September 27, 2011 | Posted By: Liem Nguyen
Lately, I've been going to many shows just to say I've met another artist and hear a few of their greatest singles or best covers, but this time, it is different. I went to a show because this singer/songwriter is extremely talented who has an angelic voice that flows like water when she sings, and it can be heard through all of her songs. This artist is the one and only Priscilla Ahn. The last time I was this excited to meet and hear artists perform live was for Marié Digby and Kina Grannis. Priscilla was born and raised in a small town in Georgia and Pennsylvania. She later moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career in music.
Unlike many other artists who received their fame from YouTube, MySpace, or Facebook, Priscilla became a raising star through the old fashion way, by doing small shows and gigs. It eventually landed her a record label deal with the Blue Note Records where she released her first album called "A Good Day" in 2008. Her debut album received great reviews and her single "Dream" can be heard in numerous TV shows and movies such as "One Tree Hill", "Ghost Whispers", "My Sister's Keeper", "Distrubia", "Bride Wars", and "Love Happens". Recently, she even performed the same song on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" and "Dancing with the Stars".
Almost three years after her debut album, she releases her sophomore album with the same record label called "When You Grow Up". This album showed how much her music has grown since her first album, and is just as good.Several months later, Priscilla announces that she would be having a 15-city tour starting in Arlington, Virginia and finishing up in Seattle, Washington to promote her newest album.
I first heard of Priscilla Ahn and her music a couple of years back when I was introduced to Marié Digby's music from my cousin. My cousin said that I should check out Priscilla because she's just as good or even better. Back then, I was not very open to new music and music that were too mellow and slow. It wasn't until I started listening to Kina Grannis' music and hearing Priscilla's songs in several movies that I started to like her music a lot more. Furthermore, when I saw Priscilla perform on "Dancing With The Stars", it made me want to see Priscilla perform live because she has such a beautiful voice and and writes beautiful songs.
After patiently waiting for many years, I found out Priscilla was finally coming to back to IOTA in Virginia. When she was here in Virginia the first time, I didn't know her. I was so excited! How lucky can I be to be able to meet so many talented artists from the west coast! At first, I heard she was touring in Maryland which would have been at least a two and a half hour drive from where I live. I would have gone out of my way for the show because everyone who has seen her perform live says she sounds even better in person. After doing a bit more research on her website, I found out that she was actually coming a week earlier in Arlington, Virginia which is much closer to home. I was so excited and worried at the same time because the venue didn't have a link to purchase tickets. I thought I was too late and thought the show was sold out. I decided to call the venue and thankfully they said that the venue doesn't sell tickets in advance, and that I would have to come early to pay the cover fee. I made a quick decision to take the day off so I could get there early and guarantee myself a seat and ticket into the show.
On the day of the show, I had a late lunch eating Peking duck with some friends in Falls Church. Afterwards, I decided to head straight to Arlington and arrive there early because I've never been to the IOTA venue before and didn't know what to expect in terms of getting seats and buying tickets. I didn't want to sit in the back of the room. I arrived in Arlington around a little after 3pm. I was able to get a really great street parking right in front of the venue. I noticed that no one had arrived yet, so I decided walk around the vicinity instead of heading in and sitting awkwardly in the venue for several hours by myself. I found out there was a shopping center where they had an Apple Store and Barnes & Noble, so I hung out at those stores for about an hour then head back to IOTA. By that time, it was just before 5pm and still there was barely anyone at the venue, even Priscilla has not arrived yet. This was definitely the first time that I've ever arrived at a show this early. They let me in, and I was able to save a table for myself as well as some friends that would be arriving later.
I was really glad I came early because what happens next is something that I should have expected, but still was caught off-guard. Priscilla arrived at the venue about 5:15pm, and she was in jeans and sweats with coffee from Starbucks at hand. She was just a few feet away from where I was sitting, and I took a second glance and called out her name. She looked up at me, smiled, and responded, "Oh, hi there!" I so star struck because she came out of nowhere! Since I didn't know if she was going to have a meet and greet after the show, I had to take the opportunity and asked her for a picture. Even though she hasn't changed into her on-stage outfit and didn't have make up on, she still graciously agreed to take a picture with me. The show has not even started yet and she has already made my day and will make my night! After the picture with Priscilla, she started to unpackage her boxes, set up her equipment, and did a sound check with her touring band. It was an amazing experience to see the great Priscilla do her sound check since other venues usually don't let you come in until the artists finished doing their sound check. Even during sound check, Priscilla sounded incredible!
The show started about 8pm, and Milow from Belgium opens the show for Priscilla. He performs his set for about 45 minutes. Priscilla took the stage around 9pm. She performed a total of fifteen songs for her set, and it consists of songs from both of her albums. Hearing her perform live was just out of this world. Her voice was just magnificent and divine live and in-person just like everyone said.
Be sure to check out the video performances and prologues from the show in its entirety below. Hope you enjoy the videos as much as I enjoyed hearing Priscilla perform live.
[ Prologue | Performance ] Wallflower
[ Prologue | Performance ] Oo La La
[ Prologue | Performance ] Vibe So Hot
[ Prologue | Performance ] When You Grow Up (Music Video)
[ Prologue | Performance ] Dream (Music Video)
[ Prologue | Performance ] In A Tree
[ Prologue | Performance ] Elf Song
[ Prologue | Performance ] Lost Cause
[ Prologue | Performance ] The Boob Song
[ Prologue | Performance ] Torch Song (Music Video)
[ Prologue | Performance ] I Will Get Over You
[ Prologue | Performance ] Cry Baby
[ Prologue | Performance ] Red Cape
[ Prologue | Performance ] Leave The Light On
[ Prologue | Performance ] Find My Way Back Home
Her set list lasted for a little over an hour. Her performances were so complete. I just wished she performed the song she did with Tiesto called "I Am Strong". She came well prepared with many instruments such as a looping device, kazoo, ukulele, and guitar in her performances. She also had Gary Fukushima on keyboard and Wendy Wang on bass guitar. These two made Priscilla's performance sound more full and just like it sounded on the CD albums. Later in the show, Priscilla also mentions that Wendy has her own band called The Sweet Hurt. Wendy also has great music and everyone should check her band out. Before the show ended, Priscilla announced that she would be sticking around after the show to meet everyone! When I heard that, I was overly excited because I wasn't sure if she was having one or not.
The show ended some time about or after 10pm. I wish she could have sang for a few more hours, but I shouldn't complain since having her perform live in Virginia was already a honor and a privilege. She was so great on stage and some of her stories were just hilarious and entertaining. After the show ended, we all headed over to the merchandise stand in front of the venue and got ourselves some Priscilla Ahn albums and merch. I was so surprised she was selling not just her newest album but all her past album and her older EP. I got them all for a price of $30. A pretty good deal, I have to say. Not soon after, Priscilla came out to meet everyone. Since IOTA is a pretty low key venue, the line to meet Priscilla wasn't very long.
After a short period of waiting, it was finally my turn to see Priscilla (again). I'm a pro waiting in line for meet and greets. While waiting, I unwrapped all the albums and took out the disc out of the covers so Priscilla can easily sign them. She was so sweet! Before signing the albums, she asked if I wanted them all signed out to me or just sign it. I told her to sign it out to me and spelled out my name. While she was signing the albums, I told her that it was a dream come true to see her perform live and finally meet her because I thought I would never get the chance. Once all the albums were signed, I asked Priscilla for another picture. Two pictures with Priscilla in one night! Score!
Since I vowed to always bring my DSLR with flash to these shows to get the best pictures as possible at the meet and greets, I also took pictures of some friends with Priscilla. Left picture is with Joanne and Dan and the right picture is with Joanne and her friend Rose.
Finally, we all left IOTA together with great memories of seeing Priscilla Ahn in Virginia. We can't thank her enough for coming to town, performing for us live, and meeting all of us! Thank you so much, Priscilla!
If you're interested to learn more about Priscilla Ahn's music or want to know more about Priscilla, check out her website and social network pages.
If you'd like to read up on more shows and see more pictures and videos I've taken at live shows, please be sure to visit http://shows.LiemPhoto.com.