That time I saw Sam Smith and gave 15 year olds life advice

That time I saw Sam Smith and gave 15 year olds life advice
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On Saturday, July 18, Sam Smith brought his falsetto to Time Warner Cable Arena. I was fortunate enough to be there, on the floor no less, with my musical soul sister, Magen.

Back singing after having surgery on his vocal cords, Sam informed the crowd that this was his first full length concert since the surgery. His voice was smooth and he had no problem hitting those high notes. My voice did not fair as well. I was singing along to his songs and even tried to hit the high notes resulting in a raspy scratchy voice. It was all worth it though.

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He spoke to the crowd about wanting to create honest and authentic music for his fans. He told stories of the meaning of some of his songs and discussed heartbreak, hope, and how he had to fight to create the type of music he wanted to create. He did a tribute to Amy Winehouse and sang Winehouse’s “Tears Dry on Their Own,” and, as the tune borrows from Marvin Gaye’s and Tammi Terrell’s hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” he and his backup singers did a mash up of both songs.  “Latch” his hit with Disclosure took a slower pace that showcased more of the lyrics and his singing style than the fast beats of the version heard on the radio.

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He complimented Charlotte over and over again for the warm and kind reception our city had for him and his music. I felt a sense of pride for my city as he kept saying this – it really was a great night for music and for Charlotte.

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The concert was incredible not only because of his talent, or the fact that he only has one album released and a long career ahead of him; it was incredible because Magen and I met two 15 year old girls in front of us who were attending their first ever concert. Their parents had chipped in to buy the girls floor tickets and the parents weren’t far away in section 104.

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We started talking to them and, with our vodka drinks in hand, proceded to give them life lessons. Here are some of the pearls of wisdom we imparted to them.

(1) Cultivate true friendships with people that will be there when you need them, and will go on adventures with you, like going to concerts.

(2) Travel and travel often, particularly out of the country to expand your way of thinking.

(3) Before you graduate college and apply for jobs, clean up your social media pages and get a LinkedIn (or the equivalent at the time) profile set up.

(4) If you want to wear heels to a concert, wear wedges or boots, but not stilettos. It will give you a few extra inches of height if you’re on the floor and will be more comfortable for your feet.

(5) Go on your own path. Throughout your life you’ll hear a lot of what you should do, but remember you don’t have to listen.

(6) Don’t be afraid to go after what you want. Magen and I gave the example of how we wanted to be closer to the stage, so we acted like we were trying to meet up with “bae” at the front. It got us about 7 rows back from the stage, but I’m not sure this was the best example.

(7) Love your mom and when you move away from home, don’t forget to call her often.

(8) You only get one life, so live it up.

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We drank our vodka drinks and felt proud that we had instructed the next generation on the ways of the world. As we were leaving the floor they thanked us for our advice and wished us a great night.

Magen and I headed outside to grab our Uber and marveled at our night. Then we talked about how we couldn’t wait to call our moms the next day and let them know about Sam, the music and how we had another adventure together.

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