By Kelly Erickson
I could not think of a better way to end my three months of interning with MTV News and living in NYC than being in the fifth row at the second night of the Glow in the Dark Tour at Madison Square Garden. It made me realize that half of making things happen in life is simply showing up.
See, I was strolling by Madison Square Garden last night at around 9:45 p.m., and I ran into a familiar face. There was a nice young gentleman sitting at the "media" entrance who remembered me from earlier in the day, when I'd run an MTV errand to MSG. (Note to all interns: Making runs pays off!!!) Long story short, within moments of him spotting me, I was walking through the backstage area with an all-access pass, feeling at a loss for words.
The next thing I know, I'm being herded through the floor area past a crowd of celebrities, friends and family of the musicians — and what I'd call the "ballers" of NYC who can afford the general floor seats. One thing that stands out in my memory was walking past Will.I.Am taking pictures with fans who were pressed up against the gate of their seating area, trying to get that perfect picture for their MySpace pages. I am not a celebrity nor can I call Kanye a friend, and I am certainly not made of money. But I took an opportunity and ran with it, which led me to being the happiest girl in New York City.
The energy on the floor was wild. Kanye went onstage about 10 minutes after I took my seat, just 10 feet from center stage. When the house lights went low and the music started, there was a tangible energy and anticipation throughout the Garden. As cheesy as it might sound, I immediately felt connected with those around me. I was by myself, but after dancing and singing along to every song in the show, the people sitting next to me (perfect strangers) were taking pictures with me.
The show was amazing (check out Shaheem Reid's report right here). I was so thrilled that I couldn't even stay mad at the fact that my camera battery died before the show started (luckily my camera phone could be used as backup). The images will be imprinted on my brain forever — because it was the experience of a lifetime. I felt like I was at a club with all my best friends, listening to all my favorite songs.
It seemed like each performance throughout the show topped the next. During the encore, after Lupe came out to perform a hot version of "Touch the Sky" with Kanye, I didn't think the show could get any better. I thought wrong! Kanye West spoke about writing all his songs with one person in mind — and then, ladies and gentleman, brought out Jay-Z, and he and Kanye performed a song from Jay's forthcoming Blueprint 3 LP. The crowd was wild, they killed the performance, and the bass is still ringing in my ears as I write this.
Interning with MTV News definitely has its perks, and I am going to leave here with some great stories and unforgettable experiences.