iHeart Radio Music Awards 2017

Back in September I worked on the iHeart Radio Music Awards, which will air this Wednesday, November 22nd and Friday, November 24th on The CW. They were taped in Las Vegas the weekend before the massacre on October 1st that resulted in 58 deaths and over 500 injured.

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(photo by Dave Becker for Getty Images)

In the 6+ weeks since, there has been no real progress towards changing gun laws in this country to make firearms harder to purchase. This New York Times article outlines nine tangible steps that can be taken now to reduce gun-related violence, and I’m going to list them here because future lives depend on how seriously we take this as a country:

1. Impose universal background checks before buying a gun. More than four out of five Americans support this measure, to prevent criminals or terrorists from obtaining guns. Harvard research suggests that because of loopholes, 22 percent of guns are acquired without a background check.

2. Ban bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic rifles to fire more like automatics. In Las Vegas, a single gunman was able to shoot hundreds of people because he had converted guns to bump-stock firing.

3. Impose an age limit of 21 on gun purchases. This is already the law for handgun purchases in many states, and it mirrors the law on buying alcohol.

4. Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order. This is a moment when people are upset and prone to violence.

5. Limit gun purchases by any one person to no more than, say, two a month, and tighten rules on straw purchasers who buy for criminals. Make serial numbers harder to remove.

6. Adopt microstamping of cartridges so that they can be traced to the gun that fired them, which is useful for solving gun crimes.

7. Invest in “smart gun” purchases by police departments or the U.S. military, to promote their use. Such guns incorporate technology to restrict their operation, such as not firing without a PIN, a fingerprint or a device in proximity, like a special bracelet, so that children cannot misuse them and they are less vulnerable to theft.

8. Require safe storage, to reduce theft, suicide and accidents by children.

9. Invest in research to see what interventions will be more effective in reducing gun deaths, so we can base our policies on robust evidence.

These are all modest steps that shouldn’t be controversial, and I can’t claim that they would have an overwhelming effect. But public health experts think it’s plausible that well-crafted safety measures could over time reduce gun deaths by one-third — or more than 10,000 a year.

(via this NYT article by Nicholas Kristof)

Nothing else in this post matters nearly as much as the above message. What follows is a recap of a fun music show that I was lucky enough to work on and NOT get shot at while doing my job. Shouldn’t that be a right for everyone?

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We stayed at New York, New York casino, which is next to the concert venue.

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Our venue, T-Mobile Arena:

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The concerts took place over two back-to-back nights. Friday’s concert featured Pink, Harry Styles, Coldplay, Chris Stapleton, Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Weeknd, and David Guetta. Saturday’s concert featured Kesha, Kings of Leon, Lorde, Thomas Rhett, Niall Horan, Miley Cyrus, Big Sean, and DJ Khaled.

(For a look at last year’s festival recap, here is the link: iHeart Radio Music Festival 2016.)

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Here’s host Ryan Seacrest introduces the first performance:

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Pink was up first, and to be honest, she was the highlight of the whole festival for me. Her set included old favorites (like “Raise Your Glass”) and songs off her newest album (like “What About Us”).

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And then Pink flew over the audience! I’ve viewed videos of her aerial artistry before but seeing it in person is even more impressive. These photos don’t do it justice:

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Here’s a quick video I took, which captures the movement better than photos:

Next up, Coldplay performed. They are so fun to watch in person. Chris Martin banters well with the crowd and keeps the energy flowing.

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Here’s some footage of Coldplay’s performance. They played some of their earlier hits like “Fix You” and “Viva La Vida” mixed with newer songs.

The only other artist I stayed in the audience for was Miley Cyrus, and it was really for her last song, “Party in the U.S.A.” She punctuates each chorus with words or phrases that, when achieved, truly make living in the U.S.A. a party — things like equality, justice, compassion, and opportunity.

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So much confetti:

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A short clip of Miley performing:

Miley backstage after her performance:

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Team Script and Team Teleprompter!

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Tori smiles in the foreground and Ryan Seacrest runs his lines in the background:

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Presenter Heidi Klum practices her introduction on prompter:

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Dawson Leery at prompter! 13-year-old Erica would be thrilled to know this happened.

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True story: a group of puppies were brought to the talent area. (!!!) I caught a blurry photo as they were leaving partway through the night.

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The hypnotic Bliss Dance statue by Marco Cochrane is still on display outside the venue — in person, the colors emanating from the woman slowly change from blue to purple to pink, and back again:

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That wraps up this iHeart gig in Vegas. Soon I will share photos from the 6-day road trip I did around the Southwest the week following this event.

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