I’ll never forget the spectacle that was Nickelback on stage. The year was 2004; I was a Street Team Leader at the Top 40 radio station I grew up listening to, Kiss 98.5 in Buffalo. I and two colleagues drove to Darien Lake in scenic Corfu, N.Y. and headed backstage, where two musicians in 3 Doors Down not named Brad Arnold recorded liners for the station (Arnold, the lead singer, was on vocal rest). We then made our way to the front of the amphitheater to catch the end of 12 Stones’ set (“Broken” was my jam). Next up, 3 Doors Down, and the band sounded so true to its studio recordings it was ridiculous. Arnold and company ran through a tight set of hits from The Better Life and Away From The Sun. No theatrics, no crowd hype; just straight melting your face off.

We almost hit the road after that to beat traffic (pretty sure we had another appearance that evening back in downtown Buffalo) but we decided to hang around a bit to see what the Canadian rockers had in store for the crowd. I won’t say they were better or worse than 3DD… but Nickelback was certainly different. The best way I can sum up the contrast between the two acts is by telling you the most memorable portion of Nickelback’s set, in part because I had never seen anyone do this on stage before.

“Who wants free beer?!” growled Kroeger to the sold-out crowd. The audience roared and so at their behest, a road case-turned-tabletop was wheeled out. On top of the case were dozens of plastic cups filled with beer. Nickelback then began to grab the cups and toss them one-by-one out to the crowd.

A quick YouTube search actually yielded a few videos, including one from the band’s official account, of this act. Apparently Nickelback has done this as recently as 2012 and it is referred to as the “Beer Toss.” Hey, the more you know.

Anyways, fast forward 11 years from when I witnessed it: Nickelback will tour with Lifehouse later this year, and I demanded that Jason Wade and Bryce Soderberg tell me what they would give to the masses this summer.
“Well I guess we can’t give them free beer anymore,” joked Wade. “Free tequila maybe?”

You can’t blame the lead singer for his line of thinking. After all, we were speaking at Live Nation’s National Concert Day event, which conveniently fell on Cinco de Mayo.

“Alcoholic beverages always work on any level,” added Soderberg. “So we’re going to have to dig in to our rider and see what we can cough up.”

The mention of beer actually jogged Wade’s memory to the last time he saw the guys – about 15 years ago.

“We played 10 shows with the guys in 2000, 2001,” the lead singer recalled. “We’d both play our sets and then have some beer after the shows. They’re the most down-to-earth, nicest guys.”

Between the two bands there will be plenty of big hits to be played, and maybe a beer or two to be shared throughout the summer. Lifehouse’s seventh studio album, Out Of The Wasteland, hits stores May 26.

Suffice to say that prior to this year, even if he wanted to, Derek Jeter never really had an opportunity to attend the Met Gala. The annual ball takes place in the spring, while baseball is turning the corner on its first month of the season. Jeter, the ever-consummate professional, would probably either be occupied at a ballpark or resting on an off-day during the event.

But the times have changed. Jeter is enjoying his first summer off following last year’s farewell to the game he played for most of his life. And Jeter is actually busier now than he was in his playing days: charity events, a website, a publishing imprint and more are keeping the Yankee Captain’s itinerary full. On Monday, that itinerary landed him on the Upper East Side at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jeter attended the gala alongside girlfriend Hannah Davis.

Inside the soiree, Vogue enlisted the services of popular photographer Brandon Stanton to snap pictures and interview both the publicly known and unknown. Stanton created the popular “Humans Of New York” Facebook page and blog. The New Yorker is as much known for his story telling as his photography, simply asking strangers questions and receiving raw and honest answers.

But if you have followed the guarded Jeter’s career, you probably know how this story ends.

“What’s your favorite thing about each other?” Stanton asked.

“We’re fine with just a picture, thanks,” Jeter responded.

To be fair, the future Hall Of Famer was not the only celebrity to deny Stanton an interview request. But still, I suppose it’s comforting to some degree to know that while the times have changed, The Captain has not.

Photo: https://instagram.com/hanni_davis/

Photo: https://instagram.com/hanni_davis/


In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva talked about a trend seen on red carpets recently, including the Met Gala, ponytails.
BEY1 (2)
Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

She helped usher in a new era of pop music in the 90’s, becoming the best selling teenaged artist of all time in the process. She overcame personal issues to release some of her most heralded songs to date; before 2011’s Femme Fatale she never placed three singles in the top 10 off one album. And in a move that certainly looks visionary in hindsight, she helped change the idea that only “legacy” or “past their prime” acts take up a residency in Las Vegas. Her show at Planet Hollywood is one of the hottest tickets on The Strip.

It is obvious that throughout her much-publicized career, despite the trials and tribulations, Britney Spears has always found a way to set new trends. This is no different with the release of her new song, “Pretty Girls,” which features rapper Iggy Azalea.
The weekend prior to the single’s scheduled launch, Spears teamed up with Uber in Los Angeles to give fans a preview of the track. On Sunday, any user of the car sharing service in LA that requested a “Bee” ride at 3 pm west coast time was eligible to be picked up in a SUV branded with Spears’ name. When inside, the fan would get to hear the track ahead of its official midnight release, and even leave with a few pieces of Spears merchandise.

Unfortunately for Spears’ camp, a trend the singer could not buck is the leak of a record ahead of its on-sale date. A version of the song hit the Internet on Saturday. This could explain the push to release the song Monday at midnight, as opposed to the originally announced date of May 5.

“Pretty Girls” is the first new music Spears has released since her 2013 album Britney Jean. The collaboration with Azalea was produced by the Invisible Men, the same production team behind last year’s anthem “Fancy.”The songs share similar bravado but Britney brings a distinctively different sound to the track – which the duo can only hope duplicates the success of Azalea’s breakout hit. Spears’ last chart-topper in the states was “Hold It Against Me” in 2011.

Spears and Azalea have already filmed the music video although no release date has been set. The two will team up to premiere the song on television in a few weeks, performing it live on the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. The award show airs live May 17 at 8 pm on ABC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas.


Life & Style Weekly reports that Meghan Trainor’s musical background has family roots. Senior Reporter Andrew Nodell also talked about Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Mariah Carey is back in the headlines, and for the most part it does not have to do with her estranged husband Nick Cannon. The biggest selling female artist of all time recently dropped a single, “Infinity.” It is the only new track on the album #1 to Infinity. The compilation will feature the latest song plus all 18 of Carey’s number one hits. It drops May 18.
Carey also kicked off “Mariah #1 To Infinity,” her new residency at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace, on May 6 to rave reviews. She’ll perform on the Billboard Music Awards, which are also in Sin City, on May 17.

So on Thursday we flashed you back to January of 2014, when Ms. Carey stopped by “Ralphie Tonight” and recalled the time Jermaine Dupri helped her pick “Touch My Body” as a single. Of course, tt went on to be a number one hit.

Marc Scibilia stopped by “Ralphie Tonight” to talk about his forthcoming, Butch Walker-produced album Out Of Style, his tour with James Bay and much more. The Nashville-native grew up, like me, in Western New York. So of course, there was a bit of reminiscing and catching-up to do (Marc and I have known each other for a while).
It is shaping up to be a big 2015 for the singer/songwriter. Earlier this year, his cover of the classic “This Land Is Your Land,” ended up on Jeep’s Super Bowl commercial. Outside of the Halftime Show, it was the most “Shazaamed” moment of the night. Scibilia’s debut LP drops this summer. Check out our chat and a video of Marc performing the first single, “How Bad We Need Each Other” below.


In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva talked about a trend recently seen with Kim Kardashian in New York – a book clutch.

Photo: instagram.com/variety

Photo: instagram.com/variety

Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Mariah Carey and fun. lead singer Nate Ruess each released new singles on Monday, both in support of albums due out later this year.
Mariah Carey, Nate Ruess
For Carey, “Infinity” marks a new chapter in both her personal and professional life. The song is the first from the songstress since separating from husband Nick Cannon. “Infinity” is also the only new recording on the compilation #1 to Infinity. The album will feature the latest track plus all 18 of Carey’s number one hits. It hits shelves May 18. Carey kicks off “Mariah #1 To Infinity,” her new residency at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace, on May 6.

Perhaps suprisingly, you could say the same in regards to “new chapters” for Ruess. His first solo single, “Nothing Without Love,” was actually meant for fun. But according to Rolling Stone, it was his new relationship with designer Charlotte Ronson (Mark’s sister) and the hiatus away from the GRAMMY-winning band that allowed him to begin writing the lyrics to the song. Ruess confided in the magazine that for the first time, he felt “comfortable in my own skin.” This revelation led the singer to keep “Nothing” for himself and continue on with his LP. Grand Romantic will be released June 16. The artist dropped a second song from the album, “AhHa” on Monday.

What do you think of the songs? Listen below and sound off on Twitter – @ralphieaversa.


Life & Style Weekly reports that One Direction might not be invited to Zayn Malik’s wedding, at the request of his fiancée. Reporter Melissa Roberto also talked about Taylor Swift on “Ralphie Tonight.”