For those other than the 1900 guests invited to the Royal Wedding, there were still many ways to celebrate across the county.
A few hours before Prince William and Kate Middleton’s nuptials at Westminster Abbey, I was among the several hundred attendees at LA Live’s Event Deck for the 5th Annual BritWeek Gala. The event honored Tim Leiweke, President and CEO AEG, home of the Staples Center and UK’s O2 Arena.
Grammy winning performer Seal attended the Gala with his beautiful wife, Super-Model and Project Runway Judge Heidi Klum. He performed 6 songs including Knock on Wood, Kiss from a Rose, along with his finale of Crazy.
It was the third time I had seen Seal perform live. With an intimate crowd, it was a spectacular way to honor the British festivities and a night to remember. Seal dedicated a love song to his wife and the crowd created a dance floor along the stage to sing along. Many of us went home without too much time to rest as the coverage began for the Royal Wedding.
As a former east coast girl who enjoyed watching the tree-lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center, ice-skaing at the same locale, seeing the Follies at Radio City Music Hall and the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, you would think I’d be melancholy around the holidays in Los Angeles with nothing to do.
This year, I put on my elf hat, thought about all of the new friends I have made (both online and in real life), and have been nothing but grateful to those who have cheered me on in this pivotal year of my life.
When the Nokia Theatre opened at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles just two years ago, I was there for the opening night celebration. The Eagles and Dixie Chicks performed at the new 7100-seat venue, while the rest of the neighborhood was still under construction. There was only a temporary tent set up for the Wolfgang Puck Cafe and it was standing-room only.
Last week, I attended the Mark and Brian Christmas concert presented by KLOS at LA Live. The famous morning show duo had taken a four-year break from hosting this exciting event. LA Live was more than just alive. Now filled with famous eateries such as Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, Katsuya, Lawry’s Carvery, ROCK’N FISH, Rosas Mexicano, and numerous others, it was difficult to decide where to dine before the concert began. I chose Katsuya and enjoyed their Happy Hour menu.
Other anchor tenants at LA Live include The Grammy Museum, Lucky Strike Lanes, the Conga Room, and of course next door, The Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and the Lakers basketball team.
Outside LA Live was stunningly beautiful. The holiday lights, ice-skaters, and Christmas tree –not bad for a city where it doesn’t snow.
Inside, the concert was a rock and roll night to remember. The evening, featured performances from Matt Nathanson, who sang his hit “Come Get Higher” and performed his rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
Beverly Hills 90210 star Luke Perry came on stage to drop the yuletide log and after a year of anticipation from KLOS fans, they finally selected their new Music Director, live and on stage. I enjoyed the rocking sounds of Fee Waybil, lead singer from The Tubes singing “Talk to Ya Later” followed by his rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.” Let’s not forget an appearance by Slash and Steve Lukather from Toto. Have I forgotten anyone?
Richie Sambora clearly stole the show and I enjoyed his version of “With a Little Help from my Friends.” That was, until Foreigner took the stage with their string of hits from 30 years ago including, ”Double Vision”, “Head Games”, ”Cold as Ice”, ”Feels Like the First Time”, “Urgent”, “Jukebox Hero”, “Long, Long Way from Home” and another Led Zeppelin song, “Whole Lotta Love.” Their lead singer, Kelly Hansen has certainly revitalized the group with his on-stage energy. The night ended with a performance from Heart. It was a long evening, but memories of my life back east came to the surface as I had played those songs on the radio when I, too was a rock and roll D.J. back in New York.
Congratulations to my friend, Bob Buchmann – Program Director for KLOS and to Mark and Brian for bringing the Christmas show back to Los Angeles. It was a wonderful way to start the holidays.
It’s nice to look back on these memories and create new ones, decades later with a little help from MY friends.
Happy holidays to you and yours and all the best for 2010.
It was a festive night in the city of angels, where I went to see John Mayer at the Nokia Theatre. The Nokia is located in the new L.A. Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles. I arrived at the Nokia Plaza located in front of the venue just in time for the festive “Light of the Angels” presentation where just days before, Brittney Spears took part in the tree lighting ceremony.
“Light of the Angels” is a seven minute multi-media experience that includes the 54-foot, 37,500 pound tree and all the surrounding video and sophisticated lighting displays. The tree contains 11,000 LED lights in the LA Live plaza with surrounded by new venues including the recently opened Grammy museum, Club Nokia, several restaurants, and the new hot spot, the Conga Room.
After the tree lighting performance was finished, I walked into the Nokia Live Theatre to see John Mayer, where the patrons had the opportunity to enter a contest to win a cruise to Cabo San Lucas with Mayer aboard. The cruise is scheduled for March 27-31, 2009 where you can vacation with John and several other musicians.
Once in my seat, John Mayer performed an acoustic set in an intimate setting. The heartthrob told the audience that he had mixed emotions this week as he was both nominated for five Grammy awards, while feeling disappointed that his status was reduced to only 2 1/2 hearts on the boyfriend meter in People magazine.
After the show was over, I had the opportunity to preview the new Conga Room, scheduled to open on December 10, 2008. To register to win a spot on the cruise with John Mayer or for more information, go to www.mayercraftcarrier.com.