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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Running On Empty And Lovin' It
or the 23 1/2 hour day I spent with Jack Johnson

Okay, so yesterday after waking at the unGodly pre-crack of dawn hour of 3AM, I traveled to Blossom Music Center with my friend, Sheila and her girls to see Jack Johnson perform on a very toasty summer night. We all were excited because Mr. Johnson-THE perennial Hawaiian surfer boy-NEVER tours close to here. I've wanted to see him since his outstanding first album, Brushfire Fairy Tales. It's been a long wait, but well worth it.

Being our dorky selves outside the gate
Sheila, Abby, Sheila and Moi (humidity-not a good friend)
So we piled in the car and two hours later were driving for what seemed like for-effing-ever to get to parking lot E. Blossom is HUGE! The performance shed is located in the middle of hundreds of acres of beautiful woodland. 
The original Shed venue in its lovely surroundings
Look how cool the inside is. 

The structure is very organic and sits unobtrusively in bowl of a hillside. There are plantings everywhere. No other shed venue comes close to the park-like surrounds of this original.
Embarrassing the teenagers
Nice air, Sheila!! 

Not to be outdone, the girls FINALLY show their stuff

Check out these jump pictures!! They were both captured on the FIRST TRY! I love this new camera! It used to take me at least eight tries on my old beast just to get the timing right. This Panasonic rules!!

Moving on...

Johnson is a big environmentalist, so to that end there were booths of charities and foundations present to talk with everyone as they ambled to take their seats, as well as water bottle refilling stations in an attempt to cut back on plastic usage.

In the middle of the tents, G. Love (sans Special Sauce) set up and played for about 30 minutes to a fairly large crowd. It seemed odd that G. Love who Jack Johnson wrote for before he became all that, would be relegated to the stage equivalent of the kid's table at Thanksgiving. Seemed kinda rude, you know? Aaaa, but turns out Mr. Sans Sauce was the second opener for the evening at the adult table stage.
G. Love Sans Sauce playing at the kid's table
How cute are those kids with the hats?

Mr. G bringing the love one song at a time

I'm not that familiar with his work outside of him being bluesy, but boy can he generate a BIG sound with just his telecaster and harmonica, getting the crowd all fired up and singing along. I was pleasantly surprised. Later he joined Johnson on stage to interject some of his high energy for a couple songs.

Johnson took to the stage in his breezy, surfer boy style and launched into three old favorites right off the bat before crooning a couple new tunes. The crowd stood from the start and remained on their feet for the majority of the ninety mellow minutes.

He played most of my favorites including Taylor, Bubble Toes and Flake. Here's Bubble Toes from last night. Okay, most of it. My battery died towards the end, but still how great is it to hear thousands of people sing your song back to you?

See? Isn't he the grooviest? How could you not bop around and feel happy listening to him? Plus, seriously. How great is this camera, huh? We were way in the back, for Pete's sake.

The encore was him, alone with his acoustic treating everyone to exactly what we'd come for...a couple moments chilling with one of the coolest guys in music. He called everyone on stage to sing the popular "Better Together", musically summing up his philosophy that together we can make the world a better place.

Oh yeah, and in keeping with my whole Summer of Cover Lovin', Ole Jackie pulled out a cool as ice, surfer rendition of Steve Miller's The Joker. And the streak keeps going. 

So, 23 1/2 hours later I pulled into my driveway completely exhausted, happily humming a cheerful little ditty  as I drifted off to slumberland... 

Okay, it was more like a dizzy drunk passing out after downing about 20 shots of Yager, only without the pee-stained pantaloons as the mark of shameful excess and questionable hygiene practices. I could barely drag my sagging ass out of bed this morning. No matter. It was worth the fatigue today. 

Maybe I'm getting too old for this. Pfffft!! No way! Outside of the fact that I'm looking more and more like the Crypt Keeper, I'm having too much fun to stop. Like our friend says, I can sleep when I'm dead, right?

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