This summer of 2017 has been very good to us because for the first time, we were able to actually go to not one, but two concerts! When people think of summer their minds often go to beaches, vacation, no school and concerts! Summer concerts are known to be some of the best. Why? Because when the sun goes down, summer weather is not too hot and is the perfect time for outdoor concerts.
The two bands/artists we saw perform were none other than two of my (Christina) favorite artists – Jack Johnson and Muse. The only thing they really have in common are that they are forms of rock music. Other than that they could not have been more different – the concert experiences were most certainly on opposite sides of the spectrum. One was extremely laid back and backyard fun, while the other was a mind blowing visual experience. We were able to get the best of both rock worlds this summer, making it a summer we will never forget! Don’t worry about searching Youtube or Spotify to listen to their music, we have you covered. Along this post you will find playlists of our favorite songs, as well as live videos from the concerts.
A little history of my love for Jack Johnson….. I am very family orientated, something I am very proud of. Every summer during Fourth of July week my entire family on my mother’s side gets together in a small town called Brownsville, Texas. As soon as you walk through my grandparents front door you are not only greeted by family, but by the voice of Jack Johnson through the surround sound speakers. When my cousins and I would swim in the pool, we would always have Jack Johnson playing. Essentially, Jack Johnson has been crowned our family favorite artist. Fast forward to the past four years… I have missed the last family reunions and every year Adam had to listen to my Fourth of July stories of Jack Johnson. So, when Adam saw the opportunity for me to see Jack Johnson live in concert, he surprised me with tickets! (He also surprised me with tickets to Brownsville, Texas to finally be with my family over the holiday – hubby of the year!)
Jack Johnson is a singer-songwriter of acoustic and soft rock music. He was born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii and therefore, his music translates heavily on his surfer-beach lifestyle. Adam usually asks what the heck is he singing? What is he singing about? Truth be told, we don’t always know, but it just sounds and makes you feel darn good. Some of his songs are about his wife and they will make your heart melt, such as the song, Better Together, Do You Remember and Angel. Some of his most popular songs that you may have heard of are, Bubble Toes, Banana Pancakes, You And Your Heart and Upside Down. Whether you are in an ice cave or trekking in the desert, if you are listening to Jack Johnson’s music you instantly feel like you are chilling on the beach. His music has that effect on everyone – to just sit back, relax, chill, nod your head up and down and put a smile on your face! Trust me, click on Banana Pancakes in our playlist below and listen. You will not be able to contain yourself from nodding along, feeling happy, like you belong out on the beach and slowly you will start to smile. Then just keep listening and falling in love with Jack Johnson while you enjoy hearing how amazing he is in concert!
We headed to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland, for the first time after just getting off of work, which means that we were not there as early as we would have wished. We had lawn seats, also a first for us, and ended up finding a ridiculously small patch of grass between four different families. We placed our blanket that was folded in fourths (seriously small patch of grass) and made ourselves as comfortable as possible as we waited for Jack’s presence. Some agreed with us that Merriweather Post Pavilion may have oversold this concert – for being outside we felt like we were packed like sardines. On the bright side, Merriweather Post Pavilion has plenty of options for dining and drinking. It took Adam a good hour to buy us food, so it is really recommended to come early to beat the long lines and large crowds. You can also bring food in. One group next to us had a full picnic that made me really jealous – I really wanted to become friends with them just so I could join their picnic party, no shame. With that being said, the next time we come to a concert here and sit in the lawn we will definitely bring a picnic basket full of food and make a full night of the event.
As soon as he walked on stage the crowd went crazy and Jack went straight into set. Sometimes he would stop mid song and start talking to the crowd then go back into the song right where he left off. The entire show he was laid back just jamming on stage like he was jamming in his garage with some buddies. This vibe was felt throughout the concert. Jack would share stories in between songs of how he came up with certain songs, how he and his buddies really would just have jamming sessions in garages and more. He made the concert very authentic and organic that we had never experienced before and do not hear in his albums. In a sense, we felt like we were listening to his songs stripped from the fancy studio and thats what a concert is supposed to be like, right?
It wouldn’t feel like a Jack Johnson concert if he didn’t bring out his ukulele and start strumming the strings. Only thing missing was his Hawaiian lei.
Even though we were far in the back, we were still able to get the full experience because of Merriweather’s small jumbotron in the center of the pavilion. Since I left my camera at home, my pictures were all of Jack’s handsome face on the jumbotron.
We’ve said it once, but we will say it again – Jack Johnson creates a great performance and really connects with his audience. We thoroughly enjoyed his concert and would see him again in a heartbeat. This was without a doubt, the perfect, chill outdoor summer concert – exactly what we needed to start this summer.
Thirty Seconds to Mars
We were lucky to not only see Muse, but also Thirty Seconds to Mars! Surprisingly they opened for Muse and really got the crowd jumping. We wouldn’t say we are huge fans of Thirty Seconds of Mars, but we do enjoy their music when it is on the radio. They are most notable for their rock music singles The Kill, This Is War, Kings and Queens and lead singer, Jared Leto. They have been silent for the last four years, possibly due to Jared Leto’s acting career, but are releasing their fifth album this year. In fact, we supposedly helped play a part in their new single.
Jared Leto walked onto stage with quite an entrance wearing white pants, a Nascar shirt, blue robe, pink hat and sunglasses. Adam thought he just woke up from bed, but I think he is just an interesting character. Not only can Oscar Award winner, Jared Leto, act and portray amazing characters, but he can also sing beautifully. The man has an incredible voice that has a range for miles.
This being our first time seeing Thirty Seconds to Mars live we were more than impressed with Jared Leto’s voice and talent. He is definitely a performer and artist, he enjoyed spinning in circles and spreading his arms out like he was soaring – we kid you not he did it at least twice for every song, it must be his signature move.
He also connected with the crowd a lot by talking with individuals, getting people up on stage with him and had us play the game of which side is louder. As we mentioned earlier, we were told that we were playing a part in their new single. He taught us a vocal tune and we would echo him – the first time he claimed we did terrible, but the crowd got it down the second time around. So if you hear a distinct beautiful voice in his new single..it’s us!
At last, MUSE!!!! This was my fourth time seeing Muse live and our second time seeing them together. I have now seen them in Fort Worth, Tulsa, Dallas, Burgettstown – thats four cities in three different states! We drove five hours to see them in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania at the KeyBank Pavilion and would do it again in a heartbeat. Muse is a band of three, Matt, Chris and Dominic who create alternative-space rock. They are a two time Grammy Award winner for Best Rock Album – Resistance (2011) and Drones (2016). They are also known world wide for being one of the best live bands, hence why we will see them again and again. Every time they perform they put on an amazing concert that is different from the time before.
Fun fact: when we first starting dating we talked about what our pump up songs were to get ready for soccer games. Out of all the songs in the world we both had the same pump up song, Time Is Running Out. It was then that we knew we were meant to be together…just kidding but it was a pretty awesome coincidence. Here is Time Is Running Out live at the concert – you may or may not see me going crazy for this song.
One reason why we love Muse live is because they sound just as good, if not, better live than in the studio. Their concerts are visually stunning – they feel more than a music concert, but a mind blowing-visual-rock music experience. The set had a staggered screen behind the band that gave the crowd a visual movie experience while the guys rocked out to their biggest singles.
Here is our spotify playlist of our favorite Muse songs. Some of their biggest singles that you may have herd of are: Time is Running Out, Starlight, Supermassive Blackhole, Knights of Cydonia, Uprising, Resistance, Madness, Psycho, Dead Inside and more.
Their set started with their new single, Dig Down, with Matt in his space rock gear of glowing blue sneakers, sunglasses and guitar. He rocked his outfit as he rocked out.
Whereas Jack Johnson and Thirty Seconds to Mars connected to the audience by talking with them, Muse connects to the audience by their music. When they perform you feel connected to them on a whole other level because they play with pure passion.
Chris and Dominic had at least two drum-bass solos that had our hearts pounding to their beat. If you love the drums or bass, this video below is for you!
During Starlight Matt walked off stage and into the middle of the pavilion putting us at a close distance of only 50 feet. I could not contain my excitement that he was so close to me. As Matt walked back to the stage, Muse brought out huge space balls that the crowd would toss around until the popped. As usual, the Starlight set was phenomenal.
Every song was amazing, but Mercy takes the cake because during the climatic part of the song a confetti gun was shot out to the crowd and we all went ballistic. Confetti was flying in the sky as everyone was jumping high with their arms in the air.
I don’t know why we were contemplating if driving five hours would be worth it. Every penny and every mile driven is ALWAYS worth it for a Muse concert. We are more than ready for their eighth album that is to be released in 2018 and for the album concert to come after – 2018 cannot come fast enough!