This american girl was one lucky lady this summer. I saw four of the biggest concerts to hit New York over the past 3 months:
Read 'em and weep:
5/13/08 - Kanye West, Glow in the Dark Tour (round 1)
6/17/08 - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
7/18/08 - Billy Joel, Last Play at Shea (the real last play)
7/31/08 - Counting Crows and Maroon 5
Here's the skinny on all the awesome concerts you missed this summer, ha.
Kanye - His show really kicked ass, as previously mentioned. It was pure entertainment and a high energy, rock opera-ish show with the craziest stage set up I've ever seen. Rihanna, N.E.R.D. and Lupe were a great match for Kanye and put on awesome sets as well. In my book, he lived up to his promotion of the tour and I'll go see him again anytime.
Tom Petty - Don't let his age or his previous, um, habits fool you. His voice sounded amazinggg and just as it must've in the '70's/80's when my parents loved him (and therefore I loved him by association). He really rocked out and played all of my favorites, closing with none other than "American Girl!!" Love him!
PS - My uncle also told me he saw Tom Petty in the early '80's and it was the best show he ever went to...clearly things haven't changed, so if he comes to your town soon, you should get yourself to his concert.
Billy Joel - As soon as I heard he was coming to Shea, I knew I wanted tickets. I grew up listening to this guy, the River of Dreams album especially (a favorite of my mom's). Little did I know it would be the history-making and INSANELY AMAZING performance that it was. A 3 hour + set list including all the classics (You May Be Right, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, Only the Good Die Young, We Didn't Start the Fire...shall I go on??) combined with all-star guests Steven Tyler, Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, and Roger Daltrey blew me away. When Paul McCartney joined him on stage at midnight, I lost it. Lost it!! I got to hear "Let it Be" live from an actual Beatle...that's not supposed to happen to someone in my generation. It was magical to say the least. This is a girl whose favorite movie at age 3 was The Yellow Submarine cartoon and loved to listen to her uncle read The Fat Budgie poem by John Lennon. So, needless to say, this was the concert of the summer. Look for it on DVD in the coming months if you missed it! :)
Counting Crows/Maroon 5 - It's all about the venue, and the Jones Beach Amphitheater was the best venue I've been to so far this summer. The stage basically looks like it's floating in the water. Con - it's a national park, so no alcohol is served there, but it's still all open air, which is sort of key to a summer concert. I went into this concert psyched to see the Counting Crows and happy a good band like Maroon 5 would be there with them...I left the concert affirmed that Maroon 5 was an awesome band, and disappointed in the Counting Crows, mostly Adam Duritz. He forgot the words to one of his songs...not a good start. Only playing a few of their major hits was pretty dumb, too in my book. I've heard from others that the Counting Crows are iffy live-- sometimes great, sometimes not-so-good. Looks like I got one of the not-so-good shows. Sadness. At least Maroon 5 was great; I really loveee their latest CD and Adam Levine isn't so bad to look at either, ha.
To sum up, I basically blew all of my money on concerts this summer, but I saw some amazing performances by many of my all-time favs...and hearing live music and being with friends really is a great way to spend your summer. Worth every penny!