Once again, one of the Forum members Jesse Zav’s got the chance to meet N.E.R.D. backstage at the M.I.T. University on Friday April 23rd where Pharrell revealed to him that “Hoppin’ Over Fences’ will get a release on the DVD later this year (I Know its more than 8 months since that the skater movie with the anthem was in the Cinema) anyways this has to be the best review of a fan by meeting N.E.R.D. backstage, very inspiring Jesse, very nice done, that was an awesome read, here check it for yourself.
Jesse’s Concert Experience
“Hello everyone, I went to the N.E.R.D. concert at M.I.T. University on Friday April 23rd 2010 and I had the best time ever. I got to go backstage and meet nerd. I type this summary because I am a many year followed fan of Star Trak Neptunes and this weekend has finally completed my love for Star Trak and I was not dissapointed it was everything I could have ever imagined. Now if anyone cares here is my experience.
Got to the show a little early and right off the bat me and my gf saw a yellow tour bus and a kid was walking up into it and I asked him whose it was, he said, the N.E.R.D. band, then shut the door. So we got into the venue, no problems I had my tickets, whatever the show was not even close to being sold out, the capacity was 1100 so it definitely allowed for a lounge personal type of feeling. So Super Mash Bros were performing and I had no interest of getting wild for that so me and the girl were just hanging in the stands. At this time I started to attempt my goal for the night, which was meet my idols for 10 years that I have never been able to do. So I walked over to the area that seperated the lockerrooms (backstage) from the main arena.
At this exact moment who is walking out of the doors into the arena, Shae and Big Ben protectively following behind him. It could not have been more perfect I practically walked right into him, as I was going through the door so was he. I immediately stuck out my hand to show that I acknowledged his involvement, he shook my hand and as I started to say “hey man I’m a huge fan It’s nice to meet you“, Big Ben cautiously warns, “back off bro” lol it was funy I said “absolutely mr big ben, no problems here“. At this point in time I proceeded to explain to Shae, “I’ve been a fan of you guys and The Neptunes pretty much my entire musical life, and I was wondering if you could do me one favor“, Shae: “whats that man” Me: “all I want is one picture with you guys“. he kindly replied to me that it was not a problem and to find him after the show and he will set it up for me.
Totally not what I was expecting. Then something funny happened, He says “I’m Shae” I replied chuckling, “I know exactly who you are man, I am Jesse” as i pointed to my bbc outfit in which every single item was Star Trak affiliated. Lol he looked at me and laughed himself. So we wrapped that up, in which at that time he walked over to a beautiful blonde woman in her middle 20’s it seemed, and a black kid. Later on I saw this kid holding all N.E.R.D.’s coats and hoodies while they were performing. All three were at that point observing the Super Mash Bros and their performance. (It was funny to note that, no one was crowded around these people, they were standing in the middle of the desert alone. Clearly proving that there were not many true N.E.R.D./Star Trak Fans at the entire concert as I oberved from clothing and song reaction).
Ok so thats that, now N.E.R.D. takes stage and the place goes crazy naturally ala in all a stellar performance which included many classics as well as three songs off of the new album, one in which I have never heard before, but when it was played it definitely was a banger and the crowd was going nuts. At one point Pharrell requested that everyone in the stands come down to the floor which was crazy, and the funniest this is that everysingle person did go down to the floor except for one asian girl that was all the way in the last row hunched against the wall as if she was sleeping. At this point in time Pharrell started talking to the girl personally telling her to get down to the floor and that she is being a killjoy or whatever. He then says “so your not going to come down here, she shook her head, everyone laughed Pharrell replies, “well i guess i kind of set myself up for that one,” the crowd erupts and the show moves on.
N.E.R.D. finishes playing and Shae is the first to exit the stage. At this point I am already waiting by those same doors as I was earlier. Shae passes me I ask him “yo man can we do that?”, he replies “come with me“. Now at this point is when everything around me fades out and I realise that my dream is about to come true. I am about to have a conversation with Pharrell and Chad. Shae takes me and my gf through the doors into the locker room, where the usual backstage refreshments chips candy and food are out on a table. At this point, there is noone in the locker room as of yet , except for Shae and an older body guard. So Shae sits down in one of the lockers and we talk some small talk he asks me where I am from, I tell him “about thirty minutes south of here (boston). I explain to him that I have been a fan for so many years and that I study Neptunes Shit, have every song ever produced blah blah. I tell him this because I then say you don’t know how much it means to me that you let me back here I cannot thank you enough.
Next walks in Chad. I introduce myself to him and I start asking him about his voyager and why he wasn’t using it on stage tonight. He explained to me that he wanted to try this new midi controller that he was using on stage and he was showing it to me. It was a little 2 octave controller that actually has sounds built into it, unlike every other midi controller. He showed me where one of the keys broke during the performance. At this point is when Pharrell walked in. I immediately walked overt him from talking to Chad and put my hand out, gave hi daps with the pat on the back hug type thing, and said hello my name is Jesse, A lifelong fan. He looked at my bbc outfit and said, “wow, I can tell“. This is the part that took me by complete surprise. We started talking, and I asked him what kind of things he was working on, Despicable Me, N.E.R.D., and Game. All the stuff that I was already aware of. I then explained to him that I make beats as well and that I also play the piano, and I said “but i am def not as good as you guys at the piano”. This is when we were taking a picture, before the pose he said “I want to talk to you about something” I said “what is it”, he said “after the picture”. Chachoo.
Picture is taken, and I say “whats up“. He said, “never say that again“, “say what again” “never say I am a better piano player then you” and this is when he started to explain to me that I was blessed with the opportunity of having a brain and that my brain allows me to create whatever I think of or whatever is in my imagination. So for me to say that someone is better then me at the piano is false because everyone is different and everyone is the best at there way of doing something. This was very inspirational. He then continued to tell me forget about everyone in this room u are the only one in here that is on the right track with your life because you already make music, play the piano and have a awesome attitude towards it all. He said forget about what everyone else thinks of me because they are the ones that bring you down when you worry about the non believers, so don’t pay attention to people like that and only focus on my dreams. He then said to me that he is just a person just like me and that nothing about him besides his success sets us apart from each other.
This conversation was basically about how I can do anything that I set my mind to. At this point our conversation shifted as I asked Pharrell about his use of logic pro lately. I said to him “I have seen a bunch of pictures of you lately using the macbook pro with logic”. He said, yeah I love logic thats all we use now, and anytime you see a picture of me with that backpack, thats what that is, I bring that computer with logic with me everywhere. I asked him what kind of stuff he made with logic lately and to quote Pharrell is like this “we use it for everything, the whole entire Game cd was produced and recorded with logic, the Despicable Me songs were with Logic, and we actually used logic to record the whole N.E.R.D. album, its funny too because it sounds so live“.
Now to me thats crazy to hear that, because for them to learn a program this quick is crazy nevermind flat out put down protools cold turkey and switch to logic. Cool. Anyways, as soon as he said this to me is said” hah yeah dude I heard that new Game single, It Must Be Me and I listened to that shit like 700 times in a row when I heard it, That shit is amazing man” “Thanks bro“. Now I say “the funny thing about that Pharrell is that I think that song is amazing but all over the forums way more people said that song was whack than anybody else.” He laughed and said “well you know most people don’t want and can’t handle change, but we all can use good changes“. perfectly worded and that was in the area of how I expected him to respond to that one. This is when I asked him “oh and damn dude when the hell are they going to put out Hoppin Over Fences? that shit is amazing, your bridge to that shit was mind blowing” and his only response was ” how the hell do you know all this stuff?” lol. I replied “by studying your music.” He then asked me if i was planning on attending the Kidult Leadership conference.
The last thing I asked him if he was hopping on the G5 jet after the show, he replied “not tonight man“. At this time Big Ben was telling me I had to go. I shook all the band members hands, thanked them with all my heart, and said goodbye. Pharrell shook my gf’s hand and kissed her cheek lol. Basically I wanted to write this to everyone because I want people to know that Pharrell actually does care soooo much about the youth of this world. Even when he just finished with a performance all sweaty, and in a rush to leave, he took about twenty minutes of his time to tell a young inspiring producer, extremely encouraging and inspirational advice on moving forward and up from where I am now. It really meant a lot to me because I did not expect him to take the time that he did when there were 20 other people waiting to get pictures/autographs with him or whatever. Thank you Pharrell, Neptunes, N.E.R.D. and Star Trak for inspiring me to be who I am today, and what I wish to be someday. Also thank you for allowing me the privilege of listening to your recorded emotions, musical thoughts and situations.”