Jewel’s Brilliant Handmade Christmas

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I really love musicians with amazing voices. That’s why I’ve always loved Jewel. Her voice quality is unmistakable, and so amazing to listen to.

Jewel was introduced to the mainstream music scene in the 1990’s when a lot of amazing female musicians were coming out (no pun intended). Powerful women like Alanis Morissette, Melissa Etheridge and Indigo Girls really made their mark during that time, and so did Jewel.

Her early hit songs from the Pieces of You CD became iconic anthems, I think because they just seemed so raw, and real. Her lyrics just had a way of connecting with you, and making you feel like you were in the room with her.

For those of us who lived in San Diego, Jewel was a hometown treasure. Even though Jewel is from Alaska, her story about living in her car in San Diego and is quite memorable, and really likens her to this Southern California crowd. I mean, talk about starting at the bottom. Jewel’s rags to riches story resonates with most people because it’s so inspiring. With a combination like that, no wonder Jewel is so incredibly popular.

Of course Jewel had many other hits after that debut album, and if you’re a Jewel fan like me, and attend a Jewel concert like I did, you probably want to see Jewel sing all her greatest hits. You can imagine the thoughts I had when I failed the read the title of the show, and I showed up to Jewel’s Handmade Christmas. Now, I’m no Scrooge (ok, maybe I am), but I was really looking forward to hearing more of Jewel’s hits.

With that said, this was an amazing show. These Christmas songs really gave Jewel the opportunity to stretch her voice to limits that I had never heard before. After seeing this show I have to say that I’m so glad Jewel chose to do this concert in this way. I still got to hear my favorite hits, so I was happy, but I also got propelled into the Christmas spirit thanks to Jewel. It was so good!!

Another super special aspect to this event was that she was traveling with her family and singing on stage with her father and two brothers. I love biographies. I find them very inspiring. In this show, Jewel shared pieces of her past, so the audience and I were able to connect more deeply with this lovely person, singer, mom, icon…

Jewel also shared that she had a six-year-old son, who rushed out on the stage at the end of the concert, and she talked about how her goal is “just to be happy.” She truly looks like she has accomplish that. Yet another inspiring aspect of this great woman.

Bottom line is that this was a fantastic show, and although I entered skeptical because my own jadedness about Christmas, this was an excellent show and I’m so happy I caught it.

On behalf of San Diego, and all your fans, from the bottom of our hearts we say: Well done Jewel. We love you, and we thank you!

By Bob Dietrich


Posted by Bob Dietrich on Monday, December 4, 2017

Posted by Bob Dietrich on Monday, December 4, 2017


Posted by Bob Dietrich on Monday, December 4, 2017

Matchbox 20 Races Into San Diego

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Last year, Rob Thomas opened for Counting Crows at the San Diego StateOpen Air Theater, and it was not a great experience. Although Rob Thomas was good, and played many of his Matchbox 20 hits as well ashis solo hits, the Counting Crows just don’t have enough hits, or a big enough following to headline this show.

This year I was surprised to see them basically repeat this tour. I mean, yes the whole band Matchbox 20 was now involved, but for the most part it seemed like it was going to be about the same show. But this was not the case, and this switch seemed to make all the difference.

The Counting Crows did a good job as an opening band. They played their 3 or 4 recognizable songs, and got the crowded excited and ready for the multi-platinum band Matchbox 20.

Matchbox 20 didn’t seem to have any new music to offer. They weren’t promoting new songs or anything like that. They were just playing the hits their fans love so much.

They opened their set with Real World, Girl Like That, and How Far We’ve Come. The show was not sold out, but the fans were going crazy. After all these years I have kinda forgot how many great original songs Matchbox 20 has written and recorded. As the night went on they played other hits like Bent, If You’re Gone, Back To Good and Unwell. They played 19 songs in all, with their big encore that included 3 A.M., Long Day and my personal favorite Bright Lights.

Bright Lights holds a very personal memory for me. It reminds me of a very special relationship I had, and a trip we took together to St. Bart’s in the French West Indies. We got in an argument during the trip, and she left. As I sat their lonely and missing her, I played this song. Songs have a way of locking in memories, making them easy to recall later. That could actually explain my deep love for music.

I want to give a special thanks to Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 for keeping the music alive and touring just for the sake pleasing their fans. Respect!

Written by Bob Dietrich
Photography by Jeremy Johnston

Music Legend Neil Diamond Celebrates 50 Years

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Music Legend Neil Diamond Celebrates 50 Years

On August 8 music legend Neil Diamond stormed into San Diego and what a treat it was! Neil has been on the road for so long I had forgot how many songs I actually knew. Songs such as Forever In Blue Jeans and Play Me. It was such a great trip down memory lane.

I remember a more simple time when the music was deeper and more melodic, and songs of love and relationships we common. Neil Diamond was an icon, even back then, and his songs really captured the feeling of the times. Songs like Sweet Carolina and America were instant classics and even young people seed to know every word.

Neil Diamond created the kind of music you share with your family and pass down to the next generation like a family heirloom. The audience was a reflection of that sentiment, and although there were plenty of people in their 60’s and 70’s there, there were also several kids with their parents and grandparents sharing this experience.

It was certainly a night to remember. Neil sounded like he always had, in spite of being 80. A few cracks in his voice were easily forgivable as he performed over 20 songs. On stage he worked the crowded and moved side to middle to side and seemed to address each person as he sang. What a pro!

This type of music made me remember what music is really all about; generating emotion and capturing the feeling and memory of an era.

Thank you Neil for your outstanding career and all the memories your wonderful tunes have stirred up on my soul!

Written by Bob Dietrich and Gary Nicholas

Standing Room Only As Comic-Con 2017 Hits Muggy San Diego

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When Bob Dietrich, Kym Piekunka, and I descended on Comic Con this year, we weren’t sure what to cover. There were three of us and so much of Comic Con. In a crowd of over one hundred and thirty thousand people who were constantly entertained by things inside and outside the convention center, it was impossible to cover everything. We waited to go until Friday and we decided to set up a camera and tripod in the lobby of Hall C then just outside Hall C. While Bob donned his Ron Burgundy costume (he’s the fictional San Diego news anchor from the comedy, Anchorman and Anchorman 2), Kym lined up the shot, and I pulled cosplayers (people who dress up as characters or interpretations of characters) out of the crowd.

Before this, I was the only one of the three of us who had been to Comic Con (I attended for 3 decades) so I knew the characters and could give Bob a little information on the characters. Working together we interviewed over a dozen individuals and groups. As I talked to people, I heard great stories about patience (i.e. camping in line) leading to great successes and people being in the right place at the right time. Comic Con is a treasure trove of opportunities both expected and unexpected.

On Saturday Morning, Bob and I went through The Blade Runner 2049 experience sans Kym who was caught in the Gaslamp gridlock of the most heavily attended day of the Con. It’s a virtual reality ride that resolves into an immersive environment with actors adding to the reality of the surroundings. It would have been easy to get lost in that word (there were free noodles to eat so it wouldn’t have been out of the question) but we exited and met Kym to do something Bob and Kym had never done before – enter the exhibit hall.

As the one with the experience, I warned that there would be places where traffic would be difficult to navigate but I was hoping I’d be proven wrong. We were passing the DC Comics booth while they were introducing the stars of the Justice League for the most anticipated signing at Comic Con. Bob and Kym tried getting their cameras above the crowd to take photos while security yelled for the crowd to keep moving. We were close to the stage and to the line of people waiting for autographs which was a huge problem. I knew from experience that people farther out would start pushing in to see what was happening so we managed to fight the flow of people coming before clearing them and being able to move freely again while the crowd of people solidified behind us.

As we enjoyed the sights of the Comic Con, Kym in particular was struck by the different sizes of the booths and imagined that everything would have been more uniform. To those who haven’t been inside, booths like Warner Bros., are two story structures while the DC Comics’ booth was a single story but seemed to occupy more square footage and contained a stage. There were T-Shirt towers at different intervals with walls that were 2 stories high to make them more visible and display more of their product. There were booths like the X-Box booth that had realistic props that you could interact with. In X-Box’s case, it was an impressive, full scale dragon that people could take photos on to help them promote the upcoming “Middle Earth: Shadow of War” video game (available October 10th).

When people talk about Comic Con, they talk about the costumes. People wearing costumes are instant celebrities as they are stopped for photos often. And costumes are useful disguises for Daniel Radcliffe, Bryan Cranston, and Justin Timberlake who are among the many celebrities who have walked the exhibit hall taking photos with fans who didn’t know who was underneath the mask. If you’re a fan of anything, chances are you’ll be able to take a picture with someone dressed as a character you love.

There isn’t anywhere you can look without seeing someone in costume whether it’s accurate or entertaining like someone dressed as the new Wonder Woman or someone in a Boba Fett costume with red, white, and blue paint and a cape calling himself “Elvis Fett.” In fact, Bob Dietrich interviewed a woman dressed as Quicksilver from the X-Men films. Quicksilver is a man in the films but this doesn’t stop the woman from going as the characters. We also spotted a group of men dressed as Sailor Moon characters so gender is off the table as reason not to go as your favorite character Comic Con was, at one time, laid out more like Disneyland where different themes were together. The video game publishers and consoles were over here, the toy companies were over there, the comic book companies were right there, etc. Now they seem to be strewn throughout.

It might be that returning companies are getting their same spots while newer exhibitors are taking the places of those that didn’t return. It’s made for a slightly reduced experience because if you’re trying to avoid the thick crowds around movie studio booths with A-list Hollywood talent signings, you’re not stopping at the booth next door selling toys and comic books. Which probably means that booth is going to have a new tenant next year.

America’s largest comic book retailer, Mile High Comics pulled out of the Comic Con for the first time in 44 years. Their reason is more complex, but I’m going to give you the short version: they decided it wasn’t worth this expense or hassle to travel from Colorado to San Diego if the foot traffic around their booth wasn’t going to justify it. It’s hard to argue with that but, as a comic book fan, it’s also hard not to be drawn to all of these signings and panels.

The last few years I attended as a fan was not spent buying comic books but accumulating all of these experiences with celebrities. When I started going to Comic Con, there weren’t any online comic book retailers or eBay. Now when I want a current or back issue, I have a million options for how to get it from the comfort of my keyboard but I have no mechanism to shake Ben Affleck’s hand and thank him for the many years of entertainment from the same said keyboard. And if you can do all of that while dressed up like Batman, I bet it makes Ben’s (we’re on a first name basis) face light up and becomes ingrained in that fan’s mind forever.

That experience continues to be the focus for many people in the convention center. Even someone dressed like a celebrity, like Ron Burgundy, attracts a crowd.

Written by Chris Hammell
Photography by Bob Dietrich and Kym Piekunka

Comic-con Origins Unites for 25th Anniversary Reunion

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In 1992, Image Comics exploded into existence. At its core was 7 of the most popular artists in the comic book industry. The idea was that artists could own the things they created and many of them created their own companies which would create the books then Image Comics would publish them. One of these companies was WildStorm Comics formed by Jim Lee. Jim Lee, whose popularity has never dimmed, was the artist behind the 1991 spin-off of the Uncanny X-men simply titled, X-Men. X-Men #1 remains the best-selling comic book of all time according to Guinness World Records. Eventually he sold WildStorm Comics to DC Comics became its co-Publisher.

In the nineties, comic book creators were rock stars at San Diego Comic Con, drawing large crowds that waited in line for hours and Saturday July 22nd, it felt like the nineties again. Even though the WildStorm 25th Anniversary Reunion didn’t start until 7:30pm, there were already over 30 people in line at the San Diego Art Gallery in Liberty Station when I arrived at 5:30pm.

The Facebook event said there would be a commemorative item at the signing but we didn’t know what that might be. On Twitter, Jim Lee had teased some rough pencils of Deathblow the anniversary but I still didn’t know if those pencils would be in a comic book, a hardcover book, a poster, or a print. All I knew was that I was likely to buy one and be grateful that I was getting to enjoy one last taste of a comic book company I was a big fan of…at least until the next reunion.

As it neared, someone came out to talk about the commemorative comic book that the creators would all be signing and laying out the limits on signing items. You were allowed 3 signatures per person and the commemorative item didn’t count. That was great news for the line considering there were 22 people to get signatures from: Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, J. Scott Campbell, Scott Williams, Carlos D’Anda, Lee Bermejo, Alex Garner, David Baron, Eddie Nunez, Jason Johnson, Jeff Mariotte, Livio Ramondelli, Mark Irwin, Mat Broome, Richard Friend, Ryan Benjamin, Ryan Odagawa, Sandra Hope, Shannon Eric Denton, Trevor Scott, Francisco Herrera, and Humberto Ramos!

The line was slow moving but seeing all of these folks in one place together isn’t something I would have expected even at the Comic Con so it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. They were clear that the commemorative item would only ever be offered that night and never again. It was a great experience, just one of the many that the San Diego Art Gallery has hosted. For those who haven’t found this gem in Liberty Station, it is located on the first floor of the comic book company, IDW Publishing and across the lawn from comic book store, Comickaze.

Written by Chris Hammell and Bob Dietrich
Photography by Kym Piekunka

Def Leppard, Poison and Tesla

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I remember growing up watching MTV and seen Def Leppard dominate the airwaves. They were so good, so fun, and so representative of the 1980s. With songs like Rock of Ages and Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard cast themselves as legends in rock history.

Now they’re back, as many 1980s bands are, on a retro tour with fellow 1980s bands Poison and Tesla. These guys attract a very interesting crowd because they each have their own fans, and the fans a just different enough to stand out. Tesla lead off the concert, and their fans, who are a little more hard rock than the rest, gave a raging cheer as Tesla played their most popular songs.

Poison was next, and had even more fans in attendance than Tesla on this night. The Poison fans seem to be a bit more flamboyant, and often dress in the 80’s garb to show their support for the band. It was a bit muggy for a June evening, and the seats were filling up as the night closed in, and the 9 o’clock start time for Def Leppard grew closer.

As Def Leppard took the stage, I remembered that the drummer, Rick Allen, had lost an arm in a car accident in 1984. And sure enough, he was still sitting firmly in back of his drum set inspirationally keeping time with the music. Simply amazing!

You know, after all these years, I kind of expected Def Leppard to miss a few beats, and not sound quite as good as they used to, but that was not the case. Joe Elliott, Def Leppard’s lead singer, was fantastic! His voice is still solid and he certainly knows how to excite an audience.

I’m not sure how I missed it through all these years, but I never realized that Joe Elliot is English. Born in England in 1959, he was part of the British invasion of the 1980s. I guess Def Leppard always seemed American to me.

What’s funny about these retro bands is that sometimes you forget how many hits they actually had until you see them again in concert. It seem like every song was a hit, and Def Leppard perform them like true professionals.

As Joe Elliott took time between songs to speak to the crowd, I was reminded about a story professional speaker James Malinchak told me about working with Joe and the band to help them keep their connection to their fans. I guess even the biggest superstars can use coaching from a great speaker like James Malinchak.

As we all get older we begin to realize that there will be a day soon when we can’t see bands like Def Leppard anymore. I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to see them now. If you get a chance, check them out online, find out their tour dates, and see them while they’re still touring with bands like Poison and Tesla. These are fun times that will eventually end, and you’ll want to see them while you still have the chance!

By Bob Dietrich and Brandy Pamintuan

Brad Paisley Rocks The House In San Diego

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When Luke stepped on the stage you would have thought it was Brad Paisley himself, based on the crowds reaction. Lune Bryan is super high-energy and really worked the crowd well as he got them involved in most of his songs with this smooth country style.

This was definitely a show for all ages, although the ladies dominated the open air venue in Chula Vista. Everyone was super excited for the main attraction that was about to begin, and they went wild as Brad Paisley stepped on the stage. His onstage background graphics were fun to watch, and included everything from South Park excerpts to psychedelic patterns. It reminded me a lot of a Toby Keith concert.

I have noticed a lot of bands have paid tribute to Prince this year, and so did Brad Paisley, as he open the show with a combination of his own song “Last Time For Everything” and Prince’s song “Purple Rain.”

The show had a mixture of fast-paced country songs and soft ballads that Brad is so well-known for. Most of the crowd stayed till the very end has he close the show with his hit song “Alcohol.”

This is the third time I’ve seen a Brad Paisley show, and it was just as good as the rest. Brad is a solid performer, and the shows are always top notch. If you get a chance, grab a couple tickets to see Brad Paisley next time you see him in concert. You won’t be disappointed.

By Bob Dietrich and Jeremy Johnston

Lil Wayne Brings Big Game To SDSU

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The date is April 20. 2017. Two days earlier Snoop Dogg and company blazed through San Diego in their classic gangsta style, and like magicians, poof, they were gone in a cloud of smoke. Two days later,little Wayne and his entourage appear from that cloud of smoke to deliver a hard-core rap concert for the ages.

Lil Wayne fans were coming out of the woodwork to see this rap artist,and they endured long lines at the concession stands as they prepped for the rapper to emerge. Lil Wayne stepped on the stage to a full house at San Diego State’s open air amphitheater, Puffing a cigar which he managed to keep lit for his entire performance.And the crowd was high with excitement and bouncing off the walls as Lil Wayne delivered his best stuff. He performed such hits as Down, Lollipop and Let It Rock. The end of the concert featured Lil Wayne’s entourage who joined him for an encore at the end.

As Lil Wayne said, “We’re going through some tough times right now, but just ya’ll being here makes it all worth it.”

Lil Wayne loves his fans, and his fans love him back.

By Bob Dietrich

Green Day Invades Del Moines

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The year was 1994. Grunge was becoming passé and teenagers like myself began looking for a new outlet to vent our frustrations. Then out of nowhere, and no pun intended, the album “Dookie” from Green Day dropped on Middle Class American Youth. With hits like “Longview”, “Basket Case”, and “When I Come Around” suddenly the youth of America found what we were searching for. Green Day became household names from those hits and became radio and MTV regulars. That year they made a surprise stop at Woodstock 94’ and is remembered for the infamous mud fight that they helped ensued. To think that after twenty three years of playing together and starting families, that this trio would settle down. That this band of punks would lose their edge. Far from it.

Green Day invaded Wells Fargo Arena on Monday April 3, 2017, and just like all their other shows, were impressive. The opening band, Against Me, was good, but I was excited like everyone else to see Green Day. For me, I did not know how I would take it? Would these guys get me moving? Would I still feel the same way that I did at age nineteen listening to these guys in my room? Would they still rock? The answer to all these questions is HECK YEAH! A man in a bunny suit who is rumored to be the drummer Tre Cool was first up getting the crowd railed up. Then the curtain dropped and Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt came on stage, with Tre Cool joining his bandmates. They started the set with a song entitled “Know Your Enemy”, and that was that. A young fan is onstage with the band and just like I remember from the 90’s stage dives into the crowd.

“Tonight brothers and sisters, tonight is about having a…..great time,” Billie Joe said to the audience. “It’s about humanity. No more lies. No more conspiracies. No more corruption. We’ll all have each other’s back in Iowa.” I have to add to this. For the 3 hour plus set, and yes I said 3 hours, I had a smile on my face. And so did everyone in attendance! Bob and I bumped into a girl who attended the Green Day show in Los Angeles and her enthusiasm was contagious. The show was exciting and I thought, if we acted like this on a regular basis, maybe the world would be OK. Instead of worrying about our health, finances, mortgages and an endless cycle of debt. Green Day took me back in time to where I had no worries. “Singing together and dancing together that’s what we should be doing.” Armstrong tells the excited fans. “I don’t want to talk about war. I want to talk about love and singing and dancing.” Maybe they should be ambassadors of peace.

Green Day is mainly known for getting in touch with their fans, and this evening was not exception. They brought young musicians on stage to perform to play drums and lead guitar for their classic song “Knowledge.” Seeing these kids playing with the band added to the fun that helps me to believe that anything is possible. Since Green Day has been playing together for nearly 30 years, they have added musicians to their traveling circus. An accordion/piano player, a guy on saxophone, and a rhythm guitar player are now in the mix. However, these are recent editions. They were not part of the band in the 90’s which I feel was their heyday. They even played one of my favorite songs, “She”. That song and “Welcome to Paradise” were staples in a punk cover band that I used to perform with. Warm memories flooded my mind and Billie Joe closed the show with the second encore by performing on acoustic “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” and the three band members all took a bow with smiles on their faces. I too had a smile on my face and was so happy that I had the privilege of attending a fantastic show that helped bring me back to my youth. Thank you Green Day, thank you.

By Brian Webb and Bob Dietrich

Brian Webb is a freelance author with a just released e-book entitled “Chasing the Miracle”, documenting his journey around the country during the Great Recession. The book is an e-book of cell phone pictures as he began discovering things within this country and within himself. You can purchase the e-book on the Amazon link below. He currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Chili Peppers Are Red Hot in San Diego

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Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, CA

On March 5, 2017 the Red Hot Chili Peppers were scheduled to perform at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. This same evening Bon Jovi was also scheduled to perform at the Viejas Arena at SDSU. This kind of “double booking” was a highly unusual event for the city of San Diego, and it left many fans having to choose between the two groups.

As fate would have it, RHCP lead singer Anthony Kiedis came down with the flu and the Chili Peppers had to cancel several tour dates. Normally this would have been bad news, but for some fans it was great because it allowed them to see Bon Jovi as scheduled, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at a later date, provided they rescheduled.

About 1 week after the cancellation, the promoters announced the rescheduled date of March 21, providing a perfect storm for fans of both bands.

Believe it or not, tickets for the Chili Peppers were still available the day of the concert, as the promoters opened up some extra sections for last minute fans. It was also scheduled to rain that night, but the rain never came and the stage was set for a real rager!

The crowd was ready to rock as the Chilis stepped out on stage and opened with a medley they call their “Intro Jam.” After a few songs Flea, who seemed to the the spokesman for the band, gave a big hello to San Diego and talked about how much he loved coming here. “I love your city San Diego! There’s so much to do here. I especially love surfing in PB.” Then Flea gave a shout out to the troops stationed here in San Diego as they started to play The Zephyr Song.

The Chili Peppers only played 18 songs with one encore, but the crowd seemed satisfied as they rushed the stage, cheered on the band and beckoned their encore. The band finished their set with Goodbye Angels and Give It Away as they concluded a high energy evening, and once again the Red Hot Chili Peppers demonstrated why they sell out arenas in every city the visit.

By Bob Dietrich

National Comedy Theatre Celebrates 5,000 Shows

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March 18, 2017 San Diego, CA

On the day of their five thousandth show, March 18th, 2017, the Mayor’s Office in the city of San Diego declared it “National Comedy Theatre Day.” For almost 2 decades, the National Comedy Theatre has been the premiere place San Diegans go to watch improv comedy and take improv classes. It is the home of the longest running show in San Diego’s history and it’s “Sunday Company” (a group of performers who perform on – you guessed it – Sundays) is the second longest running show in San Diego.

To celebrate their milestone, there was a reception before Saturday night’s show where there was live music, wine & cheese, and a photobooth. The show had sold out a few days before and the crowd was excited to spend time with the cast. For their part, the cast took photos together, talked to the crowd, and had a great time. Then, an assistant to the mayor (who is also on the Sunday Company) presented the founder, Gary Kramer, with a framed proclamation of “National Comedy Theatre Day.”

Then the doors opened and the crowd flowed in for the five thousandth time. But it was a different crowd and as the ref came on stage to warm up the crowd, he asked them who was visiting for the first time and only six people raised their hands. It was a crowd filled with NCT family and fans. There were a few of us in the audience who were even alumni of the improv classes who had found our way onto one of NCT’s house teams (full disclosure: I just made a team but haven’t performed with them yet).

After about a hundred minutes of non-stop laughter, instead of preparing for another performance, the Mainstage cast went to a nearby wine bar, 57 Degrees, to cut cake and party with cast members old and new as well as family and friends. It was a great way to celebrate such a significant milestone and a great opportunity for the fans to ask all about improv.

What makes an NCT improv performance so amazing is that the audience understands that they’re seeing something made up on the spot and that everything that happens will never happen again. The theatre sits 103 audience members so it’s large enough that the crowd makes a lot of noise but the farthest seat is about 25 feet away so it’s intimate no matter where you sit. For their Friday and Saturday night shows, tickets are $18 (or $14 for military, students, and seniors with ID). Get tickets and more information on all of their shows and classes at

They also have locations in Arizona and New York and they’re willing to travel to wherever you are. They’ve been around since 1999 and if their current success is any indication, they’ll be here for another five thousand shows.

By Chris Hammell and Bob Dietrich

Bon Jovi is Wanted: and Very Much Alive

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The Forum, Inglewood CA

Bon Jovi was one of the biggest acts of the 1980s, and you really haven’t seen much of them since then, until recently. Jon Bon Jovi has appeared on several commercials, as if he were hinting that he might be mounting a comeback. I traveled all the way to The Forum in Inglewood to capture this
moment with John Bon Jovi. The crowd was electric and eclectic as I entered the infamous Forum. I expected this to be a real cougar convention, but I was shocked by the diversity of people in attendance. You had single moms there with their children, couples young and old, and every range in between.

As the opening band blared in the background, it seemed as though their purpose was to give people time to wait in the long lines for their food and alcohol. Although they sounded very good, I can’t tell you their name, but they served as a worthy placeholder as almost everyone was in the vending corridor gearing up for the concert. The break between bands seemed exceeding long. Probably because this event was on a Wednesday night. Most people were coming from work, and promoters were likely allowing people time to get dinner and drinks before John Bon Jovi started his 24 song set.

Bon Jovi kicked off this epic evening with his new song This House is Not For Sale, and the crowd went crazy as he transitioned into his legendary hit You Give Love A Bad Name. Jon Bon Jovi is a true professional, and knows how to work a full arena. He kept people engaged, even through his new songs, which is very hard to do. Bon Jovi sounded like their original selves, and didn’t miss a beat, and although a third of their songs were new, everyone was on their feet having a great time! At the end of the concert, Bon Jovi performed two separate encores, wrapping everything up with Wanted Dead or Alive, and Livin’ on a Prayer. When it was all over the crowd’s cheer kept Jon and the band on stage. The crowd just didn’t want the night to end, and they wouldn’t let them go.

This was a fun rock concert in true 80’s style. People were dressed up in 80 garb, the crowd rushed the stage, and Jon Bon Jovi was moving like he was 25 again. This blast from the past is already the highlight of this young 2017 concert season.

By Bob Dietrich