Blogging Driving Geography Home Humor Television Travel

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. Last week I wrote about the main campus of South Florida State College (#SFSC) near Avon Park – home of the 1,460-seat Alan Jay Wildstein Center For The Performing Arts. I got to see my first 2 concerts there last month. It’s just 2 miles away from my new home.

This week I’m about 100 miles away at a longtime favorite – the 1,874-seat Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at Florida SouthWestern State College (#FSW) in Fort Myers. I’ve seen 8 shows / concerts there since 2011 including Chicago (the legendary band), Jay Leno, Brian Regan, and Frank Caliendo. I would’ve seen more shows there if I lived nearby, as it’s 3 hours away from my Homestead home – and 2 hours away from my now Sebring home. It’s my favorite small performing arts venue to see shows. A show at the #BBMANNPAH means a stay at a local hotel for the night – because – frankly – I don’t like driving long distances late at night. Scary things happen on the road in the dark.

Last Thursday night – after final closing of my new home 100 miles away – I saw Michael Carbonaro: Lies On Stage there. It was a great show. I’m glad I attended and experienced it. (I had thought about skipping the show and staying in my new home, but I decided to continue with my plans.)

Michael put on a fun comedy and magic show with lots of audience interaction. I was a big fan of his 2014-2020 truTV show The Carbonaro Effect. I saw every episode of it over the course of its 5 seasons. He essentially brought that show to our LIVE audience, and it was fun to see.

The show was actually postponed from an earlier date in mid-October – 2½ weeks after the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian. (The venue suffered some roof damage, but shows resumed about a month after the storm.)

Next #TravelThursday I’ll write about some delicious fried chicken I found close to my new home. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2023 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

2000s Music Radio

My Top 5 Hits RETRO – 2005

Every 2ND, 3RD, and 4TH Friday of the month I post the Top 5 of one of my classic hit music charts based on personal preference and influenced by radio airplay from either 15, 20, or 30 years ago this weekend (rotating each week).

It’s the 2ND Friday of the month, so I go back 15 years ago. Here it is – for the week ending Sunday May 08TH 2005:

  1. “Somebody Told Me” – The Killers
  2. “Candy Shop” – 50 Cent
  3. “Sugar (Gimme Some)” – Trick Daddy Ft. CeeLo & Ludacris
  4. “Hollaback Girl” – Gwen Stefani
  5. “Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson

A couple of weeks later in May I saw Gwen Stefani LIVE in concert. She was part of a 4½-hour multi-act Top 40 radio station concert.

And now – from my original web site – my original review of the concert:

Y-100.7’S SUMMER SPLASH 2005
TUESDAY MAY 24TH 2005 – 7 PM – 11:30 PM

1. The Pussycat Dolls – There were 7 of them, and they performed for about 7 minutes. Their official web site shows them as a group of 6, so I’m not sure who the extra Pussycat Doll was LIVE on stage. I also don’t know if it’s the same 6 from the web site, or if anyone was different. I think that Pussycat Dolls are added, removed, and substituted as needed. Sometimes even big-time Hollywood celebrities take their turn as a Pussycat Doll. They kicked things off at precisely 7 PM with their version of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”, and that led into an extended version of their big hit right now “Don’t Cha”. The hit music radio version sort of morphed into a HI-NRG club version. They sounded pretty good, and they were a pretty decent opening act for the big show tonight !

2. Gavin DeGraw – Gavin was up next, and he performed a handful of soulful rock tunes including his former # 2 smash (on our chart) “I Don’t Want To Be” and his current hit “Chariot”. It’s hard to believe that his “Chariot” CD has been out for nearly two years now. He’s waited awhile for success to catch up with him. Gavin’s got a great LIVE performance voice, as it sounded about as close as possible to his radio voice.

3. The Backstreet Boys were next in line. They just recently celebrated their 12TH anniversary together as a group. Once upon a time they sold out MASSIVE arenas – even sports stadiums – as the headlining act. It seems so long ago, but it’s only been about 5 to 6 years since they were the biggest act in the business. Deafening screams greeted them as they arrived on stage. They plowed through hits past – “The Call”, “I Want It That Way”, and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” – present – “Incomplete” – and future – “Weird World” – during their 25-minute comeback performance. Aside from more years and more wrinkles they pretty much look the same today as they did back during their heyday. (Nick Carter has gotten noticeably heavier.) They promoted (a few times) their fresh new CD “Never Gone” which drops at retail on Tuesday June 14th. After their performance a few fans actually left the arena for good. I personally overheard one fan (as he walked past me) proudly exclaim that he can now state that he’s finally seen The Backstreet Boys LIVE in concert !

4. Jesse McCartney – 18-year-old Jesse followed The Backstreet Boys. He was also greeted by deafening cheers – obviously from the thousands of young girls in the arena within about 6 years of Jesse’s age. I think that probably half of the nearly sellout crowd was comprised of the young 12 to 24-year-old female demographic that Y-100.7 loves so much. It’s just my personal opinion here, but Jesse sounds wonderful on the radio; however, LIVE on stage he didn’t sound too good tonight. He sounded almost like a strained chipmunk. But it’s not all his fault. The sound quality of a large portion of the show early on was subpar. There were frequent squeals coming out of the microphones, and there was a lot of static coming out of the sound system. It seems like there was way too much treble and not enough bass during the early part of the night. The camera work and editing displayed on the two large overhead video monitors was pretty remarkable throughout the show. It actually had the feel of a TV taping in-progress. I had pretty good seats with the revolving stage at my 10:00 clock position. I found myself glancing up at the video monitors frequently during the show. There were some great audience shots included in the footage.

5. Simple PlanThis is why I bought a ticket to this show. I love Simple Plan. I would’ve gone to see them LIVE in concert even if they were the only act on the bill. Simple Plan rocked this show. After a short light show introduction they slammed it hard with a few rockers including their early hit “Addicted”. The hit power ballads “Welcome To My Life”, “Perfect”, and even the current “Untitled (How Could This Happen To Me ?)” were all fan-favourite singalongs. I was among thousands who were mouthing the words to all of their hits in unison. I was hoping they’d do “I’d Do Anything”, but they didn’t. Last Saturday night (May 28th) at about 8:10 PM I went to Simple Plan’s web site to see when they would be returning to Florida on tour with Good Charlotte (another favourite band of mine). What a coincidence. It just happened to be that they were performing at that very moment LIVE at the Veteran’s Memorial Arena in Downtown Jacksonville. I was also in the Jacksonville area all last weekend. Had I known about the concert a few months ago when tickets obviously went on sale I would’ve probably been at the concert instead of finding out about it on the web some 45 minutes after it started !

6. Mario – From the act that I most wanted to see to the act that I could’ve done without. I’m not a big fan of Mario, but he needn’t worry about me for he’s got plenty of fans who support him and love him. He obviously performed his MASSIVE hit “Let Me Love You” for all of the girls in the house. Unlike the preceding 4 acts before him he had no band to back him up – just pre-recorded backing tracks and a couple of dancers.

7. Tyler Hilton – This was sort of a surprise. We knew that Tyler was co-hosting the entire show tonight (along with Lindsay Lohan), but it was kept rather hush-hush that Tyler would also perform LIVE tonight. I just wished that he would’ve performed his previous hit “When It Comes” instead of or in addition to his current hit “How Love Should Be”. Tyler only got in one hit, and then he went on to introduce our next big star …

8. Gwen Stefani – Gwen was billed in all of the radio promotions leading up to the big show as the main headliner – the star of the show – and deservedly so. She’s gone from little-known lead singer of No Doubt to its breakout star to a star on her own. She’s proven over and over again that she can secure top hits with No Doubt as well as on her own. She’s got the # 1 smash in the entire nation right now, and everyone knew what was getting ready to go down when Gwen was joined on stage tonight by a marching band and cheerleaders. It was time to “Hollaback Girl”, and when it came time for Gwen to spell out B-A-N-A-N-A-S you had 15,000+ fans helping her out. Gwen stuck to her “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” solo material for this performance including “What You Waiting For ?”, “Rich Girl”, and a couple of new hits.

9. Ryan Cabrera – More fans left the arena following Gwen’s performance, but we were probably still above the 10,000 mark. Ryan performed all of his big hits (and a few new ones) from “Take It All Away”, and then he did a drum solo to prove that not only is he a great singer and guitarist, but he could also be the drummer of a rock band if he wanted to.

10. Ciara – It was getting late. Ryan finished up close to 11 PM (4 hours after the big show started), and I fully expected the arena to empty out following his performance. But it didn’t happen. Thousands of fans hadn’t gotten their Crunk yet. They were eagerly anticipating Ciara’s arrival on stage to deliver the “Goodies”, get in her “1, 2, Step”, and add in a final “Oh”. They weren’t disappointed. Ciara was there for her fans with all that and a little bit more. And once it was all done and over with the 4½-hour Summer Splash at the Office Depot Center was history !

It’s halftime my friends. I’ll be back on Sunday and Monday with 2 more blog posts for this weekend. Enjoy your Saturday. Thanks for going RETRO with me !

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries