CONCERT REVIEW: Aaron Carter @ LA's The Mint

Aaron Carter photo by Jessica Klausing

Aaron Carter photo by Jessica Klausing

Aaron Carter was the “flyest kid on the block” in the early 2000s with his teen party anthem, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It).” He wooed teenage girls worldwide with “I Want Candy” and rapped about winning a basketball game against Shaquille O’ Neal in “That’s How I Beat Shaq.” Flash forward to 2019, Carter is back with new music and a more mature image. He proved at Los Angeles’ The Mint that Aaron’s Party never stopped!

Check out the concert REVIEW.

Aaron Carter is offering Pizza Party Soundchecks and after show Meet n’ Greets for his 2019 tour!

Aaron Carter at soundcheck. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Aaron Carter at soundcheck. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

I’m a sucker for artist VIP packages so I decided to try them both out. The pizza party sound check was literally announced a few days before Aaron’s Los Angeles show. I had already bought my ticket and the meet n’ greet pass, but I thought, ‘hey, it’s my childhood idol plus pizza. What could possibly go wrong?’

My night started with a text instructing me to be at the venue at 6:30PM sharp. Upon arrival at 6PM, I received another text informing me that soundcheck had been bumped to 7:15PM instead. No biggie. I killed time at a neighboring café until it was time for check in. A few of us had gathered in front of The Mint’s main doors eagerly awaiting check in and…no one was there.

Confused, I decided to text back the number for advice and…no reply. To make matters worse, it started to rain. Go figure. Thankfully, The Mint had a canopy big enough for all of us to fit under. I was a bit frustrated and cold but determined to not let this little mishap rain on my parade, so to speak. At about 7:35PM, Aaron’s entourage arrived to finally let us into the venue.

Inside The Mint venue. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Inside The Mint venue. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

We were told that Aaron was running late and would be here in 10 minutes. I did find it a bit odd that no one checked us in or gave us a wristband. That’s usually the protocol at meet n’ greet type functions. Aaron’s entourage was busy setting up the merch table but assured us that we were fine without a wristband. The venue staff did at least come by to stamp our hands.

The last time I saw our soundcheck pizza.  sigh  I didn’t even get to gaze upon it’s cheesy magnificence. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

The last time I saw our soundcheck pizza. sigh I didn’t even get to gaze upon it’s cheesy magnificence. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

The venue manager even handed me the pizza for some reason. He took off before I could ask any questions. I looked around for guidance but everyone was just as puzzled. We decided to put the pizza at the bar. Big mistake. That was the last time I saw that pizza. We didn’t even get a slice. As soon as soundcheck started, the venue took the pizza away. First rule of pizza party soundcheck –never turn your back on pizza!

Aaron Carter sets up for soundcheck. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Aaron Carter sets up for soundcheck. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Aaron Carter had arrived around 7:45PM. He was proudly sporting his black LøVë sweatshirt with a blinged out diamond studded LøVë necklace around his neck. Everyone had quickly gathered at the stage for the soundcheck performance. Aaron smiled kindly and waved to all of us.

“Why aren’t you two wearing your LøVë sweatshirts?” He asked me and another fan.

Aaron Carter’s merch booth. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

Aaron Carter’s merch booth. Photo by Jessica Klausing.

We looked around and noticed we were the only fans not wearing the shirts. The peer pressure was on so we decided to check out the merch booth. Unfortunately, the booth was only taking cash and we brought credit cards instead. The black LøVë sweatshirts are cute and looked quite comfy. I made a mental note to order mine after the show.

The sweatshirts are $45 dollars. You can order one HERE.

Aaron performed brief 30 second snippets of “Fool’s Gold,” “Bad 2 Good,” and “Dearly Departed.” I enjoyed watching Aaron but the screeching speakers made the audio unbearable at times. Soundcheck had to be rushed in order for the venue to open their doors on time at 8PM.  

Despite the hustle and bustle, Aaron still managed to make some time for his fans. He didn’t have too much time to chat but he at least made sure we all got a selfie with him before he had to leave.

Me and AC after soundcheck. I didn’t have time to put the camera on flash mode.

Me and AC after soundcheck. I didn’t have time to put the camera on flash mode.

I don’t want to knock the pizza party soundcheck experience for other fans. I do believe the staff could have been more organized, but I also take into consideration that the LA show was only the second stop of the tour. The soundcheck party is a brand new perk which has some kinks that I hope will be worked out for future shows.

Keep in mind:

-The experience is very quick. Ours lasted less than 15 minutes. Be camera ready.
-Aaron’s time is greatly limited at soundcheck. He does try to spend as much time as he can with fans but just be prepared.
-Eat that pizza as soon as you get it!

I will say the after show meet n’ greet was a great experience! The actual meet n’ greets are a much more relaxed experience than soundcheck. You line up at the merch booth after the show. A venue staff member will escort you backstage for your photo with Aaron. Aaron is such a sweetheart who really cares about his fans. I managed to chat with him a bit after my picture. He genuinely does appreciate all of the support. Thanks for a great show, Aaron!

Backstage with Aaron Carter.

Backstage with Aaron Carter.

SONG REVIEW: Kodacrome - "Think Of The Children"

By Wanda Whitley

Kodacrome.

Kodacrome.

I am so energized right now people! 

If you haven’t heard it already, rush right now and listen to Kodacrome’s single "Think of the Children." I promise you an awakening and a rush, a transportation into an electro pop dream, with beautiful vocals that are breathy and sexy, yet what a pristine sound! The techno-beat gets your feet moving, your head grooving, and your body shaking in a rapturous dance.

Kodacrome is comprised of Elissa LeCoque and Ryan Casey. The pair create fragmented pop with a warm electronic pulse, featuring swells and lead lines which ring from synths and throats, alike. Elissa and Ryan share a deep love for melodic composition and it certainty shows within their music.

I particularly love the horns and keyboards playing along with the beat, a joyous addition to the composition. This is the type of song that keeps playing in your head long after it ends, the kind of music you tell the D.J. to “play it again”!  

A line in the lyrics tells us to “Stretch your arms out…” Indeed. Listeners will most definitely stretch their arms out in an embrace for this one. Think of all of us, Kodacrome, and keep up your excellent and eclectic work!

Sound Majesty Presents: Mexico Benefit Concert at West Hollywood’s Whisky A Go Go

Written by Jessica Klausing

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2017 has been a year plagued with many natural disasters around the world. Last month Mexico’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake took hundreds of lives, leaving the country with over $1 billion dollars worth of damages.  Aid and relief funds are still desperately needed.  On Sunday, October 1, Sound Majesty hosted a Mexico benefit concert at West Hollywood’s famed Whisky A Go Go. 

Beck Black served as the emcee, introducing all eight musical acts including a Mariachi band! During the concert, attendees were encouraged to participate in the silent auction upstairs. The auction items included an autographed guitar, signed by all of the benefit artists, Vampire Vineyards wine, and exclusive sunglasses. All ticket and auction proceeds went to the Mexico emergency relief funds.

Matthew Phillips

Matthew Phillips photo by Jessica Klausing

Matthew Phillips photo by Jessica Klausing

San Diego based singer-songwriter Matthew Phillips took the stage at 6:00PM. With an acoustic guitar in hand, Phillips launched into “Together Forever,” a saccharine love ballad. Right off, I was impressed with Phillips ability to connect well with his audience.

Throughout his set, he made sure to make eye contact and reach out to every person in the room. His songs empathize with those who have been “friend zoned” and looking for hope.  His charisma and bell pure vocals stood out on “Goodbye” and “Always Be There.”  “No More Pain” was a beautiful tune dedicated to Mexico. The biggest highlight was his Goo Goo Dolls cover of “Iris,” which prompted an audience sing-a-long.

Jade PraiZe

Jade PraiZe photo by Jessica Klausing

Jade PraiZe photo by Jessica Klausing

Jade PraiZe upped the swag dosage for the night. The UK singer-songwriter strutted on stage with a large red hair bow and cool shades. Her sweet yet snarky demeanor gives a playful edge to her soulful lyrics. Vocally, she reminded me a bit of Amy Winehouse and Fiona Apple. 

PraiZe cries out “Don’t be fooled by the Milky Way/I got through in but I couldn’t stay,” in “Milk Way.” My favorite was “Hands Out” with the ever inspiring, “Put your hands out/Dance like there’s no tomorrow.” I do hope Ms. PraiZe sticks around. I’m curious to hear more from her!

Love Like Suicide

Molly Kills photo by Jessica Klausing

Molly Kills photo by Jessica Klausing

Love Like Suicide stole the show. Period. Singer Molly Kills portrays a gothic femme fatale as she seductively slinks around the stage with long black hair covering her face, crooning out dark secrets. Expect the dark, the sexy, the mystery, and the nostalgia. Their music is a throwback nod to the 90’s grunge and punk genres. If you love Garbage and The Cranberries, then you’ll love this band.

Their newest single, “Side Effects” off the EP, Verdugo exhibits impressive alternative guitar hooks and hypnotic synths. Guitarist Mor Kosmik and Bassist Troy Richardson riffed through other punkwave hits such as “Born Again” and “On A High.” The benefit show was particularly important to Kosmik, who is originally from Mexico City. She proudly showed off ‘Made in Mexico’ written on her left leg for the night.

The Knitts

The Knitts photo by Jessica Klausing

The Knitts photo by Jessica Klausing

The Knitts took us back to the post-punk and Brit-Pop scene. Their songs were reminiscent of early Rolling Stones and The Beatles. The songs boasted plenty of upbeat, catchy classic rock melodies. Lead vocalist/guitarist Charlie Volkens impressed with his boyish charms and husky low growls. The Knitts were determined to get everyone up during their set and they succeeded!

“Vamonos Mexico” turned the venue into one big dance party. “This is the only song we have about Mexico,” joked Charlie Volkens. The energy continued with the more country twangin’ “Hold Steady Pretty Lady.” “Get Up Get Out” had everyone chanting out the song’s title. This song could easily be the modern-day Beatles’ “Twist and Shout” party anthem.

Peter DiStefano

Peter DiStefano photo by Jessica Klausing

Peter DiStefano photo by Jessica Klausing

Peter DiStefano slowed it down with more beautiful acoustic guitar. Beck Black introduced his set as “pop rock unplugged.” DiStefano is a prolific musician in the business. He’s composed countless music for television, film, and video games. He is best known for his early alternative rock band, Porno for Pyros (The Jane’s Addiction offshoot).

DiStefano shared his softer rock tunes with us. His solo work is more delicate than his other musical projects. It’s a definite contrast to his electronica pumped side band, Venice Underground. He did surprise us with a few Porno for Pyros covers. His acoustic version of “Tahitian Moon” was performed with such graceful precision, that I actually prefer his version to the original.

Falling Doves

Falling Doves photo by Jessica Klausing

Falling Doves photo by Jessica Klausing

Hollywood’s own Falling Doves were up next. Their music is described as “whiskey laced vocals infused with bits of glam and blues.” Lead singer Christopher Leyva donned a leather jacket with slicked-up black spiky hair. He looked like the frontman of a hell raiser 80’s punk band. Don’t be fooled by the apparel. The music is fueled with heavy guitar riffs but it’s a definite nod to classic rock with confessional storytelling.

The Falling Doves rolled into the power rock anthem “Ready to Go!” The sultry guitar licks pop infused “Paris” followed. The set ended with a couple of epic covers. Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova” was the real crowd pleaser! Beck Black joined the band for Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

Beck Black

Beck Black photo by Jessica Klausing

Beck Black photo by Jessica Klausing

The lovely and fierce Beck Black performed a special set. Ms. Black’s music is bluesy punk with a whole lotta soul! Minus drummer Adam Alt, Beck proves that she could still hold her own. Her commanding stage presence will pull you in if her seductive vocals haven’t already.

“Life's a Circus” brought out plenty of carefree attitude. Beck would playfully leap from guitar monitor to guitar monitor effortlessly. She would even drop and roll on the floor without missing a beat! Beck commands attention in “Vampires Come out at Night” with the sultry lyric, “Vampires come in the dark/when you light up a spark/they bite, they suck, your energetic blood.”

Corey Feldman and The Angels

Corey Feldman and The Angels photo by Jessica Klausing

Corey Feldman and The Angels photo by Jessica Klausing

Midnight struck when Corey Feldman and The Angels finally took stage. Due to a technical issue, Corey’s set had to be cut short for curfew. Corey didn’t seem too fazed. He spent several minutes chatting amicably with his fans from onstage. The set officially started about ten minutes later. Corey channeled his inner Michael Jackson with a bold red, black, and silver colored jacket and dark shades. His angels wore white lingerie with brightly lit up wings and neon glowing shoes. The performance itself was simply mesmerizing to watch. Maybe it was all those Christmas tree-esque lights?

The band opened with the iconic “Take a Stand,” in which Corey advises us, “We need peace (right now)/We need love (somehow)/The world is not full of clouds/Let the sun shine down.” The next song, “Walk” featured Corey on guitar. “It’s So Simple” was another inspiring pop song about making the world a better place. For the closer, Beck Black and the Mariachi band joined Corey for a Beatles cover of “Come Together,” dedicated to Mexico.  If you have never seen a former child star, scantily clad women, and a Mariachi band perform a Beatles song, then you have not experienced Los Angeles!

Corey Feldman and The Angels perform "Come Together" photo by Jessica Klausing

Corey Feldman and The Angels perform "Come Together" photo by Jessica Klausing

I gotta admire Corey for his optimism.  I’ll admit that his band concept may be a bit too whimsical. If tongue-in-cheek performances offend you then stay away from a Corey Feldman and The Angels show! However, beyond the “over-the-top” theatrics, his music does spread a positive message. Our world seems more obsessed with hatred than ever. With all the negativity going around, it’s a bit refreshing to hear songs about love and helping one another. Honestly, I think this world could benefit from more Corey Feldman and The Angels.