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Tyler Hilton and Howie Day


(Actually Howie Day’s concert with Tyler opening)


DECEMBER 10, 2013

Concert #113

Everyone loves Chris Keller!


All the One Tree Hill fans can attest to what a rollercoaster it was with Tyler Hilton’s character on OTH when he played Chris Keller. We all loved to hate him but then were all secretly excited when he signed on and came back for the final season. Fast forward to the present and then we’ll remember, oh right he’s also a musician in the real world.

I had been a fan of OTH since the beginning so I always wanted to see Tyler Hilton live. My friend Allan saw that he was coming to Oakland so I knew we had to buy tickets. I purchased us tickets but then found out that there was also a VIP meet and greet before the show. I knew Allan wouldn’t want to pay that much extra for the VIP so I ended up going to the M&G with another friend Megan who was also attending the show.

I got to Yoshi’s pretty early and was looking around for parking. I drove past the back door of Yoshi’s and saw that Tyler Hilton was standing outside. I rushed to find parking so I could conveniently walk by and introduce myself to Tyler. I saw him and said hi and told him I was on my way to his VIP meet and greet. He then introduced me to Howie Day who was with him outside who I also didn’t recognize. Clearly I should have studied his face more but I managed to have him sign my CD that I brought with me. What I failed to do was ask both of them for a photo but I figured I’d already have the opportunity while inside and it was really dark out so the quality of a photo wouldn’t be that great anyways.

Meet and Greet with Tyler


I am 100% happy that I decided to purchase a VIP ticket. It was probably about 10 of us inside the venue before the show and we got a chance to chat with him and take pictures with him. He also asked if anyone had a request that he wouldn’t be playing during his set and someone yelled out “When the Stars Go Blue” which is the popular song from OTH. I was practically giddy at that point because I listed to that song on repeat throughout high school and college. It’s one of my favorite songs that Tyler has. He also played a new song he is currently working on called “Indian Summer” which I still haven’t been able to find a copy of but I’m hoping it’ll be on his next CD.


After he finished performing those songs he asked if we had any requests for his set during the actual show. A few people yelled out some songs but I had too many favorites to choose from. I tried to pick a song that I knew he wouldn’t already have on his set so I requested “Leave Him” which I was listening to a lot in preparation for his concert. During his set he said that he was going to play a song that someone requested during the Meet and Greet but it was originally written on the Piano so he would try his best to do it on guitar. What song was that? Of course it was my request for “Leave Him”! I made sure to thank him when I saw him again after the show because it definitely made my day that he sang one of my favorites and that he listened to my request.

Tyler Hilton

He sang a lot of songs I really liked but not too many of the older ones that I knew. I can’t believe I went so long without hearing any of his new albums. I’m definitely even a bigger fan after seeing him live. He was such a down to earth guy and was really up for anything. He doesn’t seem to mind being associated with OTH still. He had an album and new Lifetime movie to promote so he definitely did not run out of things to talk about during his set.


During the M&G when I was talking a photo with him, I even asked if he’d take a picture of my stuffed animal armadillo (@armadillowillie on instagram) because I take him traveling and to concerts so I can get pictures of him at landmarks or with famous people. He’s been doing pretty well so far.


Tyler was more than happy to humor me and took a funny picture with it. Later on he was also willing to take a funny picture with me of us just looking at each other. When else can I say I had the chance to gaze into Tyler Hilton’s eyes? What a good sport!


Howie Day


After the brief break between Tyler and Howie’s set, we sat back down for Howie Day. It was awkward because we all literally only knew his song “Collide” since none of the people I was with followed his stuff after that album. But you better believe that we knew every word and sang along when he performed it. Since we were in the front at the table by the stage we couldn’t really leave mid way through his set. It’s so quiet in that venue that you can hear a pin drop. We ended up waiting till he left the stage and before the encore to leave. Although I didn’t know too many of his songs, he still put on a good show. I’m always down to listen to some live music so it’s great that I got to see him again.




Write this down…

  • Rule #4: Be aware of your surroundings. If I hadn’t been paying attention I wouldn’t have seen/met Tyler Hilton and Howie Day when I passed by them at the back door.
  • Rule #5: Carry a sharpie. I keep both a black and silver sharpie in my purse at all times because I never know when I’ll run into a celebrity and what type of service will be available for them to sign. The CD we got at Tyler’s VIP meet and greet had a black background so it’s good that I had my silver sharpie.
  • Rule #9: Have something for the celeb to sign: I had an old Howie Day CD and One Tree Hill DVDs for Tyler to sign. A good default item is your concert ticket.
  • Rule #15: Use the bathroom before the show. My friends and I were sitting at the front table in the center so it was awkward each time we had to get up to use the bathroom.
  • Yoshi’s has a 2 drink minimum at the tables.
  • Rule #24: Study faces of the people you’ll go see. I obviously forgot to look up current pictures of Howie Day because I completely didn’t recognize him until Tyler introduced me to him. Oops
  • Rule #29: Always take a picture with the celeb when you have the opportunity. I forgot to do so with Howie and I ended up not seeing him before I left so I don’t have one.


Alice in Winterland 2013




DECEMBER 5, 2013

Concert # 112

When I mix work life with entertainment life…

Alice in Winterland is one of the concerts that Radio Alice puts on each December. Instead of the huge free shows we put on at Golden Gate Park like Summerthing or Now and Zen, this show is held at a much smaller venue and does require a ticket. If I wasn’t working this event I most likely wouldn’t have purchased a ticket but since it was free for me as long as I worked the event, I figured I might as well get paid to work some and listen to some live music. I really like Gavin Degraw so I was most excited to see him.

(Delta Rae during sound check)

Working an event usually means I don’t have too much time to enjoy the show. But as we were setting up I did get a chance to listen to sound check for Delta Rae and did catch the song I like of theirs during a break I had. I had never been to this venue but it’s really nice! I was skeptical since the name of the place is called Bimbos 365. I wasn’t too sure what that was in reference to but the inside of this venue is beautiful and intimate. The show itself was a lot of high energy so it was nice being able to catch a few songs in between working the event.

(Gavid Degraw)

What kills me the most about working these events instead of just attending them is that I have access to the locations where the artists get ready and hang out yet I can’t go and ask for a photo since it’s a professional setting. Also I’ll be working a VIP area and not able to make use of the open bar. I guess that’s the trade off to mixing working and playing. I’d recommend going to this concert because every year the station always gets a few great artists for the show. Plus the atmosphere just feels a lot classier than our summer/fall concerts in the park.


Write this down…

  • This is a general admission type venue with booths on the side. The size is similar to Slims in SF.
  • This show sells out every year so make sure you buy them quick or call to win


On the way down


(w/ Mike Annuzzi)


NOVEMBER 20, 2013

Concert #111

When I think of all the artists I enjoyed listening to in high school during my teeny bopper days, I remember all the one hit wonders that came in and out of my playlists. Ryan Cabrera is more like a 3 hit wonder but I still, I was one of his loyal fans that purchased his CD and loved this crazy haired singer. Ryan was on tour with a few other artists I wanted to see but they never made it to the bay area so when I saw that he’d be coming to SF I immediately purchased tickets to go. The hard part was finding a friend to come with me who knew who he was. Luckily my fellow teeny bopper at heart concert buddy Bianca came with me. What made this even more amazing is that it was the day after my birthday so I had planned on tweeting Ryan to ask him to sing happy birthday (or have Bianca yell it out at the concert).

Red Devil Lounge is basically a bar with a stage in the back. I had been there for another show before and I loved that it was such an intimate space so you can really feel like you’re right next to the performer on stage. With Ryan we stood right at the front by the stage and continued to yell out songs for him to sing after each song. He pretty much sang every single song I was hoping he’d sing so it was a pretty awesome night. The one downside is that another girl who was there had her friends yelling that it was her birthday too so she got to go up on stage with Ryan where he sung her happy birthday along with the rest of the bar. I was bummed because that’s exactly why I’ve always wanted to go to a concert for my birthday so something like that could happen for me but I didn’t want to steal her thunder either.

(That is a drawing of him and his hair since i said i liked i that way)

After the show Bianca and I met Ryan. He is exactly how I imagined. Living the rock star tour life while playing small venues across the country. He was really nice and willing to sign anything and take photos with us. He even took some silly photos and we had a photo bomber behind us in one. Bianca also told him it was my birthday too so he write that on my CD when he signed it. I told him I was hoping to see his signature big crazy hair that used to be all spiked up back in the day. He said he thought about it but no matter which way he has his hair, people always want the opposite. And he also didn’t have a hotel in SF because they were driving straight to Portland after the show so he didn’t have a place to shower. I touched his hair and thought he had a lot of gel because it was so stiff and he told me it’s just dirty since he couldn’t shower. Typical musician response right there.

I still can’t believe that over a decade later I finally got to see Ryan Cabrera perform live and meet him. My 15 year old self would be beyond giddy right now. I feel like I just fulfilled a teenage dream!


Write this down

  • Rule #5: Always carry a sharpie. Ryan didn’t have one so it’s good that I’m always prepared with one in my purse
  • Rule # 9: Always have something for the celeb to sign: I brought my CD that’s over 10 years old for him to sign. Which is good because he didn’t really have much merch. If you don’t have anything from the artist then I usually use my concert ticket as the default.
  • Rule #18: Get to the front. We had a perfect view of him for pictures and videos because we were right next to the stage and a little bit to the side. Just be aware that at small bar venues that sometimes there is a such thing as TOO close.
  • Rule # 25: Catch their attention. Do something that will be memorable so that maybe they’ll remember you the next time you’re at a show or when you tweet them about seeing them. I tried to use the birthday thing with was a hit or miss because I’m sure he’ll remember the girl he brought on stage more than the one he signed the CD for.
  • Red Devil Lounge is a bar so it’s a very small venue and you will pretty much always be able to meet the artist after the show.
  • The lighting inside isn’t the most ideal for taking pictures. Mostly everyone uses their phone these days anyways but I found that the photos from my camera were better quality in this lighting.

  • Follow ryan @ryancabrera on both twitter and instagram


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