I don’t even know where to start because seeing Sabrina Carpenter live was not part of the plan for my Disney College Program. It just happened! I knew Carpenter was coming to Orlando, Florida for her ‘Emails I Can’t Send’ tour, but I didn’t think much of it because I hadn’t listened to her music since my freshman year of college. When Emails I Can’t Send (2022) was released on July 15, I checked out a couple of songs from the album (I think they were “Skinny Dipping” and “Vicious”), and I thought they were pretty lifeless. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m not the biggest fan of pop music anymore. Then, I heard “Because I Liked a Boy,” and wow, that song hit me hard!
It’s not the greatest pop song I’ve ever heard, but knowing that Carpenter was brave enough to write a song with that title made me admire her more than ever before. Long story short, personal stuff happened and it screwed me over. I’d go further, but this post would get very depressing, if I do so.
In mid to late September, I listened to the Emails I Can’t Send album on YouTube and the lyrics for some of the songs spoke to me. I don’t know how to explain it, but they reminded me of my boy troubles from high school, college, and everything else I’ve experienced since then. My favorite tracks from the album are “Because I Liked a Boy,” “Fast Times,” “Decode,” and “Vicious.” As mentioned earlier, I wasn’t a fan of the latter at first, but it grew on me overtime. Plus, I loved that the album focused on the healing process for a messy break-up, heartbreak, unrequited love, or whatever you’re going through!
Those reasons alone are why I decided to buy a ticket for Carpenter’s show at the Hard Rock Live Orlando on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. But also, I was desperate to attend at least one concert during my Disney College Program. At the time, the concert wasn’t too far away, but little did I know that Hurricane Ian had other plans. It was postponed to Thursday, October 20, 2022.
Let me go more into details about my history with Sabrina Carpenter! I first saw her on Austin & Ally (2011-2016) when she played a shy, talented singer named Lucy Gluckman in the episode titled “Moon Week & Mentors;” that was in 2013. A year later, I saw her as Maya Hart on Girl Meets World (2014-2017), which was the spinoff series to Boy Meets World (1993-2000).
I was a decent fan of Carpenter’s music all throughout high school. I never bought her albums, but I had her hits stuck in my head. By the time I started my second year of college, I already shifted away from pop music. In fact, the last recent song of Carpenter’s I thoroughly enjoyed was “Diamonds Are Forever” from Singular: Act I (2018). Of course, things have changed since then. Long story short, I was a fan of hers in high school because of my boy troubles, stopped listening to her music in college when I fell in love with rock music, and got back into her music a month ago when I hit rock bottom.
I attended the concert with a friend I met through the Disney College Program Facebook group. Before meeting up with her at Flamingo Crossings Village east side, I did my laundry, showered, and listened to a few of Carpenter’s songs on YouTube. Things were off to a rough start, however, when my friend told me that backpacks weren’t allowed at concerts. I had to leave my backpack at her place and carry what I needed for the concert with my own bare hands. That was not fun!
Anyways, we took an uber to Universal Orlando Resort and arrived at around 5:00 p.m. For dinner, my friend wanted Panda Express from Universal CityWalk Orlando, which I was excited about because I hadn’t had Panda Express since I left Hawaii. I got a bowl with orange chicken and chow mein, and a couple of cream cheese rangoons on the side. And yes, dinner was delicious!
Afterwards, my friend and I got in line for the venue; the doors opened at 7:00 p.m. The line was already ridiculously long; it extended down the stairs. At around 7:13 p.m., the security people scanned our tickets, we entered the venue, and then found a good spot for the show. Our tickets were for the standing room, so no assigned seating. On the bright side, they were only $12 each.
Then, my friend saved my spot while I got in line to get merchandise outside; I wanted a tour shirt to remember this special event. Before doing so, however, I saw a backdrop for Carpenter’s “Sweet Tooth” perfume and decided to get a picture with it, because why not? A lovely lady took my photo, so props to her for that! When I got in line for the merchandise, the line was pretty long and it was already 30 minutes till showtime; the show was supposed to start at 8:00 p.m. As I was waiting in line, I looked at the people around me and I got to say, it’s fun watching human behavior, and seeing how different we all are appearance-wise and personality-wise.
If you look on the back of the shirt, the date for the Florida show says “September 28,” which was the original tour date before Hurricane Ian happened. I found that pretty funny and hey, at least it’s memorable!
When I got to the front of the line, I settled for the white shirt with the tour dates on the back, which was $45. I almost bought the black tour crewneck as well, but it was $95 and I wasn’t going to need it when I returned to Hawaii, so I passed on it. Luckily, by the time I returned to my spot in the venue, the show hadn’t started yet and it was already 8:00 p.m. That was probably a good thing, though, because a lot of people were still outside buying merchandise.
At around 8:19 p.m., the venue started playing music to keep us entertained and they really tested my patience by playing Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well,” the 10 minute version. For the people that like Taylor Swift, props to you, but I can’t stand her now. Sorry, not sorry!
At around 8:35 p.m., Carpenter started the show by performing the title track, “Emails I Can’t Send” on the keyboard. Again, what I love about her most recent album are the lyrics because they’re so vulnerable, descriptive, personal, and relatable. “It’s times like these wish I had a time machine / So I could see what you did October 13.” I’m not going to go over every song Carpenter sang at the show because I didn’t pay attention to the setlist order.
However, I know that she performed every song off the album; some were done in medleys to save time. She also did “Sue Me” and “Paris” from Singular: Act I, “Can’t Blame a Girl For Trying” from Eyes Wide Open (2015), and a non-album track she released in 2020 titled “Honeymoon Fades.” I heard the latter for the first time earlier that day and I fell in love with it; the song has an R&B and soulful vibe to it. Halfway through the show, Carpenter asked the audience to share their juicy boy drama stories; there were a lot of “ooh” and “oh no, he didn’t” moments. Other highlights from the concert include Carpenter’s energetic performance of “Vicious” and her moving performance of “Because I Liked a Boy,” which was her encore. By the way, she sounds just as good live, if not better than in the studio.
The crowd was really into it, not that I wasn’t into it. But the audience members were huge Sabrina Carpenter fans and they were singing along to every song, word by word. On the other hand, I was just vibing and lip synching to the words I knew. So, props to the crowd for jumping up and down, screaming and shouting, and singing along with Carpenter throughout the entire show!
Because the concert was delayed, I was worried it was going to end late, but it ended before 10:00 p.m. The concert was like an hour and 30 minutes, maybe even less than that. I’m not used to concerts being that short because I’ve watched AC/DC concerts that were two hours long.
Despite it being a great show, I wish Carpenter performed more songs like “Almost Love” from Singular: Act I, “Thumbs” and “Run and Hide” from Evolution (2016), and “Too Young” from Eyes Wide Open. Then again, if Carpenter were to perform all of our favorite songs by her, the show would go on forever! Also, I’ll give her props for showing love for her latest material, rather than relying on her old stuff. That’s something I wish more artists/bands would do these days.
After the concert, my friend and I got donuts from Voodoo Doughnut at Universal CityWalk Orlando, we took a lyft back to Flamingo Crossings Village east side, I got my backpack from my friend’s place, and then headed back to Flamingo Crossings Village west side. I returned to my apartment at about 11:30 p.m. To end the night, I ate one of my donuts while watching an Emily Enchanted video on YouTube!
Overall, it was an amazing night! Seeing Sabrina Carpenter live was something I never knew I needed until it actually happened. Now, I can say that I saw one of my favorite Disney Channel stars live in concert. Am I going to give up rock music for good and go back to only listening to pop music? Heck no! There were a few songs I could not vibe with because of how modern they sounded (“Nonsense,” “Already Over,” and “Read Your Mind”).
However, Sabrina Carpenter’s Emails I Can’t Send album came during a time when I needed it most. Because I let my fears get the best of me, I lost a friend I really cared about and I fell into a really dark place. I’m still recovering and like I said before, Carpenter’s album doesn’t skip over that recovery process, which I admire a lot. It reminded me how important music is because there’s a song for everything. There’s a song for when you’re happy, there’s a song for when you’re mad, there’s a song for when you’re sad, and there’s a song for when you’re going through heartache.
Thank you, Sabrina Carpenter, for sharing your experiences with the world and allowing us to relate to them!
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