Sherry's Rockapella Trip Report
November 22, 2003
The Mint -- Los Angeles, CA
Angela and I drove over to L.A., and on the way there, we were advised by Hank that they still hadn't been let into the venue, even though the doors should have opened for them. This was just the start of craziness at this venue.
We waited in line outside while awaiting Ang's friend, Laura, whom has never been to a Pella concert. All right! Another Pella virgin! While we were in line, we talked to a promoter (ya gotta love L.A.), and he had been invited to check out Da Boyz to try for some gigs for film and TV soundtracks, as well as commercials. So Ang and I, the Pushers that we are, made sure to talk up the Greatness that is Rockapella. Yes, to his face. When Laura arrived, she was quite excited, as well she should have been!
Apparently, the venue had sold out, which was a good thing for the promoter to hear. We found our friends at (almost) the furthest point from the door, where they told us they'd be sitting. Apparently, the tables in front of the stage were all reserved, so our friends Liz, Joe, Hank, Sharyn & Karla were all cramped into a booth. So we joined them in order to make it even more ridiculous. The venue was small, and our booth, although next to the wall, was about 5 feet from the corner of the stage. it wasn't a great vantage point due to the pole and speakers at the corner of the stage. In fact the stage was maybe a foot or two higher than the audience. it was kind of like we were in a big basement. Not a full-size basement. Just about the size of the Wayne's World basement. I half-expected Mike Myers & Dana Carvey to open the show. Apparently, there was a problem before, and so the venue didn't have its liquor license for the evening, which is the reason it was OK to have a bunch of younger fans in the audience.
Mike Myers did not open the show; last night's act, Ashley Matte did. A couple of my friends bought her CD, since she hadn't brought enough the night before. She actually should have brought more, because she was well-received. (It was HER dog whose paws were seen behind the curtains at last night's concert, by the way).
Rockapella entered from our side of the stage (the Rhythm Section side), since there was really only one entrance for them. I was curious to see what was actually BACK there. How big was it Anyway, I'm not used to seeing them actually stepping from the backstage / dressing are, immediately onto the stage. Usually, there's much more space, but that's OK. We got the 1st glimpse of them! Scott saw a piece of paper on the stage floor and remarked, "Someone else's set list. I don't know these songs." I'm sure you would've done them better anyway, baby.
During "Moments of You," Scott hit his head on one of the speakers. I told you this venue was small. He flashed his beautiful smile at me, so ... SWOON! During the refrain, he saw some food on a table and sang, "Share with me the Pizza of You."
El then told us that the venue "reminds me of my living room," which gave me a reminder of the cool footage of the guys practicing at his place. During "Love Potion #9," Kevin & Scott shared a microphone during the "Instrumental" section. What happened to the other mic? Then, during "No Doubt At All," there was too much echo, because apparently, nobody could hear? They're RIGHT THERE!
After "This Isn't Love," Kevin said, "This is the packed-est house we've ever played." We all laughed at the new word he invented, then he advised that they "don't really do good material until we've been there before."
During "Have Faith," Scott looked over at Sharyn, whom was shivering even with a jacket. He rubbed his arms, asking if she was cold. I'm telling you, they could see the entire audience in there. have I mentioned that the venue was small?
After Folger's, Jeff was at the side of the stage, and waved at all of us. I think that's the first time I've seen him actually openly gesture at us like that. Maybe because he could actually see us.
El treated us to some trivia, saying that the Folger's shot on the New York city shoot was actually filmed on the Paramount lot, which was weird because they flew from NY to CA to take video of them in NY. He posed a Point/ Counterpoint question: Is Rockapella's greatest hit Folger's, or actually Carmen? He then commented, "It's a sad state of our greatest hits."
Scott stripped off his jacket for "Long Cool Woman," and I was even more excited than usual, because he was wearing my favorite shirt. I love that black & white stripe thing. Someone find it for me, would you? Where'd he get that thing?
The Pretty Woman for the night was Emica. After they sang "My Girl" to her, she was introduced to Scott, then left the stage! I guess she thought that she was done. Kevin got her back on stage, and introduced her to the others. Jeff said, "I'm from the United States of Emica." Kevin decided to call her "surf girl." They should have sung "Surfer Girl," then! Ooh, I'd be happy. (Yeah, like I wasn't happy just to see them!).
During Carmen, Jeff launched into his solo, then said that he noticed some guys watching him closely, knowing that they were all VP'ers themselves. He invited a guy named "B" to drum with him, then Kevin showed up with another mic, so that Adam could join the other 2 on stage. ADAM! Angela and I were WAY excited for him at this point, since he was our table-mate the night before, and we knew that he wanted to VP for Jeff. It was like a Master class, with Jeff having them join him to make a trio, and giving pointers. Then a guy named Bryan got on stage and demonstrated his sleigh bells sound. Just too cool, man.
During Zombie, Kevin looked over at us and cracked up. I swear he can't keep a straight face when he sees us imitating their choreography!
They took requests but I didn't hear our people yelling out Christmas songs like "Little Mary Snowflake" and "Grinch." They sang "Change In M Life," though, so Sharyn was still happy. They then invited George's friend, Rob, on stage to sing lead on "Stand By Me." George said that the guys from Boyz II Men don't call him anymore, but Rob still does. He said that it proves that you should never forget where you came from. Rob did sing one of the verses twice, but he didn't have Scott whispering the lyrics to him, like Scott had done for me. OK, having a nice flashback now...
The next song was requested by an a capella choir from the University of Redlands, "Don't Tell Me You Do." Nice. I haven't heard that in a long time. They ended the evening with "Dance With Me," in honor of the disco ball hanging from the ceiling. I wish that they cold have made that disco ball spin, to get the full effect.
Due to the number of acts performing in the club that night, there was no meet and greet. Bummer, since that was their last show in CA for awhile. A LONG and PAINFUL while. We were able to say goodbye to Phil, though, before taking off. He still remembered my name! Amazing.
Our group had a de-briefing at Canter's in Hollywood, where the waitresses all looked the same, and we couldn't tell which one was ours. Thank goodness she knew us! Kinda hard to miss us, though, because we're likely. No, not obnoxious. Lively. Laura was incredibly happy to have attended the concert, and now wants to follow the band with us. Good job, Pella Pushers! She was completely amazed by Jeff's talents, and blown away by George's voice, while also loving the "dorky" moves that Scott does when he dances. Yes, that's HER term.
Thank you, Rockapella, for another fun time in CA. It'll be a Blue Christmas without you.