Tonight is the night I’ve been waiting for since I got my ticket and I went to see my fav Marsha Ambrosius. Anyone that knows me knows I absolutely love her for she is the artist I give as my favorite all the time. Needless to say I’ve been to plenty of her shows before and have even met her in Baltimore after the release of her 1st cd where she signed it. I remember I got so mad that my camera died right before I got a chance to get a photo with her. Well…tonight is redemption night as I purchased a VIP Meet & Greet ticket. Now, I’m going to go off a little bit because what I was told when I bought the ticket as well as what was specified online was not what happened when I got to the ticketing window tonight. What I remember reading was that doors for the public would open at 6:30pm (show starts at 8pm) and VIP would be allowed early entry into the venue at 6pm…that didn’t happen. I arrived at 6:22pm and asked security before getting in line if VIP had to stand in line as well and he said yes. I knew right then that nothing was going to go as planned.
The line wasn’t long yet but it was longer than when I passed by in my car and wrapped around the building a little bit. It was a little pass 6:30pm that they opened doors and luckily getting the actual paper ticket sped up my checking in process and with a quick rip I was in. I asked staff if the meet and greet was afterwards and was told yes…again not the initial plan in what was stated. As I walked in I was surprised there were seats on the floor…I was not expecting this. Upon glancing around I saw how the very front rows were gone by those that entered in previously which pissed me off a little bit because as VIP we were supposed to be entitled to 1st dibs on seats. Granted I wasn’t that far behind them but still it’s just not right, people paid money for these perks or at least I sure as hell did. I opted for an aisle seat in the middle so at least if someone in front of me got in my way a little bit I could move in the aisle. Upon being nosey I overheard the people behind me (who were also behind me in line) discussing the VIP terms and I turned around and spoke to them about it a little bit.
I’ve heard people say that they would never spend the extra money for a VIP/Meet and Greet ticket and now I fully understand why they said that. The ladies behind me kindly told me that I should go check in at the merchandise table to get my bag with my lanyard, cd and etc. inside so I thanked them and went on my way. I told the girl handling the merch table about the entry process and how it wasn’t how it was supposed to be and she pretty much without saying it said that was the fault of the Howard Theatre which honestly it was. Anyway I show her my ID and as she looks for my name on her iPad she can’t find it, then I realize she probably needs to see my ticket since it’s a hard ticket. I take it along with the receipt out to give it to her and she still can’t find me. She calls Marsha’s husband Dez and explains the situation and informs me it might take a minute so I used that as a quick bathroom opportunity. I came back and still no word as to what was being done so she informed me to come back at about 8pm. I’m thinking I’m probably the only one that bought a VIP ticket at the venue and somehow that got lost in the shuffle with VIP tickets purchased for the show. One thing’s for sure, someone is going to figure something out because I am already not getting all of what I paid for. Even in looking at meet and greet seperate I think I would’ve come out a little cheaper in buying a general admission ticket and then the meet and greet. Lesson learned for sure on a few things tonight.
Had to laugh at the DJ trying to hype the crowd up and the crowd giving him nothing in return. I’m thinking we VIP people are not happy with how this has turned out so far so you get no energy. I look and it’s 8pm so I head back to the merch table as Vaughn (the young lady behind the table’s name) says she hasn’t heard anything. I stand and talk to her a little bit about tour life and how Marsha is my fav. I told her about the previous shows of hers I’d been to and missed and she basically described how they’re all one big family. As we waited I told her I had a deal we could make because I brought my own CD but definitely wanted to meet her. Honestly I don’t care about the bag, photo, extra cd and what not. Just let me enjoy the show, meet her afterwards, get my picture taken with her and my own cd bought months ago signed and throw in a free ticket to her next show here and I’ll be satisfied. After speaking with her and waiting Vaughn just told me to come back at the end but they would definitely accommodate me.
I went back in just in time where someone from WPGC 95.5 was onstage and told a joke that I didn’t get or deem funny. The 1st act was Leah Jenay winner of The Four. She performed about 5 songs and was good. Next was a brief intermission and at that moment I noticed how cold it was inside (I get that there’s a lot of people around so you configure body heat will keep everyone warm but I was cold). I wasn’t quite sure how many opening acts were going to go before Marsha came out but was delighted when she was the next to hit the stage. She opened with some tracks from her latest album Nyla like the 2K (Interlude), Bottle Fulla Liquor, Luh Ya, Let Out then she performed some from Friends and Lovers such as La La La La La, Cupid (Shot Me Straight Through My Heart), So Good and 69 and then of course some from her first album Late Nights and Early Mornings like Butterflies, Your Hands, Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player), Late Nights and Early Mornings and of course it wouldn’t be a Marsha show if she didn’t give us Say Yes from Floetry.
As expected I sang my heart out, I’ve been listening to the Nyla cd on rotation in the car for months now and I have all the other albums that I had faithfully listened to when they came out. Her sequin dress was stunning (I love lots of color) so she was giving me all the vibes. The crowd was more of an older crowd which I expected and because I didn’t know anyone that was a big of a fan of hers as I was I opted to go alone. When the show was over at first VIPs were instructed to head downstairs and then told to sit tight upstairs. At this point I still hadn’t gotten all of my VIP things so I went back to the merch table and waited for things to die down. When Vaughn saw me she gave me my bag of things and I went back inside. Shortly afterwards I went back to the merch table and asked Vaughn if it was ok if she could gift the cd to someone else who wanted to purchase one. I had already purchased a cd a while back and brought mine in with me for Marsha to sign and I didn’t see the point of me having 2 copies. She said sure so I handed her the cd back and went back in and sat down. My goal was to be one of the last if not the last person (I felt as though maybe I could have more time if no one else was waiting) so I sat in the back. Of course though when it was time for us to be directed they directed us from the back.
I knew how to fix this though…I would go to the bathroom and that would buy me some time. So I went downstairs to the bathroom got out and got back in line. I thought wow they went through this line kind of quick but come to find out when I came out the bathroom I actually cut the line because they still had people lined up on the steps coming down. I figured I’d just stay put, no one said anything (probably because it was just me) and would just keep that spot). Please have your camera’s ready with the flash on and your cd’s open and ready to sign. There was a videographer going around asking if we wanted to say something to Marsha while in line and I said my spiel. When it was my turn I went up and into a room and there she was and it took me a brief moment to get myself together. Waiting I felt somewhat emotional because I relate to her music and songwriting style and her she was again for the 2nd time of my meeting her. I briefly told her about the 1st time and just how much I loved her then I gave her husband Dez (they are so cute together and I’m so happy for her) my phone to take the photo and that was that. Dez suddenly said, “Omg your phone died” and I think I felt my heart sink for a split sec and then he said, “Just kidding.” I literally probably would’ve had someone there take the picture for me and text it to my number if that was the case but I was about to freak out and then let out a quick sigh of relief. I thanked them all and that was that my night was complete.
I can already tell you that this is the show of the year for me, hands down and the year just started. Did everything go smoothly and according to plan no, but guess what the main objective got got, I enjoyed the show and I got to meet Marsha. At the end of the day that’s all I wanted however that’s not all that I paid for or expected. I think that in the interim of my embarking on my professional Music Supervisor career I need to work at a fan/VIP services company so that it can be top notch and on point. I’ve done it though, I’ve met and photographed with my top 3 favorite artists: 1) Marsha Ambrosius, 2) Eric Roberson and 3) H.E.R. so life is complete in that aspect and I’ve seen them all multiple times and will continue to do so.
As of right now my next show will probably be with artists featured during SXSW then the B2K Millenium Tour but I do still need to get Tobe Nwigwe tickets.