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For a Singer Who is “All About That Bass”: Meghan Trainor at Radio City Music Hall

My generation ( of music lovers grew up purchasing cassette tapes, usually just the hot new single. I did this for ninety-nine cents at The Wiz and it was every bit as magical each time. An actual store with all types of music from any year you wished. These were the priceless days before Amazon, iTunes, and whatever the hell you kids are using now.

I was ok when we made the move to Compact Discs (CDs), I am even listening to one right now on my computer, but even then buying an entire album was a roll of the dice. Not only could you not preview it ahead of time, you had to wait for the song to come on the radio or worse MTV before you knew what you liked. The odds of buying an album and liking every single song was a rarity. No matter how we (really you more than me) listen to music now, it is just as hard to love every song by an artist no matter how talented they are.

For me there are only three exceptions to this rule. The first is Ms. Alicia Keys ( A talented songwriter who puts on one hell of a show, I try to get to her concerts whenever she is in town. Her voice and lyrics move me beyond belief. To me she is a real “superwoman”.

The second is Taylor Swift and her album “1989” specifically. Despite the fact that I am Team Kardashian-West I have to keep myself honest, since Anderson Cooper isn’t here, unfortunately. This latest album by T.S. was really easy to listen to with a lot of upbeat songs. I don’t care about the lyrics as much as the beat. I cannot handle too many quiet, slow songs on my iPod. Get over it I am living in the past!

But my third exception is my newest much loved artist. Her album have managed to do the impossible, play an album all the way through over and over again. Even more unique she has done this for her two consecutive albums. This artist of course is Meghan Train and the albums are “Title” and “Thank You”.

My addiction to Meghan and her music led me to purchase tickets to her current tour, The Untouchable Tour. The location was Radio City Music Hall. My date for the evening was my mother; as this was her Mother’s Day present this year. We were excited just like everyone in the area seemed to be, even in Ted’s Montana Grill (see previous blog).

When I arrived at the theater there was a crowd but the doors were already open and people were eagerly entering. As soon as I got in I bought the shirt that has my favorite lyrics of all time on it “I'd wanna be me, too”. So much better than your standard concert tee with the tour city locations listed on the back. I know where I saw the show I just need something unique to announce to the world what I am thinking in case it is not obvious. With that settled I turned my attention to finding my seats.

This is the video for “Me Too”. I dare you to watch and remain calm.

Can I just say how beautiful Radio City is? Every time I walk in I am always blow away all over again. You wouldn’t even know how many crowds of people are in and out every day. It is immaculate and pristine. It looks like it just opened with elegant décor you don’t find much nowadays. It is like stepping back in time while listening to music of the modern age. What a concept.

I could not have been more comfortable. The seats were cushioned and roomie. There were no drink holders but there was plenty of legroom. I didn’t have to get up every time some one walked in or out of the aisle. The view was also pretty great considering we were sitting in the mezzanine. Overall the perfect seat gives way to a perfect evening.

The last time I was here was way back in 2011 when I saw Janet Jackson perform ( That was sort of disastrous. I had a good time with my friends but Janet wasn’t what I hoped she would be. In her defense I grew up listening to her so I might have expected more than the ole girl could or would give. Her opening act was beyond awful. That’s what I remember most of all. Well that and that the balcony felt like it was going to collapse from the steady shaking from the audience’s dance moves. I am happy to report no such thing happened this time around.

Before Meghan Trainor there were two opening acts and I hadn’t heard of either of them. Common Kings went on first and I walked in when they were about half way through their act. I didn’t mind their sound but it was too loud and I couldn’t understand the words.

Out next came Hailee Steinfeld. The crowd of nine-year-old girls spread out in the audience went bananas. This adorable teenager/young woman singer came out with a serious group of backup dancers. The first few songs all sounded like one long song to me. But then again I am probably the only six year old who saw The Rockettes Christmas Show and slept through the whole thing I was so bored. The same thing happened when I gave it a chance over ten years later. I have always been a tough nut to crack.

As Hailee made her way through her hits we arrived at a song with a popular tune, at least for the nine-year-old girl closest to me. She jumped up and shouted “that’s a Justin Bieber song maybe he is coming out”. While I felt for her excited little heart I thought to myself please God don’t let him be here, they will all loose it. He of course was not to their dismay but Hailee continued on singing his song, “Love Yourself”. That wise little girl had taught me a lot in a very short about of time.

Her final song turned out to be one I knew and loved. I once watched “How to Be Single” on an airplane and surprisingly thought it was cute. What got my attention was the song at the end, apparently sung by Hailee herself, “Love Myself”.

Take a look and listen here:

I read online that this is a “dirty” song about showing oneself some very private self-love. I did not take to that meaning. I loved the self-love that is so complete you don’t need to look to anyone else for your happiness. That you love yourself faults and all. It is the first step to being able to love someone else.

This song actual was the perfect song to end with to segway into the introduction of our headliner.

Besides her spunky up-tempo songs it is the meaning behind them that are truly my favorite parts of Meghan Trainor’s music. She sings about positive body image, demanding respect from relationships, and the values her parents taught her. Her ability to share her emotions and messages with songs that often rhyme and make me laugh with the words she chooses to use, make her the great songwriter she is. It is why I find her songs addicting and why I can listen to them endlessly on repeat. Meghan being a songwriter and not just a singer is a quality I highly regard. That is altogether another talent just like my dear Alicia Keys. The ability to perform both roles is remarkable when you consider how few pop stars do so nowadays.

Her set was basic but the show was anything but. There were only a handful of costume changes with the aid of her mother Kelli Trainor, as Meghan informed us. She isn’t much of a dancer but her energy comes across nonetheless. The side screens in the music hall weren’t used just the giant one behind the band on the stage.

The band themselves were quite talented as proved by Meghan’s choice to have James Casey join her singing “Like I’m Gonna Loose You”. It gave me chills.

This is their performance from the night I was there.

But the performance of the night goes to Meghan’s father, Gary Trainor. Her song “Dance Like Yo Daddy” is a funny well thought-out song about how she relaxes dancing for fun, not for show. As if the images on the screen behind her of her dad dancing in all these random locations weren’t enough the man himself came out on stage to dance with his daughter!! This was a HUGE hit.  I laughed while I sang my ass off.

That song was one of a long line of choreographed acts that still managed to seem like it was the first time. Acts like this one continually draws me to the theater and all sorts of live shows. It is the ultimate sign of a good entertainer. Meghan Trainor certainly is in a league of her own.

For those that are curious here is the set list we were treated to. Please note that all future tour dates are subject to change.

"Woman Up"
"Just a Friend to You"
"Watch Me Do"
"Like I'm Gonna Lose You"
"Me Too"
"Bang Dem Sticks"
"Dear Future Husband"
"Throwback Love"
"Lips Are Movin"
"I Love Me"
"Champagne Problems"
"Dance Like Yo Daddy"
"I Won't Let You Down"
"All About That Bass"
"One Dance" (Drake cover)
"Good to Be Alive"
"Forgive Me Father"
"Kindly Calm Me Down"
"Thank You"
"Hopeless Romantic"

Besides being welcomed into her inner circle and meeting her family I learned a great deal about Meghan’s background during this show. She is originally from Nantucket, MA where her grandparents still live and who happened to be in the audience that night.

My research informed me that prior to her record deal with Epic Records she lived briefly in Nashville with a local record company signing her. She has had a deal since she was seventeen, no small feat in today’s cutthroat entertainment business. For someone who is only now twenty-two she has succeeded more than many. I can only imagine the treat we are in for on her next album. This secondary effort came upon the heels of her first so my question is will she be taking a break? Or continuing her meteoric rise? We will have to wait with baited breath to find out.

Joe Coscarelli of the New York Times wrote a piece about Meghan Trainor last January. It was incredibly illuminating.

Among my favorite quotes from him:

“Combining the retro sound and technical proficiency of Adele and Amy Winehouse (if they wore more pastels), with the relatively safe, singsong rhymes of Ms. Azalea (sans the rap music signifiers), Ms. Trainor is a musical chameleon, fluent in many styles from her time as a hired gun writing for other artists.”

Ahh that’s why I love her! I was a HUGE Amy Winehouse fan and miss what might have been everyday. So sad to see such a talented life wasted. Her voice, style, and gift were so uniquely hers. They hardly make them like that anymore.

As for Meghan:

“Everyone asks me, are you scared to be a one-hit wonder? No I’m a songwriter. That’s not even my best one.” (referring to “All That Bass”)

I would have to agree. Each song is better than the next, and I am not even talking about “Better” which had its video debut last week. Her video costar Beau Bridges tweeted that Meghan can now add talented actress to her resume. That listed is just going to keeping growing.

It just goes to show you, you can learn something from someone you don’t know, even when they are younger than you.

Meghan Trainor is encouraging us (as well as herself perhaps) to demand the love and life we deserve- a goal I can relate to.

Each day I try to remember her wise words:

“Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”.

The same is true for you.

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