Gavin DeGraw at Mohegan Sun

Recently, Gavin DeGraw did a private show at Mohegan Sun.  We ended up in the 3rd row of the lower level waaay in the back – which gave a good view of the whole venue.  Unfortunately we also ended up with THE most obnoxious drunk people in front of us who were having a full blown top of their lungs conversation for most of the show.  I get that these settings don’t lend themselves for you to be around a bunch of Gavin fans like a regular concert of his in a smaller venue would, but cmon have some common courtesy.  (I may have spent the first 3 songs trying to figure out if I could “accidentally” drop my cane with enough force to knock him in the head and knock some sense into him.)  Fortunately they left early. (After screaming ” I WANT TO SEE ELTON JOHN SO BAD ” when he started to sing… Maybe I’m Amazed.)

The set list was relatively short and most of his singles – which was good because I haven’t really been listening to him all that much lately so I was still able to sing along.  The highlight of the show though was a little boy named Shane.  Gavin spotted him dancing in the crowd and asked him to come up front and then asked him to come up on stage to show off his moves to everyone.  So much energy and so many dance moves!

Before the show I also won on the slots – at one point I was up about $70 but ended up leaving with $50 more than I came with.  I can’t complain! A free concert that they basically paid me to attend?

Gavin DeGraw & Matt Nathanson

Before I get in to this review, I think I need to let you know what “co headlining” means because this was a co-headlining tour between Matt and Gavin and a lot of people didn’t seem to “get” that, based on the comments I was seeing and hearing.  Co-headlining is when 2 bands or musicians go out on the road together and they were perhaps both of equal weight when it comes to headlining. (Usually you have your big main headliner and a less popular opener or two)  Typically what is done is each night they alternate who closes the show. Some nights it is Matt, other nights it is Gavin.  For Saturday night’s show, Gavin went first followed by Matt. They play about 70 minutes EACH and each have an encore as if it was their main headlining set, just in an alternating order.   A LOT of people actually left after Gavin’s set and I thought that was pretty dumb of them because Matt had an awesome set – but more on that later.

Andrew McMahon opened and I think that a lot of the Gavin VIP people were waiting to meet Gavin because all the seats around me were vacant. (I had seen the seat I ended up buying as a VIP ticket on Gavin’s site, but ended up buying it once it got released back to the venue)  Andrew started his set with “I Woke Up In A Car” and he was like the pied piper. People, dancing like monkeys (thats the best way I can describe it) came running down from who knows where and filled in all around me. I was kind of surprised that security let them get away with it because typically the aisles need to be clear.  Andrew did a pretty solid 20 minute or so set. I don’t have the setlist and the whole time kind of felt like I was in some weird twilight zone.  But he said that he was going to warm us up and I think his mission was accomplished.

Gavin came out at 8 and played until about 9:15. He always puts on such a great show and is all over the stage (when not behind his piano, of course)  He had a couple of covers in his set – Where the Streets Have No Name – which he went into after talking about how he grew up in upstate New York and told one of his coworkers at the time he was going to move to New York to be a musician and his coworker said “You’ll never make it” and he said maybe he wouldn’t, but that he had to try and pursue his dream. He encouraged us all to pursue our dreams and do what we love to do, even if it wasn’t our actual job.  He left the stage and came back for a 3 song encore (which apparently a few people missed out on as the Facebook event page had a nasty comment about how there was “no encore!?”) which consisted of Make a Move and Not Over You as well as his newest song, Fire, which I had not yet heard though he claimed that TIC was playing it.  I guess I’ll have to listen to TIC more 😉

Then it was time for Matt.  He came out in the beginning and was just talking to the crowd and singling out people asking if they were doing ok.  I was a bit concerned because I didn’t intend to stand for his whole set – but was sitting on the edge of the seat folded up so that I could see. He called out a couple of people for sitting during a rock and roll show but fortunately didn’t seem bothered by my half sitting.  He basically just wanted us to clap if he asked us to clap and sing when he asked us to sing which really wasn’t a problem for me.  I really liked the interaction that he had with the crowd throughout the whole show.  And he was funny! Rubbing his butt on his bandmates and dancing for most of the set.  He noticed there was a 5 year old girl in the 3rd row and then said he had to be careful about what he was saying to intro the songs and even “edited” one of his songs while singing – just covered his mouth.  After a few songs he took off his shirt and gave it to the little girl.  At first I had decided I was going to leave a few songs before his set ended (I found a setlist on that I was working off of and both Gavin’s and Matt’s list seemed to be pretty accurate to what they were performing Saturday night) but since Matt was so funny and entertaining I figured I’d stick it out.  Good thing I did because the first song of his encore was called “Headphones” which he wrote as a new song just for the tour.  (If rappers can drop mix tapes whenever they want, the singer songwriter has to step up their game and do the same was essentially what he had said before it) It was about how music makes you not feel alone and how you are invincible with your headphones on.  I just absolutely loved it and it just struck a chord with me.  He finished his set with Come On Get Higher and a sing along of “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease.

Last time I saw Matt he was in the Wolf’s Den and I couldn’t get inside and I didn’t get the same feeling from his show that I got from this one.  I’m hoping he comes back again soon because I’ll definitely be checking him out again!

Leading Man
Follow Through
We Belong Together
Best I Ever Had
Where The Streets Have No Name
Everything Will Change
Rich Girl
In Love With a Girl
Finest Hour
I Don’t Want To Be

Make a Move
Not Over You


Kill The Lights
Annie’s Always Waiting (For The Next On To Leave)
Car Crash / Fancy
Mission Bells
Room At The End Of The World / I Want To Dance With Somebody
Kinks Shirt
Wedding Dress
Faster / Faith
Come On Get Higher / You’re The One That I Want

Mixtape Festival Day 1

For Day 1 of Mixtape Festival we did Silver VIP because it was HANSON day.  At 1pm we were treated to a “meet and mingle” BBQ where we were told some of the artists might show up.  In hopes that Hanson would be there, we were ready to go at 1.  We got our food, which was really good and ate it and then just kind of hung out because Hanson’s acoustic performance wasn’t until 3:00.

One of the photographers came by and said that One Republic, Hanson and Gavin DeGraw would be coming out before 3 to see us.  We heard the photographers talking and they were going to do candid shots and shots of us as a table w/ the artists.  The first to arrive were One Republic and The Script. They had them start on opposite sides of the picnic tables so we got The Script s the 2nd table. They all came around and shook everyone’s hand and were super nice.  It was REALLY hot and they all had on long pants and were just not dressed for the temps and they said that they were told it was going to be inside and Danny said “I’m melting like a snowman in hell!” (which he later said on stage too lol)

Then Hanson came and I kind of waved and Zac came over so they started with our table.  It seriously felt like we talked to them FOR-EV-ER.  I had the chance to get my CD cover signed (and a “fight” with Zac over using his black pen to sign the inside white pages or use my silver pen to sign the cover!) by all 3 of them, chatted with them about BBQ, Rollercoasters and tour which led into a chat about setlist databases which is actually what I’ve been coding for my hanson fan site ( for the past year or so, so I got to tell Isaac about that!  Then we did our table photo (really can’t wait to see the 2 photos!!) and they made their way around.

We decided we’d rather get a spot in the VIP tent for the acoustic Hanson performance than hang around for One Republic or Gavin (who I think did eventually make his way out there) and got a spot on the barricade (it was separated for Gold and Silver VIP) and they did 6 or 7 songs.

We hung out in the VIP tent for a while and headed over when Serena Ryder had already taken the stage.  I liked how she mentioned who she was after almost every song because she knew that people were still filing in to the stadium.  It always makes me crazy when people NEVER say who they are!  She has a new album coming out soon and had a lot of really fun songs!

Then it was time for Hanson! Taylor seemed to be running around the stage a bit more than usual – which was a plus.  They had a pretty solid setlist too.  The only downside was where our seats were, Taylor was blocking Zac for most of the show.  I got super excited when Zac came over to the keys to play Juliet… but a photographer decided that she REALLY, REALLY wanted to get my photo and was taking pics of me nearly the whole song which was super awkward. I don’t even remember what outlet she was with so if you see me out there somewhere… let me know lol

Gavin DeGraw was up next and he always puts on a great show. He has such great stage presence.  I did snap a photo of his setlist before he started but it’s been such a hectic (but fun!) weekend, I didnt have time to upload any photos yet so that info is still-to-come.  He had Ryan from One Republic come out and sing a song with him too.

Next up was The Script who I was excited to see because they were the only act from the day that I had not yet saw!  Danny was absolutely nuts going in the crowd, running all over the stage, climbing over all sorts of things and I loved it. He tried to make everyone feel closer by going in the stands which was awesome. (Gavin went in the crowd as well.) I also snapped a pic of their setlist so that is coming at some point as well!

Then it was time for One Republic. It is crazy how many freaking hits they have and how they can make nearly an entire setlist out of them (and probably then some!) Ryan said that he, Danny and Gavin (who are all on tour together) have all been having throat issues and 2 days ago he had no voice at all so he’d be drinking tea throughout the show.  He teased that they all hired the guy who worked with Milli Vinilli for their recorded tracks and then made it sound like his track was skipping!

Then it was time for the headliners, Train, who I was least excited to see.  We made a deal to stay for 3 songs and then head into the VIP Tent for the afterparty that Hanson was hosting.  The VIP tent had a feed piped in of the show so we did get to see most of it and I was not too happy with our decision to leave when Train brought up EVERYONE from the day to sing “The Weight” and Zac was right by where our seats were! Oh well, live and learn – we’d not be leaving early night 2 !

The after party was interesting.  Zac came out and danced around which really got everyone going nuts.  Then Taylor came out to do a guest DJ set and unfortunately it seemed to really fall flat.  Everyone stopped dancing, no one knew what he was playing and in order to try and redeem him, Zac came back and then actually went dancing through the crowd and seriously had to have danced with everyone there (yes, even us!)  It was great!  Ryan Tedder came in for a while and then one of the guys from MKTO (i think?) came in and when it seemed like Hanson was done for the night we decided we were too since we had to be back early for broom ball!

More posts about the weekend coming soon – hopefully with some photos but we’ll see what i have time to do 🙂


TIC Christmas Show

Thursday night was TIC’s annual Christmas Concert.  It was once again held at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT.  I usually love going to the Oakdale, but that night I had a particularly angry bag check woman.  First, she yelled at my because my bag couldn’t be around my neck when she checked it.  I’ve been to 250+ concerts and have never had a problem just holding it open while it was still attached to me, so the fact that she got so rude about it was completely uncalled for – as this is apparently a new rule.  Then she asked if I had a lens piece in my purse.  I said no, it was my camera and she said she’d have to see it – then went off about how it WAS a lens piece.  Maybe I’m mistaken, but when I hear “lens piece” I think – removable lens.  Not a thing that is attached and can not be removed from my camera.  She and another guy were saying I’d have to check my camera and pick it up after the show – but then she asked someone else (who looked a bit more official) and he said it was fine.  The rule is generally no professional cameras – ie cameras with detachable lens.  Mine is not… and I brought it to a show at this venue before and had no problems. *shrug*

The show was supposed to start at 7, but the doors to the theater didn’t open until 7! Usually this isn’t a problem, but I was pretty exhausted and hoping to be home by 11 to get a decent nights sleep for the first time in days.

Christina Perri took the stage at about 7:20.  She had performed last year as well but was upgraded from performing only 4 songs to 7.  3 of them she had done last year as well, but now she has an actual album out!  She also threw in a Christmas song  and she and her band donned Christmas hats during that one song.  Her song of choice was John Lennon’s Happy Christmas, War is Over.  One of the new songs she did (that wasn’t done last year) was 1000 years which is on the Twilight soundtrack.  She said one of her new years resolutions was to have a song in one of her favorite movies so she was glad that happened for her.

Next up was Gavin DeGraw.  To be honest, I was a bit shocked he was the second act and not The Fray, but I guess I don’t have as much of an idea of Top 40 popularity as I thought I did!  Gavin’s set was similar to when I saw him last month in Pennsylvania but of course a bit shorted.  Gavin did 7 songs which was most of his singles and a couple others thrown in.  He didn’t do any Christmas songs, and he had no problem commanding the crowd. He is a great performer and I am glad that he went from someone on my “must see” concert list to someone I saw perform 3 times this year!

Then it was time for The Fray.  Unfortunately I am not familiar with their stuff at all and have not been able to figure out what their first song was based on the notes I wrote for it.  They did 8 songs, several from their new album which will be coming out in February.  For one of the songs, the lead singer, Isaac, called a girl up from the audience on stage.  He said he had someone specific in mind and was surprised when she was actually there.  One of the band members had found her on twitter and they had her come up on stage and gave her a teddy bear for a song (The Christmas Song).  I thought that was pretty cool and a new way to interact with fans using social media!  Also during one of the songs Isaac went through the crowd, and I was right on the aisle of my section and that is right where he walked by!  The girl in front of me had a sign and he took it from her! I am not sure what it said,but she was so incredibly excited that he took it. (And I think he stuck it in his back pocket!)

Finally it was time for the headliner – Miss Kelly Clarkson!  Kelly is also on my list of artists that I had to see live – one of the only Idols that I am a fan of that I’ve yet to see live.  Kelly did 8 songs and was great – really high energy and I liked that she talked a lot with the crowd about the songs.  At one point she apologized for talking too much – but I really like when artists tell little stories or anecdotes about their songs and why they wrote them or put them on the album, etc.  For instance – after Stronger she said that she loved the song but there was nowhere to BREATHE when singing it live! She also added a christmas song to her set – I’ll Be Home For Christmas.  I was surprised that her set was so short, but she will be back next month and I am really looking forward to seeing her again and with a full set!

After all was said and done, I made it home just before midnight so I was able to get a little bit more sleep than the previous couple of nights but I am really looking forward to sleeping in this weekend.


Setlists under the cut for all 4 acts!

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Gavin DeGraw & David Cook November 5, 2011

Saturday night’s show seemed like it took forever to come!  Doors opened late and we were greeted to the opening act of Canaan Smith.  I wasn’t sure what to think about him… he came out with a HUGE silver microphone necklace on which he hung on the mic stand.. and then he sang country songs. (Although one of the songs he did sing about how he was country and rap so I guess it all started to make sense at that point) When I came home, I looked him up on Google to try and find some fun information about him – and I found out that he was on a season of Amazing Race! I love the show but hardly ever remember who the contestants are as soon as they are eliminated, but when I came home and said that name “Canaan” to my mom – she remembered that he was the one whose girlfriend did not want to go down the slide at Atlantis!  Once she said that I remembered him. (The poor girl was afraid to go down and he could not convince her and they ended up losing the race because of it!  But they are still together if anyone was curious!)

Then it was time for Gavin DeGraw.  I’m not all that familiar with any of his new stuff, mainly because I am a slacker and never listen to the CDs I buy… (I really need to work on that) but his set was a mix of new and old so I was able to hold my own with the older songs.  He threw in a couple of bits of covers during his set – The Script’s Breakeven and Bruno Mars Grenade.  He also sat down at the piano without his band backing him and said that he was going to sing a song that he liked to sing back when he was a teenager and how his brother and him would play songs at the gym after it closed and one of the guys there had told him some profane things that women would do to him if he learned a few songs, but at the time he didn’t know what that meant.  He went on to do a cover of Let’s Get It On. He also commented that he was a bit sick so some of the high notes he wasn’t able to hit – but that when he was ok he couldn’t really hit those notes either!  I sat down for his set but most of my row stood at their seats, which made me a bit nervous for when David came out because my balance isn’t too hot to stand at my seat, but if I could lean against the stage I’d be fine.

Fortunately, when David came out the row did all go against the stage so things were fine! (My feet were asleep and killing me by the time David’s set was over, but that was ok!) I thought it was interesting that he started and ended the set with the starting and ending tracks from the new cd – Circadian and Rapid Eye Movement.  At one point near the end of the set, the band was going to leave the stage and David told them not to leave.  Since it was a full house – he was going to add a song that wasn’t on the setlist – a cover.  He asked if we wanted some Fog Hat, but when the response was less than stellar he decided against that.  He told the band that they were instead going to do Whitesnake, which was something that they had done in sound check but never live before and that it might suck. Once it was over he said that he now felt like they were a band that could play at a wedding and went in to part of “Celebration” and then talked a bit about a Father / Daughter dance being Butterfly Kisses and how he had a better song! And then he went in to Bar Ba Sol lol.  I have to say the highlights of David shows are always him talking to the crowd. At one point another gang from CT was yelling how they were from Connecticut and still had no power.  David said he didn’t mean to be rude, but all he heard was “wat wat wat” (read that like the Charlie Brown teacher talks!) and they tried to say it again but he still couldn’t hear and then he said he could go on with the Charlie Brown teacher voice all night, but he wouldn’t.  He seemed quite overwhelmed that the show was a sell out (or near sell out) and thanked us for standing by him and waiting for the new album to come out because they took so long to do it, he had no idea what the state of the music industry would be when he got back.  And also he thanked us a few times for supporting live music.  (Also worth noting one of the roadies had a clown mask on and kept bringing stuff to the stage. Creepy!)

The show was definitely a blast and I am glad that I made the trip to go!

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Gavin DeGraw Acoustic Cafe May 24, 2011

96.5 TIC had an Acoustic Cafe Tuesday afternoon at Black Bear Saloon in Hartford, CT.  Acoustic Cafes are always pretty small and intimate, and this one was no different.

Shortly after I arrived, Gavin arrived and went in to the room where the stage was for soundcheck.  Once he was finished, we were all brought in to the room where the stage was and a couple of minutes later Gavin was introduced and took the stage.

Previously, I had never seen Gavin before and he was on my “Life List” as a must see and I have to say, he did not disappoint.  He did 3 songs – Chariot, Not Over You and I Don’t Wanna Be.

After the set we got photos with him.  Gavin’s arm is in a sling but he was still shaking hands and hugging everyone the best he could 🙂

This acoustic cafe win was part of a Double Play – so I am also going to be on the list for David Cook’s acoustic cafe in a couple of weeks!


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