Two old fogies at Rock in Rio

Last weekend Jason and I escaped for a weekend away (no kids!) to Las Vegas. Our reason for visiting sin city was the biggest rock concert in world, Rock in Rio, and we had a blast!

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This is an actual picture of the concert… For the headliner acts, we were in the brightly lit part left of the towers and the zip lines. Jason isn’t much of a concert goer, but he even describes it as amazing!

Days before the concert, we learned that Sam Smith has cancelled, due to some medical emergency. He’s Jason’s current favourite artist, so he was very disappointed, but the rest of the acts more than made up for him.

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The headliner, Bruno Mars, was ever kind of amazing. It was exactly as I imagined it… A big flashy show, with lots of dancing, jokes, and upbeat music. His 1 1/2 hour set was definitely in my top five concerts of all time. Here’s the first 17 minutes of the concert…

Taylor Swift, the other headliner, was totally disappointing. Her performance as so practiced and artificial, we actually left half way through. Sorry, Taylor.

My second favourite artist was Jessie J! Wow, that woman can rock a stage. She was witty, engaging, and completely gave herself over the the performance. We were right in front, and it was the first time I saw Jason actually rock out to music. You couldn’t help but move!

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Jason’s second favourite was Charlie Xcx. Ok, the old fart that I am, I knew some of her songs, but honestly didn’t know who she was before the concert. Well, that’s changed. Her performance was excellent. She was full, of energy, and her all girl band completely rocked the stage. If you ever have a chance to see her, do it…

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Ed Sheeren, who I wThe biggest surprise for us was John Legend. He’s a bit of a crooner, right? So we thought he might be sleepy in concert. As contraire… He had a masterful command of the stage, and was incredibly pitch perfect the entire concert. Truly astounding! He made a fan of Jason in one hour, let me tell you. I would pay to see him again in a second.

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For two nights, the concert ran for seven hours. My tired old knees couldn’t take standing the whole time, but luckily, the concert venue had astro turf all over. So whenever you wanted to, you could sit on the Grass, festival style, and relax. That was great. And despite my jokes about being an old fogie, the concert actually was a huge mix of ages and people. Leave the kids at home! But if you have a chance to go, do it! It was a completely fun, memorable experience.

We’ll be in Vegas with Bruno, Sam and Ed

Jason and I decided that this year was going to be about us. So like 20-something’s in tank tops, we are flying to Las Vegas the May long weekend for the biggest music festival in the world.

Last year, we poured all our energy into getting the clinic off the ground. Anything we had leftover, time or money wise, was spent on trying not to neglect our children. Our holiday savings were spent on going to Ethiopia with the girls, and our rare moments of free time were at family camp or family outings.

You can only ignore your spouse / business partner so long, so this year, we are trying to focus back on each other. We’ve been going on a few dates, and Jason’s been bringing me flowers (once, even without a reminder from the kids!)

I wanted to try to see Ed Sheeran this year… So love love his music… But I couldn’t get tickets to his Canadian concerts. Then I had this wild and crazy idea. Why shouldn’t we go to a huge festival, and see Ed Sheeran, as well as many of our other favourite contemporary artists? Much to my astonishment, Jason agreed. So in May, we are flying to Vegas for the two day long marathon festival of Rock in Rio!

Vegas is probably my least favourite city in North America. Seriously, I can’t stand the flashing lights, smoking and infernal clatter of slot machines. BUT… We are staying at a non-smoking, no gambling hotel. The concert is outside for two days. And it is just so dang cheap to get there.

We are poor as church mice at the moment, but we used Jason’s birthday money for the majority of the concert tickets, and points from our business Visa card to book the flights and hotel. Woo hoo! The only costs will be food, booze and souvenirs for the girls. And the beer hat with straws that criss cross his head for Jason.

Kidding.

Check out the lineup!

Ed Sheeran, of course. His song below is so romantic… I am already planning on molesting my husband in public while we sway in the sweaty crowd together. Yes, you can look forward tot that, honey.

But the big kicker for me, the most fabulous of all! Is BRUNO MARS, baby!! Yeah!! I can’t wait to see him and his band.

Jason’s favourite of the lineup is Sam Smith…

But there are also Jesse J, who is AMAZING,

John Legend, that amazing crooner,

And even Taylor Swift (I could scoff, but the truth is I’ll be bopping along…)

It’ll be a blast.

My daughters would be insanely jealous, except apparently going to their Auntie and Uncle’s house for the weekend is on par with a monstrous concert. You have a bit to live up to, Ena and M!

Now all I have to do is find a house sitter for my Tully baby and the rest of the crew. Anyone want to babysit a 80lb puppy??

Young, Gifted and Black: Jully Black

To celebrate Black History Month, I’m profiling some of Canada’s amazing contemporary musical heroes. Children and teens relate to music, and feel connected with singers. I hope knowing some of these talented stars will inspire your kids, as well as mine, to express themselves and walk with confidence. As my favourite singer Nina Simone exclaimed “Oh but my joy of today, is that we can all be proud to say… To be young, gifted and black, is where it’s at!”

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Born in Toronto, Jully Black is the queen of Canada’s R & B scene. Her proud glorious and powerful personality beams from the stage into the audience, telling you that she knows exactly who she is, and you love her for it. Her vocals are perfect, her attitude is bright, and her self-confidence is a lesson all young girls can learn from. Jully was the youngest of seven children; her parents were Jamaican immigrants to Canada. As a first generation Canadian, her story is one that thousands of young Black Canadians relate to.

I fell in love with Jully Black when her “Seven Day Fool” song hit the airwaves… it was so witty, contemporary and yet grounded in a rich history of music.

I’ve seen her in concert, and she’s so powerful, funny and confident. My daughters watch her videos and simply say “she’s cool.” Absolutely.

Quite a few of her songs have socially active lyrics, but she packages them in pop, singable packages. This is one of my favourites.

Jully doesn’t tour as much as she used to – she was mostly around Toronto last year. But if you have a chance to take your teen daughter to a concert (or one of the other venues she plays, like Pride Fest) I would leap at it. My daughters are only eight, but awestruck by her hair,  her powerful body, and learning lyrics.