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Student Blog: Live on the Today Show: The Experience of a Lifetime


My mom and I got to see Keith Urban on The Today Show's Citi Concert Series!

Student Blog: Live on the Today Show: The Experience of a Lifetime

For anyone who knows me, two of my favorite things are live music and spontaneous plans. Whenever there is a chance to see an artist I like, I'll somehow find a way to be there even if it's a plan that's pulled together in the matter of minutes. In my experience, the spontaneous concerts are some of the very best and there are never any regrets for going because it's worth all the craziness.

However, due to the pandemic, live music came to a complete stop and is only now making a slow comeback a year and a half later. Any ideas of spontaneity to attend any concert or performance dissipated in the matter of seconds. Throughout the months, I was silently counting down the days until some form of normalcy returned that allowed me to return to what I loved doing more than anything.

That time came quicker than I thought because this past weekend, on Friday, September 3, my mom and I were two of the lucky members of the crowd at Rockefeller Plaza who were beyond excited to see country artist Keith Urban live on the Today Show.

This was not my first time attending a show on the Plaza, I had previously seen the Jonas Brothers and Alessia Cara with my best friend back in 2019, but it was for my mom. I had just returned to college in Pennsylvania and decided to enter the lottery for Fan Passes for the fun of it because I'm not someone to pass up a potential opportunity. Especially because it would be something special to share with my mom of all people.

A day later, I got a call saying I was picked for two Fan Passes and I surprised my mom later that night. The plan was formed in almost no time, we were set! Despite getting almost no sleep the night before due to having to wake up crazy early for the trip into New York in order to be in line for check-in, we both were buzzing with excitement for what was to come.

My mom has been a big fan of Keith Urban for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was younger, probably before I could even talk, his songs were always being played in the house or in the car and I grew up with his music. In 2018, my mom surprised me with tickets to see him live at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn which I was also ironically trying to get tickets to in order to surprise her.

Urban has certainly helped create a stronger bond between my mom and I thanks to his music and decades long career. So when the email came in that he was going to be on the Today Show, I knew we had to go not only because of how amazing it would be to see him live together again, but the experience is like nothing else.

There is something so unforgettable and different about seeing a concert in the middle of New York City that is going to be broadcasted on national television. The first time I ever went, I was stunned over the fact that I was really there in person instead of sitting on the couch in my living room waiting to watch each performance like I had done so many times before. Some would argue it's not worth the lack of sleep to only see a few select songs, but the chance to see an artist you love for free and on such a highly respected stage is incredible.

Like everything else, COVID-19 has changed the way the Today Show runs their concerts. The crowds have been limited to those who receive a Fan Pass and attendance is only available to fully vaccinated individuals in accordance with New York law. The physical Fan Pass lanyards no longer exist, much to our disappointment, and have been replaced with wristbands. But despite the minor changes, the experience was safer to everyone involved and was still just as magical.

My mom and I got in line around five A.M. which wouldn't have been early enough for some other artists, but was perfect for the crowd seeing Urban that morning. After the quick, but efficient check-in process followed by security, we saw the large stage set up and got a spot right at the front! It was easily the closest I've ever been out of all the times I've been at one of these shows which was even cooler.

Student Blog: Live on the Today Show: The Experience of a Lifetime

Soundcheck happened before the broadcast started so we got to hear all the selected songs for the performance a few extra times before the "real" thing. A few pagers and producers filmed videos of us to insert into the show later or instructed us to cheer for every live shot of the Plaza. And during commercial breaks, the hosts of the program came around to take pictures and chat with everyone in the crowd. There was also an extra interview outside the studio we got to see as well.

The performance itself was really great! Although it was only three songs, being able to experience live music for the first time in a year and a half with my mom to see an artist who is both beyond talented but means a lot to both of us, was everything we could have asked for. If you ever have the chance to attend a concert on the Plaza for the Today Show, I cannot recommend it enough. Having the chance to be in the crowd with my mom to see Keith Urban perform on national television was so much fun and a memory I will hold onto forever.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Breanna Ebisch