Opening Night at the Bowl baby!!!

Hollywood Bowl
June 24th, 2005

So it was finally here.. Ever since i heard about Opening Night with Joshua Bell and it wasnt official about Josh Groban doing anything with it. But man, yeah.. I wanted to use my press angle, which i been doing a lot lately. I called over there and spoke to Matt, where he told me to send a fax request. So i decided to hit up Russ, and do it right.
Anywho, ended up getting 2 tickets with no photo pass. I really wanted it bad since i purchased a Canon EOS 20D DSLR with a 70/200mm f/2.8 telephoto zoom lens for lets just say over 2500 dollars and thats not with out my bag, memory card, filters, and vertical grip.
Funny thing… i wanted to see if Emeline wanted to go, since Josh was going to be there. Yeah i know, im still talking to her. Surprising isnt it?? She couldnt go, but it was worth a try.
Headed on over to Hollywood and Highland Complex because parking at the Bowl is horrible so i didnt even want to try parking for my first time. I read up on the shuttles so i took it.

Ok so like i am in line for the bus. These old ladies in front of me, who i assume were Grobanites (hardcore Josh Groban fans) were all whining about how CPK had a sign that they will give you free shuttle passes to the Bowl. I mean cmon now, guess how much it was for a round trip there and back. 3 dollars!! cmon now!! you paid front either 30 to 80 bucks for these seats. Get over it!!
Behind us was a pretty group of people and i was like uhh wow ok. However one of them came over and bum a cigarette from my friend. So we just started chatting and what not. She was out taking out the Law school interns from a law firm somewhere in LA. General little chatter here and there, she was Korean, her name was Linda Kim. Of course she had to friggin ask me if i was Korean also. I just said i wasnt. Funny thing, some convo went down and then she was like i graduated high school in 89. 89!! dude i was barely 6 then. So i tried to do the math and she at that moment was 31. Goodness!!

Got off the bus, and wow. So many people all over the place. I had to go to the West Box Office. Dude it was friggin up a hill!!! Only good thing is that it was the backstage area where the artists park and walk into. Did i see anybody?? no because i was kinda late. The opening number which was the theme from Star Trek, however i did see Zachary Provost just chillin. He is Josh Groban’s piano guy.
Got to my seats which were a whole lot better than i thought they were. I got a decent view and the sound was amazing!! I mean the Bowl fits 17500. That was soo crazy and there was about 3000 to 5000 in front of me. So yeah..
The night was in honor for Trisha Yearwood, Frank Sinatra, and Joshua Bell. Frank Jr sang a few songs with Quincy Jones conducting the orchestra. I cant say how much the sound is amazing there.

So intermission was right in the middle of it all and you know me. i cant sit in one spot. I then proceed to walk around while everyone else pulls out their picnic baskets and starts chowing down on strawberries and potatoes salad. I then go and walk all the way down as far as i can to find someone i knew that was going to be there. I used my art of persuasion to get as far down as i can while i outwit the ushers to let me go wherever i wanted.
I got pretty far down. About 15 feet from the stage and again it is soo amazing. I proceeded to rub elbows with all the rich white people who could have afforded the 3000 dollar table booth thingys, but it was going to charity so its all good.
After intermission, thats when Josh Groban came out. Well they did a little number for Swan lake. Thats when Josh Groban came out and made everyone laugh and what not and introduced Joshua Bell. He played an amazing number and John Mauceri kept looking back and forth at Josh it was quite humorous. It looks like Mauceri is a great guy and wonderful conductor.
Now for what i was waiting for. After another number by Bell, Josh came out, Groban that is and wearing this pink shirt with his signature blazer. I dont know, but it was wow because the last time that i know of, of Joshua Bell and Josh Groban performing “Mi Mancherai” was in the studio for his current album “Closer” So i got my chills and Josh hasnt been performing, so his voice isnt all strained and it was breathtaking. I also was doing the woooo and screamings, i cant help it and he rules!
Trisha Yearwood was next, seemed like everyone who was there was for her. She sand “How Do I Live” and “Over the Rainbow.” It sounded so good. I have nothing much more to say about her because i was waiting for the fireworks.

I dont care what age you are but fireworks ALWAYS make you smile and feel good. If not, it totally applies to me. I didnt know they were going to have a water show but before Trisha finished, they were lighting up like torches atop the bowl. The fireworks was being played along with the theme to “Hawaii” I wish i can describe the fireworks but all i have to say is that it was one of the best displays ive seen in a long time. It just had like pretty colors and amazing effect and yeah..
That ended the night, and i had to make the mad rush to the bus because i mean 17500 people trying to leave at the same time. You will get into some traffic and the parking situation there is just like the Greeks. Stacked. You cant leave if someone behind you and in front of you havent left yet.
Had Johnny Rockets when i got back to Hollywood and Highland. I swear the food tastes so much better in Hollywood. That was pretty much my night, i cant wait to come back for Sonheim’s. Hopefully with better seats and a photo pass. If not, seats i can deal with. I am absolutely in love with this venue..
Read my article here


About Anh Nguyen

Anh Nguyen is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer. Over the past six years, he has covered various concerts, movie premieres, red carpets, parties, and events. A southern California native, Anh attended UCLA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. In addition to photography, he is currently pursuing his license as a CPA and hopes to go law school. Adding to his many interests, Anh also loves to cook and has worked as a line cook for Food Network's celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant, Scarpetta, in Beverly Hills.