Opening Night 2006

June 23rd, 2006

Opening night at the Hollywood Bowl.. The summer kick off of the season at the bowl.. Hands down I say the best night of the summer.. Last year was awesome and of course this year will be the same.. The special guests this year were the Blue Man Group, Santana, and Andre Watts. Santana and Andre Watts were being inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame..
Getting lost sucks.. I know how to get to the Bowl but I wanted to try a different route, a somewhat faster route. This route, taking the 5 freeway off of the 134, coming in behind Hollywood is usually faster from my past experience. None of which I experienced on my own. I took this route and ended up pretty back passing the where I was suppose to go and coming back around. I did noticed the Quioxte Studios, the one where that one chick from The Hills works at or whatever.. How nice…
After hitting the 110 to get back onto the 101.. Exited Santa Monica, and noticed my first, actually my first and second glimpses of Trannys in Hollywood.. I’ve gone up and down Sunset in West Hollywood and never saw any, but I was in NoHo and they were out tonight!
I went along my way to the bowl.. There is something about the streets in Hollywood. It’s totally friggin opposite.. I believe that if you’re not a local, its really hard to figure directions of streets compared to the way the freeway moves.. Again got lost, and eventually figured my way there exiting Highland and coming around the bowl.. I went into my parking lot place where my parking pass was. Parked and you gotta love the stacked parking. Pretty much you are on someone’s ass, don’t try leaving early and don’t try leaving ASAP after the event is over. I am not sure but I think the Bowl seats 40,000 people so figure that in cars and it’s a lot…
Headed off my way to the West Gate check-in, the red carpet stuff was already done.. I wonder who the special guests are for tonight.. Soon I will find out and I hope I didn’t miss the chance to shoot someone.. I picked up my tickets and tried to get another one since there was another with us but it was a sold out night..
I went into the place to check out our seats and guess what.. There were people in our seats.. They were friggin box seats. This would be the closest I’ve ever sat at the Bowl and kinda freaking out.. These box seats are where the rich people come early and have dinner. Drink their expensive wines, eat thei cheese and what not.. Back to the problem at hand.. People were sitting in the seats that were on my tickets, the group said they were assigned there but didn’t have tickets.. In my mind I didn’t care because I had someone outside waiting to come in.. Adriana was then seating in another box and I went back to the gate to get Troy.. Maybe I could bring him in and that would be that. I said screw it and spoke to someone where my 2 box seats were traded in for crappy bench seats.. Oh well.. Either 2 awesome seats with one missing buddy or 3 crappy seats with the group together.. And that we settled for that..
John C. Riley was performing and he has a pretty awesome voice.. Andre Watts; James Spader introduced him out and I was kicking myself.. I missed a chance to shoot him awhile back and again this time.. He plays one of my favorite characters on Boston Legal and blah!! Watts is such a awesome piano player… It was amazing to see how fast this guys fingers and hands move.. Gotta find his CD somewhere if he has one and listen to it.. Intermission..
All throughout the first half of the night, I was thinking we should make our way back to the box seats.. We could just sit where were put after we found those people in our seats. However, when i went back to get Troy and tried to find out where our seats were.. I didn’t know where I was and an usher was eye balling me. I had to explain to him the situation and he couldn’t get in his head that our new tickets didn’t match where we were going.. Whatever…
Right when intermission started, we went back to those seats.. The group that was there moved right next to the box where we were moved.. No one was there, asked them and no one sat there. Looks like we found our new seats.. I conversed with the couple sitting next to us. I totally forgot her name but she was a sweetheart, she’s a radio personality for a radio station out in Pasadena. Very fun to talk to.. In the front of my head, I was worried someone would suddenly show up to take over the box.. I tend to stress out about little things like that and what not but oh well… What I found interesting is that she asked where i go to school and she said she knew of the school and said it was a good school… That surprised me because I wouldn’t think it was all that great of a school but hey an outsider knew about it and that works for me…
The group in the box in front of me to the left, one of the ladies had a huge staring problem.. Like one of those snobby glares where you can see that she disapproves of you. I was like what the fuck is this chick looking at? Just sip your wine, enjoy the stars and look at something else.. sheesh..
I couldn’t believe that I was dead in the middle of the Bowl and when I look back, literally there is over 35,000 behind you.. Its amazing.. When you look up, you see the two spotlights shining to a point in the sky.. Just amazing.. Now… While I am sitting here taking everything in.. It brings me back to the last time I am here… Sondheim’s 75th… I didn’t have as great of seats but it didn’t matter because the person I was with was the best part of the whole night… Never mind meeting, talking, and interviewing Josh Groban.. But the person I was with.. WOW.. I still sorta remember it, our funny conversations about where dudes and chicks store their heat, why one side of the bowl seems to cater to the better off audience.. cough left side.. and then the more common man.. hint right side.. Ehh.. Anyways.. I thought I would shoot her a text and that was that.. Kinda sorta wished she was here but oh well.. If anyone knows anything about me.. I hate small talk and blahs!!
The intermission is over.. They had put out this PVC pipe mallets instrument and it was a dead giveaway of Blue Man Group next.. I’ve never seen them perform before and thought it would be cool to see tonight.. Their first act was these three drum barrels with 3 colors of paint and the middle blue man banging on them squirting the colors into the air. Fun and cool to see. Next… a throw and catch of paint balls and marshmallows.. One blue man would throw a paint ball into the air and one would catch it with his mouth.. Then spit out the color on to a canvas.. The other would catch marshmallows and he caught over 20 of them suckers.. It was pretty amazing and none fell on the floor.. Lastly the final PVC pipe mallets thingy with the orchestra and that would cool to listen to. The PVC pipe put out an unique sound..
Now for the final act.. Santana… George Lopez came out to induce Santana but not without cracking some jokes.. Lopez has some shows at the Gibson in December and I wasn’t interested in seeing him since I saw him last year.. After his jokes about immigration and the rich white people in the front.. I kinda wanted to see him and see his new stuff..
Santana was awesome to see.. the first song was sung with Jublient Skyes.. Semi We are the World political song.. The two others I haven’t heard but oh well..
Opening Night always ends with Fireworks.. Gotta love the fireworks.. Especially when its played along the LA Philharmonic.. There was this Phoniex lighted up prop on top of the Bowl..
Now to file out of the place and get to the car.. As I was filing out.. and decided to take another route of the place.. This older dude bumped into me on purpose and said where do you think you’re going. Wow.. I was going to cuss this dude out for being stupid and hella rude.. Seriously.. Why don’t you worry about yourself instead of worrying about others..
Took us about 45 mins for people to siphon out of the parking lot I was in.. and on the way back home.. Hurray..
I love the Hollywood Bowl

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.