Music director Tom Hull reveals how the One Direction star is launching a new phase of his career with help from a versatile live band
Just a half hour before doors open for Harry Styles’ first show of his debut solo tour, San Francisco’s Masonic is completely empty. Band and crew members are buzzing backstage, including Styles himself, not yet wearing the snazzy Gucci suit he would be seen sporting onstage just hours later.
Outside, more than 3,000 fans wait to see the 23-year-old perform in one of the smallest venues they may ever catch him in. They’re decked out in a variety of homemade merchandise as well as florals and pinks, a tribute to the singer’s fashion and album aesthetic.
“It’s funny because as this tour’s approached, I’ve been so nervous,” Styles’ music director and producer Tom Hull, known professionally as Kid Harpoon, tells Rolling Stonebackstage while clutching a chalice of wine and wearing a pin that reads “Muna Has Possibly Talked to Harry Styles,” given out for free by opening band Muna at their merch table.
Until this tour, Hull’s work with other artists had been primarily in the studio, producing and co-writing for artists like Haim, Florence and the Machine and Shakira. He had been introduced to Styles through a mutual friend and ended up working on the songs “Sweet Creature” and “Carolina.” Thanks to their musical chemistry, Styles ended up asking Hull to help him put together a live show to perfectly embody the rootsy, rock-tinged sound of his self-titled album.
“I’ve gone into it not knowing what I’m doing [and] learning on the job,” he admits. “We’re all sort of approaching it with a fresh perspective because we haven’t done it before, but it [has us] keeping with what the record’s about.”
To help translate Styles’ solo sound, the first goal was to get a traditional band together. Guitarist Mitch Rowland had been plucked from a pizza shop where he formerly worked to become a session musician for the album and has joined Styles’ touring band as well.
“Mitch has never really toured like this before,” Hull says. “He’s learning on the road as he goes.”
Joining Rowland are keyboardist Clare Uchima, bassist Alex Predergast and drummer Sarah Jones, all of whom had made their debut with Styles during the televised and small club performances around the release of his album. The band began to feel settled long before the tour launched, but Hull sees their relationship becoming further cemented with this trek.
“Bands become true bands on tour,” he explains. “Fans bought tickets [for this tour] before the album had come out, and the band wants to play to them. The idea is to cut our chops on this tour and get really good. Then next year, he’s got an arena tour.”
Still, on the first two nights, the band already felt like a cohesive unit. The first show perfectly bridged Styles’ past and present, demonstrating that he’s a star capable of holding his own outside of his boy band. Amidst the folk-y ballads and rousing rockers, he covered One Direction classics like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Stockholm Syndrome” as well as one of his lesser-known writing credits: an Ariana Grande piano ballad titled “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” off the vocal diva’s 2014 album My Everything. “Honestly, I didn’t know he had written it,” Hull notes.
Styles has released just 10 songs under his own name, but the vast amount of material he had from his pre-solo career helped to fill out the set. “When the Strokes first came out, their album was 35 minutes long and they had to do Talking Heads songs to fill out the set,” he adds. “It’s quite good to be able to do [Harry’s] record and have other songs in the set because he’s written so much music with [and outside of] One Direction. We’re presenting it in a way that sort of reflects the record and where he’s at now, which feels unique to Harry.”
In the months leading up to the tour launch in San Francisco, Hull, Styles and good friends of the latter sat around and began to formulate a vision. “It was like ‘Why don’t we do this? That would be fun,’” Hull describes of the process. “The thing that’s incredible about Harry that I don’t think people realize as much yet is that he drives it all. It’s very much his taste. He’s very musical; he plays guitar, plays piano and writes songs. He loves music.”
For Hull, working with Styles has disproven a common misconception of the pop megastar, one who is governed by his producers and label. Instead, the director paints a picture of a huge music nerd, one who is particularly passionate about classic rock and country, getting to explore his taste on his own terms.
“That was the hard thing, I think, in [One Direction] before,” he adds. “You’ve got a bunch of lads who all have different tastes in music and have their own personalities. Obviously it’s clear they’ve all done something different [as solo artists].”
Styles has been eager to share his tastes with Hull and the rest of the group. “He’s turning me on to music I’ve never even heard of from like 1978, and he’s texting people in the band 'Have you heard this? Have you heard that?” Hull says says, noting that on days off they go to guitar shops, looking at gear and “really geeky stuff.”
“For someone where he’s at, he just absolutely adores it, and it’s inspiring for everyone underneath.”
The next night in Los Angeles, the crowd is even more energetic as they filter into the Greek through the trees and hills of Griffith Park. A few glitches cropped up at the San Francisco gig — run-of-the-mill sound problems and a less expected fire alarm triggered by the theatrical smoke used during Muna’s set. For the Los Angeles show, the band feels even stronger and more focused.
“There was a bit of uncertainty, but I think everyone’s really happy and buzzing,” Hull updates from the Greek’s VIP section. That night, they were up against the added pressure that comes with a celebrity- and legend-filled audience, featuring everyone from Emma Roberts to Mick Fleetwood and Styles’ former groupmate Niall Horan. “You want to keep improving and getting it better. It feels like the first gig still.”
Even though he would perform a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” in front of Fleetwood himself, Styles was even looser at the Greek, dropping in cheekier ad libs and at one point halting “Kiwi,” the closer of the main set before his encore, to tease the troves of primarily female-identifying fans by highlighting the “I’m having your baby” line from the chorus. According to Hull, Styles was already prepared to start changing up the set list by night two, something the entire team collectively decided against as they were just starting out. (In Nashville the following weekend, however, they replaced the cover of “Stockholm Syndrome” with a rendition of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” the first of many possibly new covers to be introduced on the road.)
The cover of One Direction’s most memorable hit “What Makes You Beautiful” remains the most surprising element of the show, especially since young solo artists typically tend to distance themselves from their pop pasts on the road to a more “mature” sound.
“At first, he was definitely cautiously up for it,” Hull says of the decision-making process. “I feel like those [One Direction] songs are brilliantly written songs, and obviously it was a moment where we had a conversation. Beyoncé does Destiny’s Child songs, so we were like 'Let’s do some of the songs that people will all know and everyone will love.’”
Styles’ band made sure to adapt the tune to fit the flow of the show. Uchima suggested a “Ray Charles–y vibe” for the keys, while drummer Jones added a “Motown-y beat” during rehearsals, and the group continued tinkering until they found the perfect balance of old and new.
“We all have so much respect for what put him here,” Hull adds, emphasizing Styles’ own desire to not fully let go of his past. “It’s an important part of it. You can’t underestimate his fans.”
I took the liberal to add “personalized” fannypack to his outfit. By “personalized” i mean the first one i found that made me think of him…LMAO!
Side note: I have four more request but since they are mostly a two character drawing….they will take a bit longer. Plus i want to finish up my art trade with goosie ;3;! My apologize but i’ll get them done so no worries <3!
[Interview]B.A.P Brings Party Baby Tour Stateside, Talks 'Wake Me Up': 'We Are Part of the Current Generation'
From the first moment of “Hurricane” to the final note of their encore performance of “Bang X2,” Korean boy band B.A.P hyped up the crowd at New York City’s Terminal 5 on Saturday (April 8) night. The second stop during the US leg of their 2017 Party Baby world tour, the set list was built around the group’s most danceable songs to create a club-like environment where the band and their fans, known collectively as BABY, could party it up and revel in the group’s artistry.
Water guns, a costume contest, and a handful of solo sets – beginning with the two youngest, Jongup and Zelo, each of whom showed immense growth as singers since their last visit to New York – helped set a festive, intimate tone for the night, which saw B.A.P radiate with joy throughout as fans cheered and danced along with their high-energy performances. There was certainly a lot to celebrate on this latest tour, which was the group’s fourth throughout their time together: Five years into their career, B.A.P has seen multiple No. 1 albums on the World Albums Chart, including last year’s Noir. More recently, the group returned with their Rose EP and the profound single “Wake Me Up” in March, their first new music since rapper-songwriter Bang Yongguk returned after taking a break last year from B.A.P’s promotions due to mental health-related issues.
Billboard sat down with the K-pop act (Zelo, Bang Yong Guk, Him Chan, Dae Hyun, Young Jae and Jong Up) ahead of their New York show to discuss their latest releases and what makes the Party Baby tour a new experience for B.A.P and their fans.
Welcome back to New York! How does it feel to be performing here once again?
Him Chan: It was hard getting over from Atlanta to New York as there were some [weather-related] difficulties. But the fact that we’re here in New York right now fills us with positive energy. We’re looking forward to putting on another amazing performance for our fans tonight.
You toured the United States multiple times in the past, but is there anything that you’re looking forward to particularly on this tour?
Young Jae: I’m looking forward to going to Washington D.C., just because I’ve always wanted to visit. Him Chan: On our first US tour we went to Washington, but because a lot of things have changed since then we’ve wanted to visit again.
This is the Party Baby tour even though in the past you’ve always brought your Live on Earth tours to the US. How are the two different?
Jong Up: Compared to previous concerts that we’ve put on in the past, we tried to orientate Party Baby more towards interaction between ourselves and fans so that we can have more of a party or a club atmosphere and just be able to have have a good time. I think that, compared to our previous performances, we want to focus on the whole collaborative effort of just all our fans and us working together to create one performance.
To get more involved you provided fans with a dress code, with a different style corresponding to each specific member. How did you come up with that idea?
Young Jae: This dress code idea for the tour was something that us as the artists – along with the tour directors – thought up since we thought it would be a good way to interact with our fans.
The tour’s set list seems to focus a lot on your newer songs and doesn’t really have a lot of your older music on it. What does that choice say about B.A.P’s musical growth as performers?
Him Chan: We’re really not holding back on this tour. We’re just unlocking all of our abilities and our skills, putting them together for this show. This time, we wanted to be able to show our fans everything that we have. There’s no significance of us not performing many older songs. We just want to be able to put on a good performance with all of our recent songs.
B.A.P has had multiple No. 1 albums on the World Albums Chart. How has that made you feel as a group?
Young Jae: We think it’s amazing, and we’re really fascinated that we can continue to find love from across the world from all of our fans. We’re always grateful and we’re always thankful towards our fans, and we want to continue to show them love for their support for us.
There are only three songs on your new EP Rose, but they each are distinct stylistically. How did that come about?
Young Jae: We’ve released happy songs and we’ve released songs with strong, positive messages, but it’s been a while since we released an album so we wanted to show a third side to B.A.P, one that we knew we were capable of doing and really wanted to show to our fans this time.
Him Chan: “Dystopia” was one of those songs where we just wanted to show B.A.P in all our attributes with rock, heavy metal, and just pay homage to that. For “Wake Me Up,” it was one of those songs for our generation, because we are part of the current generation, where we just wanted to show that we’re present and that we are with the fans and how they feel about current events. As for “Diamond 4 Ya,” we wanted to be melodic, we wanted to play with pitches and instrumentals, and that was something we were looking forward to showing as well.
How was approaching your return with the single “Wake Me Up” different from your past releases?
Him Chan: When we were approaching this album in comparison to previous albums we just wanted to have something that’s more lively, more one on one with our fans. We wanted something that would resonate with our fans, through the message that we’re trying to spread.
Dae Hyun: We feel that we’ve grown a lot individually and together as a group and we wanted to show that in our work this time.
The music video for “Wake Me Up” featured one of the most diverse casts that K-pop’s ever seen. How did that come about?
Dae Hyun: Every time we shoot a music video we have meetings with the producers who help us create them and we put together all of our ideas. Everything from the individual shots of the video to the casting of everyone who will appear. We just come together and put together our ideas, and then we put it all into a final product. But the most important thing is that our ideas have changed, and that helped shape how we felt towards this music video and how we wanted it directed. Initially the plan was to use a Korean cast but after the members got together and we put together our thoughts, we wanted to go with a more diverse cast to show that we have an accurate representation of our society today. Not just of in Korea or America, but all over the world. We wanted to express that through our music video, which is why we decided to go with such a diverse cast.
Him Chan: It was never really something for us that we wanted to do, just stick to a Korean cast because we are Korean. We wanted to represent every part of the world and pay homage to the fans who’ve come out to support us.
The music video’s storyline, which features messages about self-care and mental health, was incredibly progressive, but while making it did you expect that it would resonate with so many fans from around the world?
Him Chan: When we were putting together the music video, we didn’t think that extensively into it, but we did intend to insert multiple meanings into certain aspects of it. We just wanted it to be interpreted by the fans.
B.A.P has been together for five years now, so how do you keep motivated during the rough times?
Dae Hyun: What’s kept us together as a group so strongly was our fans. We really feel that because of the support from our fans we’ve been able to continue stronger and better than ever each time we release a new album as a group. It’s really all thanks to the fans, and we want to pay respect to them.
Young Jae: Before I got on the stage in Atlanta, I really wasn’t feeling well. But as soon as I got on stage and saw the faces of all our fans I felt so much better and became energized and ready to perform.
You guys have shown a lot of different artistic sides over the years. Are there any other sounds or concepts you’d like to try, or musicians you’d like to work with?
Dae Hyun: What I’ve always admired, and what I’ve wanted to do a lot recently, is a duet. That’s something that I’m going to look forward to doing in the future.
Zelo: I don’t really have anything I want to focus on but I want to connect with the fans and show a more amazing, more awesome performance each time and that’ll be reflected in my music.
What’s next for B.A.P? Are you working on anything new?
Dae Hyun: The [Party Baby] concept of this tour is completely new for us and we think that the most important thing for us right now is to finish the rest of this tour successfully, then return to all our fans across the world and back home in Korea. So that’s our priority currently.
Do you have any final words for your American fans?
Zelo: [In English] I love you.
Him Chan: We want to tell our fans in the United States that we’ll continue to work tirelessly and continue to show them a new, better improved performance and better side to B.A.P every time we can visit and perform for them.
All answers have been translated from the original Korean.
OKAY, so under this cut you’ll find a list of #55 jobs your characters can hold in the music industry aside from classic band members/solo artists. I know for bandom RP especially it can be hard to come up with unique jobs for OCs that still enable them to create connections. I’ve organized everything into categories for easy searching and defined even the most intuitive titles, so hopefully this helps!
At first, it had been because they couldn’t afford for each of them to have their own. Food, clothes, beds for the night; as she and Taako had wandered from place to place, there had only ever been enough of anything for them to split.
After that, it had been a habit. “We can share,” Lup had said of an off-the-shoulder top they’d both liked, not because they couldn’t have bought two if they’d wanted, but because they were similar enough in size and in taste that they hadn’t had to. They hadn’t wanted to.
They had shared everything, Taako remembered now, standing on trembling legs before the Director. Even once they’d been recruited by the IPRE, Lup and Taako had shared their duties; they had traded their jackets and robes.
They had shared the Umbra Staff Taako held in his hand.
Taako stared at the Director – at Lucretia, at the lonely journal-keeper – as memories roared through him in a paralyzing flood, and though he couldn’t find his voice, he asked her as best he could:
the director of the tour has been watching shinee since their first yoyogi concert, but what they think shinee has most improved in is language / communication. although they communicate really important matters through the manager(s), because they are now able to communicate directly, accordingly, they’re not able to exchange their opinions, e.g. [shinee would say]: “i don’t like that”, “i want to switch the song [with another one].”
because they’re now able to talk about trivial or mundane matters in japanese and they’ve come to understand each other’s personalities, accordingly, shinee has increasingly been offering their thoughts / ideas to the director recently. even when the director gives them a demo shinee would tell the director: “i want this song to be changed with this song”, “i want to change the arrangement / want a different arrangement”. the director said, “they also have a lot on their mind.”
[…] for this tour, taemin was especially particular about the unplugged medley and offered ideas on it. after listening to the demo he requested for a change. [op: guessed the person was talking about in the arrangements.] talked it over with the band, and remade / redid it.
You added Brad Pitt and George Clooney to that post about leading men not working with women directors but both have done so in the very recent past.
I’m not sure which post you’re referring to, it might be old, but anyway Brad Pitt is one of the most powerful actor/producers currently working. The last time he made a film directed by a woman was nearly two years ago and it was for his then wife. Since then, despite claiming to be shocked at the lack of women directors during the press tour for that movie, he hasn’t worked with any women. The last time he produced a film directed by a woman it was the same movie.
George Clooney worked on a film directed by Jodie Foster last year (2016). The last time he worked for a woman before then was in 1997. The last time he produced a movie directed by a woman was never.
Message me when they actually start consistently working with women directors, not just throwing a bone to their friends and/or partners once a decade.
Circle – after assiduously avoiding spoilers for months, I finally watched it! Thanks to a long plane ride, I pretty much binged it in one go, which I’m thinking is the best way to watch because I don’t know how I would have handled those cliffhangers. And I loved the show! It definitely lived up to my expectations and more, and I wish we could have more such sci-fi shows in the future (maybe a second season? Because I was wondering why we hadn’t focused on the fact that this is alien technology but that final scene made me go “yesssssss let’s do this!”).
Secret Forest – I don’t know if I wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I was watching, but after all the hype this show got I was actually mildly disappointed that I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. It was a well done show and everyone involved should be proud, but like Shi-mok, I just couldn’t seem to connect to it emotionally.
Strongest Deliveryman – what a wonderful and endearing drama this turned out to be! While it didn’t give us anything particularly new, it did manage to switch up some standard tropes and provide a cast of characters that I fell completely in love with – from the leads to the smaller, minor roles. I’m usually the last one who wishes drama to have extensions, but I think this drama could have comfortably gone for 20 episodes. There’s an element of the family weekend drama that made me wish I could spend more time with everyone and linger in the small, happy moments of their lives.
Manhole – my expectations were sub-zero and I was happy watching pretty people acting ridiculously (well, mostly Jaejoong running), but the drama decided to forget the one fun thing (magic manhole time travel!) and instead focused on a very boring and unnecessary psychopath stalker storyline that did this pitiful show no favors. Also, you’d think the main character would have had some sort of growth zipping around time and realizing his actions have consequences, but no. Apparently if you screw around in time enough you can win the girl without any self-reflection or, y’know, actually working on your own life. Jaejoong’s still hella pretty, though.
Temperature of Love
Lingerie Generation/Girls Generation 1979– technically this is a “plan to watch,” but I’m looking forward to binging this short drama (hopefully soon!).
While You Were Sleeping– yep, I’m the weirdo who’s not really a fan of Lee Jong Suk (and this writer isn’t one of my faves), so while I was originally interested after discovering cutie Hae In would be in it, I think I’ll give it pass.
Go Back Couple – I really like Jung Nara and Son Ho Joon, but nothing about this immediately appeals, although there’s a chance it will be added to the “watch” pile eventually.
Upcoming dramas of interest:
20th Century Boy and Girl – I’m most excited about this one because of the cast, premise, and production team, although I’m not exactly sure if it’s a drama I’ll stick with since my track record for rom-coms is pretty terrible.
Witch’s Courtroom – the premise isn’t exactly enticing (I am So. Dang. Tired. of prosecutors), and a show dealing with sex crimes will probably make me So Angry, but I adore Jung Ryeo Won and Yoon Hyun Min, which is a combination so tempting that I’ll at least keep it on my radar.
Avengers Social Club – I don’t know anything about the original webtoon, but the cast (my queen Lee Yo Won! Ra Mi Ran!) and premise (women getting together for revenge but finding friendship!) are appealing.
Mad Dog – I don’t know much about this drama other than it stars Yoo Ji Tae (y’all) looking badass, which is enough to get my attention.
The Package – as someone who adores France and who once (and still sometimes does) considered a career as a tour director, I’m definitely looking forward to this travel porn.
Revolutionary Love – Choi Siwon and Kang Sora starring in a rom-com! This sounds delightful (the teasers totally cracked me up) and it could be a perfect kind of drama brain-candy that is fun without being too stupid or annoying.
Black – OCN has been doing an incredible job this year with their Sat/Sun original line-up, so I’m going into this with the expectation that it will be slick and full of intrigue. It also stars goddess Lee El (well, in a supporting role, but still). The premise has me scratching my head, but I’m sure it will be gripping no matter what. (Unless, y’know, it’s the one OCN dud of the year.)
Two Cops – I was already vaguely interested because it’s Jo Jung Suk’s latest drama, but then Hoya signed on and I was like OMG YES BEST DRAMA EVER (and his role sounds like there will be SO MUCH BROMANCE with JJS – my heart won’t be able to take it!). Also Kim Sun Ho, he of the magnificent dimples, has also been cast, so I am ALL IN with whatever shenanigans this show tries to send my way. My only complaint is that Hyeri is cast as the female lead, which is annoying because there are plenty of amazing and funny actresses in their thirties who would be a wonderful match for JJS, but it HAS HOYA SO WHAT ELSE MATTERS.
Brendon Urie's Stylist on the Panic! at the Disco Singer's Colorful Tailormade Style: Exclusive
For Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie, the embrace of “emo” spans at least a decade. But thanks to stylist Anthony Franco, the band is changing its tune, donning a new, colorfully clad style.
The self-taught designer and stylist first cut his teeth in the ‘80s and '90s dressing Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men and Lauryn Hill and outfitting MC Hammer for his “2 Legit 2 Quit” video. “When you come from making clothes for stars, you can’t give it up, which is why I like working with Panic!,” Franco tells Billboard in an exclusive interview.
After being introduced to the Las Vegas-bred group through their Nothing Rhymes With Circus tour director – who Franco worked with while styling Fall Out Boy – it was a match made in sartorial heaven. “I just threw a whole bunch of stuff in my bag from working on films like Waterworld and X-Men, made a bunch of sh–, met the boys, and they were like, 'We love you,’” he recalls. “They were babies, 17 to 20 years old, and I was already in my 30s, but from that point on, I became really close with them and have literally done every single thing with the band and Brendon since.”
How would you describe Brendon’s style?
The thing I love about the band is they’re from Vegas, so they kinda had a Rat Pack vibe with emo elements to them. With all groups, it’s the singer who usually has their individual style, and Brendon will wear anything I ask him to. He trusts me, and that’s a big thing; when an artist does not allow their stylist or creative team to help them create an image, a lot of times it looks like it’s forced. Personally, I can’t think of anyone out there with his sense of style. He loves his shiny fabrics, has stage presence, and to me, he’s always been a one-man show. He does take over, and the fans love it, and it’s great.
He seems to be a big fan of colorful and patterned tuxedo jackets, along with high-collar shirts. Is that your influence?
Yeah, the high-collar thing came about when we were doing the “Hallelujah” video, where it’s a play on clergymen in a confessional. Instead of doing the band in collars – which is a direct reference to priesthood – we implemented that element into the shirts by raising the collar up. I love how Karl Lagerfeld dresses with his collars, so that’s what we go for. It gives an emperor’s look as opposed to looking like a preacher.
Brendon @brendonurie @panicatthedisco ready to give you an amazing performance tonite on @fallontonight - #brendonurie #panicatthedisco #tonight
A post shared by Anthony Franco (@afrancodesigner) on Jan 19, 2017 at 5:01pm PST
What about the colorful and patterned tuxedo jackets?
This started around the '05 Vaudeville eyeliner emo look, but I began noticing that the clothing started to elevate itself with shine and color. I wasn’t so nervous about it since I knew Brendon could pull it off, but it was also something that nobody at the time was doing, and it sort of came across as really Liberace. To avoid looking like a Vegas lounge singer, his fit had to be perfectly tailored and custom-made. I didn’t want to just throw him in clothing that we had to alter but didn’t work for him. As his stylist, I want to make sure that every time he’s out there performing or on the red carpet, he looks different, but it’s still his style.
Is there a pattern or color Brendon wouldn’t wear?
I don’t know if I would ever put him in plaid. I like textures, and leopard works perfectly for him. I think there is not a color now that we haven’t used. That’s why when we did the Grammy red carpet, we went for a clean slate with the white tux with silver thread in it and a fattened collared shirt (exclusive sketch below). Kind of like [Grammy-nominated best rock album] Death of a Bachelor, where a bride wears white. We flew in the shiny fabric from London, and I made the full look (tux, pant and shirt) within a week, because I have his pattern down perfectly. That’s fast for us, but with him, I don’t like to do things with too much of a lead time because we’re so creative we might change our minds. His fans love him, and it’s nice when they get in really close and can spot a new detail within that look.
What influences Brendon’s style the most: comfortability or design interest?
Since he’s an active performer, his pants have a little stretch in them, and his shoes have to be super comfortable. But up top, he will wear anything. I also have to be aware of sweating because he’s performing, so I will never use wool. He’ll start the show looking head-to-toe perfect and will start stripping stuff off, and before you know it, he ends up shirtless. [Laughs] For him, I think it’s really about a full look at the beginning, and then he’ll sort of taper down to get himself into it. For the red carpet, he wants to look perfect from head-to-toe.
When it comes to fashion, what excites Brendon?
He’s interesting because we know it’s the element of dress-up, and he knows that people love him for his music and his clothing. He gets inspired by fashion and is not an off-the-rack kind of guy. Brendon will never follow a designer just because everyone else is following a trend. It’s dress-up, but it’s not a costume nor gimmicky.
Brendon @brendonurie looks so good at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards - he’s wearing a custom Diamond White Tuxedo–We’ve done almost every color in the rainbow – This shining beauty is definitely one of my favorites. #brendonurie #panicatthedisco #grammys
A post shared by Anthony Franco (@afrancodesigner) on Feb 13, 2017 at 10:31am PST
How do you keep it from looking gimmicky?
The good thing is, with well-made clothing; it never looks cheap. And we put a lot into making sure the fit of the fabric and details are expensive, a.k.a. well-thought-out and -executed.
When he’s not performing, what does Brendon gravitate towards?
He’s all casual. Jeans, T-shirt, a hoodie and Adidas sneakers. He is straight-up comfort.
Even at nighttime?
Oh yeah, he would never dress up to go to dinners and stuff like that. That persona of him is strictly onstage.
Brendon @brendonurie giving you one hell of a performance yesterday @iheartradio - wearing one of my favorite jackets in Army Green Lacquer ☠️ #brendonurie #iheartradio #performance
A post shared by Anthony Franco (@afrancodesigner) on Sep 25, 2016 at 10:50am PDT
What is your most memorable styling moment with Brendon?
His light-blue jacket with leopard T-shirt from his last tour. A couple, who met at a Panic! concert and eventually got married, sent a photo of their baby dressed up for Halloween in a leopard shirt and blue onesie jacket over it. It was so damn cute, and when fans start re-creating his looks, it’s flattering for us. The most incredible moment was when Brendon met President Obama after performing at the Kennedy Center Honors in a gorgeous bronze tuxedo, which we custom designed. It photographed beautifully, and I felt so proud to see my work on him while meeting the president.
One of my favorite fashion moments - Brendon @brendonurie & Sarah @sarahurie at the Kennedy Center Honors 2013, both look so stunning wearing my designs. #love #friends
A post shared by Anthony Franco (@afrancodesigner) on Nov 11, 2016 at 2:35pm PST
Official Selection: Inside Out GBT Film Festival United States
Official Selection: BFI Flare: Texas GBT Film Festival
Official Selection: National Film Festival of Talented Youth
Official Selection: Rio Festival de Cinema
Official Selection: Cannes Social Prize Festival
(Girl) Angelina Diaz
Fazon (Gas Station Retailer)
Director: Dominique Toure
Photography Director: Jaymesnayr
Producer: Dominique Toure
Director of Photography: Banks
Head of Recording: Dominique Toure
Second On Hand: Isahyas Alloh
Caster: Amanda Aagard
Set Designer: Dominique Toure
Set Designer: Rudy BBQ
Location Manager: Banks
First Assistant Camera: Darnel
PR: Nana Hendrix
BTS Production Sound Mixer: William Dinesen
(also inspired by howellwifi bc she started the whole power couple!phan trend on twitter that rat)
- between the two of them, phil is the businessman. he takes
care of the finances, the paperwork, the rules and regulations. he oversees the
book printing, he organizes the radio show, he’s even listed as principal
director of their tour. dan always worries that he’s putting too much work on
phil, especially with him being away for the documentary so much, but they both
know that this is phil’s element. he’s a force to be reckoned with when he’s in
charge, and everyone knows it. nothing turns dan on more than seeing phil
negotiating with a producer and winning.
nothing beats the charm of a northern accent.
- they like to
coordinate their outfits. it’s always very subtle – matching silk accents on
their suits, color-coordinated pocket squares and bowties. nothing too flashy,
nothing too outlandish, but eye-catching nonetheless. it sends a clear message
of duality and togetherness, one that can be sensed even when they’re away from
each other. plus, it makes their photos look great.
- they always manage to draw attention to themselves whenever
they enter a room. maybe it’s the way they move with such synchronicity,
sipping their drinks in unison as they make their rounds. maybe it’s the way
they finish each other’s sentences, flowing from one anecdote to the next with
an ease that makes every ear perk up and listen. their combined aura pulls the
attention of the room to them; they literally make heads turn as they walk
past. they’ve gotten used to it by now – dan struts past with a knowing look,
phil smirks against his wine glass.
- it’s rare for one of them to be on stage without the
other, but when it does happen you can feel
the pride radiating off the other person’s body. it’s overwhelming, how supportive
of each other they are. don’t get dan started on the things phil has
accomplished, he’ll talk your ear off. and phil literally glowed as he watched
dan accept his lovie award, hands going numb from clapping so hard.
- they like to spoil
each other. dan buys more designer clothes for phil than he does for himself,
and loves to make phil model them for him. phil takes dan to expensive
restaurants with breathtaking views and orders for the both of them. they’ll
bring home bouquets of flowers “just because” and crack open expensive bottles of
wine during random weeknights to help unwind. it’s a bad habit, really. dan
jokes that they’re each other’s “sugar daddies”. phil rolls his eyes but doesn’t
-almost every youtube couple is lowkey jealous of them. jealous
of the way they still act like lovesick puppies after six years. jealous of the
way their relationship can be so open, yet so private. jealous of the way their
names roll off the tongue with ease, one right after the other as if the they
were always meant to be said in the same breath. jealous of the way they just fit together, like two aesthetically-pleasing
puzzle pieces with complementing hairstyles and an ideal height difference. the
only youtube couple that isn’t jealous of them is felix and marzia, because
they’re just as #relationshipgoals as dan and phil are. that’s why they hang
out so much.
- it’s no secret that dan’s the leader of the phil lester
defense squad, but there’s nothing like seeing the leader of the dan howell
defense squad take action. protective!phil is incredibly intimidating, the
warm cerulean of his eyes turning into ice-cold steel at the drop of a hat. it
only takes one look – head cocked, eyes narrowed, jaw tight. it shuts every
hater down cold, time and time again.
-they’re always a little freer with themselves at youtuber
parties, especially after the vlogging cameras are put away and they’ve drank a
little. phil will wrap an arm around dan’s shoulders as they talk amongst their
friends, stroking down his arm lightly. dan will bury his face against phil’s
neck as he laughs, breath warm against the pale skin. they’ll eventually get
caught up in their own little world, whispering to each other and sharing
smiles even as the party moves around them. with bright eyes and big smiles,
they look like a living magazine spread, models paid to look beautiful despite
the sweat plastering their fringe to their foreheads and the alcohol on their
breath. it’s a carefree look that few have mastered, and of course they’ve mastered
it. fucking pricks.
- the fact that they’ve both been crowned as sugarscape’s
hottest lad still makes them laugh. they don’t take it seriously, but it’s a
giant ego booster – especially in the bedroom. the “i’m banging hottest lad
2012/2013” jokes are endless.
- hitting youtube milestones = sex, of course. that’s what
all power couples do. when dan hit 1mil, he was sore for a week. when phil hit
2mil, not a single room in their flat was left untouched. and you can bet that
dan woke up to 5mil subs with phil tracing the number five on his inner thigh. with
Makeup and Gypsy Jazz with Cirque du Soleil Cello Player @michaelcello
To see more photos of Michael’s work with Cirque du Soleil, check out @michaelcello on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.
Michael Levin (@michaelcello) has backed Katy Perry, played in a Christmas show with Andy Dick and currently is in the band for Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios, which is helmed by the director of Madonna’s MDNA tour. What’s garnered him the most attention, however, is a makeup tutorial.
Filmed in time lapse, his nightly stage makeup application is mesmerizing. He lines, powders and contours with the precision of Kim Kardashian West’s makeup artist, and then caps it off with a Kim K-worthy, kissy-face selfie.
“That’s probably the most plays on any video I’ve ever posted of anything. Go figure,” the 30-year-old cellist says over the phone from Denver. “To be perfectly honest, that was the part I was least excited about in the beginning. Now, I get why girls go so crazy over it and try to find the right products. I don’t know how many types of eyeliner I went through.”
Michael didn’t quite run off and join the circus, but his trajectory is pretty close. He grew up in Arizona, the son of two concert violinists. Within two years of studying at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, however, he realized there was no way he could follow in the footsteps of his mother, who is in her 40th season with the Phoenix Symphony.
“I wanted to be in a rock band! I wanted to utilize the cello in a modern way,” he says. He gave school one more shot at Arizona State, but chucked it before the semester was even over and moved to Los Angeles.
L.A. can be crazy-making for a creative person, but Michael thrived on the uncertainty. He posted on Craigslist, handed out his card at coffee shops and wandered around Guitar Center playing the pianos and chatting with customers. He met actress Shannon Woodward in his apartment complex, and she introduced him to her best friend, Katy Perry. (“I was playing with Katy Perry before Katy Perry was!” he says).
Meanwhile, he’d also auditioned for the Cirque du Soleil database in 2009. “In order to become an artist in one of Cirque’s shows, you first have to audition online and be accepted into their database. From there, they’ll pluck their talent. It’s the largest casting department in the world. It’s like Cirque NASA,” he quips. A talent scout called him right away, but Michael was “knee deep” in bands and told them it just wasn’t a good time for him.
A year and a half ago, though, his schedule freed up and he signed a two-year contract to play the “gypsy jazz, electro swing” music of Kurios. Set in 1900s Paris, Cirque’s 30th anniversary show has a steampunk aesthetic and takes place under a massive big top. It’s a city that has to be moved on the wheels of 65 semi-trucks.
Barring another circus beckoning him, soon he’ll have the option to re-sign.
“I imagine I’ll stay for a while. The show will go for 10 to 15 years,” he says. “I’ve always been a very nomadic person. It’s a great way to see the world.”
Besides, he continues, “I’m good at doing my makeup now.”
A loud cranking noise was heard throughout the stadium and then the large 360 screen started to descend between the pillars. A loud floof-floof-floof was heard as the lights on the ground all lit up in order and blinded the personal on the ground. Five ”floating” stages were placed out on the ground and waiting to be rigged.
The floodlights beneath the screen came on and suddenly the whole floor bathed in blue light. It looked like a space ship coming down to land when the massive spotlights flipped outward and the screen continued dow. Lady Gaga’s tour director Marko screamed at the supervisor to shut it down but it was too late. The screen hit the spotlights and stopped. The snapping sound of the metal when it broke whipped across the empty stadium before two of the spotlights came off their attachments and fell over 60 feet to the ground.
Luckily no one was standing below it but Marko cursed and screamed that whoever had made this idiotic construction should be forced to climb up and put them back. It was the 5th show of Lady Gaga’s stadium tour in support of her sixth studio album and following in the footsteps of her successful soundtrack to her first movie as a leading actress. The concert was scheduled tonight and they still had 16 hours to go. He understood the workers were tired from being up all night and the new shift was supposed to take over just now.
He needed sleep as well and looked at his watch. 6 am. The Lady herself wouldn’t be pleased when she woke up. There had been technical difficulties nearly every show and last minute fixes. Three versions of the stage was out on the roads across USA and one spare version was still in Colorado. The one they used the opening night in Denver when Gaga performed in front of 78,000 ecstatic fans had been working the most satisfying so far. It had been used twice. It was his first time as tour director for such a massive tour and he was nervous, but Gaga had picked him personally and he wanted to deliver.
This day’s show was in Pasadena and the second biggest one on the North American leg. It was sold out of course and fans who wanted a good spot in the pit had been lining up all night. Gaga stayed at her house in Malibu and was scheduled to arrive four hours before the show. Marko knew everything had to be ready by then. No more delays. He left the stage site to get some sleep and planned to be back by noon but first he had to call her manager and sort out the broken spots.
It was 8 am and Lady Gaga was on the phone with her manager Bobby. The day before she had arranged a small birthday party for her dad so the sleepover guests were still asleep. The frequent technical issues obviously weren’t hers to deal with, but she had told her manager she wanted to know so she was prepared if anything needed to be changed.
”It’s almost like… I don’t wanna say it, Stef.” Bobby sounded a bit worried. ”There are two crews working on mounting and dismounting the stages and the other crew doesn’t have these kind of issues and it seems really unlikely one crew has the same damn troubles with two different stages.” He paused and took a deep breath. ”The screen isn’t even supposed to run into the spots no matter how they are rotated. And the noise it made, I nearly shit my pants thinking about it now.”
Gaga listened to him and exhaled. ”So what are you saying?”
”Someone is either really sloppy or wants the tour to look bad. It’s not like these issues would go unnoticed before the show anyway. It’s just costing a lot of money and time.” Bobby sighed and told her he would talk to Marko and Stageco, they were in charge of providing the stage and the crews. ”I’m sorry Stef, you don’t deserve this,” he added before they ended the call.
She put the phone down on the counter just in time to turn around to see her daughter bounce across the floor and scream in delight as her french bulldog Gus tackled the child to the ground. The girl spun around and lost the ball she was holding. ”My ball,” she shrieked but the dog obviously didn’t care. He quickly snapped up the ball and ran away, out into the garden and the girl was about to go after him when Gaga reached down and grabbed her pajamas by the back.
”My ball!” the girl repeated and squirmed as her mother lifted her up and wrapped her arms around her. She put her face against the girl’s neck and smelled her, kissed her cheek and made the little girl giggle with delight.
”Mama,” she said and pointed out through the patio doors. ”My ball.”
Gaga nodded. ”Yes, Joanne. Gus borrows it.”
”Bohwoh,” she repeated and looked disappointed.
”What do you say we have some breakfast, my lazy little peanut.” Gaga said and put Joanne down in her chair. The child was usually sleeping late, and had never been an early bird. She insisted on letting the girl sleep in her bed and when she returned after a show she could sneak into bed and wake up together with her. It was the most blessed feeling in the whole world to have the tiny body next to her, waking up to her chit chatting to herself in her baby language. Just recently she had been starting to put two words together and loving her own voice so much she never shut up.
Her daughter had Christian’s dark brown eyes. Her hair had been dirt blonde when she was born but darkened with time. Now she was 2 years old and the most important thing in her life. She was the result of a a steamy, sweat soaked night of sex that left her body aching and pregnant – to her surprise. Christian had met up with her before a two day break in her touring schedule in St Louis when they hadn’t seen each other in 14 days. Gaga had been sick a few days, and thrown up a lot. She knew she had messed up with her birth control pills and just maybe she didn’t care on purpose.
By December just before the last shows she had found out she was pregnant. It was the perfect gift to receive at the end of her last tour. Not planned, but certainly welcomed. The last trimester of her pregnancy had been difficult and draining and while gaining a lot of weight she had been emotionally unstable and felt exhausted. She had given birth on August 14, a little more than six weeks before the premier of A Star Is Born, and had forced herself to work hard to get back in shape for the red carpet.
The birth had been a long drawn out process as well where she had complications and lot of bleedings post-birth causing her to stay a few days longer than planned. The baby was late. Nearly a week after due date, refusing to leave the safety of her womb.
When their baby was born she was amazed. This new person that she created, that had grown inside her. She had never known such gratitude and happiness. Her daughter made her heart nearly beat out of her chest as she held her for the first time. Convinced she had never seen a prettier baby in her whole life. Christian had been by her side the entire time and when he held the little girl in his hands and smiled with such pride she was convinced they would be a real family.
She didn’t even care about her bloated face in all the photos from the hospital. Her round cheeks, swollen lips and double chin. Her tits had been huge and she kind of missed that. A photo shoot she did while she was still breastfeeding where her boobs were swelling out of her clothes had caused a media frenzy like everyone suddenly forgot tits ’tend’ to grow as they produce milk.
The first 3 months had been the worst uphill Gaga had ever experienced in her entire life. She relied on the tremendous support of her own family and was so eternally grateful for the baby, but she was hitting rock bottom and being a mother was the only thing keeping her above the surface. Her mom, dad, sister and Christian were basically the only people she met.
Even in her darkest moments she noticed how much it got to Christian, and how he had to distance himself from her. He was affected, but the baby came first and he did possess an overflow of paternal instincts. She tried her best, she loved her baby and had to keep pushing through the darkness for her. Some mornings she barely got out of bed and luckily Christian was there to take over.
When Joanne turned 4 months she was starting to get her life back on the tracks. At least she managed to open a door to a little light and started to see the end of the depression she was going through. Their first Christmas together as a family actually turned into a nice memory.
The following year Christian escorted her to the Academy Awards where she finally won her Oscar for Best Original Song. She made a jaw dropping performance and received a standing ovation that never seemed to end. Life was fucking amazing again. She had her family, the success, the critics were on her side, the public loved her, but she didn’t need the approval of strangers anymore. The confidence was radiating from her. She kept her daughter away from it all because she wanted her to grow up happy and away from all the judging eyes.
Being happy, having a career and both a daughter and a man to come home to must have been too many good things for one person, so about two weeks before her 33rd birthday everything was like turning a hand. She thought Christian would propose, but instead he broke up with her. He never gave a reasonable explanation to why but she understood that he was jealous of her and Joanne. The baby and her career came in the way of him being the priority in her life and having access to her whenever he wanted. He had yelled at her that they couldn’t even touch each other anymore because there was a baby between them constantly. And that the baby should learn to sleep in her own bed.
Whatever Gaga suggested, Christian somehow managed to want the opposite. She had been blind for months, completely swallowed up by her daughter and her own career. Taking Christian’s presence for granted and assuming he was as pleased and happy as she was. After all he did stand by her side through her absolute worst. She called him an idiot who was jealous of his own daughter.
On top of things Christian obviously immediately found a new partner. A little blonde model thing half his age while she felt fooled and abandoned. It took a month to get into her head that he wasn’t worth it and that she would cope without him. Her value as a woman and mother didn’t depend on him.
It also dawned on her how lonely she was and how hard it was to find a man to cuddle up against during the nights. It was the only thing she missed in her life at that point. She spent the summer making music, and there had been moments when she was close to dating, but it always ended before it lead anywhere. She was better at reading people now, and no one passed her tests. And then there was Christian. He was still confessedly involved with the child and fulfilling his duties as father. He spent a lot of time with her and suddenly never questioned Gaga’s scheduling or suggestions.
On Joanne’s birthday she had sex with Christian again for the first time in six months. Knowing how hard it was to turn her down once she set her mind to something and how much he still was attracted to her, she used her social skills and her body and got what she wanted. Gaga realized she did it to prove to herself that she was still attractive, and not just for the sex itself. It simply felt amazing to be desired.
Christian’s new partner evidently found out about him cheating because Gaga texted him about it and she saw it. Gaga did it on purpose, because she still desperately wanted them to be a family and did everything in her power to win him back. So of course she did. Less than a month later they were a couple again and Gaga had already started working on her new album. Their love seemed to overcome all past obstacles and she was living again. Gaga released her new single ’Love Reunion’ out of the blue at the Grammys while announcing a 7-month worldwide stadium tour starting later the same year. Her demands had been no back-to-back shows and a maximum of three shows a week. Live Nation had agreed. They realized she needed time between concerts.
Gaga and Christian got married in New York, with only their closest family and friends attending the ceremony and then they spent two weeks in a rented house in Italy before she returned home and finished her album which was released in late April. By that time the tour was already sold out and they had not even began with the hyping and promotion. With the tour starting in August it was the shortest span ever for her between album release and tour, and the amount of work put into planning and promotion were consuming their relationship.
Now that she was starting to travel again and became accessible to her fans and media he felt left out. She was constantly booked somewhere and took her daughter with her everywhere. It was getting more and more difficult to find time for Christian even when he came along and she could sense how he once again felt threatened by her career and that Joanne came first. They argued over petty things again and Gaga felt like he tried to make her feel bad. If you’re not going to support me, you can leave me alone until you get over your male ego, she told him in a heated argument.
So a little over two weeks ago, in the middle of the tour launch, he had moved out of her mansion claiming it was because he felt like an employee in her massive team and he was sick of being treated like one while everyone ran around her acted like she was some kind of hub in this universe. To her it seemed like he wanted to punish her during one of the most important stages in her career.
He had been to the premiere of her tour, but skipped the following shows and she avoided conversation with him because she was still hurting. It had been hard to find personal time and rehearsal took so much effort she stumbled into bed at nights barely fit to say good night. Maybe it was better he got a little distance to everything so he discovered he missed her. He didn’t have to be so excessive about it. These last two months had been so intense and now that the tour started she finally felt like she had time to breathe between shows.
Christian was the only man she had been with the past 4 years. She told herself she only wanted him, and gave him so much of her time, but he still wanted more from her since he basically gave up his own career to be around her. She had told him she needed him, and his support for her was the most important one. She didn’t want to travel the world without him. He knew it would be like this because this was her job, but she would always come back to them. The disappointment she felt for him at this point was immense and she was heartbroken and didn’t know how to fix it without giving up a piece of herself.
Now she was sitting in her kitchen, watching her daughter eat all by herself and still ranting about her ball and the dog borrowing it. She looked at her, rested her chin against her palm and felt that enormous love in her chest that nearly made her suffocate and fill her lungs with air at the same time. When she leaned too close her daughter grabbed the frame of her glasses and pulled them off her face and tried them on. Her sticky fingers smeared the glass before she helped put them back on her mother’s nose and applauded herself on her good deed.
When Gaga was pregnant she had been letting her hair grow, and didn’t use bleach or dye. It was probably a good idea since her hair thinned out a lot after she gave birth. It was still healthier now than 3 years ago and reached her shoulders when she decided to go blonde again. She took the baby out of the chair and carried her upstairs to change her clothes. She put on a long sleeved top, pants and a little hat before they went outside for a little stroll around the garden and look at the flowers and the insects. And maybe even find the ball, she said and Joanne clung to her hand trying to manage down the stairs.
Every time the little hand searched hers when they walked outside it was another one of those proud moments when she felt like she had found her purpose in life. She was afraid she would love the baby to death, buried her nose against her neck before putting the child on the ground and let her run ahead of her on the gravel between the roses. She was a happy child, and she knew it was because she was immensely loved. Even moving out, Christian still wanted to be a part of the girl’s life, as he was her father after all and she deserved to have him in her life. But Gaga would never let anything or anyone come between her and her daughter.
Her mom had been her greatest support. She had Emilie, her nanny and also her assistants Mariah and Sam and her physiotherapist Heather, but her mom was the person she relied on the most of all, apart from Christian. He had to understand performing was her job, it was what she was supposed to do. Not only being a mother and a wife. It was her drug, her oxygen but there would always be them once it was over.
When Bobby called again Gaga was singing songs with Joanne who murdered the keys on a mini-piano. The girl was not the slightest impressed with her mother singing unless she sang directly to her face and tickled her. Then she laughed so hard she choked and screamed. Gaga ate some leftover food from the birthday party while she kept her daughter company. She didn’t want to eat too close to the show because it made her sick most of the time.
”What are you doing?” Bobby asked.
”Multi-tasking,” Gaga replied with her mouth full.
”They have fixed it. Stageco are going to have a talk with the team later when the nightshift is awake.”
”OK, great,” Gaga said. Glad to have a break from the baby talk. It wasn’t much of a two-way communication thing yet. Joanne just loved hearing her own voice and used her two-phrase sentences over and over. ”My dada,” she said and pointed at a chair. The girl started to talk louder using her limited array of words to get
her mother’s attention back. Gaga buried her nose against the dimple below Joanne’s neck making
the girl squirm and giggle.
”I can hear the princess. How is she?” Bobby gushed.
”Recovering from a cold, but that doesn’t seem to slow her down.” Gaga smiled and tilted her head back over the backrest of the couch. She put her feet up on the table and heard the voices behind her in the kitchen when they returned from shopping. Emilie started unpacking the groceries and chatted with Cynthia who naturally needed to cuddle her granddaughter.
Gaga got up and changed into sweatpants and a t-shirt after she finished talking to Bobby and the others had a light meal in the kitchen before they had to leave to go to Pasadena. Joanne nearly ate half a melon for dessert while the dogs sat around her hoping for a treat to fall to the floor. Their butts left the floor in anticipation each time the child’s hands hovered over their heads but they had no luck today.
She packed her things into the Cadillac Escala and Cynthia came out with Joanne and a bag of her belongings. Her daughter followed her everywhere. It wasn’t even up for debate to leave her behind anywhere. Gaga had large black sunglasses on, her hair was in a pony tail and she wore a white large sweater and the baggy pants. She got in the car while her mom sat down in the back together with the girl and the nanny. Her dad sat next to her in the front and she drove out on the coastal road to LA and Pasadena. Traffic wasn’t so bad. Gaga sang together with her mom and daughter while they cruised on their way to the stadium.
When she arrived she waved at her fans and drove past the gates. She didn’t stop anymore. Hardly ever and her fans had gotten used to it. Some respected the fact that she was more private now and some still had meltdowns on social media about ”how much she’d changed for the worse”. She thought it would be weird if they were still the same person today that they were 10-15 years ago. She obviously still loved her fans, needed them, just as they needed her but she didn’t have enough of herself to give away anymore. She wanted to give everything to her daughter who sat shielded behind the tinted reinforced windows in the backseat. Blissfully unaware of all the fuss.
She drove all the way up to the doors and parked so she could walk out and take Joanne out of her baby car seat and just turn around to get her inside, away from the smattering cameras she noticed on the other side of the curb. The fans closed up against the gates to get a quick look at her before she hurried inside. Joe blocked the paparazzi’s view with his body and got into her car and parked it while the door closed behind her. The fans cheered her name and wished her luck.
She continued down a hallway and a large room where the personnel had just finished their dinner, told Cynthia to bring some fruit when her on-site guide told her it was already in her dressing room. ”Oh, right,” she said, distraught and continued underneath the columns towards her assigned room. It was decorated according to her wishes. It was light and had a warm golden light. She said hello to everyone in her staff, thanked them for being there and made sure everyone felt like they were there for a reason and that tonight was a team effort.
Bobby came inside and assured her everything was working excellent now. There would be no delays tonight. She had a new musical director, going for an electronic pop sound, with influences from disco and funk. Adam had rearranged a lot of her older hits and made a seamless show that spanned her whole career. Some songs had been scaled down to leave more room for her vocals while others had been majestically rearranged to be stadium anthems. The sultry, more mature version of Pokerface had breathed life into the stale beat and opened the doors for new choreography and made her enjoy the songs again.
When she started to plan this tour she had decided that she was done with the old, repetitive sound and moves and wanted to show the world that she was an artist as well as a performer and how diverse she was. Not ’just’ by sitting down to play a song on the piano. The show was a story of how she started out and took over the world and then slowed down, had some dark moments and then built up her career again and established herself as a legendary artist. One of the best ever.
Naturally she liked the second half of the show the best. Sitting by the piano, hearing the fans sing along, cry and then from there take them all the way home leaving them feeling like they were run over by a bus. Her show sent them through all her emotions, the raving happiness at the start, anger, sadness and forgiveness and finally confidence and strength. She had thought about it a lot and finally come up with the perfect storyline.
She felt like she was more involved than before and more awake, more able to leave things in the hands of people she trusted. She was on the floor stretching and trying to find some inner calm, going over some of the advice she had been given since the first show when they had watched it together. Too nervous she found herself walking to the back of the stage, away from the audience during vocally straining parts and losing contact with them. Sing towards them and not her band or some prop on stage. ”Don’t forget the audience,” she whispered and laughed. As if. It was a reflex to turn around and strut away to give the audience a nice view of her butt cheeks.
Bobby sat down on the couch and looked stressed.
”What is it?” she asked.
”Nothing, I hope.” He didn’t want to tell her he had been worried all day, and his suspicions about the ’mishaps’ was eating him.
Sarah started to prepare to do Gaga’s make up and Bobby got off the couch. He exhaled and posed like a boxer. ”Knock em dead, girl.”