About a week ago I was packing up my life in preparation to move in with my boyfriend while simultaneously packing for a family trip out west.
As we headed into the newly opened HomeSense, I received an email asking if I was available to experience an exclusive opportunity courtesy of new rewards program VerizonUp. Subject line: “Exclusive Access to Lady Gaga.”
Many of you may not know this, but I am Lady Gaga’s biggest fan. In fact, in 2009 (the year this blog was founded) my second blog post was about her. Read at your own risk, it’s bound to be quite cringy.
Having had a close connection to New York at the time, I had been exposed to her first album prior to its release and was instantly captivated.
Later on, when it came to light Lady Gaga had also been diagnosed with the same auto-immune disorder I battle daily, I felt even deeper of a kindred connection.
Georgina = An Eager Beaver
I immediately responded far too enthusiastically that I was available to attend her concert. About 24 hours passed before I finally received a response letting me know I would not only be enjoying the concert in prime seating, have access to sound check, receive a backstage tour and meal with her some of her other biggest fans, but I would meet Lady Gaga (who is also the first woman to headline Fenway Park ever).
Verizon was also sending along all of the materials a blogger could need to capture sight and sound while there in Fenway Park. I am not embarrassed to admit I cried (of happiness.) Previously when I had tried to see Gaga in concert, things seemed to always fall through at the last minute.
There’s a moment (I have had several) when you realize just how cyclical the blogging journey can be. And for me, the fact that I had started my blog with Gaga, and that same blog was bringing me to her was incredible.
Even more wonderful, the experience I had was almost identical to one a VerizonUp winner would have.
Let’s talk about the gear, VerizonUp, and then the concert, shall we?
The Technology Behind the Experience
The Moto Z2 Play: Transform with Moto Mods: Whether your needs be soulful audio, a powerful zoom, faster focus, or handy projector, Moto Mods opens an entirely new world of functionality for your phone.
The Wear24 Watch: A Verizon Exclusive: this waterproof LTE-connected smartwatch is always linked to your smartphone, allowing you to say in sync hands-free.
Mophie Powerstation: this tiny lifesaver packs an energetic punch that kept myself and two other Gaga fans powered well into the evening. With over 2.4 amps of power, the Mophe provides 8x charging and easily integrates with any phone.
VerizonUp (because… front row seats!)
VerizonUp is not your typical rewards program. Instead of earning humdrum promotional paraphernalia, Verizon is providing their loyal customers who have enrolled in the My Verizon App, with once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the form of VIP tickets.
Verizon is an exclusive partner with Lady Gaga on her U.S. tour, with a dedicated section of seats held just for Verizon Up members. Customers check in to a special location prior to the concert to receive their credentials, relax in the VIP lounge, receive free special Gaga merch and more.
My Concert Experience with Verizon
So what was my experience like? If you have never attended a Lady Gaga concert, go. Not just for the raw talent on display, but Gaga has the most incredible group of fans. I have never been in such a loving environment for a live show before, and doubt I will experience anything like it in the future.
As I attended on Saturday night, Lady G had found out the night prior that her acting coach and mentor Elizabeth Kemp had passed away after a long battle with cancer. She spoke to how instrumental Elizabeth had been in preparing her to film her movie Five Foot Two premiering September 22nd, and reinvigorated her creativity in a way Gaga couldn’t describe.
The Ultimate #VerizonUp Reward
Many of the crew we chatted with that day had been with Lady Gaga for ten years. Even her dancers. She called attention to one dancer in particular who was from Boston, had been on the road with her for 10 years, and during his chemotherapy treatments insisted on not missing a rehearsal.
There were countless times many of us teared up that night. When Gaga gave a heartfelt shoutout to those affected by Hurricane Harvey, to the LGBTQ community, and to all those who felt they had been ostracized or made to feel inferior at some time.
Her parents were both in attendance and Gaga brought them close to the stage to say hello, and thank them for their never-ending support. A jacket she wore in one of her last songs she explained, had been designed and created by her younger sister.
It turns out about ten of my friends were at the concert that night, but I didn’t end up seeing any of them. Instead, I made about 10 new friends who I bonded with immediately over our stories of what brought us to Gaga that night. What it would be like to meet her.
Petey whose mother had helped him create an incredible costume for the evening, and sweet Charly who instantly welcomed me and had heels (and legs) that made him the envy of most female concert-goers.
When it came time to meet Gaga I was nervous and excited. We waited in the Red Sox bullpen while she playfully took photos on the pitchers’ mound to commemorate her time at Fenway.
We were provided numbers that would let us know where we would stand in our photos with her and I was to be on the outside of the group (not directly next to her.)
Stepping into the room, I turned and Gaga smiled and held out her arm to me. I stood staring at her in what must have been a very unattractive manner, but not so quickly recovered and came over to finally meet and take a photo right beside her.
Gracious and emanating positivity, I didn’t dare take a breath for fear of the moment ending. She listened to our thanks and genuinely returned it. It was absolutely one of the most surreal moments of my life and I cannot thank the Verizon team for making this dream come to life.
Go download the VerizonUp app, it’s one of the easiest things you’ll do today and be on your way to your own once-in-a-lifetime experience.