Yesterday, I had the chance to attend Boston radio station Amp Radio's Birthday Bash Concert. Last June, CBS Radio decided to make the switch from an "oldies" station to the new Amp Radio, featuring Top 40 music. In celebration of their one year birthday, they threw a completely free concert for listeners and fans which gathered a crowd of over 50,000 at Boston City Hall Plaza. The concert featured performances by Ariana Grande, Drop City Yacht Club, Timeflies, Sammy Adams, Selena Gomez, and Jason Derulo. I arrived at City Hall Plaza at around 11am (concert time was 2pm). At that time, there must have been about 10,000-20,000 people already, pressed up against the stage I barricade.
I walked around the area until around 1:45, when it was time to find a place to watch the show. Thankfully, I had VIP passes to the upfront party pit so I did not have to brave crowd.
Come showtime, Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande came on stage, and was greeted by thousands of screaming fans. She was wearing a white quinceañera-like dress, and sang only her hit song, "The Way" featuring rapper Mac Miller. Grande was also joined by a group of peppy backup dancers.
Next up was California trio Drop City Yacht Club. They sang a variety of songs that seemed like the majority of the crowd were familiar with. However, when they said their last song would be their biggest hit "Crickets", everyone started screaming and singing along. Definitely my favorite moment of their act.
Now it was time for Timeflies, a freestyle rap/pop group. Personally, I hadn't even heard of them before this event, but I thought they were an immense talent. Amp Radio had done a promo on twitter earlier in the day, where listeners tweeted them the topics that they wanted Timeflies to freestyle rap about. When they brought the topic on stage, it was incredible. They were able to freestyle right on the spot as if they had memorized lyrics. Just amazing!
Boston's home boy Sammy Adams was next on the lineup, and greeted the crowd with his hits "Blow Up", "Only One", and his newest single, "LA Story".
It was now Selena Gomez's time to perform. She came to the stage, and really owned it. The crowd went insane for her. She sang her hits "Love You Like A Love Song", and "Slow Down". But, it was not until her last song, "Come and Get It" that the crowd appeared to be reawakened. It was obvious that there were a large amount of people in the crowd who came to see Selena, based off of the volume of screams during her whole performance.
Last up, Jason Derulo. When he first came on, Amp must have turned the volume WAY up because it seemed to get a lot louder. Jason sang the majority of his hits like "Whatcha Say", "Other Side", and more. Without even looking at the stage, you could tell he took his shirt off due to all of the girls in the audience screaming at the top of their lungs.
Overall, it was a great concert, especially since it was free. I think Amp Radio worked well with local officials and security, as there were no large problems during the show. Everyone there was pleasant, and was there for the same reason I was; to watch the show. Music was great, and there was the station's DJs to entertain the crowd between acts.
So what didn't I like about it? Well, not a whole much. My biggest complaint is how the radio station handled the VIP tickets. Majority of VIP tickets and wristbands were won via call in contests, which were almost impossible to win. I understand that Amp wanted to make it a free show, whether you go VIP or not. But, maybe for next year, they could figure out a way to distribute them more fairly... perhaps a lottery system?
If Amp Radio Boston decides to make this an annual event, you can definitely expect us to be there!
Check out the photo's in the gallery below.