John Mayer and Owl City in Concert

As written on August 18th:

So I’m back at school in Prescott now and the majority of my time has been spent putting together the special edition orientation issue of the paper.  This basically entails sitting in front of a computer working on my newest design, not too unlike an engineering job.  Last night I took a break from the newspaper to check out a concert in Phoenix.

I left newspaper, filled up my gas tank, picked up my boyfriend, and head south towards Phoenix.  Two hours later we were 5 miles from the concert center parking lot.  An hour after that we parked our car.

I didn’t think about the fact that the concert was in an outdoor pavilion in Phoenix, in the middle of August, until after my boyfriend bought the tickets.  It was pretty rough on my Coloradan boyfriend, but I’ve been hardened to the heat from spending the last six months of my summer in Houston, so to me, it was a fairly mild summer evening.

I would summarize the concert as skirting off to the side of my expectations.  The music was great, and the light shows were pretty cool.  What I wasn’t really prepared for were the band members themselves.

I’m not really a person who follows bands.  If I like someone’s music, I’ll look for more of their stuff, and add it to my newest music playlist, but I’m not really into looking them up and actually learning about the musicians themselves.

Owl City on Stage at the Crickett Wireless Pavilion from my seat

Owl City opened for John Mayer, and I was more excited to see them as I know many of their songs by heart. My favorite of their songs is West Coast Friendship because it reminds me of the fun parts of my engineering internship in California.  I wasn’t really prepared for the band. They looked like pretty normal…slightly nerdy…okay, pretty nerdy people.  After watching a couple of the songs, I’m convinced the lead singer was a drama nerd in high school.

It was awesome to see them live, but the atmosphere of the concert wasn’t at all what I expected.  It was the only professional concert that I’d been to (outside of a symphony orchestra concert) that featured string instruments on stage while almost the entire crowd sat.

When John Mayer took the stage, the crowd exploded, so I figure they were all there to see him.  Now, my favorite of John Mayer’s music is “Heart of Life,” and most of the other songs that I listen to are pretty chill.  When John Mayer walked onto stage in a black sleeveless shirt with a toned muscular physique covered in tattoos, and playing a guitar solo that could have been influenced by Jimmy Hendricks, I was a bit shocked.

What really made me laugh was the rest of his band, and their stark contrast to him.  His band was comprised of pretty nerdy looking guys in jeans and button down shirts.  They really wouldn’t have looked out of place in an engineering firm.  During one of the songs, the background lights and graphics looked like clips of electrical schematics.  I looked at my boyfriend and he said “I know.  I have no idea what they are singing, I’m just ‘nerding out’ on the schematics.”

We had so much fun at the concert between the listening to silly, crazy, and sometimes sentimental things that John Mayer said to introduce his songs, people watching the fanatic fans, to jamming out to the music.

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