Initially the Jonas Brothers announced their show at Yankee Stadium as a special one night only show where they’d play all the songs from all their albums (after they had recently done a residency playing them all over 5 nights on Broadway). Inevitably the “one night only” became “two nights only” when there was such demand – but I am not sure anyone was expecting them to then announce an entire tour doing the same damn thing. Tickets were up for sale left and right because why would you travel all the way to New York if you weren’t local? But we stuck with our plan to go and the jury is still out on whether or not we will end up at Mohegan Sun in a couple days to see it again.
When we arrived we were just outside Gate 4. I overheard some other girls saying more tickets had just been released and when I checked they were front row ADA tickets. So I thought about it for a second, told my friend I put them in my cart and was going to do it, and she said OK. We then found out that we needed to enter via Gate 8 and had to go all around the stadium. This was our fault, we parked where we parked and our original tickets were somewhere between Gate 4 and Gate 2. However, what happened from there was absolutely the fault of the stadium and absolute miscommunication with their staff and a total lack of signage. We got to Gate 8 which had a very long line and we were then told that there was actually an accessible entrance. We went in and were given 2 wristbands for the floor – one because we were on the floor and one because we were in the front row. And then… no one was available to help us again. Upon entry into the doors there were stairs, so we went to the elevator. A whole bunch were taken in before us and we waited a bit only for no one to return, so we took the elevator up ourselves. We were told “no more stairs” and were on the main concourse – but there WERE more stairs to get to the field and we had no idea where to go. We asked an usher at the top of the section who ended up calling over another guy who told us to go to the Hard Rock, show them our floor wristband and they’d let us down. We got to the Hard Rock only to be told that the elevator was broken (there was a private event going on so whether it was broken or they just weren’t allowing us to go in there, I’m not sure.) and we had to go to – GATE 4! The walk from Gate 4 to 8 was ridiculous enough the first time, I was not about to do it again. Then everyone else we asked if there was a closer elevator told us something different. We got taken to an elevator by someone that didn’t even have a down button. I know generally for baseball games no one is actually going on the field – but Yankee Stadium just had a concert the night before! We also ended up being told Gate 2 would get us down, but that was even further away from Gate 4. Knowing that there was no way I could walk that far again, I had my friend carry my walker down the stairs and I slowly went down behind her. Success. We made it to the field. No thanks to anyone else.
Security had no idea what any of the seats were and there appeared to be no ushers. When they did come, they gave us seats that didn’t match what I had purchased on the seating chart, so I showed them what I bought and they moved us to where I thought our seats were supposed to be – but then they said if someone else showed up with higher seat numbers we’d need to move. I mean, fine with me, I bought the aisle seats 15 and 16 so I’m not sure how anyone is going to appear with a larger number! When the opener took the stage, one of the security guys inside the barricade made one of the security guards outside the barricade to move so I could still see, which I thought was really nice. Unfortunately, by the time Jonas took the stage, it was a whole different story.
Next to the catwalk there were 2 chairs, then a very too large aisle, and then our seats. Well, as soon as the guys popped up from the catwalk, people started flooding into the aisles and onto the barricade and on top of me. I ended up standing up at the barricade because it was either sit and have everyone on top of me and see nothing or stand and hold on to the barricade and hopefully be able to see something. Finally, like 5 songs in, security decided the aisle needed to be clear which just made everyone try to fill in behind me. The rest of the night it became a bunch of back and forth with security telling girls to leave, other girls coming in or the same girls just moving in and out of different spots once security pushed them back. At one time I was told I needed to be off the barricade – but that wasn’t happening as I can’t “free stand” and was not about to sit and have everyone on top of me, that would be a panic attack waiting to happen. Fortunately he didn’t seem to come back and push the issue. Security inside the barricade kept making sure I could still see – but I really wanted to be SITTING and able to see as I bought an accessible seat because I can’t stand for extended periods of time.
As for the setlist, they seemed to be going somewhat chronologically with the older albums, with the newer tracks mixed in. They also seemed to think that Jack was their original “OG” drummer, but I beg to differ. Then again, It’s About Time wasn’t included at all. The end of the first half of the show came with Burnin’ Up, and special guest, BIG ROB! (They also did pretty much everything but “Don’t Charge Me For the Crime”)
Then the screens that were on top of the stage moved down and there started to be a slight drizzle. At first, it was nice since it was so hot, but as the drops started to intensify we put our ponchos on. I don’t even know how many people asked where we bought them. Mine? A Walmart in Atlanta before a Hanson concert. It ended up absolutely POURING and my shoes ended up soaked. I didn’t think to try and poncho them as well until it was too late. Then the 5 minute count down came up on the screen and the rain slowed up. By the time the guys came back out on stage for part 2, the rain had all but stopped. It was at intermission we found out one of the girls who was next to us (who was trying really hard to help us out and keep people off of me) was bleeding because the girls during the first set were SO freaking vicious. Why can’t everyone just stay in their spot!? Why can’t everyone act like decent human beings?!
There seemed to be less crowding during the second set of the show – save for a couple of drunk girls who at one point were actually STANDING ON TOP OF ME. Her foot was ON my foot. This happened more than once. Security would tell them they couldn’t be in the middle and they’d squeeze back on top of me, then security would walk away and they’d move back and it was just again, back and forth the whole show. One of them was dancing with security so I don’t know if she actually knew him or if she just made a new friend – as I swear I overheard her asking one of the other security guards if she could do something inappropriate to him and he politely declined.
Since I was in my poncho I was going to try and just take less photos as it was a bit harder to make it work, but then the guys had changed their outfits so I had to take some to document it. We also got another set of special guests when Kirk Franklin and Jon Bellion joined the guys on stage as well as a choir for Walls. The teaser article had said something was going to happen during intermission and the guys wouldn’t be on stage for it – so I believe our special guest was actually rain. (The following night Jimmy Fallon came out to lead the crowd in a sing a long)
During Strangers after they sang, “I just saw the lightning strike” one of them (Joe?) said “HOPE NOT!” because that would have gotten the show shut down. (And I have NO idea how/where we would have taken cover in the event of that happening either) And just before Turn Right Joe had everyone doing the wave and Nick didn’t seem to pleased because he wanted to say something that was important!
The second set seemed to go on for a really long time so when the guys decided they were going to sit at the end of the catwalk, I decided to sit as well. Somehow this seemed to alert security and I got asked by at least 3 of them if I was ok. I mean, yeah, but I’d have been better if I could have been sitting the whole time! One came over and told me to just turn my chair around so I could see the catwalk, but I was fine just watching the screens for the last handful of songs.
When it was time to leave, we made our way to Gate 4, since that was where we had parked. That elevator was in fact working and they had us walk along the edge of the field and past the dug out and into some sort of restaurant before we made our way up and out and came out just where we needed to be. (Finally, something worked in our favor)
Now I am off to figure out all the ways the stadium violated the ADA and to formally make a complaint.
Friday night, Darius Rucker brought his Starting Fires tour to the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport. Yes, I went back for the second time in one week. It was interesting to see the change in approach of bag check, parking, security, etc with the change in fan bases. Initially I was a bit unsure of heading out to the show with there supposed to be thunderstorms all night and the venue being outside just essentially under a tent, but fortunately the weather held up making for just a humid night.
Opening the show was Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. The band released a new album, Strangers No More, on June 7th and you can listen to it here. They played several of the songs off of it while opening the show, including Find Your People, Dance with Everybody (which they appropriately dedicated to the pit up front!), All the Money in the World and Gratitude. They also played What Would I Do Without You which Drew dedicated to his wife and kids saying if we didn’t like it, he didn’t care because his family did, as well as I Like To Be Me When I’m With You, a cover of Tom Petty’s Runnin’ Down a Dream and closed their set out with Family. (I think I missed keeping track of a couple in the beginning.) Drew ended the set by saying they would be coming back to the area soon (I’ll have to keep an eye out for that) and that if you didn’t like the music then he hoped you have a good life because we will probably never see you again. My favorite that they did was “Find Your People” which the band also recently performed on CBS Saturday Morning’s Saturday Sessions which you can watch below.
Darius took the stage at about 9:15. I am not really a country fan so I was hopeful he’d be playing some Hootie songs but I ended up pleasantly surprised with his setlist. I also was able to sit for the show and watch on the screens, so I ended up missing out whatever was going on with the show screens in the middle of the stage (that did seem to be pretty cool when I did decide to pop up) but I still had a good time without pushing myself too much. When he did “Little Pink Houses” I popped up and watched and sang along a bit as it was a song I knew, and then I ended up taking over the aisle seat in my row as no one showed up on either side of me for the duration of the show which gave me a little bit better of a vantage point.
I also had peeked at the setlist ahead of time and knew where the Hootie songs were in the setlist. Imagine my surprise when he was supposed to play the first one and ends up talking about that he lost a bet to Dan Patrick and Fritzy was coming up on stage to sing a couple of songs. I am not sure exactly what happened, but he sang Private Eyes and Your Kiss is on My List with Darius singing backup. (Even watching the clips from The Dan Patrick show I still am not sure what happened) Fortunately it was just an addition to the setlist and I don’t think anything was actually removed. [Also at the time of this writing I am not sure if the embedded setlist is actually accurate]
After he repaid his debt, then he went into the first country song he had ever written which was “Let Her Cry” – he then declared it the Summer of the 90s and did I Like It, I Love It, Waterfalls and Poison. I was beginning to know way more songs than I thought I would!
He had Drew Holcomb join him for Don’t Think I Don’t Think About it, then did Hold My Hand, shortly after followed by Only Wanna Be With You. For the most part, it seemed like the Hootie songs got the biggest reactions of anything that he played. At least until he did Wagon Wheel at the end of the encore. I also enjoyed that he did a cover of Valerie as well as No Diggity in the encore.
The only real downside to the night was that I was unable to open my water bottle and no one ended up sitting near me that I could ask for help and now I have a bruise on my hand. And the other was that I think the bars were over serving some of the people in attendance. As the show ended and I was trying to make my way to the exits, an incredibly drunk dude just barreled right into me causing me to snap and yell “WATCH WHERE YOU’RE F*CKING GOING” that ended up clearing everyone else nearby away from me for the time being (it wasn’t them I was mad at!) And the irony is the guy’s shirt said “Shut up liver, you’re fine.” I doubt it.
As I was leaving I saw some lightning and then it started drizzling and the drops got more frequent as I was loading the walker back into the car. Fortunately I somehow timed it perfectly and got inside the car before the heavier rain came. And somehow the rain itself timed it perfectly to only show up as the show ended as I think the fact that there was some lightning would have paused the show or caused it to cut early. (And what would we have done without getting to hear Wagon Wheel? Especially after the guy behind me decided to chant it before every song during the main set?)
Tuesday night Lindsey Stirling kicked off her summer tour with Walk Off the Earth at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheatre in Bridgeport, CT.
Walk Off The Earth opened the night at 8pm and did a variety of covers and originals including Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got To Do With It, Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag, an amazing cover of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and medley that had to have no less than 15 Beatles songs in it, and a medley around a large odd guitar the entire band played with probably like 10 songs mashed in together. For their last song they did their latest single My Stupid Mouth and were joined by the Luminati Suns – 2 of the band member’s 3 sons that my Mom had told me about because they were on Kelly and Mark (Or was it Ryan then?) and they reminded her of “little Hanson”.
At 9:15 Lindsey took the stage and got a few minutes in before we lost sound to her violin and the dancers all left the stage. Whatever the problem was seemed to be corrected and they picked back up where they left off, only for it to happen again during the next song. Lindsey went over to her mic on the side of the stage which also didn’t seem to be on. A decent amount of time went on with no one in the crowd really knowing what was going on, and Lindsey seemed embarrassed but was giving us heart hands and then started doing charades of a sky diver in the middle of the stage. When sound seemed to come back on, they decided they’d start with The Arena for the next song and Lindsey mentioned they don’t teach you how to deal with that in performance school, probably because there is no performance school. I read that a fuse was blown or perhaps there were computer issues but I’m really not sure what it was that knocked out the PA twice within a period of 2 songs but fortunately after that point things went on without a hitch so whatever was wrong must have been properly corrected. Another point within the show Lindsey joked that we had made it through about 8 songs and the PA was fine so she had a good feeling for the rest of the night. She had caught a cold in Europe and was coughing quite a lot, hopefully she will be ok.
I was front row for this show and while it was nice to be that close, the speakers on the edge of the stage led to me missing out on being able to see some things. At one point there was a dog on stage, but because of the angle I was at, I could barely see him. Whenever Lindsey went up the risers in the center of the stage, I could only see the top of her head over the speakers/monitors. So while front row might be great for some shows, I learned it’s not great for all and I probably would have been able to see more from a few rows back. Also, everyone sat for the entirety of her show anyway, so I would have been fine if I opted to sit anywhere else, but sometimes that front row ticket is right there and right next to all the high priced VIP and you just have to snag it.
For “The Upside” she was joined by a member of the audience, Offbeat Bryce, for a special performance. Bryce joined her on stage playing a kazoo for the song after winning a contest. Overall the show was a fun time and I always love seeing Lindsey’s energy and now her acrobatics with the ring being added that she swings from and plays violin from. I was also incredibly impressed that she was able to keep up with all that she does being sick! Definitely very impressive.