Friday Five: June Concerts

One of my very favorite things to do that I don't really talk about is go to concerts. That was actually one of the first things Ben and I bonded over when we first met a million years ago, and we made countless road trips from our little college town to bands all over the east coast. I hit #100 a couple years ago, and although we're slowing down a bit in our old age, we still love to go to shows together. That's actually one of the reasons we were excited about moving to DC, and we went to so many concerts in our first full month here! Five, to be exact. I think I went to five concerts total in the two prior, so that was a lot for one month. It was actually all within 2 weeks, which I think bumps my 2-week record up from 4 to 5 (my one-month record is still holding at 6).

The list of bands I have yet to see is pretty short and got even shorter this month, starting with Death Cab for Cutie in Richmond. In 10+ years I just hadn't ever gotten the opportunity to see Death Cab, and when I found out they were coming to Richmond (an hour and a half from DC) I told Ben we had to snatch up some tickets. They were great, almost too great - most songs were pretty true to the recorded version - and I was seriously amazed that Ben Gibbard's voice has sounded the exact same for 20 years. On that note, this was one of the oldest crowds I think I've ever been a part of. I'm officially at the age where I see people who don't look too much older than me and can't tell if they're there on their own or chaperoning their child (although I think for some people it was both). And I saw several pregnant women who were old enough to have obviously planned it, which is still a weird realization I'm dealing with, like in general. But anyway.

A few days later was our first show in DC as DC residents! We went to see At the Drive-In at the 9:30 Club, which we've been to at least once several years ago, but now we live close enough that it's only a ten minute walk away (that may or may not have influenced our choosing this neighborhood)! Going to this one was a no-brainer considering the proximity of the venue. ATDI stopped making music many years ago so I never really considered the possibility that I'd see them. I was stoked to get the chance to see them on their reunion tour. They sounded amazing and again, I was blown away by the vocals and how perfect Cedric sounded. Speaking of...they had two nights scheduled in DC and we went to the first one (decision based solely on the fact that we had another concert we wanted to go to the next night). At the last minute they ended up canceling the second night because Cedric was really sick, and then canceled the rest of their dates through the end of June (I know they at least had NYC and Boston left). It already felt crazy lucky to even get to see them but now it feels even crazier that we got such a great show and that that was the end.

So as I said, we had another concert the next time! This time for an old favorite, Thrice, at a new-to-us venue, The Fillmore in Silver Springs, MD just a few miles north. We took the Metro there, which is still fun for me since I never take it, and were super impressed by the venue! It was a lot like our venue in Norfolk that we frequented in high school and college, just like a much nicer version. The set list was a pretty good mix of all their albums. I had pulled a previous night's set up on my phone during their set so I saw that they swapped out Daedalus for Beggars which made me super happy because Beggars might be my favorite song of theirs? They also played In Years to Come during the encore, which was a fun throwback. Parts of the set were a little boring for me but the second half and the end were really good.

Next up was Dave Matthews Band with my dad. He's a big DMB fan, and I'm actually not so much (meaning I only listen to them roughly once every 1-2 years: when I go see them with my dad) but I am a fan of live music and of free concert tickets. I started tagging along with him when I was in high school and now it's kind of our thing (although there have been a few years I haven't been able to go for one reason or another). I don't know all the songs they play, but at least 50% of the set are jam sessions which are the best part anyway. I go to a lot of concerts but none in big arenas so it's a totally different experience for me.  I was planning to join him for the Virginia Beach date, but with it being on a Friday night there was no way I could drive down in time to make it. Instead, he went to that one with my brother and I convinced him to drive up to DC for a second round with me (tickets were on my this year for Father's Day). He actually drove up after being out at the concert the night before, then getting up to ride his bike at 6am per our Ironman training plan - I am definitely my father's daughter. It wasn't my favorite set of theirs that I've seen (and I was really bummed that they encored with All Along the Watchtower in VB the night before since I knew they wouldn't do it again - I know that's not even their song but it's my favorite one to see live!) but a good time nonetheless! When I thought about it I seriously couldn't believe that my dad and I have been doing this for 13 years! I imagine we will continue until they stop touring?

And, finally, rounding out the month and crossing another band off my To-See list, was Weezer. It took us just over 3 hours to travel 31 miles to get there (which made us miss Andrew McMahon but after last year's magical performance at the beach, I wasn't even mad) but oh, was it worth it. This was a first for Ben and me in a lot of ways, but in particular that we'd never ever seen such a big concert together. We've been to countless (nearly 100, actually) shows at venues that hold anywhere from 30-2000ish people, but never to any in a giant amphitheater of 20,000+. We walked in a couple songs into Panic! (have they dropped th exclamation point or not? I can never keep track) at the Disco's set, which was, um, interesting? We grabbed beers before finding our seats and I'm not joking, we were the only people within a 25 foot radius (except for a few parents) anywhere close to legal drinking age. Remember how at Death Cab I couldn't be sure if people were there of their own volition or if they were chaperoning their middle schoolers? Well at this one, if I actually looked my age or just a couple years older, I might have been confused for a young parental chaperone. It was weird, entertaining, and a little uncomfortable all at the same time. Especially when Brendon Urie took his shirt off halfway through and wore only leather pants for the remainder of the set. So shameless. Panic(!-?) was really good - I haven't been into them as a band since probably before most of the people around me hit kindergarten but I've always thought Brendon in particular is super talented - but I only knew about half of their songs, and I was getting annoyed by the girls next to me leaning across me for photos and taking 360 degree videos - featuring my face - for Snapchat. I post some dumb stuff on Snapchat but even I know that it really doesn't need ten blurry zoomed in shaky videos of every song.

But anyway. That wasn't even the point because while Panic was a fun bonus, like I said, we were really there to see Weezer (and the teenyboppers didn't stick around for them so there were a lot fewer people and a lot less Snapchatting in our section by the time they came on). I have really only ever seen Dave Matthews in that kind of venue, so I wasn't sure what to expect from Weezer. But they were *so* good, I literally can't even. Their set was a perfect mix of new songs, radio hits, and old favorites. The highlights were definitely My Name is Jonas, the Dope Nose/Back to the Shack/Keep Fishin'/The Good Life(!!!!!!!!!!!!)/Surf Wax America medley, and the El Scorcho and Buddy Holly encore. It went so fast and by the end I couldn't believe it was already over! I knew it would be fun because Weezer, duh, but it ended up being the concert I didn't know I was waiting to see.

Next up: Kanye in September. Yes, really.


  1. oh you had me until kanye. really?! i know you said really, but i need double clarification.
    i used to be obsessed with music and concerts, and i am not so much anymore. i love going to concerts still, but the list of people i want to see is fairly short, and they always cost money (duh). i am not a dave matthews band fan at all, not in a mean way, just know 0 of anything they do. i only know one weezer song, from back in my high school days. i feel terribly out of touch haha. but it's so weird when you see young people like things from our time and it's like no, go away, find your own things. and i think the same thing when i see pregnant people. a friend told me she was pregnant the other day and my first thought was like oh! like not oh no, but oh! as in, woah. and she was like 'we were trying' and it's so bizarre to me still, even though i am almost 30. it's weird.

  2. Super jealous of Weezer, as I told you. If it were any other weekend of the year, I would have gone and been the happiest. A few years back when Bamboozle was still a thing and Panic! (they still had the !) at the Disco were still new, a bunch of us went to the festival and I liked P! and no one else I wanted to see was playing at the same time. So we headed over to their stage and it was by far THE most insanely crowded stage at the whole festival. Kids were literally moshing to the DJ music they played before the band even came out and were so moronic I said hell no, this isn't worth it, and we left for a different stage.
    Also, sorry to say but I got Watchtower in the encore at first night DMB. Agree, it's one of my very favorites to see them do live.

  3. When my brother was in college, he was head of the entertainment board (not sure what it was technically called, but they were in charge of bringing entertainers to campus). One year, they hired Kanye. He wasn't a fan but said it was such a cool experience to have under his belt. Plus. He stayed on campus until 4 AM just so Kanye could play racquetball after the show. So weird.

  4. When my brother was in college, he was head of the entertainment board (not sure what it was technically called, but they were in charge of bringing entertainers to campus). One year, they hired Kanye. He wasn't a fan but said it was such a cool experience to have under his belt. Plus. He stayed on campus until 4 AM just so Kanye could play racquetball after the show. So weird.

  5. so. much. fun. I love that you have that tradition with your dad to see DMB-- and that you and Ben have been to so many concerts together. I think I've been to 12 in my entire life, haha. I used to be obsessed with that one panic! song-- that I think was probably their most mainstream/popish one? (do you love how I'm assuming you'll know which one I'm talking about? haha) I also loved all your observations about being unsure of how old other people were/feeling old.


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