#OnTheList with Xtine is a weekly feature from Fresh 102.7’s Christine Richie that will be highlighting all things music and more, from her favorite emerging artists, top female vocalists, and much, much more!
I am still riding the high that was Fresh Holiday Jam. What an incredible show to finish out the year! All the artists on the bill — Train, James Bay, and O.A.R. — can sell out the Hammerstein on their own and we had them all together for one amazing night. There were many great moments, but these were my favorites.
Getting some time with James Bay
It’s no secret that James is one of my favorite artists. I was one of the first to interview him in the US before anyone really knew who he was. I was already a fan of his music, so he appreciated that. We had a lot of fun and, for some reason, he has since never forgotten me (That’s rare for artists who meet so many people).
It’s been exciting watching him become more and more successful. It warms my heart to see him touching so many with his music. He is one of the sweetest, kindest guys you’ll ever meet, so I am rooting for him. Every time he sees me I get a big hug, so I wasn’t going to miss a chance to get one at Fresh Holiday Jam. I wish I could’ve done an actual interview with him because we have A LOT to talk about, but it was before his set and he had vocal warm ups to do. He did say that he would love to come to New York to live here for a bit to get inspired and do some writing for his next album; he’s going to start working on it after the holidays. Rumor has it he’s even going to do some writing with Ryan Tedder! I can’t wait to hear that collaboration.
Introducing James Bay & watching his set
This was the first time we had a show at the Hammerstein Ballroom, which was exciting for me. Just like artists, I want to get on stage at as many NYC venues as I can. Getting to scratch Hammerstein off my list while introducing someone I adore was perfection.
Then I watched James Bay perform for the sixth time! He knocked me out, just as he did the other five! He’s an artist you have to see live to fully appreciate his talent, so I was thrilled when my friend texted after his set to say, “Now I’m sold on James!” Yay! Mission accomplished. She’s wasn’t the only one though: I heard from a few others that they were very impressed and are now fans.
Seeing O.A.R. for the first time
We recently did an Up Close and Personal with O.A.R. and they were great, but it’s not the same as experiencing the full band. I actually didn’t get to see their entire set, but I caught “Crazy Game of Poker.” They’ve been playing together for so long that the band is very tight. I also love that they have a whole horn section. The fans were flinging their playing cards and you really couldn’t beat the vibe between them and the audience. Plus, they are really normal, nice guys. Wish I would’ve caught “I Go Through.”
Grilling Nasim Roberge
I have this fantasy of dating an artist and being his muse. I’ve always wanted someone to write a song about me. It seems like that would be an amazing feeling. When I saw Marc’s wife, I had to find out what it’s like to have songs written about you. I don’t think she’s comfortable being interviewed because there was a lot of nervous laughter. She said, “I don’t know how to answer that.” She did say there was one song Marc wrote about an ex that bothered her for a long time. She finally decided that they dated so long ago that she had to let it go. She also admitted to helping Marc when he’s stuck on a lyric. Who knows, maybe your favorite O.A.R. lyric came together with help from Marc’s wife.
Check out my IG Story for that and more behind-the-scenes scoops!
Pat Monahan singing ‘Marry Me’
Pat Monahan is such a pro as a frontman at this point. All throughout the show he’s grabbing fans phones and taking selfies. He tosses out t-shirts and really knows how to command the crowd. I’ve seen Train many times, so I knew what to expect.
[PHOTOS] Train perform at Fresh Holiday Jam
Of course, that’s when Pat surprised me by asking the crowd if they wanted to hear “Marry Me” and if he could sing it without the mic. I’ve never heard his voice that way and was really impressed. It could’ve been a spectacular moment except for that one guy who kept yelling things out.
Don’t be that guy.
Train and Matt Nathanson covering Queen and Bowie’s ‘Under Pressure’
I don’t think anyone knew Matt Nathanson was going to show up. I saw him backstage, but thought he just came to watch Train. I love when artists get together to perform, so I was excited when Pat brought him out to cover “Under Pressure” together. The only thing better would’ve been if Train busted out some of their Led Zeppelin covers.
The Best Crowd!
The one thing that was different about Hammerstein was we had general admission for the first time. I just wrote in my favorite concert moments OTL that I always avoided GA until I realized that’s where the passion is at shows. The die hard fans will get there early to get right up against the stage. I never know how many tickets we’ve sold for our shows, so it’s always a surprise when I show up. I was really shocked to see Hammerstein completely full! The crowd was loud, singing along, and just had the best energy. I mean look at them!
I also got to meet a few people who I’ve gotten to know through twitter or the radio and I love when I finally get to see you face to face. That always makes my night!
Thanks to everyone who came out and sang along. Also, thank you for listening to Fresh 102.7. Without you, I couldn’t do what I love and that is never lost on me. I appreciate everyone of you (even that guy who wouldn’t shut up!). Let’s cheers to a new year filled with lots of great shows! Hopefully, I’ll see you at the next one.
More #OnTheList with Xtine: