Hosted by the former Rap City and 106 & Park host Big Tigger, perhaps my favorite part of the BET Experience FREE Fan Fest was the intimate afternoon of performances at the Acoustically Speaking showcase. Taped live in front of an audience of not more than 300, the performances and interviews gave me an opportunity to “Experience” the sounds of some seriously talented, developing and established recording artists.
Each artist performed a short set of 4-5 songs. Each performance was followed by a one-on-one interview with Big Tigger. The performances and the interviews gave audience members an opportunity to really connect with each of the artists. It was truly a one of a kind performance experience.
The second artist to perform was Alice Smith, a recording artist whose musical styles are anchored in rock, R&B, blues, jazz and soul, and whose latest album, the 2013 release “She” is a powerfully, emotional album that shines a light on all of her musical leanings. I love the eclectic nature of the album, and it’s one that I intend to pick up on wax if I can find it somewhere.
After her set, the videographer I was sitting next to and I looked at each other an nodded in approval with her performance. If we were both duly impressed, I’m sure you will be too. Hopefully, BET will air the entire performance and interview at some point, but in the meantime, CLICK HERE to check out what video clips have been posted on BET’s website.
One of the BET Experience Fan Fest events that I was given permission to cover was the Acoustically Speaking series. I had absolutely no problem with that. Scheduled from 2pm – 6:30, various artists performed a short set of songs “unplugged” followed by an interview with the host, Big Tigger. It was a taped event, so I’m sure that these episodes will be edited for broadcast. Based on who I saw perform, I can affirmatively say that each artist is worth tuning in for.
Being up close to the artist while they performed gave me the opportunity to take some really good pictures. Please follow me so you can get notified when they get posted.
Last year, I got the royal treatment at the BET Experience. Not only did I get the chance to see Beyonce, Snoop, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons perform on the main stage, but I was able to score an “Artist Pass” for the entire weekend, which allowed me to roam freely backstage at Staples Center. Armed with only a small Sony Cybershot G, I took photographs the best I could and actually ended up with some decent shots. After that weekend, I decided to take concert photography more seriously, because I determined that it was something that I truly had a passion for. Since that weekend, I’ve invested in some “professional” photography equipment that I could afford and have been self teaching myself how to snap, what I think, are decent concert photographs.
This year, I didn’t use any of my entertainment contacts to score a special tickets or photo/media passes. Rather, I applied independently as a blogger. Though I didn’t get any media or photo passes for any of the main evening concerts, I was approved for certain daytime events at the BET Experience at L.A. Live on Saturday and Sunday. The daytime events on Saturday and Sunday were free and open to the public, and it’s my opinion that anybody who is fan of soul, R&B and hip-hop music, and didn’t go to witness any of the events, missed out on a hell of an opportunity.
As fate would have it, I Complex Magazine saw fit to award me tickets to see the Friday evening concert featuring Jill Scott and Maxwell. I tried to sneak my DSLR and lenses into the Staples Center for that show, but ended up having to check my bag at guest services. However, I was able to use my trusty Sony Cybershot G point and shoot to take a handful of pictures that I think are worth posting on my blog.
Below is a list of all of the wonderful singers/rappers/performers that I was able to capture with my cameras. You’ll notice below that for each performance, I’m posting two separate pages: one for Instagram video captures, and one for photographs and my thoughts on the performance. I tried to take Instagram videos of each of the songs all of the artist’s performed. I don’t know everything about each artist, so if you know the names of the songs an artist sings, please let me know in the comments so I can add it to the post.
I hope that what I’ve captured gives you a sense of what I experienced over the weekend. The photo/review pages will be posted in due course, as a solo blogger, editing and selecting pictures “worthy” of sharing takes a little bit a time. Hey, I took over 2000 pictures! Cut me some slack! LOL.
- Jill Scott | Staples Center: Instagram Videos | Photos & Review
- Maxwell | Staples Center: Instagram Videos | Photos & Review
- Stacy Barthe | Acoustically Speaking | Instagram Videos | Photos & Review
- Alice Smith | Acoustically Speaking | Instagram Videos | Photos & Review
- Faith Evans | Acoustically Speaking | Instagram Videos | Photos & Review
- Talib Kweli | Acoustically Speaking | Instagram Videos | Photos & Review
- Tank | Acoustically Speaking | Instagram Videos | Photos and Review
- LiV Warfield | Centric Certified | Instagram Videos | Photos and Review
- Jonathan McReynolds | Music Matters | Instagram Videos | Photos and Review
- Roman GianArthur | Music Matters | Instagram Videos | Photos and Review
- Tiara Thomas | Music Matters | Instagram Videos | Photos and Review
- Elle Varner | Music Matters | Instagram Videos | Photos and Review
- Lecrae | Music Matters | Instagram Videos | Photos and Review