(Kinda) Being There

For some fifteen hours yesterday, I was at — well, near, actually — Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, covering Al Gore’s globalwarmingapalooza, Live Earth.

As always, I didn’t see the show. I mean, I could hear it playing on the flat screens down the hall, but from the one-on-one interview rooms backstage — make that “next door” — it wasn’t much different from being at home. Or being in a hallway using a couple of road cases for a desk, and a cooler for a seat.

MTV News was live blogging the event on our new You R Here blog. I provided much of the “transparency,” as we in the media refer to our “behind the scenes” reportage. I rather like taking the shine off things and painting a more realistic picture; life — as you know — isn’t all its cracked up to be on television.

What follows are excerpts from my three posts, with links to the full reports.

Kids are massing outside of the Giants Stadium already, though the place has a rather “1984” vibe to it. The sun is hot on the pavement, the gates are locked, and there security is as well represented as the audience is. Most Orwellian of all is the recorded message booming through the loudspeakers.

Continue reading “Big Brother Has An Eye On Giants Stadium” here …

Here in East Rutherford, anyway, backstage is actually next door.

The other 364 days of the year, the Live Earth media tent functions as the Giants’ all-weather practice field. Some in the media have already nicknamed the opaque, pressurized dome “Biosphere 3.” The strange half-light and recycled air are reminiscent of a terrarium, plus, we’re fairly certain we won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Continue reading “Swimming With The Backstage Sharks” here…

Everybody knows that the true indication of one’s celebrity is the size of one’s entourage.

In the narrow pipe-and-drape hallways of the Live Earth media tent, the commotion caused by eco-conscious heavyweights tends to precede them.

Continue reading “Petra Nemcova Stops Traffic” here…

We conducted interviews with KT Tunstall, Akon, Ludacris, John Mayer, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Taking Back Sunday, AFI, Fall Out Boy, and actress Rosario Dawson. You can watch all of our interviews here.

Pete Wentz stepped on my toe. Akon’s manager covetted my broadband wireless card. And Rosario, who — believe it or not — fronted my power-punk rock trio side project, Cockfight, at one of our rehearsals — encouraged me to get the band together again.

It was a long day, one made longer by racing home to play beer pong with Abbi, Chris, and Meg. I slid into bed somewhere around four a.m., and thought of that old Toad The Wet Sprocket lyric: “Sometimes when you’re too close to something, you don’t see anything at all.”

Then I fell into a long, deep, dreamless sleep in our air conditioned (sorry, Al) bedroom.

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