Z Berg has a vision that only a woman born and raised in the sometimes glamorous, always sunny Los Angeles, California could possibly have. Her eclectic music taste, worldly experiences, and admiration for decades she’s never seen before come together to produce shows that are not only a visual journey, but a spiritual one, too. She takes over multiple rooms and dresses up the walls with strings of fairy lights to offset the warm ambience provided by the red stage lights. Stepping into Z’s world is like stepping over the threshold between Echo Park and a fairytale—which is exactly why I flew 2,735 miles from Philadelphia, PA to Los Angeles, California to experience the magic on September 30 for myself. And I’ll do it again and again.
Z Berg and Friends is exactly how it sounds. It’s a concert hosted by Z Berg and performed by herself and her extremely gifted friends. This past show included the talents of Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Ethan Gruska, Natalie Bergman, Joe Keefe, Jonny Fritz, Paige Anderson, and some super special guests, most notably Ryan Ross (Panic! At The Disco, The Young Veins), and the hilarious, but dated comedian Bobcat Goldthwait. While the set list included some dark, emo tunes from all performers, the show itself kept everyone on the edge of their seats and flowed nicely from one act to the next, and before we knew it, the two hour concert was over. Isn’t it crazy how quickly time flies by?
When Z announced the show on August 29 via Instagram, giving attendees just one month to prepare, I signed right onto Delta.com and without hesitation, purchased a one-way ticket to Los Angeles for $137. I did it without thinking or planning. I did it without even having a ticket to the concert yet. I did it because I promised myself after missing her last show in May, that I’d make it to her next one. This one just so happened to line up with my pre-planned vacation, which made it that much easier for me to attend. So that night, I completed the trip by purchasing my flight from LA to Orlando ($140) for my vacation, and finally the actual ticket to attend Z Berg and Friends ($12).
I quickly learned not to jump the gun when planning a trip across the country because closer to the event date, I had to change my flight to Orlando to give myself more time for Z’s show, which cost me an extra $180, but also taught me to always buy trip insurance. Including a two-night stay in a hotel split between two other friends, my total came to $530 for this little vacation detour, but that price didn’t include our trips In-N-Out, Cinnaholic, and Starbucks, and Uber rides to and from the airport.
Like any concert these days, this event was full to the brim with my own friends; all from the internet and all from different parts of the country, all flown in for this one special night, and giving a new meaning to Z Berg and Friends. Extra emphasis on friends. I got to see old friends I hadn’t seen in a year, and meet up with new friends I’d never seen in person before. I’ll admit that the 12 year old emo kid still alive in me loved to see and meet Ryan Ross, but altogether, this trip was about friendship.
Aside from seeing Z and her crew, I was able to see parts of Hollywood that I didn’t experience when visiting the city with my high school back in 2010. My best friend and I got to stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, eat at In-N-Out (which tastes just like Wendy’s in my opinion), and strum a few ukuleles at the biggest Guitar Center I’ve ever seen. All of this sounds really mediocre looking back, but the time I spent with someone I adore so much meant the world to me. The entire weekend meant the world to me.
Hundreds of dollars later and I can confidently say that this trip was absolutely worth it. I can’t wait to do it all over again in December for Z’s Christmas show.
All Out Of Tears – Z Berg feat. Friends
I Fall For The Same Face Every Time – Z Berg
Time Flies – Z Berg feat. Joe Keefe
Skin and Bones - Z Berg ft. Paige Anderson
Better the Devil You Know - Z Berg
Calm Before The Storm – Z Berg feat. Ryan Ross
Sealed with a Kiss (Bobby Vinton Cover) – Z Berg feat. Ryan Ross https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTsxDleOK2c
To find out more about Z Berg, check out her website (featuring fantastic hand-made merch!), and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify and Youtube. Her newest single, "All Out Of Tears" is out now, and for all our SoCal friends (or those willing to fly out for this one of a kind show), keep an eye out for her December show, details to be announced!