On Sunday afternoon Katie Stevens had a performance at Mohegan Sun Casino as a part of their 15th year celebration and their Reality Check series. Visitors were treated to a short set by Katie, a Connecticut native made famous on Season 9 of American Idol.
She started her set with the Maroon 5 / Christina Aguilera cover of Moves Like Jagger, then went in to a Jill Scott song, Hate On Me. She also did Adele’s Someone Like You. After that she did a short Q&A session with the crowd where she was asked about her upcoming music (she is working on it but she doesn’t want to rush to put out something she doesn’t love and back 100%) and how she keeps her hair looking so great!
Her set then continued with the Beatles Oh Darlin, Who You Are by Jessie J and she finished her set with Etta James’ At Last.
Katie has an amazingly powerful voice and I wish her the best out in LA and working on her new material!
A video clip of Oh Darlin:
After her set, she did a signing for those interested. She is a total sweetheart AND she likes my name. I wonder why? 😉
Sunday night it was time for the second show of Hanson’s Musical Ride tour that I’d be attending. The winning album for this show was the band’s 2nd album – This Time Around. Siobhan Magnus from American Idol was also in attendance. I was hoping maybe the guys would pull her on stage for a song, but they didn’t.
We opted to take the T in to Boston rather than driving in and parking near the venue. This meant that we had to catch a train before the last train at 12:35 so “I’m a pumpkin!” was often mentioned throughout the evening.
When we arrived, we asked about ADA seating and were told just to let them know when we got through the line. Since that made me a bit nervous, my friend Maribeth called and got us on an “ADA List” and we were told we needed to be back at 6:45 for doors. We were some of the first people in to the venue and we quickly realized that the ADA section they had roped off had a really bad view – mainly because there were HUGE speakers hanging down that would completely block everything. We were told that we couldn’t move a chair outside the roped section and I was kind of panicking, but then we were moved up to the balcony. All by ourselves! By the time the show started we had 6 others up there with us, but it was really cool to be in an area and not need to worry about balancing (we had seats), people’s heads or hands being in the way of photos or anything like that!
Charlie Mars was once again the opener. I will give him credit for not playing his set in the same order as the previous night, but his stories were all pretty much the same as the night before.
Then finally Hanson took the stage. They did all the songs of This Time Around (which you’d think would be expected since they said theyd be playing each of the winning albums in their entirety, but they have been skipping a song or two here and there) as well as their singles and some other album songs. When it came time for the encore, I wasn’t sure what they would be doing since they had played all of the album in the regular set. However, I was pleasantly surprised when they came out and did a cover of Weezer’s “Troublemaker”! I love getting to hear new songs live from Hanson and with 5 of 5 last year I am pretty much at a standstill with album songs – but covers are always welcome!
Boston was marked as my 50th time hearing “MMMBop” live (they play it at every tour stop but they don’t do it at every radio performance which is why there is the 13 shows I have not heard it at) and Troublemaker became my 150th different Hanson song I had heard live. (I think I’ve heard over 1,000 songs from them total – but obviously that is many repeats!)
Boston’s limited poster featured a picture of all 3 guys, so I opted to buy another one. Then I left in in the restroom. As I realized it and went back to the stall, a girl was coming out with it and gave it to me. Thank goodness she was honest and didn’t try to pass it off as her own! (Although I would have known it was mine by the hairband I used as the rubberband) Nice to know that there are still nice people out there 🙂
Sunday night Josh Gracin played the Wolf’s Den at Mohegan Sun. The Wolf’s Den is a 21+ venue and the shows are free, but seating is limited. The first time I went to see Josh I wasn’t able to get in, the second time I was in the outer area of the Den and Sunday night I made it to the floor! (Only because I went alone and they had 1 spot to fill at a table down there!)
The show was supposed to start at 7, but it got started a little bit late. Josh has released 2 albums as well as an EP, but his new release will be coming out November 1. He did a mixture of all the songs, though the majority were newer songs that will be on the new album and he mixed in a decent amount of covers as well.
One of the covers he did was of John Mayer’s “Edge of Desire”, he mentioned that he had been really into John’s stuff lately and that he liked to remake a song on each of his albums and he asked John if he could put Edge of Desire on his next one, and John agreed!
For the encore, Josh’s band introduced each other while Josh was nowhere to be found. Then they started Don’t Stop Believing and Josh came in through the back of the venue (where we all entered) and walked all around snapping photos, giving hugs, high fives, etc as he made his way through the crowd and back up to the stage.
Once his set was over, a decent amount of people were hanging around hoping he would sign. He had thrown out drumsticks which I guess meant he had intended to come out and sign them all after? The staff kept saying he would not be coming out and while in my experience I have seen the staff “lie” (or be greatly misinformed) in the past… but I decided to call it a night and try to get home relatively early instead, so I don’t know if he did end up coming out or not. I do still want to get a photo with him… but hopefully he’ll come back after the album is released and do a proper signing somewhere so I’ll have another chance!
Thursday night, Jonny Lang played at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT. Tickets were a bit on the pricey side ($95 after fees) but I had a feeling it would be worth it. I have been wanting to see Jonny live for YEARS now, so when I stumbled upon the listing on the Playhouse’s site, I new that I had to splurge as a bit of a late birthday gift for myself.
The opening act was Christopher Robin – originally from Connecticut but recently moved out to Arizona. He said it was his first time back in roughly 6 months and so he was spending more time with family than picking out a setlist so he decided to just wing it. After the first song he said he decided to try to do songs acoustically that he had only done before with his full band. Personally, I thought all of the songs sounded great (having never heard him before and having nothing to compare it to) but a couple of songs he said he would definitely not be doing that way again. He ended his set with a sing a long to “The Weight” – although he was about to start another song when he was told that his time was up. It worked out nice that way – the sing a long got everyone a bit loose and ready for Jonny to hit the stage! (You can check out Christopher Robin at http://www.christopherrobinband.com/)
What I thought was interesting was Jonny’s setlist was on the stage even during the opening act. Of course, I didn’t get a chance to see it – but I did attempt to keep track of my own setlist which will be at the end of this post. I’m not sure how accurate it is – but all the songs were l-o-n-g. At one point I think we were 3 songs in and I looked at my watch and Jonny had been on stage 25 minutes. All the songs just turned in to these jams and were just awesome. It is really hard to put in to words how amazing this performance was. And when the crowd stood after songs and clapped for an extended period of time (Jonny deserved all it and more) it almost looked like he was embarrassed everyone was cheering for him!
After playing for an hour and a half, he left the stage – but everyone stood and cheered and then Jonny came out and did 3 more songs. At the end of the 3rd song each of the band members did a (long) solo and then they jammed even more after that. I have to say that this concert is probably in my Top 5 ever – and I am kind of frustrated that I really can not articulate how great it was. As a blogger, that is never a good thing!
Jonny’s sister was also his backup singer – for those of you who are also American Idol fans, you may remember that she auditioned on Season 8 and made it to I believe the top 36!
Don’t Stop (For Anything)
A Quitter Never wins
Living For The City
That Great Day
Lie to Me
40 Days and 40 Nights
Rack ‘Em Up
Sunday Vans Warped Tour rolled in to Hartford, CT. I went only because I wanted to see Simple Plan (it had been 8 years since I last saw them!) and fortunately they were playing on one of the stages in the ampitheatre so I was able to sit in there all day and be out of the sun and madness elsewhere.
From 12:00 – 6:40 or so I sat in the same seat and watched bands alternate on the AP/Tilly’s Stage and the Nintendo 3DS Stage. I have to say I strongly preferred the bands that were on the AP stage – they were a bit more “my style” while the bands on the Nintendo stage were a bit too… screamy for me.
4pm Simple Plan took the stage for their 30 minute set. They played Shut Up, Can’t Keep My Hands Off Of You, Jump, Thank You, Welcome To My Life, You Suck At Love, Addicted & I’d Do Anything. I was glad they did a decent amount of older songs because I haven’t had the chance to listen to their most recent album yet. But that performance definitely made me remember why I love them (and their lyrics). Pierre said they’d be going on a fall tour so hopefully they will hit up CT and it will be at a venue I am cool with. (Read: Webster Theater)
After nearly every song, Pierre was thanking the crowd. 15 minutes in the woman behind me thought he was saying a “thank you and goodnight!” type of speech and was like “THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON 15 MORE MINUTES” haha. The American bands didn’t say thank you quite as much (though most bands did at least once!)
We left after Relient K did 1 song – fortunately it was one that I knew. (Although the name escapes me now) I would have liked to stay for the rest of Relient K’s set and some of The Ready Set – but my brother wasn’t feeling well. He got caught in the middle of a pit and got elbowed in the stomach. He ended up getting sick all over the kid that elbowed him.
I also would have liked to gone to Simple Plan’s signing, but the bands my brother wanted to see were playing at the same time and I wasn’t sure I could handle a large line on ground that was made up of rocks (unstable). Warped Tour is really not designed for those who are disabled. I’m not really sure how they could modify it though. But at least I saw SP’s set and hopefully I can catch them when they tour in the fall.
The bands I ended up seeing were:
The Dangerous Summer
I Set My Friends On Fire
Dance Gavin Dance
The Wonder Years
If you are attending Warped Tour, I have a few tips.
1. Bring Water. Most of the venues allow 1 UNOPENED bottle of water to be brought inside per person. They also have a Klean Kanteen set up where you can refill your water bottle for free.
2. If you did not bring water – buy a bottle. They have made a deal with the venues so water will be $3 instead of the usual $5. Once you have the bottle, you can refill it for free. The important thing is to stay hydrated and start hydrating before you feel thirsty.
3. Buy a schedule – or at the very least, write down who you want to see and where they are playing. The perk of the schedule is that it has a map on the back of it. A lot of kids were coming in the ampitheatre thinking it was the main stage. The mainstage is outside so there is more room for people. Schedules are $2, which is pricey for a sheet of paper, but I find it worth it. Keep in mind there might be last minute schedule changes as well.
4. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. I wouldn’t recommend flip flops! Light colors are probably best too. Black shirts will make you that much hotter.
5. Wear sunscreen! Put it on while you wait to be let inside and reapply it throughout the day. Even if it says it lasts even if you are sweating, reapplying it every couple of hours will help make sure you’re protected at all times.
6. Bring or buy ear plugs. The music is LOUD. You can still hear it with the earplugs in, but you’ll protect your hearing. Trust me – later on down the line you’ll be grateful you don’t have a constant buzzing in your ear. Earplugs are sold at various tents for various prices ($1-$3 was what I saw) but you can also pick up 4 pairs at a dollar store before you go and share with friends.
And don’t bring your baby!!! There was a couple there who had a baby who could not have been more than one. The poor thing had nothing protecting his ears.
Various clips from Jason’s performance last night!
That’s What I’m Here For
Jason tells a story
Let’s Just Fall In Love Again
If I Were You
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
My smaller camera isn’t the best for audio, but I tried! Some of these are short because originally I thought I’d do a vlog but then I decided I don’t have time for that and gave up on the idea midway through the day, when the clips get a bit longer. Enjoy!
I See Stars
Never Shout Never
The Pretty Reckless
The Summer Set