One of the greatest joys I like to partake in is going to concerts, and music festivals in different cities, provinces, and countries in order to go see the artists I like perform.

Concert traveling background

Back in 2014 some old high school friends and I flew to Montreal from Calgary to go to a music festival called Osheaga. It was a riot. We got to spend 10 days in Montreal and were able to see bands such as Outkast, Modest Mouse, Of Monsters and Men, and Phantogram. The list goes on; however, It was a wonderful experience. And Outkast was one of the best concerts I have ever been to in my life, I danced my face off.

The following year my friends and I returned to Osheaga in the summer of 2015. This time we saw Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Childish Gambino, Ben Harper, Tove Lo, and Marina and the Diamonds. Once again I had an amazing experience. Osheaga runs over the course of three days and by the end, you get pretty tired. However, Montreal is a beautiful city, and I love going to watch music for a weekend there.

So what I am trying to get at is that sometimes you have to take a leap and fly to other places to go enjoy artists that you might not normally get the chance to.

It's worth every penny! The experience alone is something on its own that allows you to escape from the day-to-day pressures of your everyday life.

Concert traveling in practice

So this past October I did something completely bonkers! I flew from Calgary, Alberta Canada to London, England in order to go see the group Black Star perform.

Black Star comprises of Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), and Talib Kweli. They released an album together back in September of 1998 self-titled. Although they each have had great success on their own doing solo work, the duo hardly if ever if ever perform together.

I have been listening to Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli for 18 years. They each separately have come to Calgary, Alberta and I have had the joy of seeing them each once. But when I found out that they both would be performing together as Black Star, I bought my concert ticket and then booked my flight to England two weeks later.

I grew up listening to Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli a lot. Countless road-trips, bus rides, workouts, friend's houses, heck even when I was in high school, and university. These two are a big part of my life, a have carried their music with me for almost two decades! So you can see once I saw that they would be performing I had to go.

So I got to London, England with my friend Carson and we got to spend 10 days touring, around the city. we did bus tours, boat tours, we went to Saint Pauls Cathedral, and even the Tower of London. We found some great markets and learned how to navigate the tube lines. The food was fantastic, we ate avocado, and eggs on toast every day, and found an Italian restaurant that made the best pasta I have ever had in my life.

So all this was the bonus of being in England before the show.

So concert day October 20, 2017. It was a bit of an ordeal trying to find the venue where Black Star was to perform; however, we made our way in.

I'm not going to lie when Yasiin Bey and Talib Kweli hit the stage, I almost fell over in joy. They honestly played all my favorite tracks, and then some. They both are so talented. Everyone at the show was having a great time and the moment I got to hear one of my favorite tracks "Umi Say" by Mos Def, I know that the flight across the Atlantic Ocean to go see Black Star live was a great decision.

The story doesn't end after the concert though! I brought a couple album covers and a black sharpie with me to the show.

Back in 2004 after an N.E.R.D concert I brought all that material and met Pharrell Williams after the show. So hoping that my luck would be the same with Black Star, I went in pursuit to find them.

There was an alley I went down where I found a security guard by an open door, I waited there for 30 minutes, but it was worth it. Yasiin Bey walked out and I got to chat with him while he signed my CD covers. I told him I was from Canada and he said "You're from Canada? What are you doing here? That's mental!" I had a good laugh.

Just after Yasiin Bey left, Talib Kweli should up to. I chatted with him a little while he also signed my album cover. He was very friendly and well mannered. I had a gut feeling during the concert that I was going to meet them after the show.

Call it intuition, but I knew I was going to chat with them.

So in conclusion, traveling to go see your favorite artists at concerts and music festivals is worth every penny. I got back from London so relaxed, it truly is amazing when you get the opportunity to go see a great show.

Although I'm not too sure where my next adventure is going to take me, I'm still listening to the great hip-hop that will take me there.