Mr. Bublé…We Meet Again!!!

 

…It has been a pretty amazing and eventful summer. I did not do anything too crazy this summer by my standards but did enough to where I could say it was one of the better summers I have had in a long time. It somewhat started with Michael Bublé in April and at this point is going to end with him. This time I was going to do it right and not with some crappy seats a few rows from the very back in the worse section you can get at the Staples center.
…So the idea to go to the Michael Bublé concert in San Diego was fairly a last minute decision. I was working on tickets for the Vegas date since my buddy’s dad is a high roller at the MGM and that is where the concert was going to be at. Those casino hosts like to kiss the butt of people who like to drop money and I was hoping for some real good seats to be comp’d! But I am not one to hold my breathe cause people are flakey.
…the idea to get tickets came into my mind after getting things worked out with M.F. She had to deal with her crap for however long it took her. I would go more into that but I already have elsewhere. Any who, so the next day that everything got somewhat worked out we went to dinner at Viva Madrid. All day I looked into Bublé tickets. It was what I was planning to get her for her birthday back in March but did not for various reasons, some justifiable and some not. I was surprised that the concert did not sell out because Ticketmaster still had decent tickets for sale but I ended up babysitting some floor seats on eBay. No one else bid on them and I ended up getting them for basically face value. Once I won the tickets, I had the craziest smile. I was going to be the biggest surprise ever! The only problem was how long could I have kept it from her.
…fast forward a week a half. I planned all this stuff. All she knew was that we were going to the Hollywood Bowl for the John Williams concert and do a dinner in the box as we did for Opening Night. I was going to drive down the I-15 freeway and eventually when she kept asking where we were going, I was going to hand her a belated birthday card with a note inside and eventually tell her. Man, I was excited to see that look on her face. I made reservations at the Red Door restaurant in Mission Hills, San Diego. I did ample research to make sure it was gluten-free and even contacted the chef. He assured me on which items on the menu were 100% gluten-free. A lot of it sounded like it would have tasted pretty good! It would have been a nice dinner.
…of course the highlight would have been the concert. She is a huge fan and it would have been really cool to experience the better seats and everything. I even asked E.G. to see if she remembered which song he comes out to. At a point in the concert, Naturally 7, Bublé opening act, comes out along with Michael Bublé and sings, “All I Do is Dream of You.” They all perform on a mini stage in the middle of the floor and that would have been a perfect time to plan to get next to that stage with M.F. and she would have had the chance to touch him, see him a foot away, or whatever.

…I am hoping my writing is good enough to where the last two paragraphs had the tone leading to some sort of a disappointment or something. Long story, short. M.F. could not go. Something came up. I will not get into more about it but I was not surprised. This is one of the reasons why I hate planning anything. Something always comes up and I really wanted this to go right. All of this effort down the damn drain. As I writing this a few days after the fact, I do not even know how I feel about it. I have to internalize everything because I gave my word. Kinda hard to ask for advice when your hands are tied and you cannot divulge major details to get some sort perspective. So basically I have to give myself the talk to calm myself down and cannot have someone help me with that.
…needless to say, I was pretty damn disappointed. After trying something, which resulted in a pleasant meeting her grandmother where I had to lie to her, I was on the clock and put in a bind. In the back of my mind I knew it was going to happen but I was hoping it was not going to. Well you cannot control everything.
…I ended inviting E.G. and tempted her with floor seats. I mean c’mon, you cannot pass those up. She was at work and was getting out at 6. I wanted to leave by 6:30 so that it would give a good enough buffer for traffic and get there after the opening act was done. She got off early, got ready, and we left by 6:15. Man, I even planned out my outfit for over a week! I hope I looked good but ehh it does not even matter. While driving to her house which is only up the street, I got lost. I have not even been near there for almost 5 years. Crazy to think it has been that long but anyways.
…picked her up and headed down to San Diego. The drive to San Diego is fairly quick as it is but with some conversation made it seem like it was nothing. Arrived at the arena in pretty good time. I want to say it took about an hour and 40 mins or so. I was not keeping track. All I know is that the concert started at 8 and the opening act was on for about 40 mins. I want to say I left around 6:20 and got there around 8ish. Still plenty of times before Bublé gets on. It was more of a hassle getting parking. There was traffic from the on ramp to the arena. Did some creative driving and went around everything, through shopping centers and yeah.
…the arena is fairly small from the outside. I still could not believe that it was not sold out. But the marquee at the entrance said it was sold out, so I guess it sold out within the week and a half from last I checked. Parked and we were on our way.
…I must say the weather in San Diego is always amazing! Except the times when I was down in SD and it was overcast! Tonight was nothing less than amazing. The entire week, it was humid and always around 105 degrees back in the Inland Empire. In SD, it was a balmy mid 60’s.
…We walked up to the entrance and there was a line. I was thinking to myself, oh great, a line. But the line moved fairly fast and they barely checked people’s bags or anything. If I knew this, it would have been so easy to sneak in a camera. A camera would have been awesome for when Bublé comes out into the audience but I figure my cell phone would be good enough.
"Me & Mrs. Jones" Performance…As we walked in, the size of the arena was more apparent. You take maybe five good big steps forward and you would hit the concession stand. But hey, that would only mean it would be more intimate inside the arena.
…we headed to the facil

ities because well it was almost a two hour drive. I walked by the merchandise stands and there goes my mind running. They were selling programs for $30 and an autograph one for $50. I wanted to pick up one for M.F. and then saw the tour shirts. Argh! Why do I want to do this? Maybe I felt a little guilt? I do not know but it would have been cool. I did not pull the trigger and figured maybe after the show I would. But I also thought that it would be a mad house to pick up something after the show and there I would not do anything hastily.
…I can hear that Naturally 7, the opening act, was on their last song in the area where the concessions are. What do they call that? The foyer? Concession floor? Well you know what I am referring to. All I can remember is that I was there for their entire set at the Staples Center and could not wait until it was over! There is just something about opening acts that bother me. Especially one’s I have not heard of yet. But it was the same for Chris Botti and William Joseph at the Josh Groban concert. I eventually started liking them but I am not so sure about Naturally 7.
…As we were walking to our seats, E.G. and I were scouting that mini stage and found it behind the soundboard. We were trying to see if it was going to stay there or be moved. Either way we got to our seats and they were pretty good. I cannot really complain besides that fact someone else should be sitting next to me but hey, cannot dwell on it or else I would have an awful time. Plus, I think if it was anyone else, I would feel guiltier. Who would not? I mean an entire date planned for one person in mind and a last minute sub.
…To give an idea of how small the arena was, I noticed a lot of people on their cell phones, waving to someone on the other side. I do not even think that is possible at the Staples Center. The arena did not even go up that high either. I am thinking to myself, maybe San Diego does not check out that many concerts? Who knows!
…ok so the time I was at the Staples Center for Michael Bublé, it was super high and a sharp angle. I basically missed the stage/light show and only saw some of the band and when he came out. So when he came out with “Cry Me a River” and an orchestra video was projected on a white curtain, I was pissed because I basically missed the entire show! Once the curtain dropped, there was a pretty amazing stage show with moving screens and lights! I knew coming in that this would have improved the show!
…it never seems to fail! Every time I am at a concert with E.G. there are weirdoes that surround us! The girl in front of us was having intermittent orgasms which had her convulse into singing into her friends ear, doing the Christina Aguilera/Mariah Carey arm raise when she sang along, and taking photos every chance she had. Behind us was some stout looking lady who had the most annoying loud cheer/scream or whatever. It was to the point where I had to turn away so it was not directly on my ear! Now to the other extreme, there was an older Asian couple sitting right next to me who just sat there. They never stood up when everyone else did and I think they rarely clapped. It was kinda weird but I guess that is how they enjoy the music.
…The ending of “Cry Me a River” finished with a blast of fireworks and of course the view of it was so much better. The song went right into “All of Me.” I do not know if it was the bitterness speaking from my first experience but the banter was much more amusing. He commented on the size of the opening act units, referring to seeing them backstage and instead of being 7, it was at least 10.5. Comments about him being engaged and wearing an engagement ring. The appearance of how Latin women will not put up with a Tiger-sique relationship. Other comments of guys being gay or dragged out to the concert. Lastly, he wrapped up stating his concert is a party and not a concert. Where a party you can dance, scream and act a fool. He specifically even said that if someone were to turn around and tell you to quiet down that they should say fuck you. I had that lady behind me in mind the entire time and I think she took that as a license to be even louder! After stating that it was a party, he went right into “At This Moment,” a slow and sad ballad. I guess that just added to his charm.

Michael Bublé – “Best of Me”


…Before to getting to the first highlight of the night, I gotta put some thoughts down on his cover of David Foster’s “The Best of Me.” Foster was somewhere in the audience tonight which was awesome but saw him at Opening Night at the Bowl earlier in the summer. The first time I heard this I was stopped in my tracks. The second time was not any different. Something about this song, the way Bublé sang it and the lyrics had me frozen. I guess because it reminds me of someone but will not get into it. But check out the video someone recorded from one of his shows.
…He introduced his band with funny stories which lasted awhile. It was pretty funny. Again, I do not even recall this at the Staples Center. I know he did do it but again, I think I equate to the fact I was supposed to be at that concert with someone else, the dinner, the after snack. Blah. It was funny to hear. But I digress!
…the first highlight his playful cover of “Billie Jean.” That shit was hilarious! He changed his voice to wear it almost sounded like Michael Jackson. Of course he even did the moonwalk and threw a hat into the audience. This is where the lights and video screens shined. The screens lined up to wear you see the silhouette of the patented Michael Jackson crotch grab and elevated knee on the tippy toes. I can honestly say that I got some chills and then he went into “Twist and Shout.” This was fun as well and he kicked out big beach balls with “MB” on them.
…at this point, E.G. and I knew it was time to scope out the stage because the next song was “All I Do Is Dream of You.” We looked at each other and it was time to book it! The annoying lady behind me already ran off so I figure it was as good as any other time. We went to where we saw the stage before but it moved! But it moved where I figure it would have move, in front of the sound board. I then drag E.G. over because I thought we had to be slick about it because sometimes the ushers/security people are clueless and just only know just to say, “no!” or “go back to your seat!”
…when we walked up to the mini stage and tried to play slick, a crewman was waving us around the stage adamantly. That was the green light! I squeezed into the one side of the stage next to the staircase and in between the soundboard. E.G. was right next to me but she felt the grunt of all the other people behind her. I was in a prime location and while having tunnel vision, I think I was the only dude around for a while. That was kinda gay but I did not even care.
…Naturally 7 filled the stage while Michael made his way through the audience. Said what’s up to one of the guys and the girls around me were screaming like crazy. I just had my iPhone out the entire time and took pictures the entire time! This is where I wish I bought a camera for some better pictures. Oh well!
…I wanted to position myself better but I was getting crazy pushed. I was still the only one on one side of the stage but there was a sound making sure I did not push over an amp or whatever it was. It did have masking tape saying San Diego on it. But I figure when he sang “Home,” it was there to remind him to incorporate it into the song. Before he performed “Home” he went on stage and finished off “All I Do is Dream of You.” Once he got on stage, the typical extending your hand out to be touched thing happened around me. I do not know what it was, maybe we had this connection jk, but I did not want to do the typical hand thing and put out my fist and he reciprocated with a fist bump as well. It seemed to last forever! haha! Seriously, it was like ten seconds or something!
…He finished that song and went into “Home.” Everyone was clamoring still and it was fun to watch and not have to be in the mix of everything. I was busy taking photos left and right because the iPhone camera sucks and you never know if they would ever come out. At one point I looked into the area of the soundboards and saw that they were deflating those beach balls from earlier. I tried to sign to see if I can get one of them but they rejected me! Focusing attention back to the stage. I kept on snapping away and wondered if E.G. was getting good photos and if she got to touch him as well. Oh I thought he had a hicky behind his right ear but it was a lipsticked kiss. In LA, before he got into “Home” he did snippets of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” “Free Bird,” and “Every Flower Has Its Thorns” I do not know why he did not tonight. It would have given me more time to take more photos!
…Everyone eventually dispersed and we headed back to our seats. The lady behind us seemed a little peeved about something but I did not even care. I equated it to her being too slow and not getting a good vantage point near the stage! E.G. told me that she did get to touch him and was all weak in the knees. I laughed because I did not even feel it. Like the weak in the knees thing but I guess its because I am hetero? Man, if that happened to her I wonder what it would have been like for M.F. Wow, seriously, she would have been so happy and that smile… damn. Now I am starting to feel bad as I am writing this but yeah…
…Earlier, before heading to the mini stage, I noticed the girl in front of me that was camera happy, the battery on her camera was dying! Finally! Should have been prepared or at least not take photos of anything and everything. E.G. had to rub it in and see if she got any cool pictures up close. I do not think she knew what was up and she just said she got some video. That was pretty funny! Oh and I guess she fell out of her chair but I did not catch it at all!
…at this point it turn into a party! The rest of the songs he did had me out of my seat. Sitting down would have not been appropriate at all! Of course the Asian couple next to me still sat down. I think they stood up only once and maybe for a minute. As I recall too, before the shower started, we were having crazy conversations and at times it felt loud. I did not even care if people heard but maybe we were annoying people? Ehh, we never give a fuck. At least I don’t.
…He finished the show with his popular single, “Haven’t Met You Yet.” After he went off stage the audience was in a frenzy! I can honestly say that San Diego deserved the encore! At the other concerts where encores are usually planned where the audience just has to stick around to hear it. Tonight, San Diego was out of control! It was the loudest I ever heard an audience!
…He came out to “Feeling Good” which ended with confetti of silver and right into “Me and Mrs. Jones.” It is E.G. and my favorite song. Which is weird, yet funny but I will not go any further! She told me a funny story about her parent’s reaction to it. That is all I will say about that!
…He capped it off with “A Song for You” which he sings without any mic or instruments. I got more chills from Staples Center than tonight. But it was all the same! It was an amazing concert! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it this time around.

…now it was a mini mission getting out of the arena and like I predicted earlier, the lobby, that is what it can be called! The lobby! Well the lobby was packed and there was no chance to pick up a shirt or tour program. Which is for the best!
…ok the plan after the concert was to go to downtown to “On Broadway” for someone’s birthday. That fell through since someone was exhausted and I did not want to show up without him. Ended up being suggested to go to the Brewhouse in La Jolla. Before we could even head over there, we would have to get out of the parking lot. It was horrible! It only confirms the fact people in San Diego cannot drive! Seriously, I think it might have taken 30 minutes or more! And this is with my kiss my ass driving skills of cutting people off and such.
…after that bs mess of the parking lot, we headed to La Jolla. I like La Jolla, it has this vibe when I got in. Has that little beach time but a lot more mellow. Unlike PB tonight, PB would be mad crazy on a Friday night. We got to the Brewhouse and it was dead! We got there around midnight and guess everything just shuts down around 11. People were just there to drink and it was only a handful of people. I really wanted to avoid Gaslamp but I guess it would have been the better choice but I did not want Broken Yolk. Neither of us wanted that. As I think about it now, there had to be some spot open to serve something! Oh well! So from La Jolla we headed back home!
…again it took no time and think we got back into Rancho before 2am. Maybe even 1:40ish. All and all it was a cool night. If I went with anyone else, I would have dreaded the entire drive and concert. Good thing it worked out in one sense. I hate to say this but jinx things but things for me usually just work out. I have friends who have noticed this but I have recently come to accept it. Maybe it’s just some sick joke where things work out but in the end, something major just will not go my way. Maybe things work out but the thing I really want to work out will not and that will be the sick joke being played on me. ::shrugs::

Me and Miss who ever ends up going…

 

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.