Taking a De-Tour


Jamie Setzler, Staff Writer

For about 200 of the thousands of people attending, the day starts at about 1:00 PM when VIP check-in commences. People meet up with some of their friends they met online and text the ones that live too far away to attend. They look around at the faces they recognize. Perhaps some are mutuals or they’ve at least seen their selfies under the “likes” section of the verified Twitter account @SabrinaAnnLynn. Everyone is there for the same reason: to meet Sabrina Carpenter herself. Some are reuniting with her for the first time since her last tour and some have never even met her.

Outside is Sabrina’s photographer, Marcello, to give instructions and explain how everything will be handled before checking in everyone one by one and giving them their VIP pass, poster, and portable charger and then splitting up the lines into VIP and UVIP. He is one example of the high quality service provided at Sabrina’s concerts to ensure that everything goes smoothly. After that, the fans are led to where it will happen, where they will meet their idol. Lucky fans at the front can see the backdrop clear as day and observe Sabrina’s silhouette every time the camera flashes before finally they turn the corner and see her waiting there to hug them.

Sabrina bares a smile and a never-before seen outfit for each meet and greet and treats every fan with the utmost respect. She listens when they speak about their personal journeys and tells them they love them while they fall apart (no pun intended) in her arms, she even holds their face and wipes away tears while showering each fan with compliments. Sabrina meets 200 fans at each tour date before putting on a lengthy show with two acts and a quick costume change. Despite having to do this nearly everyday for two months, she never looks worn out or lashes out at fans, even at the very last shows.

Then fans have to wait out in the venue for a little bit while Sabrina finishes up with every fan before the special soundcheck just for VIPs. There, Sabrina answers fans’ questions and sings an acoustic of her single, Why. This might be one of the most powerful parts of the show because it’s just Sabrina and the audience. There are absolutely no phones out and she has the chance to just talk and connect with some of her biggest fans as a group. She then displays her vocals through her hit song while her talented guitarist, Caleb Nelson, happily plays along. Sabrina looks out at the crowd and smiles individually at fans she notices having a good time in particular, sometimes even adjusting where she’s sitting to see them better.

After that, Sabrina lovingly says a quick goodbye before she plans to return to the stage after her opening acts, New Hope Club and Alex Aiono, perform their sets. When she returns, she’s dressed in one of two black outfits, depending on the show, and starts the show off with a fan favorite called “Feels Like Loneliness”. She spends the entire show engaging with the audience and making sure everyone’s screaming like crazy.

“I need you to break the balcony, this balcony… I mean, stay safe, but obviously go crazy,” Sabrina spoke to the people in the back before closing the first act with her hit song, Thumbs. She pulled out all the stops with amazing high notes and dance moves much more advanced than the ones she used on her first tour. All of this made it very easy for the crowd to go nuts.

Another exciting point of the concert was when she performed her very first single, Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying, and chose one of the VIP fans to join her on stage. She brought them up to the stairs where they sat down with her, her sister Sarah, and her bassist, Austin Luther. This is one example of the amount of care Sabrina shows her fans, particularly at her concerts. Between bringing one up on stage and interacting with them and hugging them in meet & greets, she shows them the love that they often don’t feel outside of that room. By calling them beautiful and assuring them that everything will be okay, she changes their whole world. There’s many instances where meeting or seeing her is the only thing some fans have to look forward to and they tell her that it’s what’s keeping her going.

Her amazing staff (including Marcello the photographer and Mannie the bodyguard) are incredibly polite to fans and handle any problems that come up with grace. Her band (Sarah Carpenter on backup vocals, Tobias Urbancyk on drums, Caleb Nelson on guitar, Austin Luther on bass, and David Menlo on keyboard) provide the best music the possibly can to bring Sabrina’s beloved songs to life. Then, of course, Sabrina herself never lets down fans. She gives them what they paid for, whether it was $30 for GA or $250 for UVIP. She gives them the best night of their life.