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Thirty Seconds to Mars at the Hollywood Bowl: Love Lust Faith + Dreams Tour

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Left to right: Tomo Miličević, Jared Leto, Shannon Leto

You know that feeling when you’re listening to a song and it feels really familiar? Maybe it’s playing on the radio, or a friend turned it on, but you absolutely love it and need to know who plays it. Perhaps you have heard it before, but only now are hearing it with fresh ears. That happened to me recently, when my brother put on a song called “A Beautiful Lie.” I had actually heard it many times before, but it was always hidden among many songs that I didn’t particularly like, so I would not really be listening. But this time was different. We were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner one night, and he put the song on. It was familiar to me—after all, I’d been hearing it for a few years—but I’d never really listened to it. It was incredible; I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t realized it sooner. The band was Thirty Seconds to Mars, and I was hooked. I began listening to them all the time. When I was in my dorm room, my roommates hardly ever saw me without my vFree on. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered that they would be playing at the Hollywood Bowl on October 12.

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Tomo Miličević, Shannon Leto, and Jared Leto onstage for “Conquistador”

The concert was absolutely amazing. It was brilliant, a breathtakingly beautiful performance. Tomo Miličević was on guitar and keyboards, Shannon Leto on drums and percussion, and Jared Leto with his amazing voice. Leto’s vocals were transcendental, ranging from low and visceral to high and angelic, and everything in between. His voice has the power to make you feel any emotion, bringing tears to your eyes with sorrow or joy, making you curl your fists in anger, causing you to sing with him about dreams as your eyes well up in hope.

The show opened with a band from Copenhagen called New Politics. Then came Panic! at the Disco, who played some songs from their new album interspersed among some of their better-known songs, such as “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “The Ballad of Mona Lisa.” At this point, the crowd was fired up and excited for Thirty Seconds to Mars to take the stage. The lights dimmed, and the beginning of “Birth” began to play. As the song transitioned into “Night of the Hunter,” the band appeared on stage and the crowd went wild. The upbeat song got our blood pumping and immediately involved. We all sang as loudly as we could, lost in the moment. Then came the angry “Search and Destroy” before “This Is War.” Jared did a great job getting us involved: holding the microphone out to the audience for parts of the song, running out into the audience, along pathways, engaging with the audience. “Conquistador” followed, from their new album Love Lust Faith + Dreams.

The stage during "Closer To The Edge," with the Echelon symbol hanging high up in the air.

The stage during “Closer To The Edge,” with the Echelon symbol hanging high up in the air.

At this point, the band played “Do or Die,” “City of Angels”, “Buddha For Mary,” “Depuis Le Début,” “Pyres of Varanasi,” and “End of All Days.” “City of Angels” really hit home with the audience because it’s a song about our city and the dreams that brought us here. It’s emotional and personal, and it touched each and every one of us, even those who don’t live here. A pair of acrobats on a seesaw provided the perfect distraction for Jared Leto to sneak out into the crowd, unnoticed. All of the sudden, a spotlight shone directly onto the center of the Bowl, illuminating Jared with an acoustic guitar. The crowd went wild, my brother and I included. Jared was playing a set for us, up in the nosebleed section! He played an acoustic version of my favorite song, “Hurricane,” in such a sorrowful and moving manner as to bring tears to my eyes. It was beautiful, and I sang myself hoarse on that song. Next came “The Kill,” their most famous song, but played in a much more subdued manner. Then it was his beautiful rendition of Rihanna’s “Stay,” which sounds like it was written for his voice.

From the "City of Angels" lyric video, also used in the music video.

From the”City of Angels” lyric video, also used in the music video.

 

Jared returned to the stage then, and the band played “Kings and Queens” and “Closer to the Edge.” They told us that it was time to see the premiere of their music video for “City of Angels.” Like most of their videos, Bartholomew Cubbins (Jared Leto’s pseudonym) directed it. I can’t say much about the video (as it has yet to be released) but that it was beautiful and brought many of us to tears. It was a gift, and we are all thankful that they chose to share it with us that night.

The concert was drawing to a close, and it was time for one last song. Finally, Thirty Seconds to Mars invited members of the audience up on the stage with them as they began to play “Up In The Air.” It was the perfect song to end the night. The whole audience knew it from start to finish, and we sang our hearts out. “Up In The Air” is a single from Love Lust Faith + Dreams, and it’s an incredible song. When my brother and I left that night, we were singing that song. Hours later, at two in the morning, we were still singing.

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The band poses in front of the crowd at the Hollywood Bowl.

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Step Out In Style to Fight Addiction

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Velodyne had the honor of teaming with celebrities in a noble cause at the Summer Spectacular hosted by The Brent Shapiro Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Awareness. Attorney Robert Shapiro and his wife Linelle founded their foundation when their son Brent succumbed to alcohol and drug abuse in his early 20’s. After the loss of their son, the Shapiros hoped to create awareness about alcohol and chemical dependency and stop the spread of this disease.

This party and fashion show raised over $500,000 for the foundation. Attendees such as Larry King, Paula Abdul, and Sugar Ray Leonard supported the successful event. Velodyne donated 35 of our vPulse in-ear headphones, the ideal fashion accessory for those on the go.

Marta Hall, Velodyne President, has been close to people who have struggled with addiction. “We need to recognize it as a serious illness and provide real solutions.”

The Brent Shapiro Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Awareness  seeks to conquer alcohol and drug dependence through education and support.

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6 Memorable Moments from the Finish Ticket Concert at the Great American Music Hall

Concerts are a fun way to discover new music and to explore the city. Find shows for new bands coming to your area by staying connected with local radio stations, venues, newspapers, and ticket sale sites which all have webpages dedicated to upcoming shows. Social media sites are a good way to stay up to date with bands you find. Start by checking out Finish Ticket on Facebook!

1. The Great American Music Hall served dinner.

2. The opening band, Local Hero, covered R. Kelly’s Ignition Remix.

3. Michael and Brendan Hoye’s huge smiles during “In the Summer” when fans flung pink bras onstage.

4. Backstage with Finish Ticket when they got the news that their largest headlining performance yet sold out.

5. Finish Ticket’s high energy performance of “Bring The Rain.” In our interview with Finish Ticket they shared it was their favorite live song. The audience loved it too.

6. And of course, Velodyne’s vFree giveaway!

Amanda Christensen won a pair of autographed vFree bluetooth headphones and Finish Ticket merchandise.

Now go get crowd surfing!

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Airport Entertainment

vQuietFor those of you who haven’t heard about Velodyne’s newest partnership, our headsets can now be found in a large number of major airports throughout the United States at Airport Wireless storefronts.
Maybe you forgot to bring along a quality, stylish listening device for your trip…No problem! Head over to an airport directory, find the Airport Wireless store and discover a range of choices including vPulse, vTrue, vFree and vQuiet- all with their unique Velodyne flare.

We all know airports and layovers can be terribly boring. I definitely do. Recently, I made the cross-country flight from California to Pittsburgh, PA where I go to school. However, I found myself a little bit of entertainment when I got there.

Pittsburgh is one of the airports that features the amazing “v” series products, so naturally, I wandered over to find them. Not only were they displayed with a great amount of class, but one of the employees said that the vQuiets were “awesome!”

Velodyne quality is undeniable and now, an abundance of travelers can experience it for themselves! Next time you find yourself in an airport, find an Airport Wireless store, see what the employees have to say and try out a little bit of Velodyne3 ingenuity for yourself.

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Finish Ticket Interview Following Sold Out Show

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Velodyne spent some time with Gabe Stein, drummer of Finish Ticket after their sold-out performance sponsored by Velodyne, Inc. at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Friday night. The band powered out an energetic performance to 600 adoring fans, their biggest headlining show yet. But not without first announcing the winner of our band merch pack complete with a pair of black vFree headphones, autographed by the band.

Velodyne: If you could say one word to describe the concert what would it be?

Gabe: Unreal.  As we were all driving back, we all decided it felt almost like a dream.

Velodyne: What was your favorite moment?

Gabe: Looking out and seeing my entire extended family—my uncles, aunts, parents, my band mates parents were all out there.  I also saw some old friends in the front row I didn’t know would be able to make it.

Velodyne: What were your most challenging moments? 

Gabe: Getting ready for it.  We spent obviously weeks and weeks preparing, getting ourselves ready.  We had a lot of preparation in addition to the music, like creating our own light boxes that said Finish Ticket.  It was stressful.  We found out it was sold out 18 minutes before we went on and that made everything okay.

Velodyne: What did you think about on stage? 

Gabe: Growing up I would play drums every day in my garage, thinking ‘maybe one day I’ll actually get to play for a few people.’  Getting to actually do that was always my ultimate goal.

Velodyne: How did you feel on stage?

Gabe: At first I was a little bit anxious, waiting to play.  The second we got on stage it was just like practice.  And it was like finally, finally here!

Velodyne: f you were a type of animal on stage, what would it be? 

Gabe: I would say a driving horse.  I learned at a young age the drummer is supposed to help keep the band together, keep everything moving, control the pace.  So I would say a horse, but in a cool way!

Velodyne: If you could take home only one photo from the concert, what would it be of? 

Gabe: Before our encore we all stopped playing and then the second we came back in the strobe lights went crazy.  I couldn’t really see anything or hear anything besides my drum set.

Velodyne: Any final thoughts?

Gabe: We’re just so thankful everyone came out to support us!

 

–Frankly, it was our pleasure.

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Express Yourself – Headphone Style

48982592Clothes, purses and hairstyles are no longer just about covering up or carrying things, they’re about self expression. When we shop, we look for things that scream “this is me!” Personally, I think that our electronics should do the same…especially our headphones.

When we consider that the music we listen to says something about us, doesn’t it seem natural that our listening devices should do the same? Personally, I’m a huge fan of pink and that means I just had to have the pink vPulse ear buds. Don’t worry, if blue or black is more your color you can get those instead!  There’s just something about listening to my music with them that makes me feel vibrant. I look down and see that bright pink and I feel like it says something about me…captures my sense of humor and my playfulness.

Then there are the vFree headsets that you can decorate too! If you haven’t already guessed, I’d be drawn to the pink “Skins” for that too. There are numerous “Skin” patterns to help put a little of yourself into your headphones, check them out on our website!

And, if you’re artistic (unlike me) and a DIY fanatic, you can do what some of our awesome Instagram followers have done. They use permanent marker, paints and stencils to give their Velodyne products a custom and personal touch. Wouldn’t it be fun to get a group of your friends together and have a headphone decorating party?!

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How to Pair your vFree Bluetooth Headphones

Pairing vFree with a Mac:

1. Turn on the Bluetooth function by clicking the Bluetooth logo in the top right corner of your screen.

2. Select “Set up Bluetooth Device.”

A window will pop up called Bluetooth Setup Assistant.

4. Make sure vFree is turned off. There should be no light showing on the LED indicator.

5. Turn on Bluetooth pairing on vFree by holding down the power button for 5 seconds until the LED indicator flashes blue and red repeatedly.

6. Your vFree will now appear in the device list on the Bluetooth Setup Assistant. Select it and click Continue. Once vFree is successfully paired, click Quit.

7. Click the Bluetooth logo in the top right corner of the screen, hover over “Velodyne vFree,” and click “Use as Audio Device.”

Your successfully paired vFree should now be flashing blue every five seconds.

More information about how to use your vFree headphones can be found in the Users Manual.

Please leave additional questions or requests for more tutorials in the comments below!

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Designer Skins For Maximum Individuality

 

Our new vFree wireless headphones are truly a work of art. Designed by artist and Velodyne President Marta Hall, they are quite a unique piece of technology. Just as the iPhone is in and of itself a gorgeous phone, nearly everyone we see has a cover, case or skin of some kind on their phone. These accessories not only protect but personalize the phones. Constantly envisioning, designing and creating, Hall has put her heart and soul into creating additional accessories for these headphones. These new skins will not only fit the vFree but also new headphones not yet released. There will be a Limited Edition Artist Series that you won’t want to miss!

A selection of some of the Designer Skins offered by Velodyne

There are a wide variety of skins in production, some that are made of a hard plastic, some that are smooth or embossed fabric, and some that feel more like a faux fur and others that are silicone in nature. Some of them even have metal grommets and come in a fun selection of prints in many colors. What a great concept, to match your headphones to your outfit of the day! Naturally, we can’t wait to see how many #OOTD posts make it to Instagram with the Designer Skins in them.

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Velodyne’s Highlights from CES 2013

Our LiDAR car leaving headquarters for Las Vegas, NV

CES 2013 was big for Velodyne, Inc. The show started on Tuesday, January 8, but our journey started much earlier.  A lot of preparation was required as our newly built autonomous car equipped with our LiDAR technology hit the highway to debut at the trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LiDAR readout “On the Road to CES”

Two people from Velodyne –  Pamela Gauci from our audio division and Rick Yoder from our LiDAR division – traveled over 3,000 miles from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas with time to spare to prepare for Unveiled, a huge CES press event. Unveiled, which took place on Sunday, January 6, was an exciting night for us. We had several press inquiries, gave video interviews, and hosted a packed table several people deep all night. We had a blast sharing information about our vTrue studio headphones, vFree wireless headphones as well as our vPulse in-ear headphones. It was also quite fun fielding the “What’s that?” questions about our LiDAR unit sitting on our table.

David Short from Velodyne interacting with members of the press

Once CES actually started, it was “go time” for us in our suite at The Venetian as we were met with a constant flow of traffic.  The audio floor we were on was the perfect place to showcase not only our headphone line but many of our subwoofers which are Velodyne’s legacy. The greatest part about it was being able to engage with many of our customers who came from all over the world to attend CES. Relationships were developed, built and strengthened over the course of the week.

Our suite on the audio floor

Laurel Nissen from Velodyne e-commerce talking headphones with the German press

Our listening station at CES offered some quality time with the vTrue and vFree

One of the new relationships we developed was quite unexpected. Kelly LeBrock, best known for her roles in movies from the 1980’s, “Weird Science” and “Woman in Red” made several appearances at CES, and some would also say she made her comeback. She was tied in closely to many of the events that Velodyne was a part of through Living in Digital Times, and we spent a few days getting to know her. She posed for photos and gave autographs wearing our vFree headphones at our LiDAR car in the Sands Ballroom at the Venetian. She also emceed Fashionware, a wearable tech fashion show which also included our vFree and new interchangeable headphone skins. She stopped by our suite and visited with us as well as joined a few of us for dinner one night. She is a truly charming, intelligent, down to earth and beautiful woman and we hope to work with her again soon!

The press and fans went crazy for Kelly LeBrock!

Our vFree with piano skin on a mannequin

Model wearing our vTrue

Model wearing our vFree around her neck with interchangeable pink skin

Marta Hall, President of Velodyne, was chosen to be a panelist for Women in CE, to discuss what it’s like being a woman in an industry comprised mainly of men. It was interesting to hear the panelists discuss the necessity for marketing to women and share their ideas about how this should be done.

Marta Hall joined the Mommy Tech panel moderated by Women in CE founder, Carol Campbell

Our LiDAR car got its fair share of attention. Autonomous vehicles and “smart” cars in general seemed to be a popular theme this year and Velodyne was not the only company with a self-driving car at the show. However, there is no doubt that Velodyne LiDAR is a true pioneer of the technology and our engineer had a steady stream of interested show attendees who were full of questions. It was great to have two of our company’s divisions represented at CES 2013. It’s truly an honor to work for a company whose CEO and Founder, David Hall, is an brilliant inventor.

An autonomous car on the show floor intrigued many a passerby!

Despite the fact that most of our team contracted the “Flu of CES 2013” we all came back to work super-charged and enthusiastic about our product and our company. That is probably the brightest highlight of the trade show this year. Until next year!

 

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