Features First Person

You Sing I Write Adventures: A Day In the Life with Annie Reuter

Photo Credit: Emily Tan

I was talking with my friend and colleague, Monica (photo above), about the blog this past week and she said she wants to read more about my adventures. In her words, “I find you more interesting than some of the bands out there.” She suggested I start a column with a behind-the-scenes look at a day in my life. I figured I’d give it a whirl this week since the past month has been surreal. Love to know your thoughts and feedback!

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Hanson’s publiscist about setting up an interview. Since I’ve been writing for a few publications, I wasn’t sure if he found me through another outlet or my blog, so I asked him. Turns out he found my blog and reached out to me directly.



The band my friends had huge crushes on in middle school.

My seventh grade self was in disbelief. When I got word I’d be interviewing heartthrob Taylor Hanson, I had to message one of my best friends from middle school to tell her the news.

The interview went really well and Taylor proved to be extremely considerate and detailed with every answer. I was a little worried when he took nearly six minutes to answer my first question, but luckily I was able to ask everything I needed within our nearly half hour chat. This totally made up for my awkward days in middle school.

And guess what, he says he isn’t tired of performing “MmmBop” after all these years. I find that hard to believe. Check out their latest video below for single “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin'” based on film, The Blues Brothers. Stay tuned for my complete interview in the upcoming weeks.



Last Friday, Monica, Wendy and I headed into Brooklyn to celebrate friend and fellow music journalist Emily’s birthday. After an artery clogging meal at Chip Shop, frozen hot chocolate to die for, an impromptu stop at Southpaw and a few packed vintage stores later, we headed back to the car. Coming out of a restaurant with takeout bags in their hands were two guys that HAD to be in a band. After getting a closer look I realized they were from Gaslight Anthem, Jersey’s very own up-and-coming rock stars, and a group I’ve been trying to interview for nearly two years now.

I wish I could say I didn’t act like a stalker and casually continued to the car, but I HAD to say hi! I approached the guys and asked rather eagerly if they were Gaslight Anthem to which they said yes and we chatted for a few minutes.

Monica and I told lead singer Brian Fallon that we used to work with drummer Benny Horowitz in college at Rutgers’ newspaper, The Daily Targum. He told us about moving to Brooklyn, missing Jersey and their current tour schedule. Meanwhile, I tried to maintain my composure without sounding like a crazy fan because they’re all I listen to at full blast while driving around Jersey. Apparently, I’m the first person that’s recognized them on the street, although bassist Alex Levine told me they’ve been mistaken for Depeche Mode.

As we were saying our goodbyes, they told me to reach out to their publicist about setting up an interview. Hopefully, this time around it’ll actually happen. I’ll keep you posted!


Last weekend was jam-packed with Brooklyn festivities, my friend Sarah’s bridal shower and bachelorette party and an interview with Colbie Caillat. I’ve interviewed Colbie on the phone before, so I was excited to chat in person. I’ve been listening to her for the past three years, ever since my cousin from California tuned me onto her music, so I was especially looking forward to finally meet her.

Colbie turned out to be so incredibly sweet and such a great interview. She told me of her stage fright and how she still gets nervous before every performance. This put me at ease, because I also get nervous before each interview. Up until the moment I sit down and ask my first question I’m freaking out inside, regardless the artist or if it’s a phoner or in-person interview. It’s always a relief to know I’m not the only one!



Monday, I relived my childhood when catching Backstreet Boys perform a free show in New York. Wendy and I showed up a little after 8 a.m. and right away got a wave from Brian Littrell (Gasp! He was my childhood crush). If you knew me back in middle and high school, I was a BSB fanatic. Posters covering every inch of my room, concert tickets to each tour, and knowing every obscure bit of trivia about each member in the band. Heck, I was seriously convinced I would marry a Backstreet Boy one day. (I’m not even joking…)

Crazy, I know. But, this music obsession is what led me to who I am today. So, I guess I have BSB to thank for becoming a music journalist.

After their on-camera interview and performance, Brian came to the back of the stage and told Wendy, “See, I told you I’d come say hi,” before shaking both our hands. (!!!!!)

While we’re no longer 13-years-old and convinced we’ll date a BSB, it was still a gesture I’ll remember in the years to come. Let’s just hope I interview them sometime too.

If I learned anything this past week it’s that sometimes life isn’t always what you’ve imagined it would be, it’s even better. If you wait long enough and chase your dreams (no matter how crazy people think you are), at the end of the day, it will be worth every second. KTBSPA.


Saturday Song Addiction: Halloween Edition

Halloween has always been my favorite time of the year. Maybe it’s my chocolate addiction or the fact that you can dress up and be whoever you want for one day. Either way, here are a few songs to get you amped for tonight’s festivities.

Michael Jackson “Thriller”


Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and The Cryptkickers “Monster Mash”


Backstreet Boys “Everybody”

I really can’t help but always be reminded of this video around Halloween. Come on, werewolves, vampires, Jekyll and Hyde? Now if only I was coordinated enough to learn that dance . . .

Watch the “Everybody” video here.

What songs did I miss? Is there a track that always reminds you of Halloween?


Backstreet Boys Release Sixth Studio Album, Cancel Appearances Due To Swine Flu

Do you remember the first band you fell in love with? You’d save up every penny of your allowance to see them perform — even camp out overnight for a chance to buy tickets to their show. For me, that band was the Backstreet Boys.

I’ve been following BSB since the seventh grade and can’t count the number of shows I’ve been to. While my friends are glad to see my music tastes over the years expand, there will always be that little spot for BSB in my heart (I know, so lame!).

Their sixth studio album, This Is Us, was released today and due to Brian Littrell’s diagnosis of swine flu, the band have canceled their appearances for the next few days (see video below). Consisting mostly of dance tracks produced by Max Martin, T-Pain, and Ryan Tedder among others, This Is Us, strays from the strong ballads longtime fans know and love.

Perhaps trying to conform to the trend of Auto-Tune and club hits that have been storming the charts as of late, the album is a departure from that classic Backstreet Boys sound. In fact, at times it sounds like they’re trying too hard. While This Is Us is far from the boy band days of the 90s, it’s their popular ballads of that era I’ll continue to remember.

Watch Littrell’s video message to fans below.


Did you pick up the new album today? What are your thoughts of it? Who is your favorite band and what’s the craziest thing you’ve done to buy tickets to a show?

Concert Reviews

Backstreet Boys Fans Hit The Jackpot In Atlantic City

This past Friday I, along with several hundred other 20-somethings relived our childhood when seeing the Backstreet Boys’ show at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. Having been performing for the past 15 years, the majority of them now in their 30s, those Boys proved that they still have it goin’ on.

I should preface this review to explain just how hardcore some of my friends and I were dedicated to this band, hopefully not incriminating myself too much in the process. Back during the height of the BSB era two friends stood outside “TRL” with a “Beam Us Up, Carson” sign for hours, one making it on Channel 11’s “News at 11,” being interviewed by a reporter about the pandemonium outside the MTV offices with a record number of fans — think 10 times the extent of Jonas Brothers fans today. Another friend learned the entire “As Long as You Love Me” chair dance, and that’s no easy task — trust me, especially for the uncoordinated like myself. I can’t even do the “Everybody” dance, and I’ve tried many a time.

Sure, we got a lot of heat for liking them. Seventh and eighth grade definitely isn’t an easy period in any kid’s life, and I could never explain to people what “I Want It That Way” meant. Come on, could you? “Ain’t nothing but a heartache/Ain’t nothing but a mistake/Tell me why, I never wanna hear you say I want it that way.” The Backstreet Boys made life a little easier. I could escape from that awkwardness of middle-school life and be in my own world listening to their music. And I did. Granted, they weren’t the first “boy band” to walk the earth, and they definitely won’t be the last, but you cannot deny the presence they’ve had on my generation’s music influence.

The concert Friday night started out the same as every show of theirs I’ve been to — the continuous Backstreet Boys chant minutes before the venue goes dark. Soon thereafter, Brian, Howie, AJ and Nick were spotted onstage in boxing attire as an announcer introduced each member to the crowd. Thunderous applause and the most exasperating high-pitched screaming I have ever encountered at any show followed. I think every woman unleashed her inner 13-year-old Friday night, myself included.

The Backstreet Boys’ set began with a high-intensity performance of “Larger Than Life,” then segued into a cover of Kanye West’s “Stronger” before the venue went dark once more. Seconds later the Boys appeared in leather jackets for “Everyone” off of 2000’s Black and Blue album and “Any Other Way” off of their latest album, Unbreakable, with nonstop energy and impeccable dance moves. Their stage interaction with each other and the fans in the crowd demonstrated their prowess for performing.

Whether it was Brian constantly making comical faces while waving to audience members or Howie winking and blowing kisses, their love for what they do was evident the entire night. Despite having lost one member — Kevin Richardson — and having not been on tour the past few years, the Boys proved to the crowd that they’re not going anywhere, with the promise of a solo album from both AJ and Howie in the near future as well as another album in the works.

“We want to thank you all for 15 unbelievable years,” Howie told the screaming crowd. “We want to thank you for keeping the Backstreet pride alive.” Their nearly two-hour set included 26 songs from their 15-year career. The entire venue was singing along to many of their old hits and fan favorites such as a medley of “As Long as You Love Me,” “I’ll Never Break Your Heart” and “All I Have to Give” complete with their infamous hat dance. Their newer material, such as faster-paced, edgier “Panic” and slower ballad “Unmistakable,” continues to showcase BSB’s solid harmonies, catchy choruses and impeccable intonation.

In addition, each Boy took the stage alone, singing a song off of their previously released solo album (in Nick and Brian’s case) or the debut of a song from their upcoming release (AJ and Howie). While Howie’s song had a Latin vibe to it, AJ’s was much more rock influenced and heavier than the Backstreet Boys’ material.

It was evident that the Boys held a special appreciation for their Jersey fans. “I love Jersey so much that I actually married a Jersey girl,” Howie told the crowd. AJ later added, “Just to set the record straight, my Mom’s from Jersey. Hackensack to be exact,” as the screams rose and echoed throughout the venue.

Screaming isn’t all the Boys got from fans Friday night. During a slower take of their hit “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely,” each of the four members sat down at a makeshift card table. While mimicking playing a card game and talking with one another before beginning the song, two fans threw their bras at the Backstreet Boys, practically hitting a startled Brian and Howie in the face. Another fan could be spotted on the balcony flashing the guys continuously throughout their set.

The crowd favorite of the night seemed to be “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” as the Backstreet Boys had everyone jumping along throughout the song. The last song before their encore of “Shape of My Heart,” the guys got the crowd energized, and if they hadn’t come out for one more song, I think fans would have walked away content. Singing their famous line “Backstreet’s back all right,” the Boys have proven that they have lasted 15 years strong. I’m interested to see what the next 15 will be like.

For more on the Backstreet Boys be sure to check out their Website.

Special thanks to Wendy Hu for th

e picture from the show Friday night!

Song of the Week

Song of the Week: “As Long As You Love Me”

A blast from the past, but so necessary for this week’s song of the week. After catching the Backstreet Boys’ performance a few hours ago in Atlantic City, I cannot deny that the Boys are still alive and kicking. And pretty well might I add. Their nearly two-hour performance brought me back to my childhood days and no matter the negative vibe the so called “boy band” genre has gotten over the years, their talent cannot be dismissed. Although they didn’t do my beloved chair dance tonight (as can be seen in the video below), their energy, solid harmonies and hard-core dance moves kept the crowd screaming and singing along word for word all night long. Look for my full review sometime next week while I’m in South Carolina (Internet permitting).