So tell me now
When every star falls from the sky
And every last heart in the world breaks
Oh hold me now

Robin Schulz ft. James Blunt, OK (2017)

+rejects+

Life is such a comedy, so just spare me the drama

The All-American Rejects, Sweat (2017)

Per usual, Thursday evening was spent attending a concert.  This time, it was the Dashboard Confessional, The All-American Rejects, and The Maine Tour, which was held at the Central Park SummerStage.

♓️

Even before I reached Central Park, it was obvious who was attending.  Lenox Hill natives generally don’t have fuchsia colored hair and multiple piercing when they have their pick of Chloé or Miu Miu.  However, it wasn’t just scene kids there – they were standing side by side Wall Streeters also waiting to relive their childhoods again.  As Tyson pointed out, we weren’t in our teens anymore; we were all 20- and 30-year olds with grown-up jobs, but still ready to have fun.

Besides the performers, a Central Park SummerStage is made up of two things: beer and boxed water.  While there was a tap water stations to refill your bottles and stay hydrated, I feel like you aren’t really at a SummerStage unless you see your fair share of beer and boxed water.

♓️

The Setlist

The event was broken up into three parts, one for each band, with 30-minute breaks in between to change the instruments and backdrop.  The crew’s efficiency was pretty incredible and the show went without a hitch.

Part I: The Maine

  1. Black Butterflies & Déjà Vu
  2. Am I Pretty?
  3. Bad Behavior
  4. How Do You Feel?
  5. Like We Did (Windows Down)
  6. Girls Do What They Want
  7. Ice Cave

Part II: The All-American Rejects

  1. Dirty Little Secret
  2. Stab My Back
  3. My Paper Heart
  4. Swing, Swing
  5. I Wanna
  6. Kids in the Street
  7. Mona Lisa (When the World Comes Down) – acoustic version
  8. Sweat
  9. Move Along
  10. Close Your Eyes
  11. Gives You Hell

Part III: Dashboard Confessional

  1. Vindicated
  2. The Sharp Hint of New Tears
  3. The Good Fight
  4. Saints and Sailors
  5. Remember to Breathe
  6. Love Yourself (Cover, ORIG. Justin Bieber)
  7. Just Like Heaven (Cover, ORIG. The Cure)
  8. Stolen
  9. We Fight
  10. The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most
  11. Ghost of a Good Thing
  12. Heart Beat Here
  13. Don’t Wait
  14. Again I Go Unnoticed
  15. Screaming Infidelities
  16. Hands Down

♓️

What I Liked

How my nostalgia bone was tickled.  At times, I wasn’t able to sing along because I couldn’t stop smiling.  I still can’t get over the amazing feeling of unity you feel with the crowd when everyone sings in unison – it’s an incredible high.  And while we physically looked different from 10 years ago, we were still carried the emotions that made listening to these bands so great.

I also really loved the mobility.  After The Maine’s bit ended, people started abandoning their spots, much to my happiness.  I was easily able to move closer to the stage for AAR without catching dirty looks from other people who wanted to get closer as well.

♓️

What I Didn’t Like

The weather.  I felt my sunscreen lotion melting off my face and my backless shirt barely helped cool me down, when the sun was directly on your face and there were tons of people around you.  At times, you wanted to get hit by a water bottle thrown by John because of how refreshing it was.

The venue was a disappointment.  Don’t get me wrong – I love the location and Central Park.  However, word on the street was that the bands couldn’t linger after their sets ended because of rules set in place.  We weren’t able to get pictures with The Maine (especially John) because of this annoying rule.  Though, all was not lost because I did manage to get pictures with Tyson by 5th and 72nd.

I'll keep you my dirty little secret 🖤 Feeling 2005 tonight

A post shared by Elizabeth N. Chi (@elizarie) on

♓️

Overall

Despite the weather, and not being able to see John after the show, it was still a great concert.  I feel like something people don’t recognize about millennials is that we’re notorious for throwbacks.  We just love reminiscing our younger days, and making new memories based off the complicated feelings the past left us.  Like the famous adage “history repeats itself,” millennials are living proof that growth happens, taking our old memories and redefining them in the present.

♓️

Here’s the (nearly) complete Spotify playlist of Thursday’s concert!

I also recorded my nearly all of my favorite songs – my arm did get really tired during AAR’s set.

 

+august playlist+

Here’s August’s Top Ten!

Charli XCX, Boys
When I first heard this song, I thought it was a Slushii song because of the video game sound effects.  The vocal and arcade sound effect combo really come together to make a fun song to listen to.
Purchase here on iTunes.

Cheat Codes ft. Demi Lovato, No Promises
I don’t know what it is, but there’s a pleasant, chart-topping quality to Demi’s voice.  Like it’s addictive to listen to because her vocals are actually strong and Cheat Codes clearly know how to take advantage of it.
Purchase here on iTunes.

Dua Lipa, New Rules
I honestly became addicted to this song when Dua sings “And if you’re under him, you ain’t over him.”  And attention girls, here are some new rules we’ll now all follow.
Purchase here on iTunes.

Kendrick Lamar ft. Rihanna, LOYALTY.
Truthfully, Kendrick can rap about anything and it’ll always be amazing.  Add Rihanna to the mix and you’ve got a Billboard chart topper for sure.
Purchase here on iTunes.

Linkin Park, Numb
Numb describes hearing Chester’s death.  A piece of mine and thousands of people’s childhoods all died the day Chester left our presence.
Purchase here on iTunes.

Mick Jagger, England Lost
It’s always a treat to listen to Mick’s stuff, whether it’s with The Rolling Stones or his solo work.
Purchase here on iTunes.

Snakehips, Anne-Marie ft. Joey Bada$$, Either Way
This song shows off Anne-Marie’s versatility, from Clean Bandit’s powerhouse vocal, to a chill, laidback summer song.  There’s also an overall night feeling to the song that I associate Snakehips to.
Purchase here on iTunes.

The Maine, Into Your Arms
To prepare for tonight’s Dashboard Confessional, The All-American Rejects, and the Maine Summerstage, I had to listen to some old songs that made me feel young(er) again.
Purchase here on iTunes.

The All-American Rejects, It Ends Tonight
When darkness turns into light it [the wait] ends tonight.
Purchase here on iTunes.

The Warp Zone, Rick and Morty Theme Song Acapella
In honor of Season 3 returning with a bang, cheers to Rick and Morty.

♓️

Here’s August’s Spotify playlist!

+black+

I only wear clothes because I can’t walk around with nothing on, but they started calling me a fashionista.

Kwon Ji-yong, commonly known as G-Dragon, South Korean rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, fashion icon (1988-present)

I always seem to have trouble getting ready for concerts because I never know what to wear.  Surprisingly, other fashion blogs don’t seem to touch upon this topic and only showcase their Coachella, outdoor festival lookbooks.  You can’t just show up to the Barclay’s Center wearing a bralette and shorts – you look out of place.

♓️

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Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

♓️

Get the Look

Top | American Apparel

Pants | Abercrombie & Fitch

Jacket | Levi’s

Bag | Kate Spade New York

Boots | Jeffrey Campbell

Choker | Urban Outfitters

+untitled+

Question: Who is G-DRAGON to you? (질문: 당신에게 지드래곤 이란?)

Hyeongdon Jeong / Entertainer:
To me? (저에게 있어서 지드래곤이요?) -stares-
Just a regular celebrity? (흔한 셀럽?) -laughs-

Question: Who is KWON JI YONG to you? (질문: 당신에게 권지용 이란?)

Hyeongdon Jeong / Entertainer:
Who’s that? (걔가 누구죠?) -tilts head-
Oh! JI YONG! (지용이!) -laughs-
I didn’t recognize his full name. (‘권’까지 붙이니깨 몰랐네.) -smirks-

– taken from G-Dragon’s Family & Friends Video Message

On Thursday night (I seem to have a habit of going out on Thursday nights), I attended the G-Dragon Act III, M.O.T.T.E. ‘Moment of Truth The End’ World Tour concert here in NYC.  The concert was held at the Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets, Jay Z’s team.

♓️

Right off the bat, you can see the difference between American and foreign singers, from their opening act.  While I dislike them, opening acts are a staple to every concert and it felt weird to attend one that didn’t have one.  I was conditioned to hear up and coming performers get the crowd excited for the main attraction, and not having one made the concert seem awkward.  So instead, we were bombarded with music videos of G-Dragon’s hits, as attendees turned on their yellow crown tiaras that blinked rapidly.

A unique aspect about the concert was its design.  As alluded to in its title, the concert was broken up into three acts, like a Shakespearean play.  It highlighted G-Dragon’s goal for his world tour – to show the duality that existed within him, G-Dragon the performer and Kwon Ji-yong the civilian.

Act I: G-Dragon

  1. Act I Opening Video
  2. Heartbreaker
  3. Breathe (브리드)
  4. A Boy (소년이여)
  5. But I Love U
  6. Obsession (악몽)

Act II: G-Dragon vs. Kwon Ji-yong

  1. Act II Opening Video
  2. MichiGO (미치GO)
  3. One of a Kind
  4. R.O.D. (Ride or Die, CL version)
  5. That XX (그 XX)
  6. Black (Sky Ferreira version)
  7. Missing You
  8. Who You ? (니가 뭔데)
  9. I Love It (너무 좋아)
  10. G-Dragon Family & Friend Video Message
  11. Today
  12. Crayon (크레용)

Act III: Kwon Ji-yong

  1. Act III Opening Video: Kwon Ji-yong talks
  2. Super Star (Act II)
  3. Middle Fingers – Up (Intro. 권지용)
  4. Bullshit (Act I. 개소리)
  5. Divina Commedia (Outro. 신곡 (神曲))

Encore

  1. Crooked (삐딱하게)
  2. Untitled, 2014 (Act III.무제 (無題))

Check out the bottom for a playlist with the setlist!

♓️

What I Liked

I really loved this duality because it made you, an average person, understand that even celebrities are normal people.  Like normal people, celebrities also have likes and dislikes, and a myriad of emotions to express such feelings.  The only thing that separates them from us is that their normal probably looks nothing like ours.  To some degree, however, we regular folk also wear armor that puts on a façade for the rest of the world to see.

♓️

What I Didn’t Like  

While I’m not a G-Dragon fan, I do appreciate his stuff, as it represents of a part of my childhood.  Consequently, I was quite upset to see that he didn’t play songs like Niliria (늴리리야), featuring Missy Elliot and Without You (결국).  Clearly, Missy’s a big part of my childhood.

I know I shouldn’t critique G-Dragon’s English when my Korean isn’t the best, even after 10+ years of Korean school (sorry Mom), but I had trouble understanding what he was saying.  It was funny when he was giving his talk during the break and he said, “You guys probably don’t even know what I’m saying right now,” because that was the one part I did understand (laughing face emoji).

♓️

Overall

Thursday’s concert taught me the power of rabid fan girls because some girl behind me kept on screaming, “I love you” and “Marry me,” every time there was a break.  Like girl calm down, I can barely understand him, and you’re making it worse.

Interestingly enough, I would rate this as one of the most laid back concerts that I’ve ever been to and would relabel it as an exhibition.  Thursday night was a celebration of a man reconciling his public and private selves in the best way he knew how – through music.  He bared out the vulnerable and private Kwon Ji-yong that most didn’t know, without compromising the flashy G-Dragon everyone loved.  He isn’t just Karl Lagerfeld’s muse or a trendsetting pioneer for other K-pop artists, he’s also someone’s beloved son, brother, and friend.

♓️

Sadly, Spotify doesn’t have all of the songs, but here’s the playlist with all the songs I could find!

I also recorded three of my favorite songs of the concert, and they’re down below in a YouTube playlist.  Enjoy!

I’m holding on to all the pieces of my heart’s debris
‘Til it’s time
I’ll pull it together and fix myself eventually
And know it’s mine

I found gold in the wreckage, put it on a necklace
Keepin’ it cause I, I, I, I know that it’s mine
I wear it like a message so I don’t forget it
Keeping it’ cause I, I, I, I know that it’s mine

Phoebe RyanMine, Illenium Remix (2015)

New York City, please go easy on me tonight
New York City, please go easy on this heart of mine
‘Cause I’m losing my lover to the arms of another
New York City, please go easy on me tonight

The Chainsmokers (uncredited vocals by Victoria Zaro), “New York City,” from Bouquet EP (2015)

When I began singing, it was the first time I was happy in my life.  As a baby, I would stop crying when I heard a great singer.

Andrea Bocelli, Italian classical crossover tenor, recording artist, singer-songwriter (1958-present)

+symphony+

And now your song is on repeat
And I’m dancin’ onto your heartbeat
And when you’re gone, I feel incomplete

Clean Bandit, featuring Zara Larsson, Symphony (2017)

Back in April, I had the chance to see Clean Bandit perform live at Union Transfer, a music venue in Philadelphia.  Clean Bandit is a British electronic group founded by four Cambridge students in 2008, and consists of

  • Grace Chatto, responsible for cello, percussion, vocals,
  • Jack Patterson, in charge of base, keyboard, vocals, piano,
  • Luke Patterson, responsible for drums, percussion, and
  • (formerly) Neil Amin-Smith, in charge of violin, piano.

♓️

How I Fell in Love with Clean Bandit Again

Despite starting nine years ago, Clean Bandit only gained worldwide recognition with their chart-topping hit single Rather Be in 2014.  Featuring vocals by Jess Glynne, “Rather Be” demonstrated that it was possible to mix classical instruments to an electronic song to make a great piece.  And up until recently, the name Clean Bandit was synonymous to their most popular song.

From Rather Be until 2016, I stopped listening to them.  Simply put, there were two reasons why I didn’t keep up with Clean Bandit:

  1. As they became bigger, I began to lose interest in them, and started to seek out other, lesser known artists to stream, and
  2. In my opinion, their music wasn’t inspiring to listen to, so I felt that I needed to take a break from them.

While I loved them, and tried to keep up with their music, I felt that Clean Bandit’s subsequent releases lived up to a standard that I held towards them.

♓️

I typically discover new artist through watching new music videos, and following the list of recommended videos on the side.  Funnily enough, it was through this method that I was brought back to listening to Clean Bandit again.

The song that brought me back to Clean Bandit was “Tears”, featuring Louisa Johnson.  Listening to and watching the music video, I felt that Clean Bandit had finally rediscovered themselves, which made me excited to listen to them again.  They continued their high with the release of “Rockabye”, which featured vocals by Anne-Marie and rap by Sean Paul.

♓️

The Opening Acts

On Clean Bandit’s website, they announced that they were to tour with Zara Larsson and Starley.  For those of you who may not know, Zara Larsson is an amazing singer-songwriter from Sweden.  Okay, question: why are Scandinavian artists so young and talented 😭?  They make me question what I have been doing with my life for the past 21 years.

I personally discovered Zara’s incredible vocal ability, as well as penchant for creating addictive songs in her So Good (2017) album, where every single song was a hit.  On the other hand, I had no clue who Starley.

♓️

I quickly discovered that in fact, I did know Starley.  Starley’s “Call on Me” (2016) is a song that I deeply related to during my slump periods.  During her bit, it was heartening to hear that she too was going through a bleak period before she realized that she could make her dreams come true:

“I wrote this song when I was at a low point in my life … It became a way of telling myself it was going to be okay, almost like an encouragement.  It was as if I had created my own lighthouse, a beacon to help me realize my dreams are not impossible.  I can do this.  I’ll figure it out.  I just need to follow my intuition and essentially call on myself.”

Starley, on “Call on Me”’s conception.

♓️

The Setlist

The concert was broken up until three distinct parts – the opening act, the main act, and the encore finale.  I can say that I am 99.9999% certain that this was the exact schedule the concert followed:

Opening Act

  1. Starley, medley
  2. Starley, “Call on Me”
  3. Zara Larsson, “Lush Life”
  4. Zara Larsson, “I Would Like”
  5. Zara Larsson, dance break
  6. Zara Larsson, “Ain’t My Fault”
  7. Zara Larsson, “Never Forget You”

Main Act

  1. “UK Shanty”
  2. “Stronger”
  3. “Cologne”
  4. “Symphony” – with Zara Larsson
  5. “Extraordinary”
  6. “Heart on Fire”
  7. “A+E”
  8. “Birch”
  9. “Come Over”
  10. “Rockabye”
  11. “Telephone Banking”
  12. “Should’ve Known Better”
  13. “Piece of You”
  14. “Real Love”

Encore

  1. “Tears”
  2. “Rather Be”

♓️

The Fakeout

Unlike other performers, Clean Bandit focused mostly on their music.  They didn’t really divulge on cool backstories on how the songs came to be, or recall fond memories of the past.  In their defense, it was only their second North American tour, as well as second term performing at Union Transfer.

♓️

After playing 14 songs, they abruptly said goodbye, and left the stage.  The crowd was very confused and upset, especially since they didn’t even play “Rather Be.”  It thankfully turned out to be a fakeout, as they returned to the stage after two minutes and introduced themselves.  They shared a few stories and got the crowd super excited for the last part, the encore.

At times, the touring vocals would stop singing so that the crowd could really show off how well they knew “Tears” and “Rather Be.”  I feel like this is the best part of the concert – when everyone knows the lyrics to the songs, and we’re all singing along in unison.  It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that we are not alone.

xoxo,

the girl who feels extraordinary

p.s. I have posted my Snapchat and Instagram stories and have shared them below.  While they are short, I hope you can get a feel of how amazing it was!

 

IMAGE CREDIT: Billboard

+july playlist+

July’s Top Ten are a combination of songs I’ve listened to in preparation to the respective artists’ concerts, or just something cool I stumbled across.  Enjoy!

Chanyeol, Punch, Stay With Me
I kind of stopped listening to k-pop because as a hipster, I prefer listening to songs that no one has discovered yet.  I can’t tell you why I find this song so delightful, but thanks Mom for making me go to Korean school at 8 in the morning every Saturday 🤗.
Purchase here on iTunes

Daddy Yankee, Gasolina
This song takes me back to when I first started dancing – this was one of our practice songs.  Nowadays, people dance to EDM or rap songs, but the easiest way to get you moving is the Latin rhythm.
Purchase here on iTunes

G-Dragon, Untitled, 2014 (무제/ 無題)
My best friend and I bought tickets to see him at Barclays towards the latter half of the month, and I’m lowkey excited to see him live.  His recent songs sound pretty cool, though he could brush up on his English.  Just saying.
Purchase here on iTunes

Lana del Rey ft. The Weeknd, Lust For Life
I have a love-hate relationship with Lana del Rey’s music.  I know that it’s good, but a part of me hates that it’s so good.  Though it took her a while to come back with stuff that I liked listening to since Summertime Sadness (2012), I appreciate this song.
Purchase here on iTunes

Missy Elliott, Work It
Dance helped me gain a lot of confidence about who I was, as well as become aware of space.  Songs like these encouraged this confidence because who says that girls can’t rap (or dance, etc.) as well as boys?
Purchase here on iTunes

Owl City, Fireflies
This song brings back so many great memories, from the times I would listen to this while playing Gaia and Maplestory, to my eighth grade English teacher who wrote a creative piece inspired by this song.  Random fun fact: There’s a meme saying that most white people have the lyrics to this song tattooed to some part of this body.
Purchase here on iTunes

Johann Pachelbel, Canon in D Major
I found out that in Catholic wedding tradition, you need to play a a Christian-based religious piece, rather than Wagner’s Bridal Chorus or Mendelssohn’s Wedding March because they are secular pieces.  Pachelbel’s song, which is often incorrectly played during Advent/Christmas time, is a popular choice.  #WEDDINGFEVER
Purchase here on iTunes

Seven Lions ft. KARRA, Silent Skies
I’m in love with anything Seven Lions releases.  It would be a dream to see him live.  Can’t talk because it’s so good 🖤.
Purchase here on iTunes

Seven Lions ft. NÉONHÈART, Where I Won’t Be Found
Can’t stop, won’t stop.  Just speechless 🖤.
Purchase here on iTunes

Zedd, Alessia Cara, Stay
I literally cannot stop singing and dancing along to this song.  When Alessia sings, “All you have to do is stay a minute,” you can find me popping to it.  #dancer4lyfe
Purchase here on iTunes

**BONUS**

Machine Gun Kelly ft. James Arthur, Go For Broke
I still have my reservations about MGK, but James Arthur has never disappointed since his X-Factor (UK) days, so it’s a great piece.
Purchase here on iTunes

♓️

July’s clearly a dance month, along with random facts.

xoxo,

the girl who dances like nobody’s watching

p.s. And as always, here’s the Spotify playlist!