Live Music in Bucharest: Tori Amos, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Aisha Raine!

In the last few weeks I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to be up close and personal with two American artists live—and perform live myself—all within the city limits of Bucharest, Romania.

Tori Amos 
June 19, 2014 @ Arenele Romane – Bucharest Romania

Insanely gorgeous voice and mad skills on any piano she touches, fiery haired songstress Tori Amos returned to Bucharest for the first time in many years. Never having a chance to see her live in the States, a few friends and I decided to check her out in Romania! We were able to score 3rd row seats.

Though the weather had been bad leading up to the show, we suited up in our rain gear and ventured out to this old but very cool venue. Arenele Romane translates to Roman Arena. The design and decor definitely gives that kind of colosseum feel. The bathrooms here were odd. The toilet lids have been removed!

It wasn’t a large crowd at this show, but many knew the words to her songs. It was clear that they loved them some Tori and were willing to come see her play, rain or shine! She was solo on this show—no band and no opening act—but it made for a very intimate setting. I was very impressed by her stage presence and live vocal stylings. And boy did she rock on the keys.

I apologize for my iPhone pics below. They aren’t the best. I wish I could have brought my Nikon, but with the sky threatening to open up on us at any moment I didn’t want to risk it. Click HERE for a great online shot.


Aisha Raine
U.S. National Anthem @ the U.S. Embassy 4th of July Event
July 3, 2014

After auditioning in April, I won the chance to sing the U.S. national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”, at the U.S. Embassy Bucharest’s official 4th of July reception. About 3,000 were invited to this prestigious event. Camera crews and photographers were set up in a media section to capture the speeches of the evening. And along with them, catching my performance. This was my largest in person crowd to date, and my shortest set of approximately 1.5 minutes. Though nervous before and during, the aftermath was exciting and fantastic. Many congrats and wonderful compliments. I was glad that I did a good job for the celebration.

The next day a friend said she saw me on the local news! Two days later, when walking into the 30 Seconds to Mars concert, someone stopped me to tell me they saw my performance at the embassy and congratulated me on a job well done.

Unfortunately someone decided to call my phone twice while my husband was filming. So here is a pieced together clip of my performance.

Thirty Seconds to Mars
July 5, 2014 – RomExpo in Bucharest, Romania
The bands 1st time in Romania

This was my 5th or 6th time seeing the band live! Needless to say I’m a huge fan and they are big influences on my own singer/songwriter endeavors. But this marked not only the first time seeing them live internationally, but the first time that 30STM performed in Romania!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the crowd. The small area set aside for the concert was pretty packed past my expectations. Though it was standing room only type show, each section was gated off. The more you pay, the closer you will be. Always needing to be as close as possible to this band, I opted for “Diamond” section. There were people of all ages. Some holding signs thanking the band for finally making their “dream come true” by coming to their country. The vibe was fantastic! So many people thriving from seeing their favorite band for the first time. The nicest surprise was how it sounded like every person in the crowd knew each song and sang along. This created the vibe of live 30STM shows that I didn’t think possible to feel in Bucharest! I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed every minute. My only complaint… that it wasn’t a longer show!

Here are some snippets from the show:

I am planning to take every opportunity to see bands that I love that come through Bucharest. I also plan to venture to neighboring countries to get my fix if they don’t come to Romania. I am also looking into checking out some Romanian musicians in the near future. And maybe I’ll perform again while I’m here. I guess we shall see. Either way, I’ll keep you all posted!

2014-07-05 20.46.56

Rocker chicks ready for 30 Seconds to Mars


Welcome to Bucharest, Romania

If you haven’t noticed, the header image has changed on my official blog page. I am now officially “Black Girl IN Bucharest”! We have finally arrived in Bucharest, the city often called Paris of the East. With the long wait to arrive in this busy Romanian city, one might think I’ve had time to really explore and get deep into the roots of the city. Well, not so much. It has been a hectic week of changes and trying to find my place in this new city and life situation. I did not really get a chance to get out with my Nikon D5200. Most of the shots are from my iPhone. But I just knew I couldn’t let a week go by without sharing some of the experience visually.

The flight over was tiring and stressful, especially with two cats accompanying us, but we all got here in one piece and on time. Once we had unpacked we went to the closest grocery store, Mega Image, where the logo looks a lot like Food Lion. Pretty small but we were able to snag a few necessary items. After our swift shopping spree we chose the location for our first meal in Bucharest—Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). After all the hectic crazy of the last few weeks, and the 14+ hours in transit, having a familiar feast was just what was needed. Tthe KFC here definitely has cooler décor on the inside than the ones in the states that I’ve been to.

We’ve been walking to new places to get a feel for the neighborhood we will call home for the next few years. Bucharest is divided into sectors. Not the same as districts, but I can’t help but hear the “Hunger Games” whistle in my mind when I see the signs. Throughout the week we walked around our sector and went out for dinner quite a bit—Italian, German, and of course Romanian. We also tried out Romanian Pizza Hut, which is different than back home but we definitely like it. They offer dipping sauces and a pretty detailed menu that I’m not used to.

So in this first week we’ve experienced: the crazy driving, wild cart maneuvering at Carrefour (French Walmart as some call it), stray dogs that wait for the walk sign to cross the street, reserved movie seating (“World War Z”—I rate it 4 stars), and easier than home metro system (you pay for one rate for the ride no matter where your stop is along the line and you don’t have to use your pass to exit).

Well let me allow the photos to paint the picture of my new experiences. Only a few pics to start but there will be many more to come. Check out the captions for details, and please stay tuned. The adventure is only just beginning.