I did predict that my next update would be January 2020… There are about 30 minutes of January to go, so let’s get to it!
Continuing from where I left off, here’s how the rest of the year went in terms of music.
April/ Back to back nights @ LCA (Just Adam and I)
Walk the Moon opening for Muse!!! This was the 3rd time seeing WTM live. The previous two times, they were headlining at St. Andrews and at The Fillmore. It was different, being so far away from them and the stage, but they still rocked and their energy was peak (Nicholas always uses that spiky hair to get his point across). Muse was incendiary. This may or may not have been a confirmed fact, but their most recent album, Simulation Theory, was essentially the “life” cycle of an android race, becoming cognizant and then ultimately trying to uprise. I suppose Muse has always leaned towards robotics (which is terrifying because that shit could come true). Nonetheless, Matt and co. were living the rock star dream and I will admit the giant robot, Murphy, was quite something to see!
Night two @LCA was with Ariana Grande 🙂 She’s so much more in person! Her stage design was aesthetically pleasing. Her voice, that of a well seasoned diva. And the overall performance was top notch. For pop concerts, it was light and immersive while also being very poppy.
June: (The Gang Sees Mastodon opening for Coheed and Cambria) If I were someone who enjoyed smoking pot at concerts, Mastodon would have been the show to do it at. The psychedelic background and theme of their stage show as trippy! Very cool opening band. Would not have checked them out on my own. Which just goes to show, it really matters seeing the opening act. Many opening acts I’ve seen have become bigger to me in my musical collection. Coheed was pure rock and roll. My second time seeing them, this was the better of the two. I am a big fan of their latest album and was glad I knew more songs this time than last. Maybe that’s why it was a better experience overall? Do your concert homework (says the teacher)!
Jenny Lewis opening for Death Cab for Cutie (with Meg, Jason, and Ferrante) Oh, Jenny Diane Lewis, how I love thee. Let me count the ways…! A total babe, amazing singer, and wonderful lyricist. Jenny was captivating, shimmering in a golden dress of sequins. I’ve always adored her. I miss her band Rilo Kiley but Jenny’s solo career has been fruitful. A bonus of these two acts being on the same bill was their collaboration on a Postal Service track. The Postal Service defined a large portion of my college years and it was just pure magic to see/hear them live, even if it were just for one song. Death Cab’s latest album was for sure a top album of the previous year for me. Ben has grown up. Not as much angst. More like fatherly advice. It’s heartwarming.
Courtney Barnett opening for The National (Thanks, Jason!) We caught the second half of Courtney. Which is fine. I don’t dislike her but I also don’t go out of my way to listen to her. It’s rarely on purpose but if she comes on, I will usually leave it. The National has become a recent love of mine. Matt’s earnest, gut-wrenchingly truth bombs of songs are heavy but also therapeutic. The entire ensemble gave it their all and it was a wonderful show.
Back to Back Nights at Freedom Hill) Night 1: Jimmy Eat World/ 3EB) Jimmy Eat World is a staple in my life soundtrack. Seeing them is always a good thing for my mind and heart. Not as memorable as the first time was saw them, cramped in box seats meant for 8 people and we were a party of 13, but they still sounded good. I told Adam just the other day that I think I am good with not seeing 3EB again for a while. Three years ago we saw the anniversary tour of their self titled album. THAT was a great show. This past year, it was a jumble of their hits with a few newer songs not many people knew. Highlights included Motor Cycle Drive By and Slow Motion.
Night 2: Fitz and the Tantrums opening for Young the Giant) I believe we started listening to both of these bands around the same time, 2013/2014? Within these 6-ish years, they’ve released so many of my current favorite songs. We’ve also seen both acts multiple times. This show was #4 for Fitz and #5 for YTG. Both were energetic, both were performing with their all. Even being on the top of the grassy hill, it was a spectacular night of music.
July: Dave Matthews Band) Summer means time spent at the lake, hot dogs, fireworks, and DMB! Just as Jimmy Buffet has his own summer rituals, going to DMB at Pine Know is a normal thing for us to partake in. One of my absolute favorite things about DMB is that their setlists are always changing. Sure, there are a few songs they may keep in rotation for a few weeks at a time, but overall, every show is completely different. This was our 7th time seeing DMB. Tickets for the 2020 show go on sale in a few weeks and we are already planning on going.
Carly Rae Jepsen) I’ll admit, I wasn’t 100% sold on going but now, I am so glad I went. Carly has some devoted fans, knowing all the words and dance moves to her pop hits and deep tracks. I’ve since added her album, Emotion, to my music collection. A new go-to for when I need some pep in my step, CRJ did not disappoint.
Sept: Live opening for Bush) I’ve seen Live two other times. Once at Pine Knob. They opened for The Counting Crows. I was in 9th grade. It was a rainy day and the hill was pure mud! The second time, my parents bought tickets to sit at one of those tables at The State/The Fillmore. My dad is pretty cool. He enjoyed them whenever I’d put them on and he is the one who upgraded our seats (he also didn’t want to stand all night). That second time was for sure my favorite. This latest time, Ed still sounded soulful. While we have never seen the band Bush before, we have seen Gavin’s solo act. He opened for U2 the fist time we saw them in 2006-ish. Gavin sang 3 Bush songs during this 8 song set (Machinehead/ Glycerine/ Come Down). Seeing the whole band was pretty great. Even better was when Gavin jumped off the stage, through the crowd, and all the way up to the hill seats where we were. We got high-fives and close up pics/videos (and almost had our beach blanket stolen because we both abandoned ship when we realized Gavin was getting closer). Quite reminiscent in terms of the music of my childhood. Overall, entertaining and pleasing.
October: Ghost in Toledo w/the Goodhues) The theatrics and pomp and circumstance that is Ghost was such a spectacle to take in. The Nameless Ghouls were all rockin’ out pretty hard on every song and Tobias/ Papa sounds so much better in person than recorded. That man can seriously belt out notes longer and higher than I would have ever bet on! Great night (even if we were in Ohio).
Tegan and Sara) As a birthday gift from Adam, we went to see these two ladies once more. We caught them on their Heartthrob Tour years ago. Heartthrob is still one of my favorite albums of all time. Front to back, they do no wrong. I was excited to see and her their newer songs in person. “Hey, I’m Just Like You” was actually written by them during their high school years. Formative, vulnerable, and honest as only teens can be, all the lyrics, the tone and feeling of each song was set over half their lives ago. Putting it all to music as adults, after life experience took some genius to work out just right. They took on that task and succeeded. This tour we most recently saw was quite unique. Not only was it acoustic, but they also read from their memoirs, giving more meaning to their songs and expressing how these songs helped them gain more perspective on what it meant to be a person, what it meant to be your own person. Parts were sweet and tender, some parts were brutal and I felt nothing but empathy towards them both. An experience I never knew I would appreciate as much as I have been (it’s continuing since I’m still listening to their latest songs a lot lately).
And that’s a wrap! Concerts 2019, Woooooo!
So far, 2020 seems less active. Again, DMB is in June and I think there are few smaller bands coming to the area, but nothing nearly as big (musically) as last year was. And that’s okay. Our pocket books will thank us in the long run ???