Your Pop Alternative Source
Our journey to see Ellie began early Friday morning. We left on the bus from Baltimore at around 11am, which we had hurriedly booked last night as soon as I found out I won the "Why You Love Ellie Contest". There's a kind of wonderful feeling that comes with that kind of spontaneity, coupled with the fact that I still couldn't believe I actually won. There were some really great entries, so I was nervous, but when I found out that I got the tickets, it was the best feeling in the world! I contacted my friend Natalie, who first introduced me to Ellie's music, and naturally invited her to come.
When we got to Terminal 5, we met up with Andrea who was very kind and bubbly (and patient!). She presented us with our tickets as well as some awesome Cherrytree goods like T-Shirts and stickers. It was quite a hot day and we felt kind of sweaty waiting outside for a while, but once we realized that this was truly real, and we were going to see Ellie, worries about anything just melted away. We passed through security quickly and went to wait in the courtyard before they let us into the building to find our places. We had a chance to talk with Andrea for a little while about music, though it was hard to get my mind off of the upcoming concert. I didn't realize it, but our win also included a VIP pass, so we could have a killer view and comfortable spot to watch from. I was surprised, but so happy! I would have been content just to see Ellie live, but things just kept getting better and better.
We made it just inside the building as it began to rain, and we went straight to the VIP section where we were refreshed by the air-conditioning and a pair of Shirley Temples. The floor and balconies were slowly but surely filling with eager fans.
The highlight of the experience, beside the music, was getting to meet Ellie in person. She is such a kind and thoughtful person that she didn't mind coming out to say "hi" to a few people before she went on stage.
In a room full of people in the music industry who were used to this kind of thing, me and my friend probably looked like we were going to hyperventilate or have a heart attack. But we survived and she came out and gave us a hug after a few minutes of being nervous, and her easygoing personality made us feel relaxed enough to ask for her autograph. I will never forget that she complimented my hair (I'm never getting a different hairstyle after this, haha!).
Unfortunately we had to leave Ellie, but it was time for the show to go on.
The show openers, the Bag Raiders, were very cool! Their techno synth mixed with live vocals turned the venue into a club/rave atmosphere, getting everyone's heartbeat pumping. Before the concert I had never heard of them, but now I'm hooked on their songs "Sunlight" and "Shooting Stars" :) During their performance they said something along the lines of New York being the craziest crowd they had ever played for--and I believe it! The crowd was great with sending good vibes to performers.
By the time Ellie's crew had come on stage to set up for her set, Terminal 5 looked packed to capacity. The crowd was anxious and excited, occasional bursting into chants of "Ellie, Ellie, Ellie!" The pure energy of the crowd was pretty surreal as I had never been to a general admission concert before. It really did look like a sea of people drenched in the colors of the lights. Being able to watch this from the VIP section was pretty awe-inspiring.
When Ellie came on, everything erupted and the show really began. Never hearing Ellie live before, I had no idea what expect.
She divided her set up into three parts: Her opening songs; A slower, acoustic section with her playing the guitar; And then her dance hits where she sang and beat a drum with fiery energy. She seemed so quiet and gentle when we met her before that I was thrilled when she started breaking out some dance moves like a pro! She made you want to move right along with her and feel the music not through your ears, but through your body. I felt like she was really "living" the music and not performing it!
Each part was so unique and lived up to every one of my expectations. Her voice is perfect for live performances, staying true tot he studio versions, yet adding her own flair and switching things up a bit. Highlights for me were "Human" "Animal" "Home" and, "Salt Skin" though I can honestly say I enjoyed all of it.
I loved how she would look out into the audience at times as if she was connecting directly with her fans. I could have sworn that once she saw us and smiled at us~! She looked so truly happy and in a euphoric state doing what she loved, and took the audience there with her.
I will definitely be seeing Ellie again next time she comes in the area. There are no words to describe the experience other than it being the best thing that's happened to me all summer. I'm looking forward to what new things Ellie's got in store for the future!
Special thanks to Dean and Andrea who got this whole contest working. Thanks to Ellie (of course <3) and everyone at Cherrytree who helped organize this concert. Talking to Andrea even made me think more about a career in music management, so thank you for sparking my interest. ^_^
Look for me on Cherrytree's website everyone, I'll keep visiting more often :D!!
I'll close with how everything started...
I love Ellie!! :)