Live Music: good for the mind, the soul, and most importantly the booty.

31 Mar

Growing up, my parents made it an annual tradition to attend Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival, rain or shine. I remember complaining so much, but as each year came I found myself more appreciative. George Clinton & the Parliament Funkadelic, Black Eyed Peas (back when they were funky), Booker T & the M.G.’s, BB King, No Doubt, Third Eye Blind, and Beck, were just some of the artists I saw while hanging with the family. The list goes on forever, but looking back I didn’t even realize how good I had it. My brother ran sound for a few of the stages and sometimes he would let me sit front of house (that’s the best seat in the place).

As I got older, my love for concerts remained. Sophomore year of high school, my best friend Kourtney and I went to the second annual Lilith Fair tour, also performing was the Indigo Girls and Erykah Badu. We had some other friends who were going, so we decided to go. Why our parents let us go by ourselves is beyond me, but we hopped in our friend Leah’s car and sought out for the Gorge in George, WA. It was absolutely amazing; such a beautiful venue, so careless and fun. I look back and think of that trip as one of my favorites.

(RIP Leah Mailloux, you are dearly missed)

I’ve attended every concert from the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Etta James, Susan Tedeschi, Sugar Ray (I got taken out of the crowd because I was getting squished), Bonnie Raitt, Martina McBride, Smashmouth, John Mayer and many more that would surprise you. I have tasted every genre!

I’ve been blessed to explore the jazzier side of life, seeing Kenny Rankin, and Tuck ‘n’ Patti at Jazz Alley, and most recently saw and met Robert Glasper at the Triple Door in Seattle (he has played for Mos Def, J. Dilla, and Q-Tip. Go listen to him, a genius with the keys).

My brother went on to do sound every summer at the Gorge. I’d beg him to take me with him every year. To this day, I have yet to see Dave Matthews (shame on me), but he invited me to attend the very first Sasquatch Festival. I remember standing behind the B stage, he was off wiring his life away, and I looked over to see Ben Harper and Jack Johnson just hanging out. Talk about a schoolgirl crush. I remember Ben Harper performed Walk Away, and I got to sit on this platform on the hill where the amp is for the delay towers (again, best seat in the place), so mind blowing.

I went on to see Ben Harper and Jack Johnson again at the Gorge, as well as Tom Petty and The Black Crows.

Years after I graduated, I remember saying to myself, I have to get a big group together to go to Bumbershoot. Someone needed to get the tradition back up and rolling and I did just that. I found out my favorite group of all time A Tribe Called Quest was coming. I literally bought 8 tickets the day pre-sale was available, and ended up going down in the largest group. First we went to EMP to see Macklemore perform with his then DJ, Risk One (wait, what?!?!), then stopped at the beer garden during transition. We got to the main stage and sat for what felt like 4 sweaty hours. Finally, on came Atmosphere and then ATCQ. It was such an amazing show with amazing people. I think I cried and rapped every lyric.

I remember thinking to myself, this is it, and no concert will ever beat this. Then the phone rang “Leash, my dad has extra tickets to see Stevie Wonder at Chateau Ste Michelle. Do you want to go?” My heart stopped; I began to cry. I’m so in love with Stevie Wonder; his music takes me to such a happy place. When we got to the winery, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a glass of wine, but at the time they only sold it by the bottle. My cousin doesn’t drink, so I willingly drank the entire bottle of merlot and by the end of the night was dancing around like a wildflower, singing every word (sorry Jake).

That was the absolute topper. I hold true to my word that Stevie Wonder at Chateau Ste Michelle, was by far the best concert I’ve ever been to.

From there on out, I’ve seen Wyclef Jean (amazing), Brother Ali, Raphael Saadiq (2X), John Mayer (for the second time), New Kids On The Block (don’t hate), The Fray, Little Dragon, The Foreign Exchange (can’t even describe it), Choklate, Paramore, Big Boi, Atmosphere, Collie Budds, Rock The Bells (featuring my loves ATCQ and Lauryn Hill), and many more that I’m most likely forgetting.

The last major concert that I went to was Sting. This is a big deal, because I have a list of 10 artists that I must see before my dying day. I decided to take my brother. This wasn’t just any Sting concert; he was to perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra at White River Amphitheater. The minute I found out he was coming I knew it was going to be amazing, but it was my brothers reaction to the concert that made me so happy. He has seen so many artists in his time, but he was speechless. No exaggeration, I recall a Sting album being played at least once a day in my house growing up. His voice, his history, his videos; I don’t care what anyone says about him, he is one of the most amazing artists!

To wrap up this long trip down memory lane, I am eager to say that I will be able to cross off another artist in my top 10 of concerts to attend before I die…SADE! Her voice, her lyrics, her music is all so soothing and spiritual.

In all of my years of concert going, I realize that it’s not only the artists and venues that can take you to another place and move you, but it’s also in whom you attend the concert with. If you attend an astounding concert with the wrong person, you will never be able to enjoy the greatness it had to offer. I’m so excited to be going to Sade with my 2 very best friends. I believe this concert will top them all.

I am so thankful for my foundation into music, from my grandparents, to my parents, my brother, my amazing family and friends. I can’t even picture my life without music, and maybe that’s why I’m so intrigued by my friends who are musicians, singers, DJ’s and dancers. I’m excited to continue my musical journey and hope that I’ve inspired even just one person to get out there and see a show. It’s good for the mind, soul, and most importantly your booty (yes booty). Who goes to a concert without getting your boogie on?

Stevie Wonder – Do I Do (U-Tern Disco Edit)

Au Revoir, Mear.

Ps. Many artists that I’ve seen did not make it into this post, merely because I have a horrible memory.

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