Kesha. Lorde. Sam Smith. P!nk. Alessia Cara. Macklemore. Sam Hunt. Khalid. Harry Styles.
One show. One night.
One glance at the promo poster is all it took for Camille and I to immediately purchase our tickets to We Can Survive 2017, an annual benefit concert supporting breast cancer survivors, with a percent of the proceeds going to the Young Survival Coalition. Nothing is better than good music for a good cause.
On the day of October 21st, Camille and I headed to the Hollywood Bowl, dressed in our loveliest Millennial pink. This show was both our first times inside the historic venue, and it was as impressive as we’d imagined. Located smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, the outside portion of the venue twisted around an enormous hill. The miscellaneous stands for food, beer, and merchandise looked powerful, glamorous, and like one hell of a leg workout. Once inside the iconic bowl, we made our way over to our seats. The first thing we noticed were the tiny programs and LED bracelets, which had meticulously been placed on every single seat in the amphitheater. The LED bracelets later turned out to play a major role in the concert, and they really were a beautiful touch. The Hollywood Bowl seats 17,500, so I’d like to extend the biggest thank you and respect to the workers who went through the immense time and effort to make that happen for everyone in attendance. Once the programs were flipped through, and the bracelets were put on wrists, it was just a waiting game. The show started about 15 minutes past schedule, and the lineup had been changed, but none of that mattered once Khalid hit the stage, kicking off the whole event.
Due to the broad variety in artists performing that night, people from all ages and walks of life were in attendance. Although Camille and I weren’t hardcore fans of every single act, the energy in the atmosphere was contagious. We found ourselves standing, dancing, or singing along for basically the whole show. A big thing I’ve learned through going to festivals and benefits as opposed to straight one or two act concerts, is that it’s a totally different ball game. Yes, you’re there for the music, but it’s guaranteed you’re not going to be wholeheartedly ecstatic about every person on the lineup… at least not at first. The beauty of these shows is finding yourself getting lost in the atmosphere, the unity, and the cause. For instance, even though I’d never listened to Sam Hunt in my life, there’s something about being in a place with thousands of other people, and partying along to the strangers next to you that made me excited to sing a song about a back road I’ve never been on. Shows like this are magical, and every single one feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We Can Survive was no exception.
Highlights of the night included Kesha’s powerhouse vocals, and enviable coordination with her fabulous backup dancers. The reborn artist emerged with a powerful message and stunning stage presence. It was impossible to look away from her. Similarly, Lorde continued to dazzle us all by performing a very dramatic set that included flowy Grecian dresses, mesmerizing movements, and a literal chorus of singers and dancers. Harry Styles was obviously a crowd-pleaser, coming out in slicked back hair and a red suit, swaying and singing with swagger and old school rock ‘n roll influences. He captivated all the young girls in the audience with confident performances of his latest single, “Kiwi”, and a solo rendition of the One Direction hit, “What Makes You Beautiful”.
We Can Survive follows the tradition of bringing out one surprise guest every year, usually a Top 40 superstar that keeps the crowd in heightened anticipation. Rumor had it that popular rapper Logic would be the one taking the stage. But halfway through the show, as the revolving stage was turning, it was announced that none other than Niall Horan was the surprise guest. Two ex-One Direction members in one night? That proved to be too much for the teenage girls in the audience (including Camille), who screamed loud enough cause potential hearing loss. This is where the LED bracelets from earlier came into play. In sync with the song and stage lighting, the bracelets glowed a uniform color all across the arena. A sea of blue lights during “Slow Hands” and a bright golden glow during “Flicker” made for one of the most wonderful and well executed moments of the entire show.
“Get The Party Started” by P!nk marked the beginning of the end as she performed the last set of the night. Her fierce attitude and joy on stage delivered a powerhouse performance. She concluded We Can Survive 2017 with a brilliant rendition of “Raise Your Glass”, which was passionate, hopeful, and the perfect representation of the show’s purpose.
All in all, this concert was a wonderful experience. It was full of good music, hopeful souls, and unity. Every single person at the Hollywood Bowl was there for the same reason: to listen to some great music and fight to find a cure for breast cancer. We Can Survive 2017 was a night to remember, one that left us feeling powerful and optimistic long after the lights went down.