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When a band offers you a pre-sale link to buy concert tickets, you better work fastThe Killers had a special promotion for their Wonderful Wonderful tour, that if you buy their new album Wonderful Wonderful through their band website, they’ll not only include a free t-shirt, but they’ll also send you a link to pre-sale concert tickets before anyone else. Well, well, well…that website nearly crashed, & all of the pre-sale tickets were sold out! I mean, the concert tour sold out so fast that Jian & I had to buy our tickets through a (trusted) third-party ticket reseller. We were lucky that the third-party ticket prices were only $10 dollars more than the general ticket price(s), give or take, so it all worked out in the end.

We met up with two of our closest mates, who surprisingly have never ever been to a live music concert before. They were also huge fans of The Killers, so they were equally as pumped up as we were. However, they had no idea what they were in store for. Jian & I had to explain a few things about concerts to them, like: why assigned seats are better than standing-room floor seats, or whether to stay for the opening acts or not, or whether to buy the concert goods online or at the concert. That night was one of the most memorable moments in my entire life. I will never forget this experience with my favorite rock band & my best mates. Alright, let me break down the concert for you into sections.


THE BAND STAGE

The stage was a fun throwback to the retro neon signs of the famous Las Vegas strip. At the beginning of the concert, the stage had a minimal abstract appearance, with a wrap-around video screen behind the band & a triangular video screen above the stage. Then from the middle of the concert & all throughout, the stage changed to show neon lit arrows on one side of the stage & a water tower on the other side of the stage. Fun fact: for each city stop on the tour, the band would display the city’s name on the water tower. The concert I went to said “Los Angeles”. Of course everyone wants to know the ultimate answer to which electronic keyboard was Brandon Flowers going to use for this tour? Well, since the main & first single off of the Wonderful Wonderful album was “The Man“, Mr. Flowers had to use his ‘male symbol’ keyboard, while the backup singers had stands with the ‘female symbol’, as you can clearly tell from my photo below.IMG_2940-1.JPG


THE FAN EXPERIENCE

It was so badass & cool when The Killers invited a random fan to play with them on one of their songs. I know a lot of other bands do this at concerts, like Foo Fighters, Blink-182, & Green Day, but this was the first time I got to witness it in person. The band invited a teenage girl named Aelena Gilles to climb up on to the stage & play the drums on the song “For Reasons Unknown“. The crowd went absolutely nuts when she got up on stage. The band jokingly anointed this fan with some actual sand from the Mojave desert, & lent her a pair of plastic Elvis-inspired sunglasses. Let me just say, that this was one of the many highlights from the concert. This teenage girl totally killed it on the drums, & like I said before, the crowd went wild every time the camera would showcase this fan on the video screen. Everyone sang their hearts (& lungs) out & danced along to every song. When the band asked the audience to hold up a light, the entire Staples Center arena nearly erupted in smartphone flashlights. It was so cool to be part of this amazing fan experience. It kind of sucked that they had to replace two of the original band members (Dave KeuningMark Stoermer) with two fill-in band members, but those guys had legit reasons for not going on tour…like going back to college to finish their degree, &/or spending more quality time with their kids before they grow up too fast. The experience was still amazing as ever. They all know how to put on a great show. The last time I saw the full original cast lineup of The Killers was at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, back in 2015.


THE “MEAT & POTATOES” A.K.A. THE MUSIC

Since this was the Wonderful Wonderful tour, I was assuming the band was going to play most of the songs from their latest album, but surprisingly they didn’t. They played a great mix of all of their albums, focusing on most of their hit singles (Mr. Brightside, Spaceman, When You Were Young, etc.) & a few throwback gems (Jenny Was a Friend of Mine, Smile Like You Mean It, Andy You’re a Star, etc.). Oh man, the audience got the most pumped up every time the band would play an old school song from their Hot Fuss album. (I can’t believe in a few short years it will mark the 20th anniversary of the Hot Fuss album!) I just fact checked my own personal catalogue of The Killers music, & I just realized that the band practically played an entire set (plus encore) straight from the lineup of their Direct Hits album, minus the songs: Shot At The Night, Miss Atomic Bomb, Just Another Girl, & Be Still. However, you could just replace those missing songs with the new songs from the Wonderful Wonderful album, & you’ve pretty much got the entire setlist for the Los Angeles leg of their concert tour. Here is the complete song lineup for the concert.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

This concert was one of the most incredible live music shows I’ve ever been to. I love how engaging Brandon Flowers was with the crowd, & the band really knew how to whip the crowd into a frenzy & get us all to chant along to all the songs (I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!). The band usually plays a cover song from another artist or band, but for this concert tour, they decided to write & perform a spur-of-the-moment song the band wrote just for our city venue. As described by Mr. Flowers himself, the song was written on the road while the band was touring, & the song was titled “L.A. Song” as it was written for the Los Angeles venue, & it was a little tribute song to all of the landmarks of Los Angeles. I’m not sure what The Killers had planned for other cities, but I’m sure it was just as memorable & amazing. With this Wonderful Wonderful concert tour, you really get a strong sense of how proud The Killers are of their Las Vegas, Nevada roots. I mean, Brandon Flowers came back for the band’s encore performance wearing a metallic gold suit! I was so blown away by this concert experience, & I’m sure my lungs felt blown away as well. My throat felt a little sore after all the singing I did to go along with the band. I’m going to end this post with a quote from Brandon Flowers that I’ve fallen in love with. Cheers everyone!

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Today’s song of the day:

2017 has already come & gone. It’s already Day 3 of 2018, & I cant believe it. Time really seems to be whizzing by. This is a look back at some of my biggest highlights of 2017.

01. This past year, I really feel like I’ve stepped up my writing, & put more focus & effort into my blog. I think I’m improving in making my own graphic images & site banners, but I’m not a trained graphic artist, nor do I have any artistic drawing abilities whatsoever. So, I’m hoping I’m improving as an amateur graphic artist. I can definitely see an improvement in my writing, & I’ve managed not to get too wordy on the unnecessary details. I’m definitely going to keep writing on my blog, & hope you all follow me on my journey.

02. When I was a teenager, I had all sorts of lofty dreams of going to music concerts & festivals. I envisioned my friends & I hopping in to my little car, & we’d travel around town looking for hip music venues & clubs. Well, that never happened, & even in my early adulthood I didn’t get many chances to go to any concerts…mostly because my group of friends at the time all had different tastes in music, & I could never find a partner to go with me to concerts or live shows.

Fast forward to today, f I can’t believe my good fortune. Jian & I have each introduced the other person to new music genres, bands, & artists. Through our mutual love of music, we’ve been able to attend many concerts & pop culture festivals in 2017. Our list of events include: Anderson.Paak in London, SAVE FERRIS, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats with Kings of Leon, as well as Lord Huron, Carseat Headrest & other bands we didn’t recognize at Chris Hardwick’s ID10T Conival. We saw WEEZER twice last year. Once at the ID10T Conival, & a second time at our local Alt-Rock radio station’s winter concert called Not So Silent Night. We attended on the night Alice Merton (of “No Roots” fame), Walk The Moon, Foster The People, WEEZER, &………The KILLERS performed. Yes, we got to see our favorite rock band of all time (The KILLERS) perform alongside WEEZER!!!! It was a great way to end our year in concerts. Also, I’m going to see The KILLERS in concert again next month at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles for their Wonderful, Wonderful U.S. arena tour. I can just feel all of my teenage concert fantasies coming true.

03. I got to check off an item on my travel bucket list this past year. After all of my intense wishing, it finally came true. I got to visit London, England for my very first time. It took me a long time to convince Jian to go with me, since Jian prefers to visit Asia on his vacations, but I finally wore him down & convinced him to travel with me to Europe/the UK. I was getting a little tired of always sticking to our routine of visiting Japan or China (or Hong Kong) every time we plan an overseas vacation. I’ve been wanting to switch things up & visit Europe/the UK for a long time. Also, visiting London has been a big ticket bucket list item for me, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit my new favorite city & stay at a hotel that has completely changed my life.

04. After immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan (she was not born there), my mom said goodbye & had not given any thought to going back until recently. A lot of my mom’s friends have either permanently moved back to Taiwan, or split their time living there 6 months out of the year. This encouraged my mom to finally want to visit Taiwan. She invited her favorite travel companion (me) her sister, & together they made plans to go back & visit the city they grew up in & left behind over 30+ years ago. Of course, my mom feeling insecure about traveling to a place she hardly remembers, she invited Jian & I to join them as chaperones who could help them navigate the subway system & help them at the airports. We had so much fun eating & drinking our way through Taipei, & making the best of our trip even though it rained nearly every day.

05. Christmas is a big deal in my family. My dad had always emphasized family togetherness during this time of the year, & as a family we took his words very seriously. All of the kids make sure to come home for the holidays no matter what, & my mom throws a huge annual party on Christmas Eve. We usually tend to keep the guest list to family & close family friends only, but this year we broke tradition, & I was able to invite my closest friends & their families to our party. We had the most memorable evening I’ll never forget. This recently past Christmas party was truly outstanding & unforgettable.

06. This past year marked the 5th anniversary of my dad’s passing. I can’t believe it’s already been 5 YEARS. I think about my dad everyday, & I still think about him as though he’s still alive. I try hard not to dwell on the negative, & only focus on the positive memories of my dad. It’s hard to go through life without one parent, especially when you are still relatively young & feel like you still need your parents’ guidance. Another year will pass, & I will continue to think about my dad every day.

Those are my best highlights of 2017. I don’t have any resolutions for 2018. I want to live my life & be happy. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:


I’ve been noticing very recently that it’s much easier for me to clump all of my thoughts into lists. I enjoy shortening my thoughts & ideas into short blurbs, rather than write while whole posts about nothing. I’m not that clever. Hey, I’m not Jerry Seinfeld. (*chuckles*)

  • I love apples. Fuji apples are my favorite type of apples, but I especially love them when they are cold, crisp, & juicy. Yeah, I love to eat juicy apples. I’ve been eating apples more often lately, mostly because my mom likes to use apples as a food offering to her Buddhist shrine whenever she says her Buddhist prayers. We always have a good amount of apples in our kitchen leftover from my mom’s weekly prayer offerings. I especially enjoy eating the apples after my mom has already used them as an offering to her mini Buddhist shrine. I kind of feel like the apples have been blessed by the Buddhist statues after they’ve had their share, which to me, makes them taste even sweeter.
  • Piggy-backing off the previous bullet point, I don’t think I’m a strict, devout Buddhist. My mom isn’t really one either. Well, she’s more of a semi-devout Buddhist. She performs many rituals & prayers to her carefully displayed shrine in our home. She even believes in the power & energy of carefully selected Buddhist relics. However, she does not regularly visit a temple or celebrate much of yer Buddhist holidays. I kind of, sort of loosely follow the parts of Buddhism my mom teaches me that is important to our family. Like my mom, I say a few prayers, I light incense, I provide offerings to our home shrine, but I don’t do much other important or significant rituals associated with it. I wouldn’t call myself devout to any one religion. My mom grew up in a strict Christian family before she converted to Buddhism along with her siblings. My dad was raised Catholic through & through…even going so far as to sign up for the priesthood, before dropping out to get married early & start a family. Neither of them pushed any sort of religion on any of their children,  but I’ve been loosely following a few customs of the Buddhist religion because it interests me & brings me closer to my mom.
  • I have an easier time writing my blog posts when I’m at my local big box coffee shop. Today I’m writing in a different coffee shop location. I hate this location, but at least it gives me a change of scenery from the coffee shop down the street from my house. The coffee shop I’m sitting at is right next to a high school. Once school lets out, all of the super annoying teenagers come swarming in to get their stupid frappy, iced berry, sugary sweet drinks. They come in packs & annoy the masses with their obnoxious jibber-jabber. Like I said, I hate coming to this location because it’s always crowded with annoying teenagers, but I need a change of scenery from my usual blog writing place. At least this place is still very close by to my house, & the baristas here don’t muck up my order. At the big box coffee shop next to my house, the only thing they get right is the spelling of my name on the cup. Other than that, they’re always forgetting one thing or another, like forgetting my drink altogether, or forgetting my food order until I’ve been standing at the counter for well over 5 minutes. The baristas always apologize for the mistake, & always mention that they recognize me as a regular customer, but every time I go there, they always treat me like I’m a stranger, even when it’s the same barista serving me a few days in a row.
  • I’m so incredibly excited, chuffed to bits, to be going to London next month. I wish I could speed up the date of my departure, but I also don’t want time to pass by so fast. Jian & I have been almost meticulously planning out all of the things we want to do & places we want to eat at or drink a cocktail at, but we also want to let things happen naturally. Before most of our major vacations, we tend to carefully plan out all the little details of our itinerary, but more often than not we end up doing things spontaneously, like on the fly. We talk & talk & talk, make up spreadsheets & checklists, I make up little  travel scrapbooks (with my amateur Photoshop skills), but mostly make up stuff as we go along our trips. I guess that’s the fun part, finding lots of random, local things that isn’t written in some stuffy, glossy guide book. Everyday our list of things to do & eat grows & grows. We only have 7 days to explore London, & we want to make the most of our time there. I want this adventure to begin, but not to end too soon.
  • In a couple of weeks I’m going to a concert I’d never imagine going to for a second time in my life. My all-time favorite band, SAVE FERRIS, has reunited after nearly 20 years & is coming back with a vengeance, releasing a brand new album & doing a U.S. promo tour. SAVE FERRIS was the very first band I ever saw in concert back in 1998. They were performing in a relatively small music venue alongside a very new, not-so-well-known band called Incubus, who was merely the opening act for SAVE FERRIS. Also co-headlining the concert was my other favorite band Goldfinger. That concert changed my life. I had told my parents I was having a sleepover at a friend’s house, & since she lived on my street & my parents were cool with her parents, they totally bought it. Luckily for my friends & I, the parents of the friend were totally easy-going & cool & allowed us to stay out late for a concert. I was so obsessed with SAVE FERRIS that I got a fully autographed poster & a concert tee which I wore almost every day. One time my cousin went to one of their concerts too & was able to get the bassist of the band to write me a birthday greeting on a piece of paper which I framed & kept next to my bed. I’ve got all this memorabilia tucked away somewhere in the far outer reaches of my storage closet, & one day I might take it out to reminisce. For now, I’m going to enjoy this upcoming concert, listening to songs new & old. I never really thought I’d ever see this band in concert more than once, but I was able to see them perform at the Van’s Warped Tour that same year back in 1998. Seeing them live for a third time in my life is just blowing my mind away. I can’t wait!!

Today’s song of the day:

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