Monday, 21 July 2014

Popshack Live

Popshack Live is a concert targeted at teenagers hosted by popular YouTubers and Radio1 DJ's Dan and Phil. Popshack featured various up and coming artists, YouTubers and X Factor contestants. I attended the live event at the London's Indigo venue at the O2 last Saturday.

Considering the concerts target audience was teenagers I found Popshack Live to be very poorly organised. Tickets were so late in being dispatched that many, including myself, had to face fairly long but thankfully quick moving queues at the box office in the evening to pick up tickets. Due to this I was very concerned about what the organisation of the concert would be like.

I had VIP tickets to Popshack meaning that I had entry to a meet and greet before the show started with various bands and artists who were performing at the event, including Hollywood Ending the band I was attending the concert to see. Despite my concerns about organisation, the meet and greet soon cleared my doubts and was actually put together brilliantly. It's the first time I have attended a meet and greet which wasn't rushed at all. The room was incredibly hot and we had to wait a fairly long time to get into the meet and greet area but I think everyone in attendance would agree that it was completely worth it. It was refreshing to be able to actually have conversations with the artists instead of the usual quick hello and photo. Due to not recognising any other artist I only met Hollywood Ending, but from glances around the room every performer involved in the meet and greet session seemed to be making a effort to spend lots of time with fans who wanted to meet them.

The concert itself featured performer after performer, many only performing one or two songs each. Each artist performed a cover song which managed to get the crowd singing along throughout. Covers included hits like Teenage Dirtbag, I'm A Believer and Everything Has Changed. I really enjoyed that artists covered a popular song as it made performances much more enjoyable to know a song that was being sung. Performers included the likes of Union J, Matt DeFreitas, Bribry, Kingsland Road and Connie Talbot. Between performances hosts Dan and Phil kept things entertaining by doing live Dan vs Phil challenges, some even featuring the acts who we're performing. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my meet and greet experience and I did enjoy some of the acts but overall Popshack Live wasn't for me. However for the target audience I think this concert is fantastic. The audience seemed to know who every performer was and were constantly screaming with delight throughout every song that was sung. Considering the minimum ticket price was £15.00, a price I believe is quite achievable for a 15 year old to afford, it was a good evening. For the teens who are wanting a fun evening with their friends seeing some of their favourite singers and YouTubers I think Popshack Live fits the bill perfectly. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ratatouille Ride - Disneyland Paris

I was lucky enough to experience the brand new Disneyland Paris Ratatouille ride, L'adventure totalement toquée de Rémy, during the soft opening last weekend. Based on the Disney Pixar film, Ratatouille, the ride itself is set inside a beautiful square complete with a cobbled pavement and a water fountain. To make the square more Ratatouille themed, beady eyed visitors will notice items such as customised rat manhole covers and rats decorating the fountain. As with everywhere in Disneyland Paris the square comes complete with a restaurant - Bistrot Chez Remy, and a gift shop. I had a quick peek into the restaurant as it is situated right by the rides exit and it looks magnificent. I am very eager to visit the restaurant on my next visit to Disneyland Paris. 

The ride itself is like nothing I've ever experienced before. The queue somewhat shrinks you down to the size of a rat before you've even sat down on the ride. You are made to feel like you're queuing on a roof top before being welcomed to the ride by Gusteau and being invited to collect a pair of 3D glasses. The immersive area to queue makes time pass quickly and before you know it you're being ushered onto the ride.

You ride the attraction in a rat shaped car which vaguely resemble the films lead rats Remy and Emile. The cars can fit in two rows of three people. From the moment you start to move the car glides effortless around the attraction. The ride shrinks you down to the size of a rat and you're being chased by Skinner and kitchen staff out of the restaurant. You fly under carts for example and genuinely feel like you're zooming around the kitchen. However, a sneaky look behind you will quickly reveal that you're not even moving at all despite feeling like you are. The 3D effects and the simulator that is in place on the ride are just superb. Just when you thought the ride couldn't get any better it throws some great 4D moments in. You are slightly sprayed by water and even roasted in an oven with fake (but very realistic looking) flames. 

I'm a frequent visitor to Disneyland Paris and it hasn't really had any amazing new rides or locations for a number of years. I should've ignored my skepticism that the ride/expansion wouldn't meet my high expectations as the ride was simply fantastic. Any review cannot capture just how wonderful the ride is and I just cannot recommend going to visit enough to experience it for yourself. It's truly a must visit attraction for the entire family. Well done Disneyland Paris!

If you want to visit Disneyland Paris and experience the attraction for yourself it opens to the general public on July 10th and is situated in the Walt Disney Studios park.