Jul 31, 2011

My Glee Live Experience

It was a Sunday towards the end of June in 2011. It was a glorious, hot, bright day, very uncharacteristic of my dear England. I went to the O2 arena in London and had a freaking blast. Click below to read the whole story.

I ordered two tickets for the Glee Live concert on November, some days after I had sworn on my eternal soul that if Glee ever came on tour to Europe, I'd be there. After doing that I bounced five minutes around my flat, not beliving I'd actually see all those awesome people live. Time went on and I kept brainwashing people until I found someone to go with me. (Actually, she was already a gleek before I came along... But I did really nice job on other people on the way! I'd say most of the current Finnish gleeks are the way they are thanks to me. Or at least two of them. Well, that makes 'most of' doesn't it? Anyway.)

Time kept going on and the concert kept drawing nearer. I hadn't received the tickets, but I didn't worry much until it was a week before the event and the Ticketmaster website said it's now ok to start enquiring about the tickets. I did what the site advised me to do and tried sending them a message via internet, but when I wanted to send the form the site gave me error. And when it didn't, it asked me to click 'Submit question', but I SWEAR there was no such button. So I tried calling their customer service. I called them 34 times within two or three hours, but never got through. The tickets still hadn't arrived and I was getting a bit desperate. I stopped listening to Glee music and avoided the subject when talking to other people. I suddenly wished I hadn't hyped the concert publicly so much. I planned how I'd sue Tickermaster when they'd fail sending me my tickets and I'd be left weeping outside the O2.

It was the Tuesday before the concert, when I managed to get to an online live chat with a Ticketmaster person. (And it was easy and quick. If you ever have trouble with TM, don't call them, don't message them; chat with them.) The person said that my tickets had been sent in January, but apparently had been lost on mail. I should've used FedEx (I didn't know what that is until I learned I should've used it and did some research.) They'd be able to arrange duplicate tickets to be picked up at the O2 box office by the cardholder, aka the person who'd bought the tickets. Well, guess what? I just got my first credit card this spring. I didn't have one on November. So the tickets were bought with my father's credit card and thus were booked under his name. There wasn't supposed to be any trouble, as I thought I'd get the tickets by mail.

I think I shed a few desperate tears at this point. Then I took a deep breath and went to ask my dad if he felt like stopping in London next weekend. "Ask your mum and your brother if they want to come too", he said. I enjoyed feeling the horrible weight drop off my heart and put some Glee music on.

Sorry. A whole lot of text and we're not even in the UK yet. But I went through some pretty suspenseful moments that week. I'm so damn glad I actually made it there in the end and nothing else went wrong. I was prepared for anything at that point. Now. Let's get to the O2.

Never mind me, I just like my 'L's backwards... Who said anything about 'stoopidity'?

Me and my friend took the Tube to the O2 arena around 3 pm on Sunday afternoon, 26th of June. We had loads of time before the concert actually began. First we bought ourselves those awesome Glee t-shirts (see above). Then we walked around the arena, checking out the bars and restaurants and shops and other people wearing awesome Glee t-shirts. We made some secret plans on how we'd smuggle our cameras past the security: it said in the sign that no cameras were allowed inside. Soon we realized that they wouldn't check our bags thoroughly and everyone would have a camera inside anyway. So we decided not to stuff anything in our pants. Or tights. Or leggings.

One bar was serving Glee-themed foods and drinks. We thought about ordering a Grilled Cheesus sandwich, but then went with The Schuester: a yummy blue cocktail that coloured your tongue. Naturally they played Glee music inside the bar and it was awesome. Later on there was Glee karaoke, but despite the earlier blastering and all the big words and plans, we chickened out when the people participating actually sang very nicely. Then my dad arrived and we finally got to touch our tickets with our own hands. We went to our queue, and indeed got our cameras past the security. Haha. Hurray?

We found our seats and saw that they were pretty good. Could've been worse, a lot! At 8 pm the warm-up performance began. It was a dance number, and it was okay, and they of course they danced like no one has ever before, but I just couldn't wait for the actual show to begin. Plus I was worried about my bladder, which seemed to be filling out again, after my last visit in the toilet fifteen minutes earlier. I hate my bladder. The number lasted about 25 minutes, after which I literally ran to the toilets, trying to beat the queue. There was no hurry, however, as the actual show began at 9 pm. And now I'll FINALLY tell you something about it. Haha.

And raise your voice every single time they try and shut your mouth

It was a kind of overwhelming feeling when the intro of Don't Stop Believing began to play, and one by one six spotlights went on to reveal the original members of New Directions standing on the stage. Aw, goosebumps. Screaming. Hysterical jumping. Grabing my friends arm and screaming a bit more. Almost hyperventilating. Now I kind of get why some people faint in Justin Bieber concerts or when they see Robert Pattinson or something. It was pretty intense, I mean! I either took a picture or a recorded a short video clip during every other number, but I was too starstruck during DSB to even think about finding my camera.

My clips are all about three seconds long. Which I didn't realize when filming them. Maybe if I had, I would've contained myself to put a tiny fraction of my attention into holding a camera a bit longer. I just didn't feel like filming longer than three seconds at a time, because I was too busy jumping up and down and singing along. Luckily, other people have more sense and patience, and they have filmed entire performances, and put them on YouTube. In the following setlist I will provide a link to each performance (quality in some is better than in others), though they are not necessarily the exact performances I personally saw. But trust me, you don't want to see my clips.

Mr. Schue gives some good advice to Brittany


Born This Way
Teenage Dream
Silly Love Songs
Raise Your Glass
Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy
River Deep, Mountain High
Jessie's Girl
Loser Like Me

Single Ladies
Safety Dance
Empire State Of Mind
Somebody To Love


It was a great setlist, with a good selection of songs. I didn't mind that almost all songs were from season 2, as I prefer the second season music-wise as well as otherwise. There were only two songs, during which I thought 'Oh no, don't waste the precious time on this' (I'm not pointing my finger at anything, but ahem Sing and Ain't No Way ahem. And even Silly Love Songs a bit, because there are much better Warbler songs (=NO SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW BOOHOO). There were some happy surprises and some very happy surprises when it came to the songs. I didn't expect to hear so many of my biggest favourites! Here's my brief sentiments about some of the songs and performances.

Baby, don't you wanna dance upon me to another time and place

A chat with Mr 'Screen' Schue was the introduction to Brittany kicking some ass to I'm A Slave 4 U. (I'm not sure if I should be talking about characters or actors. I guess I'll do both, randomly.) I could've watched that dancing all night! I don't care how gay this sounds, but simply seeing Heather Morris in that outfit made me very happy. I mean OMG woman! She makes sexy so effortless.

Hey big woman, you made a bad boy out of me

Speaking of sexy... I never really warmed up to Puck's bad boy charm in the show, but I've got to admit, Fat Bottomed Girls was pretty nice to say the least. Mark Salling is pretty charming alright. Plus Finn/Cory playing drums and Sam/Chord playing quitar... Oh and 'Mike' and 'Lauren' fooling around the stage, too. You've got to appreciate the killer combination. And the song's got to be the best Puck song ever. Yeah!

Ain't no way... and however the lyrics go, can't remember
When Chris Colfer began to sing I Want To Hold Your Hand I felt extremely happy. I screamed a bit and took a three-second video clip (sigh) and then a really blurry picture, but didn't have time to take a better one, because I was busy telling myself, 'Now, girl, you've got to enjoy this like nothing ever before, this is the moment you'll be looking back to all those times in the future when you once again put this track on and get shivers from the thought that you once saw this live, so damn it, girl, you need to enjoy this, more, more! ENJOY MORE IT'L BE OVER IN A MINUTE!' So I did my best to enjoy it. And man, did I enjoy it. This was the most overwhelming moment after the very beginning of the show. In the between the 'ENJOY DAMMIT's I remember thinking that the live version was much happier than the one in the CD and the episode (as it should be), and Chris smiled and looked as adorable as ever, and his voice sounded somehow very soft and warm. Theory confirmed: he's officially the sweetest thing ever.
There's nothing wrong in loving who you are

Born This Way began with a cool catwalk thingy and aw, I was so happy again because I love the number and the t-shirts and Chris. Or Kurt, or whatever. Both. I just realized I need to watch those YouTube videos like twenty times and every time concentrate on a different cast member. I love how they all do the dance moves in their own ways, whether it's perfect like Heather or adorably awkward like Cory. Aw. 'Cause they were born that way, you know!

Embrace and love yourself today 'cause baby you were born this way
Boom boom boom, even brighter than the moon moon moon

Firework never was one of my favourite Rachel songs, quite simply because the song is horribly mediocre. Lea sang it perfectly, of course, but afterwards, when I learned that she'd done Don't Rain On My Parade in some shows, I was a bit annoyed, as there's no question which song one would rather hear live. Sniff.

Now every February you'll be my Valentine

You can imagine that I screamed pretty hard, when Sue on the screen announced that next would be the only show choir in the world with a more stupid name that the New Directions. Once again I was quite starstruck, because holy shit there was Darren Criss. They did Teenage Dream first, of course, and AAAAAAAAAH how AAAAAAAAAAAAAWESOME it was. One of my favourites of the night, and I'm not even being biased! Much. Many of the original Warblers were there, too, though I didn't spot the chubby Warbler, boohoo! But the brilliant blond dancer dude was there, and beatboxing guy, too, I think. I've heard some live performances where Darren's voice hasn't been in its best, in songs like TD and Raise Your Glass, but there was no problem now, and naturally he was just totally awesome. Seriously, he's such a rockstar, but in a totally adorable and likable way. He totally got my heart racing, even though those pant weren't very tight. Aaaah, love. My friend had an awesome video clip of this, and it's filled with hilarious screaming and me singing along with some serious gusto. Didn't sound very nice. Luckily I don't have the video, so you don't need to hear it.

I'ma get your heart racing in my skin-tight jeans
Soon our cares will all be gone

I adore Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy, but hardly dared to even hope to hear it in the concert. Well I did! YAY! With those two the result can be nothing but perfection, and it was. Sure, it's no Defying Gravity, but I wasn't too crushed for not hearing the legendary Diva Off, as I concentrated on being very happy for Happy Days/Get Happy!

Every time we say goodbye I wish we had one more kiss

Lucky was so sweet! Can you believe it! Who knew I'd like Barbie and Ken so much? Dianna looked absolutely gorgeous as always with that new hair and what really surprised me was her voice! It wasn't nearly as nasal and annoying as it is in the show (after autotuning...), and actually really pretty. And Chord's got a new haircut. Thank god that horrifying overgrown mop is now just a bad memory.

After the two duets from Duets, I was pretty sure I'd get River Deep, Mountain High too. And sure enough, Amber and Naya brought the house down, way way WAY down. That song is seriously the catchiest song ever. We were driving around the other day with some friends, and this came on (guess whose car, guess whose music... guess who promised not to take any Glee CD's with her for once, and guess who took them anyway...) and we had to pull over for a fierce dancing session. It's just that catchy. I dare you to try it yourself! Put in on in a car, and see if you can resist pulling over to dance. Haha.

And I'm looking in the mirror all time, wondering what she don't see in me

If gotten a bit addicted on Jessie's Girl after the concert. I never thought much of it before, but now I've kind of found it! It's pretty rocking, and Cory was cool. (Even though I'm not sure if he actually sang it live... I freaked out a little some time after the show when I learned that they didn't actually sing all of the songs live, but lip-synced to their recorded voices. It was a blow, at first, but then I realized it's okay, and probably better this way. Take I'm A Slave 4 U. Singing isn't really the point in that one, and I think we all agree that it's very nice that Heather concentrates 100% on dancing, instead of sounding out of breath when singing. I'm not sure about Jessie's Girl... Born This Way was definitely lip-synced, but for example Valerie and Safety Dance and RDMH weren't, despite the dancing the singers do. So I've gotten over this now and accepted that it was done for the sake of the audience's pleasure.)

And I miss your ginger hair and the way you like to dress

I love Valerie and was thrilled that it made it to the setlist! Naya was amazing as you'd expect. And Heather and Harry! (Looks like I'll be just talking about actors instead of characters. Oh well.) Holy sweet mother of a cow how brilliant they are! Must admit though, at least for me Harry was mainly a prop, and I was just looking at Heather. It's amazing how she moves, and on top of it it's so clear that she's having a blast up there. It makes her such a joy to watch. (Anyone noticed I kind of adore Heather, haha? The other day me and some friends (all girls) were naming hot female celebrities. It's quite challenging, actually, for a straight girl. I mean, beautiful and awesome is another thing, now we were talking just hot, 'your kinda hot'. I managed to name only two, Mila Kunis and Heather Morris.)

Well sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water

Loser Like Me was the only original song they sang. (Thank you! A little Hell To The No might have been a blast, though.) Not much to say about the performance, but the confetti was awesome.  Again, see Heather in the video! Haha, she's kind of insane. In a totally awesome way. (I used to stare mainly just Chris when watching these videos (because he does everything in his own adorable way), but now Heather's been kind of taking over! Aaaaagh! Whaaaaat?? Heather's making me sound so gay.)

How to successfully begin an encore? Well, with Single Ladies, of course. It's pretty safe to say that my life felt quite a bit more complete after this. I mean... yeah. You know what I mean. No watching Heather on this one, because no one does Single Ladies like Chris freaking Colfer. I mean, that guy. Geez. Gotta just love him. The spangly leotard and the crazy hips and still he looks so cool, because he totally owns it. Love and respect and a few fangirly screams from me to him! (By the way, it's quite entertaining to watch different videos and see the performances from different nights and different angles. This one's pretty good too! You might have time to watch Heather, too, haha.)

If you liked it then you should've put a ring on it

Safety Dance was the biggest surprise of the night, but a thoroughly pleasant one. I'm not too crazy about the number in the context of the episode, but damn, Kevin McHale was amazing live! He got to talk a bit too, and he was awesome. Then he said, 'Everyone's got a dream. And this in mine'. Bang, Safety Dance! A good reminder that he actually is one hell of a dancer. Artie should fantasize more often.

The last song was Somebody To Love. It's a great song, classic season one Glee, but I was a bit disappointed as in some shows they'd closed with My Life Would Suck Without You. I'd have LOVED to see that live, because it's so catchy and awesome. I expected them to do it after STL, and when they said goodbye and the lights went back on, I yelled/very loudly said "NO!". Aw, damn it. Oh well. It ended far too soon anyway.


Oh god, one more thing! In between River Deep and Jessie's Girl there was an adorable skit featuring Brittany, Blaine and Kurt. Basically, Brit tries to get Blaine make out with her (because last year she tried to hit on Kurt and he literally ran away), and then Kurt comes up and says something like, 'Brittany! Are you playng with my man??' and then he and Blaine chat a little. The dialogue varies, and it's fun to watch the different variations they've come up with. But the general idea is that Kurt proposes to Blaine, in other words, asks him to join Glee club and so on.

During the whole tour, Chris Colfer tried to make Darren Criss crack up by doing all kind of silly things. Then, in the last show in Dublin, Darren pulled a prank that made it pretty clear who was the winner of their little war. Well first in the skit there is an adorable poem that Kurt recites to Blaine. Then, after the proposal, suddenly Darren tells Chris to get up and come next to him, and out of nowhere he kisses him on the lips. Hahahahaha! Awesome! Chris's reaction is just priceless. Haha. Darren 1 Chris 0. I would've paid hundreds to get to see that with my own eyes... That was so bad-ass. "It's SCRIPTED that Finn is next." Hahaha.


The actual Glee part of the show lasted only for one hour and fifteen minutes, which wasn't nearly enough, and flew by so fast I couldn't believe it. Still, I loved every moment of it, so no freaking way I'm complaining. It was totally worth all the money and stress, and I'd do it again any day. It's so FREAKING AWESOME that I was there and got to experience that. Oh, Glee! <3

The only though in my head right after the show: OMG.

NB! All concert pictures, expect Sing, Brittany, Mercedes, Warblers and Lucky taken by my friend. Luckily she put more of her energy into taking good pictures than recording three-second video clips...


Reta said...

Haha ihana lukea sun kokemuksia, tulee ihan oma konserttikokemus mieleen! Itse olin aika spoilaantunut setlististä, kiitos tumblr, mutta se ei haitannut koska tiesin mitä lauluja odottaa.
Itsellä oli vähän huonommat paikat, mutta niin käy kun herää vasta joskus maaliskuussa ja onnistuu metsästämään liput joltain kolmannelta osapuolelta.

Konsertti todellakin oli mahtava enkä itse edelleenkään pysty kunnolla uskomaan että näin nuo kaikki näyttelijät oikeasti livenä. Siellä he olivat, oikaa lihaa ja verta ja ainakin osittain oikeaa ääntäkin. Hieno hetki oli kyllä kuulla Colfer laulamassa, silloin vain istuin penkilläni haltioituneena, kuuntelin ja katsoin. It's freaking Chris Colfer singing! Shut up and LISTEN! :D Darren Crissin kohdalla sitten vain biletin täysillä koska Raise Your Glass on sellainen jonka aikana ei vain voi istua paikallaan. Itseänikin harmitti hieman Warblersien setlist koska olisin esimerkiksi halunnut kuulla Miseryn ja When I Get You Alone. Teenage Dream ja SIlly Love Songs ovat yhdet inhokkini Warblerseilta. (Inhokkini? Tykkään kaikista, mutta tykkään niistä vähiten)

(Tulipas minulle muuten huono Klaine-fani olo kun tunnustin että Teenage Dream ei ole lempikappaleeni. Konteksti on suloinen, mutta itse kappale ei ole paras mitä Warblersit esittävät. Onhan se tietenkin paljon parempi kuin Katy Perryn versio!)

Omasta konsertistani, joka oli lauanatain iltanäytös, sen verran, että sinä päivänä sattui olemaan Michael Jacksonin kuolinpäivä. Ennen kun Kevin McHale alkoi laulaa Pretty Young Thingiä, hän sanoi että on kunnia esittää Jacksonin kappale tänään O2-areenalla, sillä areenalla missä Jacksonin olisi itsekin pitänyt esiintyä ellei olisi käynyt toisin.

Eeva said...

Tätä oli tosi kiva kyllä myös kirjotella, sai vähän fiilistellä taas noita kuukauden takaisia tunnelmia! Itsekin tiesin kyllä aika monia esitettävistä lauluista, vaikka olin yrittänyt välttää spoilaantumista. Eipä se menoa haitannut! Mä taas ostin liput sillä minuutilla kun ne myyntiin, mutta silti en "tuon parempia" saanut :D Oli pari muutakin samaan aikaan ostoksilla.

When I Get You Alone olis ollut niin huippu! Somewhere Only We Know on tän hetken suosikkini Warblerseilta, niin sen poisjääminen vähän nakersi. Teenage Dream ei kyllä munkaan suosikki ole, vähän kärsinyt liioista kuuntelukerroista, mutta se vaan on niin legenda! :D Ja livenä oli tosiaan ihan loistava, se koreografia oli niin siisti.

Hrr, meni kylmät väreet kun luin ton MJ-jutun. Oli varmaan hienoa.

tinjam- said...

AA! Voi vitsit meikäki ihan addiktoitunu Jessi's Girl:iin sen liven jälkeen se oli vaan niin mahtava ja se vaan jotenki oli ihan sika hyvä! Mutta oli kyllä hyvä postaus ja harmittaa toki ettei tajuttu että paras live on se viimenen, mutta... Meni jo ja oli kuitenki muuten niin mahtavaa että! Hieeno postaus tämä! Mutta toisaalta ainaki oltiin MJn kuolin päivänä että ei pidä valittaa.

Eeva said...

Jessie's Girl, yay! ^^ Joissain muissakin konserteissa oli ollut jotain extrakivaa, esim. vierailijoita, mutta olipa tuo ihan peruskonserttikin niin mahtava ettei kyllä parane valittaa!

Jade Williams said...

Just found this from googling 'Glee Live Experience' haha and WOW this sounded so so brilliant! I couldn't afford Glee Live 2011 which I've regretted ever since as their hasn't been a tour since!! I hope they tour this or next year. Anyway, AMAZING read, so glad you had fun!!