My musical trip to Boston

Well, it’s been a while.

I meant to write about it earlier, but you know what it’s like, life got in the way!

I was in Boston for 5 days in october and I’ve always wanted to go there. First because it’s where my favourite tv show of all time was filmed and also because I knew Boston was quite different from the other cities of America thanks to the European vibes (well, obviously, as Boston is part of New England).

I should say it now: I loved Boston, I thought it was a beautiful and friendly city and it felt like home, as the houses and some streets like Beacon Street reminded me of Glasgow. It’s an expensive city though, so make sure to budget your trip properly to fully enjoy your time there.

I’m going to start this article with the photo of the building I was dying to see. Can you guess now what is my favourite series ever? #90sTeam

There is a wee clue in the photo when you look closer =D

14 Beacon Street

Anyway, there are things I always do when I travel. I made it a tradition: I book a ticket for a gig and I go to an open mic (when I find one). It’s so nice to jam with talented musicians from other countries and to share our culture.

I did some research before flying to Boston and I found out that an open mic night was on every monday in a pub called “BeBop” in the corner of my hostel’ street. How convenient!

I felt comfortable as soon as I got in. It’s a cosy place and the photos on the walls give the pub some musical vibes straight away.

I got in touch with the host of the night Dylan a few days before arriving and he was happy to play my open mic song “What’s up” by 4 Non Blondes. I call it that as it’s a 3 chords song so whenever I feel like singing, any guitarist can play it for me.

I had a blast even if I was still jet-lagged and my voice wasn’t at its best, but it was great to share the stage with so many great talents. The people were very welcoming and were listening to the music. Nobody was chatting during the performances.

If you plan on travelling to Boston and you’re interested in singing there, just know that you have to book a slot (I booked it 2 weeks beforehands, and it was almost fully booked already).

BeBop

1116 Boylston St

Boston, MA 02215


On the next day, Natasha Bedingfield was playing the Wilbur, a beautiful theater in Boston, city centre.

I wanted to book my ticket in advance on ticketmaster, but I had to pay $11 for booking fees so I decided to go to the theater on the day to buy my ticket, as I noticed that the gig was far from being sold out. And I got lucky because I got a ticket in the VIP section for $45, which means I was 2 tables away from the stage (it was the closest I’ve ever gotten to a stage =D ) and a waitress was bringing me drinks all the way through the gig. Fancy!

I had no idea Natasha Bedingfield could sing like that. She can hit some impressive notes and makes it sound so easy!

She’s definitely cut out for live performances. She has an incredible stage presence, she is very talkative and she can work a crowd. I guess her songs are just perfect for a live show, as they are entertaining and make you feel like dancing. I loved how she interacted with her band, we can feel a great chemistry between them.

9 years after releasing her last album “Strip Me”, she’s coming back with “Roll with me”. And it all seems familiar: we get the catchy melodies, some hip hop beats and disco vibes sometimes as well. Her music is still very early 2000’s, and she is so good at it.

She started out with Real Love from her latest album and I have to say I was very impressed.

It’s a difficult song to open with technically speaking but it’s also an obvious choice as the pop rock sound of it sets out the gig: it’s going to be full of energy. And it definitely was, even if we shared some emotional moments, especially during the song “King of The World”, written for her little boy. It’s such a tender song, it was very moving.

I loved the live arrangements of “These words”, this song is so powerful! This live version was even better than the original.

I’m very happy I finally got to see her live, as I have a soft spot for her ever since I did a singing competition called “Avon Voices” in 2011. She was one of the judges, along with Delta Goodrem, Sheila E. and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, among others.

The setlist

The Wilbur

246 Tremont St

Boston, MA 02116


Finally, I wanted to take a tour of Berklee college of music ‘s campus. Berklee is one of the most famous music school in America as some amazing talents such as Quincy Jones, Diana Krall or John Mayer studied there.

Berklee is a private school and you need to audition to get a chance to study there and possibly to get a scholarship as well.

The college offers a wide range of programs and courses: songwriting, jazz composition, music business/management, film scoring, music therapy …

I thought for a second of applying, as I’m an optimistic though pretty naive girl. And then I found out about the tuition fees, close to $45 000 and something like $60 000 if you choose to live in the student accomodation, which give you access to rehearsal rooms.

We visited the recording studios, where iconic celebrities recorded some music such as Bruce Springsteen or Celine Dion.

Studying at Berklee gives the students a real chance to network and to attend masterclasses and workshops with well-known people from the music industry. If you come from Berklee, people know that you’re talented before they actually hear you sing or play.

Berklee hosts events regularly to promote their students and to give them the opportunity to perform in front of a crowd.

I went to a concert which featured the best songwriters and guitarists of Berklee and I have to admit that the students were incredible. They sounded like professionals and I genuinely wondered what more they could learn at school. They were playing their own songs in a variety of settings.

This was my last evening in Boston, and it ended on a very good note! (See what I’m doing here? =D )

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