Thursday, July 31, 2008

Uh-Oh Those Summer Nights...

Hollywood swayed under the pressure of much more than just the ripple of a Southern California earthquake this week. First there was the LA TV Fest which had been going on at the Hollywood & Highland complex, in the heart of the city, all week, and then Thursday evening Samsung and AT&T presented their second annual Summer Krush Groove Concert series. Tied into a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Babylon Court was transformed into a somewhat subdued white and purple stage for a mini-concert from none other than Ms. Mariah Carey.
As usual the fans came out in droves; some waited in line for twelve hours just to be ensured to be front and center. How many opportunities will they have to see their idol up close and personal for free? Well the die-hards carry signage and scrapbooks to each event, eager to share with other Lambs just how dedicated they really are, and there was no shortage of that at this event, either. The luckiest ones may have been those who arrived early, though, as Mariah’s back-up singers (including solo artist Trey Lorenz!) performed a sound check and gave everyone a sneak peek at the evening’s set list, which included four tracks from E=MC2 and two from fan favorite The Emancipation of Mimi. A combination of Honey B. Fly VIPs and radio contest winners filled out the “pit” at the base of the stage, aglow with camera phone screens, but fans snaked all around the walkways on each level to watch the incomparable performance. A few lucky dinner patrons even managed to just “happen by” the event while dining outside. Definitely something to write in your “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” report!

Jimmy Kimmel crossed the street at 8:30 PST to introduce the first song of Mariah's set, and he could barely be heard over the echoing screams and cheers. As always, she was in top form, performing “I’ll Be Lovin’ You Long Time” (despite some of the hard hits its been getting in recent media for its stereotype), “Side Effects” with special guest Young Jeezy, and “I’m That Chick” before closing the show with "Shake It Off" and the always hauntingly stunning "We Belong Together.” Husband Nick Cannon was nowhere in sight, but longtime manager Benny Medina was seen taking in the crowd just briefly before Mariah made it to the stage. Even fellow Kimmel guest Dan Abrams got in on the action and was escorted to the stage to meet the pop diva. But stereotypical diva she most certainly was not: in between set-ups, Mariah talked to the audience and read some of the signs aloud. Though only the first two songs were set to air on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Mariah amazed her crowd of thousands with five full tracks.

Even the fans that braved the Hollywood heat for hours on end came away smiling (if a bit sweaty) and calling their friends to tell them how great the experience was. Though it's only the second year, with the success of booking such a big name artist, Summer Krush Groove has proved it has the chops to become a Must See summer concert series. Obviously it will be around for years to come, though it's a little hard to assume it could be any bigger or better than it was tonight.


DC said...

Awesome pics. She looks great! :)

I'm not crazy about that I'll be loving you long time title, haha.

Kate, Dating in LA said...

Sounds like you had a great time!