Photo Courtesy of iHeartRadio
Okay before I go any further, are you really surprised by this title? Of course NOT. I love being a west coast native, and despite all the rhetoric employed by friends, faculty, and staff, I really really really cannot see myself giving up my 90210 dreams for skyscrapers in NYC.
This past weekend my friends on the east coast roared and rallied at the 2018 Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island in NYC, but I only know this from Googling it because I was too busy getting my life and losing my lungs at the Wango Tango 2018 here in the always amazing Los Angeles, CA. I can't speak on behalf of my friends who were at the Governors Ball. However, I can assume that is no fun once the rain let loose upon the thousands of poor souls who dressed like they were at Coachella only to remember that water falls from the sky.
The lineup for Wango Tango 2018 is here:
"Performing at this year's Wango Tango were Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, NF, Miguel, Janelle Monáe and Marshmello with a special guest performance by Logic, Backstreet Boys, and Sabrina Carpenter" (iHeartRadio).
Anyone who knows me could anticipate that I was there solely for Ariana Grande. I swear, if she was not part of the lineup I probably would have stayed in, or maybe gone to an Academy screening for an unreleased-to-the-public blockbuster movie. You know, a normal SoCal Saturday night.
The night was full of feels and all kinds of Tweetable and post worthy moments. At one point, I had to stop myself from going IG Live since I swore I was posting too much for my followers to handle! I could NOT handle it when my old high school English teacher DMed me telling me she had been to the first ever Wango Tango that happened in 1999! It goes to show how much of a staple this concert is to SoCal living.
Every summer, I always make a bucket list. At the top of my list are concerts! There's something about witnessing an artist live, and hearing how they mix up a song and then seeing them perform it that just electrifies me inside. Of course, I loved getting to be at the America's Got Talent live shows last summer. And don't get me wrong, I STILL randomly convulse when I think about how I got to attend the 2018 Oscars Red Carpet and see all the movie stars. However, the adrenaline that seeps into my veins when I see a singer belt on stage is something that can't be replicated, even by Meryl Streep saying, "Hi," to my friends and me. (Meryl, we still love you and you will ALWAYS be a bragging point in my life.)
The lineup for this year's concert had an amazing array of diverse talent. Each artist has their own vibe, their own sound, and each is great in their own way. One thing that unifies them all; they put on one hell of a show! Each set had staples from each singer, like Meghan Trainor's campy, "All About That Bass" or Miguel swooning, "Adorn." Shawn Mendes and Ariana Grande stood out because every song they performed is a bonafide hit that ruled the charts the moment they came out. Mendes and Grande were for sure the headliners, but I was still so impressed by the showmanship of all the acts before and after.
Like most concerts I go to, I had a playlist bumping the whole drive to the venue and my batter pack was fully juiced ready for the abuse my phone was about to endure. Like I said, I tried to craft a cohesive story for my followers, across Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, you can tell I work in communications huh?, but there were times when I zoned out and started jumping and screaming to my favorite songs. My friends around me were on the same wavelength, and let me tell you about the girl in our row who THREW IT BACK ON HER CHAIR when "Side to Side" came on during Grande's set. This girl was feeling her fantasy and I ain't mad about it. (I think though the mom behind her was though, because she was throwing it all around her daughter's face.)
I think my OMG moment came when the Backstreet Boys, Meghan Trainor, and Ariana Grande all debuted BRAND NEW SONGS. These weren't songs that anyone knew and the artists did not expect us to follow along. Guess again! As soon as I caught on to the chorus, I joined along in the stadium wide sing along that was slowly erupting. Throughout the nearly 5-hour show, I scarcely remember feeling fatigued. The few times I sat down I made sure I was attentive and not witnessing a crucial bridge or chorus. With no rain in sight, or brisk breeze invading the open stadium, it truly was a gorgeous SoCal night.
Like a coworker of mine said, "Entertainment is magical." It truly is. From music, to TV, film and more, I love getting to live in a space that cultivates and nurtures individuality and artistry in all its forms.
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.