The concert series that the Today Show frequently hosts are intended to draw in many different varieties of audiences, and on November 18, 2015, it was clear that the target audience for that day’s particular concert consisted mainly of younger teenage girls and their parents, as well as upper teens-twentysomething fans. Justin Bieber was that day’s performer, promoting his latest album, and he was joined on stage by Big Sean and Halsey, as both are featured on his album. The whole experience of attending this show was certainly unforgettable, and it’s all thanks to my close proximity to Manhattan that I was able to see the show.
Three friends and I took the D Train at 2:30 a.m. (definitely do not recommend taking the subway this late at night unless you’re with a substantially sized group) and admittedly we took a Public Safety van to the station to avoid walking through the Bronx at such an obscure time. We got to the stage around 3:15, where it was impossible to miss the fact that there was a significant performer scheduled given that we couldn’t even see the end of the line of people camped out around NBC Studios. My friends and I were fortunate enough to slip into the crowd and post up on the corner of Park Ave and W 48th (basically we cut a huge portion of the line and were just lucky enough not to get caught, since people who did get caught were removed by security and sent to the back of the line). November weather can be harsh, and this night was no exception, and I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to dress warmly if you’re planning on sitting outside all night. Luckily there’s a 24 hour Starbucks and McDonalds located really close to where the line of people is, and since you have to sit there for so long waiting you may as well send some of the people you’re with to get drinks and save themselves from the cold. At around 5 a.m., a worker came out and instructed everyone to sign in online (don’t worry it’s totally free to attend these concerts) and film brief promotional footage of people in line getting excited about the upcoming performance. We were allowed to start entering the audience area of the stage around 6 a.m., but only the first half (give or take a little) of the people who were in line were able to squeeze in (I mean squeeze literally- there is an absurd amount of people packed into a small space, but as long as crowds don’t phase you you’ll be fine). Those in attendance get to see basically two short shows, since whoever’s performing has to do essentially a brief rehearsal and warm up for the actual filmed performance, and you don’t realize how close you are to the performer until he/she is actually on stage. Justin performed Love Yourself (his voice live is absolutely amazing, especially in this song), No Pressure (with Big Sean), The Feeling (with Halsey), What Do You Mean, Home to Mama, and Sorry. Seeing any artist live is always a great experience, and for those that like to feel completely part of the audience, the Today Show Concert Series are definitely for you: being in such a crowded space full of people that are clearly dedicated fans of whoever’s performing seeing as they had to camp out starting before 3 a.m. the night before really lets you immerse yourself in the music. However, if you’re the type who would rather sit back and people watch, this is also a unique experience that I recommend for you. All in all, the only frustrating aspect of this whole trip was the fact that nearly everyone in the audience was holding up phones to try and video tape the performances (which I can’t say I blame them for, and I’m guilty of the same), and so the view was somewhat obstructed. Regardless, attending a concert hosted by the Today Show should for sure be on the bucket list of anyone with the capability of camping out for the show the night before, and I will definitely be returning in the future.
For more information: http://www.today.com/concertseries