3/2/12

Totally Rewarded


This post is a recap of the Total Rewards by Caesar's Entertainment concert I attended in NYC on 3/1/12. For information on Total Rewards or to play the Total Rewards game please visit this website. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a code for extra game play entries.

It's nights like last night when I truly feel cool. As we stood in the VIP line outside Gotham Hall, I had flashbacks to my epic experience in Vegas for New Years 2011. Making our way into the gorgeous space (they don't make banks like they used to!), we were ushered upstairs to the plush VIP room where we were instantly handed Ciroc Lemonades and started scoping the scene. We had spotted NY Knicks player Tyson Chandler on the red carpet outside (at 7 feet tall, he's hard to miss) and he looked comfy with his wife in a reserved section. A few minutes later, Katharine McPhee, star of the new show Smash, walked by in a gorgeous emerald dress. I wanted to ask for a picture without being super awkward, but after that first glimpse I didn't see her for the rest of the night. The rest of the VIP crowd was a combination of high rollers, big dudes that looked like they could play football/basketball (I'm terrible at recognizing sports stars) and models (at least that's what they looked like).

View from the VIP lounge
Check out that VIP wristband!
Reserved Table for the High Rollers
VIP Lounge
Tyson Chandler (sorry it's so dark!) 
The awesome thing about this concert was that it was part of a national event. Simultaneous concerts were happening in LA, New Orleans and Chicago, and different performances were shown on the big screen throughout the night. To get things started, Jimmy Kimmel welcomed everyone with a little skit that I unfortunately couldn't hear any of but I'm sure it was funny. Then NYC MC Mel B (yes, Scary Spice!) took the stage to announce Celine Dion. For a very quick second I thought she was going to step out from backstage, but instead she appeared on screen from her show at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. After kicking off some 1997 nostalgia by singing "My Heart Will Go On," Celine (who doesn't look a day over 30) handed it off to Cat Deeley in Los Angeles who began to fill everyone in on Caesar's Total Rewards program. Then Bill and Giuliana Rancic took the stage in Chicago to get everyone excited about all the fabulous acts playing throughout the night. Finally, Maria Menounos gave some more information about Total Rewards and got the crowd pumped up for a fabulous night.

Jimmy Kimmel welcoming everyone
Lots of spotlights
Mel B
Celine Dion in Las Vegas

Cat Deeley in LA
Bill and Giuliana Rancic in Chicago
Maria Menounos in New Orleans

Finally, after much anticipation, Diddy himself took to the stage in a medley of songs that weren't exactly his ("We Found Love (In A Hopeless Place)," "Sexy and I Know It," "Good Feeling"), however it got the crowd energized. I'll admit that I have never been a huge fan of Mr. Combs. I think it stems from the fact that I never know what to call him. Is there an initial? Is there part of his given name? Is there a puff anywhere in the mix? Even so, the guy knows how to put on a show. His presence filled the stage and I found myself singing a long to the majority of the songs he performed (you'll excuse my voice in the background of the videos below). Even though he only performed for half hour, his set was very dynamic and definitely entertaining.

Diddy
Diddy
Diddy

Diddy performs "I Need A Girl"

Diddy performs "All I Do Is Win"

Diddy performs "Mo Money, Mo Problems"

Diddy performs "Coming Home"

In the interim before Mariah came on, they streamed performances of Sarah Bareillis from Chicago, Gavin DeGraw (swoon!) from New Orleans and Lil Wayne from Los Angeles. I could not make out one word that came out of Lil' Wayne's mouth but that guy definitely has a way with the stage (and with making it look like he doesn't have any of his original teeth).

Sarah Bareillis
Gavin DeGraw
Lil Wayne

I'll take this time to describe more of what the VIP lounge was like since I have neglected to do so thus far. At this point, Mr. Chandler and Ms. McPhee had packed up and left so those remaining upstairs had a little more space to spread out and enjoy the experience. The food passed around was all delicious. My favorite was the little lobster mac n' cheese bites, although the crabcakes, plantain empanadas and olive polenta cakes were great as well. They were all teeny tiny, which was nice because I couldn't make a mess if I tried and I didn't get too full trying everything. They also had mini Italian meatballs and sliders, though I didn't get any. For drinks, I already mentioned that Ciroc was the alcohol sponsor, but I didn't mention the delicious raspberry martini I had complete with a gigantic real raspberry in a fancy martini glass. Yum! Unfortunately I didn't get any food pics, but I trust you can use your imagination.

Then came the moment we were all waiting for. To complete the 1990's nostalgia concert, Mariah Carey took the stage and fulfilled the majority of the room's pre-teenage dreams. She looked stunning in a floor-length mermaid black gown and her signature flowing locks. As her first performance after giving birth to twins last April, Mariah said she didn't know what the "big deal" was. Haha, oh Mariah. Her eight-song set,  included “It’s Like That,” “Shake It Off,” “Touch My Body,” “Obsessed,” “Always Be My Baby,” “We Belong Together” and “Hero,” with a quick make-up touch up mid-performance (still not sure what that was about).

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey
Mariah getting touched up
Fluff the hair, fix the shoes
Mariah performs "Touch My Body"

Mariah performs "Always Be My Baby"

I'll definitely applaud the event organizers for putting on a fantastic show. It wasn't oversold or too crowded. The drinks kept coming, and the performances were top notch. Heck, I even got a gift bag with sparkly earrings for me and a reusable coffee mug for the boyfriend. And I can't forget to mention the desserts! They all seemed to come at once -- mini chocolate cupcakes, lemon/raspberry tarts and cheesecake lollipops, oh the cheesecake lollipops! If this event is any teller as to how awesome Total Rewards is, I'm definitely going to have to join.

Me with the gift bag
Raspberry Lemon Tarts

VIP gift bag at home

If you've made it this far, I applaud you! Because you stuck around this long, you get a special awesome code for extra entries into the Total Rewards online game. Use code DFNJWG here and you have a shot at winning more than 900,000 amazing prizes. Looking at the list of winners already, I see someone won a trip for 2 to Vegas. Who knows? It could be you!

So what do you guys think? Were you at the concert? Did you watch the livestream online? Who was your favorite performer? What do you think of my gift bag? Are you going to sign up for Total Rewards and play the game? Be sure to comment with anything you win below!

I am honored to be an influencer for the Total Rewards brand. Material and/or financial incentives may be received as a result of my involvement.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the recap! I'm a member, and going to Tahoe soon, and I appreciate the code for my headstart. VIP area looks like it was FAB-- glad you had fun!

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  2. Thanks for the comment Paulala! I hope you win big :)

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  3. It looks like you had loads of fun! At first, I was like, "Why is Diddy performing 'I Need A Girl'???" Then, as I scrolled down the list, the artists kept getting better and better! Sara Bareilles, Mariah Carey...amazing! :-)

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    Replies
    1. He performed a lot of songs that weren't necessarily his, but oh well, it was fun :) Thanks for the comment!

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