This is the best time of year. Not only are spirits high with festive joy, but also people far and wide give it all a boost with several wild holiday gatherings. In fact, I was invited to attend a special celebration hosted by Pandora at Pier 36 last week! This year the Pandora Holiday 2015 was jammed packed with performances by Cash Cash, G-Eazy, Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy. Yeah, that much mayhem in one place made it one of the best holiday party of the year.
Trekking my way downtown, I stopped to grab a bite of pizza; I remembered at the last minute that there would be no food at the event. After wolfing it down, I made it to Pier 36 where I was welcomed by a ginormous line of music fans all bundled up and ready for the night. Pier 36 was all decked out in Pandora gear; even the entrance had an orange Pandora ‘like’ icon balloon outside. Inside the blue logo of Pandora covered every wall and stage complete with snowflakes. Sponsors were a plenty with the likes of Guitar hero, Toshiba, T-Mobile, Goose Island Beer, Mountain Dew and Express, just to name a few. To promote these sponsorships, each guest was given a card with a scavenger hunt at each with the reward of free stuff. Everyone was able to snag special foam Express glow sticks, endless cups of Mountain Dew, Toshiba gloves and eventually some sweet Pandora bags. With plenty of bars selling drinks, fans quickly loosened up and were eager for entertainment. People were already running around and getting excited at every corner of the place!
I loved the awesome blue Pandora DJ booth that lay right next to the main stage. Unfortunately, since I could not get VIP access, I ended up with the commoners. Hah! I kid. It is better to be in the mesh of the fans. Speaking of fans, it consisted primarily of college kids. Some fans were even dressed up as nuns in tribute to Fall Out Boy’s music video, I Don’t Care. Tons of people were just dancing to the radio over play and loved every minute of it. Cash Cash were the first ones to start us off with some thick bass-driven tunes. They also were the musicians who kept the fans in the mood in-between each set, smooth Pandora, smooth. This was when the Pandora DJ booth came alive from the trio, supported by smoke and monster sounds. These animated Jersey boys mashed it up beautifully. Wearing all black, these guys were perfect for keeping the vibe alive that night. Jesus, I could feel my hair vibrating thanks to their music. At this point, There were even hippies dancing to it all. Although there may have been a little too much bass, nobody cared in the least. People started throwing their glow sticks and they landed with hilarious accuracy all over the concert floor.
Eventually Cali lad G-Eazy came on out with a full lightening and thunder projection on the wall. Complete with a full drummer and personal DJ, a hard pumping beat immediately ensued. Sporting a slick leather jacket, G-Eazy’s preaching reached new heights. Again, there was a wild bass thrown in here. Blonde bombshell, Bebe Rexha even came out to perform their song, Me, Myself and I, which even had some version of spoken word rap. I couldn’t really place his hip-hop, but it was unique in every sense of it all. His music was filled with lots of repetitions with a solid grove and grand-pulsing bass. His drummer was totally into it and even stood at times to rock out. The turntable was epic with the screen graphics that changed with each tune. For example, there was even a White House theme for one song that ended with a short Monica Lewinsky monologue. Despite the fact that I was overwhelmed with the bass, I admired the work of the drummer. G-Eazy was a master of changing things around with even his voice sounding robotic at times. He had great timing with the ending beat blasts, which featured him in a pose. Eventually, people began using their glow sticks to mimic unicorns, which was both fun and unusual. There was even a Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas clip playing during one of his songs. He provided a great set.
Once Cash Cash returned many people in the back had plenty of space to dance. Many fans were anxiously waiting for the roadies to finish setting up for Panic! To keep themselves occupied, fans began a ritual of using the glow sticks for spanking. It seemed like a legitimate thing to do. Finally after what seemed to be forever, Panic! walked out calmly. They wasted no time and got right into their yells supported by their pounding music. Man, these guys had lots of energy that was equally shared by the audience. No time has passed and Panic! still has got plenty of talent. Every person in the crowd was yelling along with them as every piece of nostalgia was brought back with their classic songs. For once, I welcomed the Emo fans uniting under one banner that evening. Also, there were television screens all hung on various pillars that featured live audience streaming of the show thanks to the ANGL app. It was the perfect combination of wild madness. Panic! was in full throttle with their intense drums and guitars. It was great watching the musicians dancing around with their individual instrument. God, there was so much yelling. Yet, people were totally into it and I could see why. Even the slow songs required laborious intensity from the band. Panic! held true to their amplified yells and exaggerated emotions. I was impressed with their matching black suits. Song after song they continued to surprise me with lead, Brendon Urie, even doing some epic drumming of his own. That was pretty amazing. Everyone knew the anthem of their sound. My jaw hung open when Brendon even did back flips all over the place like it was nothing. Even his band mates remained frozen until he landed with a boom of excitement. All this was great but nothing came close to Panic!’s simply stunning and powerful rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Every fan in the audience brought out their lighters and sang along with pure passion. Probably the best part was when the climax of the song hit and everyone in the audience attempted their best Wayne’s World head bob. I was so impressed by their performance!
Cash Cash came back once Panic! finished and began pouring booze down people’s throats to keep the party started for the headliner that evening. Happily, we did not have to wait long at all! A soft piano opening came through as the men of Fall Out Boy came out, which was followed by a thundering crash. They were immediately up all over the stage. Right off the bat, they performed their hit song, Sugar, We’re Goin Down. Bassist Pete Wentz, when not perusing the art scene in NYC, was busy throwing guitar picks to the crowd like crazy as he continued to rock on. I was blown away with the amazing drumming of Andy Hurley, who still presents to the world his full body of tattoos. All of musicians were a loud force of musical nature that evening. I was happy I stayed in the back because the mosh pit started to grow as the show went deeper. Fall Out Boy holds a powerful stage presence. For example, when they were standing up on the amps, they encouraged the crowd to get into it and sing along. They orchestrated us all. Even with my hearing aids off, I could hear the roar of the band, which was equally shared by the crowd. What an intense way to end the night.
Pandora graced us with a swirl of magic spanning DJ, rap and Emo rock. Not only did they manage to bring together an impressive line up of pure intense musicians, they gave the fans so much to celebrate. I doubt there was a sad face in that crowd and I for one remain excited for their next celebration!