I AM STILL MUSIC TOUR: News and Notes from Backstage and Beyond

Ralphie Aversa  —  07/21/2011 — Leave a comment


– You know it’s hot when: even people from the south and west are complaining of the heat. It was a scorcher up on Montage Mountain Tuesday. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked, “Is it always this hot in Pennsylvania?” I could’ve bought a couple rounds of drinks at the beer stand.

– The mood backstage was very mellow and low key in the afternoon and early evening. Despite requests from Lil Wayne’s management that all backstage interviews complete by 6 pm, I found myself leaving Keri Hilson’s dressing room almost at 6:30. Hilson is not just a perfectionist with her music, but with her look as well – working with her makeup artist and manager to ensure that she looked pristine and that the lighting and scenery in her small dressing room was perfect. She did and it was, and you’ll be able to see it all soon on my blog.

– Staff backstage at Montage Mountain commented that security was just as tight as Wayne’s last visit in 2009. If you recall, some workers told me back then that in their 10 plus years at the venue, they had never seen such a strong security detail.

– The Far East Movement was a little late to my interview backstage, and I suppose I could excuse them: I can’t tell you how many times I misjudged the length of that drive from Wilkes-Barre to Moosic. FEM stayed at The Woodlands Monday and Tuesday evening, and took full advantages of some of the various amenities, including the Club Havana Deck Bar and the pool. Post-show on Tuesday, two of the “Like a G6” rappers could even be spotted jogging around the resort.

– FEM wasn’t the only group of artists there… yes, Lil Wayne and the rest of Young Money spent their time in Northeastern PA inside The Woodlands. Wayne checked in Monday evening, and was spotted Tuesday in The Woods large parking lot working on his skateboarding skills. After the show, Weezy retreated to his room where he allegedly worked on music until the wee hours of the morning. If you’ve seen “The Carter” documentary then you know that in addition to mobile recording equipment on his tour bus, Weezy can literally set-up a studio in the middle of his hotel room and spit lines. I guess if we hear any reference to Northeastern PA or he name-checks the Kornfeld’s on Tha Carter IV, we’ll have our confirmation.

– Special thanks to Live Nation for once again bringing Lil Wayne to Northeastern PA. Even I was a bit taken aback that the company was going to take another chance on Weezy in this market, primarily due to the negative, mostly unfair, and almost completely biased coverage his show received from “news outlets” and “know-it-alls” in 2009. However thanks to the area’s support and the help of a few, select media outlets (Who else offered $9.71 lawn seats?!), it seems as if this was once again another successful hip hop concert in NEPA, with hopefully more to come.

Ralphie Aversa

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