumped out of her headlining slot in favor of hometown favorite Nas. Still, she performed as if she was the night’s main draw. The theme of this year’s festival was that each act select one of their several albums to play. The decision was easy for Hill, who notoriously only has one solo studio album.

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Lenny Kravitz brings 'Black and White America' to New York City's Terminal 5: EW on the scene

Lenny Kravitz’s band is no letdown in the cool department.

The crew’s lone lady sports a shaved head and taps her shoeless feet while shredding her guitar. The horn section follows suit. One member rocks well tailored, yet unkempt dreads. Another, like his lead man, has a mini ‘fro. While the second guitarist resembles Sideshow Bob—but in a “I’d hang out with him” way. All look like if weapons replaced their instruments, they’d be equally capable of defending our planet from the end of days.

Kravitz is captain, of course. And last night at New York City’s Terminal 5, he and company tore it down. The twenty-year veteran dropped his ninth album, Black and White America, Tuesday and he was the evening’s headliner of the Samsung AT&T Summer Krush concert.

Ever the sex symbol, he made ladies squeal upon his arrival. In sunglasses, a fitted black shirt, leather pants, and boots, Kravitz wasted no time getting to his classics. Watch him perform “American Woman” after the jump:

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MTV 2011 VMAs: What you didn't see on TV

The 2011 MTV Video Music Awards are in the books, and while the show as a whole felt a little scattered and unfocused, there were indeed some high points. Russell Brand, Tony Bennett, and Bruno Mars gave Amy Winehouse an excellent tribute, Beyoncé capped off a great performance with a nice little revelation about the future of her family, and Adele tore down the house with her stunning, jaw-dropping run through “Someone Like You.”

But there were a handful of amazing moments that happened between MTV’s rapid-fire camera cuts and commercial breaks. Luckily, I was inside the Nokia Theater at L.A. Live and can report the eight greatest things you probably missed during the show. READ FULL STORY

On the scene: Celine Dion live in Las Vegas. Holograms, Michael Jackson, and more!

Back in March, when Celine Dion’s new show “Celine” opened in Las Vegas, my colleague Tanner Stransky posed a very important question: Will you make it to Sin City to see it?

As a huge (non-closeted) Celine fan, I gave a resounding “yes!” and began my Celine countdown. To say I was excited would be an understatement. So I rounded up some travel partners (otherwise known as my mom and grandmother), and we left for Sin City with only one thing on our agenda—see Celine live at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. (Seriously. We had no other plans.)

Before the show started, I chatted with a publicist for The Colosseum who told me, “well, if you’re already a Celine fan you’re going to love the show. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. It will be great.” I figured I’d enjoy the show. But laugh and cry? Probably not. Famous last words…

I had seen Celine once before on her Taking Chances World Tour, and she sang only her own music, so I was pleasantly surprised that last night’s show included a number of non-Celine classics. She opened the show with Journey’s “Open Arms,” then took it way back to the basics with her “Where Does My Heart Beat Now,” got the crowd to sing along at her request to “Because You Loved Me,” and then went right into “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now.” I’m so used to botching this song during karaoke, it was refreshing to hear it as it’s meant to be heard. She finished off the first set of songs with “I’m Your Lady.” Yes you are, Celine. Yes you are. READ FULL STORY

Rihanna gets LOUD at New Jersey's Izod Center with surprise guest Jay-Z: EW's live review

Last night, Rihanna and her LOUD  Tour stopped at New Jersey’s Izod Center.

The red-headed pop vixen packed the venue, running through about two hours worth of hit records, starting with “Only Girl (In the World)” and capping things off with fan favorite “Umbrella.”

A Rihanna show feels less like a traditional concert and more like a party. There were hot girls and a goofy pillow fight, and nothing felt overdone or too planned. There were a few choreographed dance sequences, but she mostly spent the evening shimmying, winding, and skipping along.

As opposed to giving the standard review, I’m opting to break it down into three categories: Sex, Singing, and the Surprise. After the jump, find out how naughty Rihanna got, if her island-coated vocals were any good, and how ape-nuts the crowd went when she brought out rap titan Jay-Z.

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Paul McCartney rocks Yankee Stadium with epic concert, duets with Billy Joel: On the scene

“When I’m Sixty-Four” was conspicuously absent from Paul McCartney’s set list during his two concerts at Yankee Stadium over the weekend. No wonder. At 69, rock & roll’s most easygoing revolutionary is jamming harder than ever. EW was on the scene at the Saturday show, a nearly 40-song set which also featured some Empire State musical muscle in the form of a certain Bronx-born piano man.

McCartney’s nearly two-hour and 45-minute extravaganza spanned his output from the past 50 years. Chronological hodgepodge was clearly his goal from the outset, opening with late Beatles psychedelic tripper “Magical Mystery Tour,” followed by Wings shout-anthem “Jet,” and then early Beatles Dorian-scaled “All My Loving.” READ FULL STORY

Darren Criss live: A very Potter experience, featuring Warblers and Naya Rivera

Tonight, Darren Criss will join his Glee cast members for a performance at the 20,000-seat Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ for the latest stop on the group’s gigantic summer tour.

But last night, the singer took to a much smaller stage at Irving Plaza in New York City for a solo performance that was as charmingly aimless as it was enjoyable and star-filled. Among the cameos? Criss’ Warbler brothers, Naya Rivera, and Lauren Lopez from Team Starkid’s A Very Potter Musical.

Early on during the show, Criss told the audience to expect three things: a flexible set list (which he said he would make up as the show progressed), a few incidents  of forgotten lyrics, and big guests. READ FULL STORY

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