Rock Stars

{and all of a sudden I have about 4 ideas for posts waiting in the wings. I suppose it would be best to work backwards, from the most recent stuff back through the weekend. Bear with me as I settle back into my groove, dearies. }

Sometimes Nate and I like to pretend that we are REALLY cool. You know, jam out at rock concerts, stay out entirely too late pretending that we don't have to work in the morning, and scream our faces off to the point of laryngitis. Yeah, we are that old couple attempting to be rock stars. I'm sure it was obvious to the 12 year old girls sitting next to us (no, I am not exaggerating. They were literally 12 years old and texting up storms on their ultra cool cell phones. They frightened me actually).

So yeah, we went to see Jack's Mannequin and The Fray on July 4 down at Summerfest's Marcus Ampitheatre. And was so worth the pure exhaustion the next morning when I had to work all day. My raspy voice was all the rage with my patients, let me tell you.

First of all: I had only heard of Jack's Mannequin with a vague passing on the radio. I actually looked up their songs on iTunes before we left for the concert to see if they were worth our time. I immediately told Nate, "I think we'll like them" and so we made it early enough to catch the entire opening acts. (Yes, I realize that makes us even bigger dorky old fogies). Jack's Mannequin was the freaking bomb. Those boys performed their hearts out, as they literally dripped in sweat and flip flopped around the stage in a whirlwind of awesomeness. I asked Nate during their show, "How many cans of Monster do you think they just pounded backstage?" It was ridiculous, you guys. I loved all of their songs and found myself bee-bopping around in place throughout. In fact, we got home and bought one of their older albums from 2005---Everything in Transit---because it seemed to have most of our fave songs from the concert. I think 'Dark Blue' and 'Bruises' are two of the best but I'll let you know once I listen to them a bit more.

So then came the big dogs: The Fray. Let me start by saying that I have always loved their first album "How to Save a Life" but their newest self-titled album has been on heavy rotation in our house since February. When we heard they'd be at Summerfest we immediately bought tickets and we sort of splurged on actual row Z and right in the middle. That put us less than 30 rows back which meant we were surrounded by some hard core fans, thus becoming highly entertaining to observe the drunken fans weep for joy with nearly every song. I love people watching at Summerfest and concerts are always the best.

By the time they finally came on after Jack's Mannequin it was already pretty late and I might have stifled a yawn or two in anticipation. But then all the lights went down, the crowd went wild, and these pimped out keyboard synthesizer sounds started playing. Then the lead singer, Isaac, appeared with a beam of light from behind and I started snapping away:

The Fray 7/4/09
Now lets back up a second. I called before the concert to see if The Fray allow cameras into their show, since every artist is different.

Old dude on the phone goes, "Sure, a point and shoot or camera phone would be fine."

So I go, "Uh, well what about an SLR?"

And old dude was all, "What is that? Like a professional camera? No, those aren't allowed."

Then I tried to backpedal like, "Oh, it's not really a professional camera, no zoom lens or majorly huge body or anything. But it's definitely bigger than a P&S."

The guy eventually told me it should be fine, but Nate was convinced that it wouldn't fly and he really didn't want to deal with walking all the way back to the car if we had to leave it behind. I concurred but of course, as soon as we stepped into the Ampitheatre, my eyes immediately flocked to not one but TWO people with SLRs. Ugh. So not fair! My little P&S just has such crappy low light capabilities and thus, all of the pictures we took are crappy. But I did bother to take a bunch so I must show you anyway. Just imagine all of the beautiful bokeh I could have captured with the amazing lights on stage! Break my heart right now.

Anyway, back to the concert. Their set was insane and full of lights and sparkles and entertainment. A few times while the lights were flashing different colors and glowing I thought to myself, "Huh, I could see how this would make some people dizzy and want to pass out." And yet, we just thought it was fascinating. We are easily entertained, you see.

The lights:

The Fray 7/4/09

The Fray 7/4/09

The Fray 7/4/09

My only semi-decent picture of Isaac rocking out on top of his piano. Be still my heart. Even though his pants were basically painted onto his body and I'm pretty sure he wears a smaller size that I do, I realize that all the kids these days are wearing painfully tights jeans so I cannot fault this rocker.

The Fray 7/4/09
It just makes me chuckle to think of Nate attempting this new trend. I've seen some ill-fitting jeans on my man a few times and his thighs are quite the sight, let me tell you. His hunt for designer jeans went incredibly awry a few years ago and the poor boy is scarred for life, vowing to stick to the looser fitting styles. It's better for everyone involved, trust me.

So anyway, the concert was amazing. They played a butt-load of their songs and avoided a lot of the classic small talk some bands will do at concerts. The only complaint I have is that they did not play my ultimate favorite song of theirs, "Look After You." I almost cried when their encore didn't include my cut. But as a consolation prize, they did play my second fave, Kanye's "Heartless." I still think The Fray's version kicks the American Idol dude's version any day. So sue me:)

You know it's a good concert when you see a bajillion cell phones waving in unison. Gone are the days of lighters, my friends. Now we rely on computerized technology to show our dedication to rocking out. Observe:
The Fray 7/4/09

All in all, it was a grade A concert. I'm not going to lie---both Nate and I decided that this concert only got us more excited for the big Coldplay concert in 3 weeks. Can.Not.Breathe.

So I ask you, my friends.....what are some of the best concerts you've attended? We all know some bands are amazing live and others not so much. Are you big concert goers? I've seen my secret boyfriend John Mayer about 4 or 5 times now, a little Tom Petty here, a bit of Kenney Chesney and Tim McGraw there, some good old fashioned DMB, and a horrendous performance by Journey. That one was the worst, but the others were all good fun.

Any others I must add to my 'must see' list? Do enlighten.


  1. sounds amazing julia! i love love love jack's mannequin! i'm glad you liked them. and when did you see petty? we saw him at summerfest last year! :)

  2. Ah! I'm glad you enjoyed Jack's Mannequin, they put on a great show!

  3. I *think* we saw TP in STL, actually, maybe in 2006 or so. He was AMAZING and seriously sounded the best live ever.

  4. I love Jack's Mannequin! I've been listening to them for years. Well, before they were "Jack's Mannequin." Anyway, I'm going for Coldplay in a couple of weeks. I'll be feeling your pain!

  5. I LOVE The Fray, so I will def have to check out Jack's Mannequin. Sounds like you had a blast!

  6. The "everything in transit" album is definitely the best! You should check out Something Corporate also (Jack's Mannequins previous name) - so good as well!

  7. I am a bit older than you (that's putting it nicely), but my fav's for concerts were Wham (circa 1985...I know, you were probably not born yet), James Taylor (circa 1987), No Doubt (GS rules), and Jason Mraz (love his voice). I have never heard Jack's Mannequin, but I love the Fray. Glad you had so much fun.

  8. My sister is going to see The Fray in August so I'm glad to read that it is a good show. I'm going to my 3rd Coldplay concert next week. I went last year and we had our nose bleed seats randomly upgraded to SECOND ROW seats. I about cried tears of joy. I am beyond excited to see Mr. Martin and crew on stage again. They put on an amazing show!!!

  9. Sounds like fun! I love both bands. C and I are huge concert goers... best one to date was easily Radiohead. Coldplay was especially awesome when I won VIP tickets. Modest Mouse, Bloc Party, Keane, Ryan Adams, and Iron and Wine at The Pageant were all memorable, just bc it's so intimate. Oh! And Ray LaMontagne was outstanding, as well as David Gray on my birthday!
    We've got Xavier Rudd coming up in August. Can't wait!

  10. I'm going to see the Fray when they come to Seattle in August so I'm thrilled to hear it was a great concert! John Mayer is of course purely awesome in concert (but you already know that!). I've seen Rocco DeLuca a couple times now (I first was introduced as he was the opening act for J. Mayer) and he is A-mazing. I highly recommend him.

  11. I love Story of the Year concerts. They aren't big (always at the Pageant) but they're from STL so it's amazing. Our rings have the lyrics from one of their songs engraved because we are so awesome:) Oasis is my second favorite band. We went to see them in Chicago in December and it was... not so good. They are the exact opposite of Story of the Year. Liam even walks off stage or just stands there when he's not signing. But, since their music is still amazing, if we have a son we are going to name him Liam, again because we are so awesome:)

  12. singing, signing... it's all the same. Oops!

  13. Ah, I bet The Fray was awesome! Dave Matthews is awesome live, he sounds exactly like his CD's which I'm sure you know. Jimmy Buffet is a fun concert, but you have to love him and be ready for the Baby Boomers to be rockin' out around you harder than you've ever rocked out yourself. It's somewhat alarming. But U2 is probably the best I've ever seen. Just simply outstanding. Bono is beyond what words can describe when it comes to performing. I highly recommend them!

  14. Anytime I see guys in skinny jeans, I cringe...they just aren't flattering on guys. Hope that trend fades away soon!

  15. First, I'd be totally irritated by the SLR thing. But I guess now you know for the Coldplay concert!

    Second, I can't believe Nate goes to these concerts with you. Last night, Chad and I had a conversation that went like this:

    Me: Chad, if I promised you all the sex you wanted for a day, would you go to a Coldplay concert with me?
    Chad: No. It wouldn't be worth it.
    Me: OK, what about all the sex you wanted for a week?
    Chad: No.
    Me: Two weeks?
    Chad: Nope.
    Me: A month?!
    Chad: OK, at that point, I'd have to consider it.

    LOL!! Needless to say, we don't have the same tastes in music.

  16. Juniper 61 is in our neighborhood too, I am excited to give it a try! Thanks for the review :)


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