Hey, Leaguers. Larry Lee is an old friend of Jason's and Steans' in general. He's a former Marine, a lawyer, a father of three, a husband and a coach of some sort. In short, he's already done more with himself than The League shall probably ever accomplish.
LL loves him some music, and somehow scored seats at the American Music Awards (an achievement as I don't think he's been involved with music since quitting the trombone in 9th grade). When word of this opportunity came to light, Lt. LL suggested he take the opportunity to share. An opportunity I jumped on.
Reposted from the comments section (Lee, I have e-mail, man...)
Still waiting for Reed Shaw's report on the final Phish tour from three years ago.
Here is my report from the American Music Awards:
1) The seats: I was fourth row, center stage. They were phenomenal. Face value of $750 each, though nobody pays for them, so who knows how much they really cost. Most of the show I sat two rows directly behind the dudes from Nickelback, who seemed genuinely happy to be there and to win an award for best something or other. To my left, only a couple seats away, was William Shatner and his wife. In front of him was Mario Lopez (Saved By The Bell/Dancing with the Stars) and in front of him, Snoop Dogg. That's right...the D.O. double G himself. Odd to me that Mario Lopez had better seats than William Shatner, but good to see things were corrected with Snoop Dogg's seating. I sat in front of Tori Spelling (she's five months pregnant) and a few seats to the left of Paris Hilton, who was text messaging furiously for most of the time that I saw her. At one point, Nelly Furtado sat immediately in front of me. The stars rotate seats depending on their performances and if they win, etc. The coolest celebrity sighting was Beyonce (she sat front row), who I saw walk in on the red carpet and then later, when she and her entourage nearly ran me over backstage on her way to the stage for the opening act. She was amazingly beautiful to see in person. She seemed to be a star in every sense of the word. Only her and Jamie Foxx were like that out of every celeb I saw. They just had something about them that nobody else had in terms of sizzle.
2) The live performances: Mary J. Blige was the best, hands down. She was amazing. I've never heard a better voice live. Next, Jamie Foxx. He's got the chops, man. Honoring the history of the AMA's was Lionel Richie, who sang All Night Long and the crowd went absolutely nuts for him, including yours truly (I was on t.v. briefly shaking my booty during Lionel's performance). He's still got it and looks great, too. Another throwback artist was Barry Manilow. His voice was still good, but he's had waaaaaaay too much plastic surgery. Jay Z was good. I got a big kick out of watching Beyonce dance to her man's music while he was onstage and she was in the audience. Also very good and extremely pretty was American Idol Carrie Underwood. Dixie Chicks couldn't have looked less interested to be there, but the biggest letdown was probably Tenacious D, though Dave Grohl gave them a sweet introduction. They just didn't rock like I thought they would. They did have lots of fireball effects in their show and said their song was about their battle with Satan, so they were kinda funny.
3) The venue. Held at the nearly falling down Shriner Auditorium in Los Angeles, near the campus of USC (which is basically in the middle of Compton). A total dump. It was filthy and disgusting inside. Probably sat 5,000 or so, with a balcony. I understand that next year they are holding the AMA's in a new theater being constructed across the street from
Man, I guess I wrote too much. The only other cool story is that I met Weird Al Yankovic at the after party. He was walking by with a plate of food, stuffing his face, when I saw him and said, "Loved what you did with 'Eat It'". He stopped, paused for a moment, got the joke, and then laughed genuinely, saying, "That's pretty funny, man". Somebody with us asked for his picture and he happily agreed, but our camera battery died an extremely untimely death, so Al scooted off to finish his food and alas, no photo was had. Such a bummer. It would have made for a great Christmas card.
All in all, good times. If you ever get a chance to go to a music award show, don't miss it. And wear a jacket. With the exception of the musicians, all the men wear jackets to award shows, even in Los Angeles. But don't wear a tie. Only the body guards wear ties.