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  • YouTube's DigiTour 2011 opening night in Los Angeles

    Thu, 14 Apr 2011 12:05:47

    YouTube's DigiTour 2011 opening night in Los Angeles  - YouTube fans were out in full force Tuesday night as they packed the famous El Rey theater in Los Angeles for the opening night of DigiTour 2011.

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    Let the digital revolution begin! YouTube fans were out in full force Tuesday night as they packed the famous El Rey theater in Los Angeles for the opening night of DigiTour 2011.

    The tour, which is presented by YouTube, features fourteen of the hottest YouTube acts on a twenty-six city nationwide tour that kicked off last night. The tour will hit major cities like San Francisco, Phoenix, Austin, Atlanta, and New York, before finally ending in Miami on May 15th. While the show's lineup will change throughout the tour, some of the popular YouTube acts that are featured include Ricky Ficarelli, MysteryGuitarMan, David Choi, DeStorm, The Gregory Brothers, and Dave Days.The tour will also feature new, previously recorded video content from some of your favorite YouTube stars, woven in between the live musical acts.

    The evening began with a brief introduction from the show's MC, Los Angeles radio personality Manny Streetz. Streetz is best known to his fans as "Manny on the Streetz," and is a regular on 102.7 KISS-FM's morning show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest. The show started off with Streetz addressing the packed house, which included pop music diva and tabloid-fodder Britney Spears. The rest of the crowd was comprised of local LA hipsters, sporting the standard skinny jeans and ironic facial hair, as well as Hollywood insiders and an enthusiastic group of avid YouTube fans. In fact, there was one gentlemen standing in front of me who could have easily been in his early fifties and was dancing up a storm! You could tell that he was a true fan and was really enjoying the show, which just goes to prove that these YouTube acts can really reach a wide demographic with their audience.

    The first act of the night was Nice Peter who performed with Dante. Peter is a popular improv comedian and musician who has made a name for himself online playing funny and clever songs with his guitar. The musician/comedian, who has over 324,000 subscribers on YouTube, did not disappoint the crowd and even took a few requests from the audience. Nice Peter was followed by an original DigiTour short that featured everyone's favorite evil-citrus, Annoying Orange and also included the Annoying Orange Theme Song. The stage was set up with the musicians equipment in the middle and a large LCD screen on the left hand side, which is where the video was played. The screen also displayed the DigiTour Twitter feed during the performances so that the audience could communicate with the artists in true YouTube fashion.

    Next up was freestyling rap artist DeStorm, who performed with Freddie Wong and DJ Shammy. DeStorm has almost one million subscribed fans on YouTube and is the websites number one rapper. Whether you are a fan of hip-hop or not, you can't deny how talented the young rap artist is. Along with a video accompaniment, DeStorm performed a song about his own life that included one hundred movie titles in the lyrics. The artist also had the audience wave their cell phones in the air (I still remember when people waved lighters at concerts), and tweet random lines to him that he then incorporated into his freestyle rap. Finally, he was joined briefly by the show's headliner, Dave Days, and performed a cover of Kanye West's "All Of The Lights."

    DeStorm was followed by popular YouTube performer Brett the Intern, who entertained the crowd with his sharp and self deprecating wit. Brett explained that he recently submitted an application to former-TV star and current TMZ regular Charlie Sheen, who is holding a contest to find a summer intern. Brett explained that out of over seven thousand applicants, he has been selected for the top fifty that are being considered to assist the tragic star. Considering that the word "intern" is actually in his name, I think Brett will make an excellent candidate.

    MysteryGuitarMan, who has over two million subscribed fans on YouTube and is number six in the world, performed next. He was joined by Chris Thompson, as well as DeStorm who freestyled on one of his songs. MGM, as he is often referred to by his fans, also got behind the drums and invited members of the audience on stage while he performed a number he called his "Happy Dance." MGM's real name is Joe Penna and the guitarist/animator hails from Brazil but now resides in Los Angeles.

    Musical group The Gregory Brothers describe their act as "Country & Soul, Folk & Roll," but YouTube fans know them best for their very popular "Auto-Tune the News" series of videos. As fans of the group know, The Gregory Brothers perform alongside TV news clips altered with the Auto-Tune effect and then create entirely new songs based on the footage. The group, which consists of Michael Gregory on drums and vocals, Andrew Rose Gregory on guitar and vocals, Evan Gregory on keys and vocals, and Sarah Fullen Gregory on bass and vocals, has over 847,000 subscribers on YouTube. But they gained international attention this year when Oscar nominee and host, James Franco introduced a segment that the group did for the Academy Awards telecast, which featured them lending their special brand of magic to clips from four different 2010 motion pictures. By all accounts, the segment was the most popular moment in an otherwise underwhelming telecast.

    Last night, they performed some of their most popular songs including the "Bed Intruder Song" and the "Double Rainbow Song," while the video played on the screen beside them. They also performed numbers that incorporated video of Charlie Sheen and politician/Samuel L. Jackson look-a-like James McMillan from the "Rent Is Too Damn High Party," a New York-based political party. Their performance was one of the highlights of the show and made it clear to anyone not already familiar with The Gregory Brothers that they are a very talented group of musicians and not just some novelty act.

    Finally, after one last original video segment that featured the extremely popular Ask a Ninja, the show's headliner, musician Dave Days entered the stage. Days has over 1.5 million subscribed fans on YouTube and is the number one musician in the world. Playing alongside Days was drummer Ricky Ficarelli who has over 46,000 subscribers on YouTube. It should also be noted that Ficatelli played drums during both DeStorm and MysteryGuitarMan's sets earlier in the night. Much like The Gregory Brothers, Days is a very gifted musician and electrified the crowd with his rock inspired tunes. The evening concluded with all the acts from the DigiTour joining Days for one last song.

    In the end, if nothing else, the evening's events prove one thing: there is a lot more happening on YouTube than just silly videos of people's pets! There is an entire network of talented artists, who thanks to YouTube, now have an immediate way of reaching and communicating with their fans.

    You can view photos here and here!

    —Jami Philbrick
    04.14.11




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    Tags: Britney Spears, Kanye West, The Gregory Brothers, Ryan Seacrest, Charlie Sheen, James Franco

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