concert diaries | one night with dead and co

Ohhhhh boy, where do I even start with this one. I get excited all over again just thinking about this show.

If you listened to Episode Six of the Pod, you heard me talk allll about seeing Dead & Company a few months ago. Now that I am an official Deadhead, I figured I needed to revisit the topic since I can’t shut up about being a Deadhead. Haha.

I knew I had to witness John Mayer and his guitar playing again, because I felt like it was such a spiritual experience the first time around. However, I didn’t really do much in terms of finding tickets for this show until, oh I don’t know, the day of the show. What can I say? I work well under pressure.

So I found these tickets, but wasn’t sure exactly where the seats were until we got there. Surprise, surprise…Jess had secured a lovely spot in the pit. That’s right, we witnessed the glory of Dead & Co with John Mayer from relatively close. Riiighttt abouuuttt hereee…

And everyone there seemed to have about 30 years on us…talk about slightly intimidating. But if we’re being honest, I would not have wanted to be inducted into the Deadhead cult in any other way. (Don’t get me wrong – I say that with great love and admiration.) Everyone was so friendly and the vibe was the closest thing I’ve found to the Bonnaroo vibe while not actually on The Farm. Plus, it’s pretty amusing to watch hundreds of people my parents’ age smoking joints so freely in public while also wearing tie dye. Just sayin’! Everyone I encountered at the show was so excited that the next generation actually knew who The Dead were and wanted to see the latest version of them live.

A little history…

I grew up listening to good music. Like reealllyyy good music (thx Mother and Patricio!) In fact, my very first memory in my life  is riding in the back of my dad’s old truck on our way to our annual family camping trip in Sun Valley and “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles is playing. That moment has shaped my entire life since.

Naturally in junior high, I went rogue and got obsessed with Lil Wayne (sorry not sorry). Then at one point in high school all I cared about was rock climbing, tie dye and old school rock music. (I feel like now I’ve found a solid balance…for the most part).

This is when my Grateful Dead listening adventure began. I specifically remember driving to a local coffee shop after school, windows down, blaring “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire on the Mountain” and “Casey Jones” the whole way there. At this time, I threw them in the pile of bands I could never see live along with Bob Marley and Nirvana. Regardless, I still listened and loved.

I even used the line “What a long, strange trip it’s been” in my last editorial piece in the school newspaper during my senior year.

So when Dead & Company manifested and John Mayer was invited to play, I saw the slight chance appear. But really, are there any Deadheads in Vegas? Turns out yes, yes there are.

The concert experience itself was one of the best I’ve ever witnessed outside of a festival. It was refreshing to be around people who wanted to focus on seeing and experiencing the show rather than Snapping the whole damn thing.  I was in awe to be able to see all of these legendary musicians performing in front of me. This was one of those shows where you close your eyes and literally feel the music. It was truly amazing.

I found myself swaying along as the band jammed out and led us on a journey. So far out that, at certain points, you couldn’t even remember what song they were playing. I barely touched my phone and I found myself truly lost in the music. I wasn’t ready to leave, I didn’t get impatient for the song to end and I felt so peaceful the entire time. Plus being able to see the band when I wanted was so nice. Frequent concerts when you’re 5 foot nothing means you don’t usually see any of the action. Such is my life.

After it was over, I found myself wishing I could go back again. I could see why people have literally followed this band since day one. Most importantly, I finally felt like I could call myself a true Deadhead!

I promptly went home and subscribed to Amazon Prime so I could watch “Long Strange Trip”, the six episode documentary on the history of The Grateful Dead. The doc is so carefully and deliberately done and it offers a fascinating look into The Dead and what they have meant to fans over the years. I highly recommend.

So if you can…go see Dead & Co. Watch the documentary. Both are essential if you even like one song from this band. Truly a life changing and magical experience.



love on the weekend | one night with john mayer

Hey Y’all…

If you listened to the Podcast yesterday about my three concerts in three nights featuring John Mayer experience you will know it left me…speechless. (If you haven’t…go LISTEN!!)

I bought my ticket to this show – no – experience on an impulse. John is someone I’ve always wanted to see, but I’d already made plans to attend two concerts on the two nights leading up to his. Three shows in three nights? Who does that?

Me. I do.

I didn’t even check to see if anyone was available/wanted to attend with me, I just bought the “best seat available” and prayed that didn’t mean I would get placed next to someone who wanted to sit down and be a bore the whole time. Spoiler alert: I got lucky in this department.

As I made my way onto the floor of TMobile Arena located in The Park behind New York, New York on Las Vegas Boulevard aka “The Strip”, I asked the usher if I was in the right section. (This was my first time attending a concert in the year-old venue, let alone stepping foot in the place.)

His eyes grew wide and replied “Ohhh no, you are allll the way up there” and points to the stage. My “best seat available” turned out to be eleven short rows back from the stage. Immediately, the most genuine smile began to appear on my face…I was not only going to witness thee one and only John Mayer, I was going to be able to actually see him during the show. I was going to be able to watch him play the guitar with all the fire and passion that can be heard on his live albums. I was going to witness a genius.

Opening for John was a band from L.A. called LANY. Before seeing them live, I had heard some of their songs and I’d also heard they sounded like bootleg The 1975. I found that they sounded pretty good and I was impressed by their musicianship. My seat mates and I did decide that the lead singer sounded very similar to the man of the evening himself, but also that, if we all weren’t at a John Mayer concert we probably would not have drawn that conclusion.

One set down, one more to enjoy.

Maker’s Ginger Ale in hand and quarter-life crisis in tow, I was ready for a man I’ve been singing along to and admiring the lyrics of for the last sixteen years (holy shit – didn’t realize the actual number prior to this). I remember only having a CD player in my car at the age of 15 and alternating “Continuum” and “Heavier Things” every time I drove.

There’s just something about “Clarity” and driving in the mountains. Spiritual…AF.

Anyway…the show…in one word? Phenomenal. Life-Changing. Magical. Inspiring. (Okay…four words were necessary.)

There are so many sides and stories to John and his music. His decision to break the show up into “Chapters” featuring him and the band, him and his acoustic guitar, and the John Mayer Trio was effective and enjoyable. The audience was able to experience a range of songs, memories and skills from the musicians in front of us. I always knew John could play the guitar, but it wasn’t until he was actually in front of me, jamming out, feeling and believing in his music that I truly understood how much of musician he really is.

There’s just something about people who are so passionate about what they do, when they truly believe in it…it’s beautiful and it makes you want to be a part of it.

His set list ranged from “Why Georgia” up to “Love on the Weekend” with plenty of guitar solos in between. I could actually close my eyes and feel like I was experiencing something magical. (Even though I didn’t want to close my eyes because HELLO JOHN MAYER WAS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME.)

I barely even had a desire to look at my phone or take any photos (maybe 3?) or videos (maybe 3?) because I was too busy living in the moment. Which makes for a less than spectacular recap of it all, I realize.

So my advice to you is, go see the man live in concert – if you can. I can honestly say it was bigger than a concert and now currently sits at the number one spot on the list of the “best concerts I’ve ever been to”…seriously.

Coming out of this whole thing, I feel so inspired in my life. To chase more, to be more, to do more. And to do it all authentically. Not to mention, I think it’s time to see John Mayer again. And maybe take more pictures?

Is this the part where I become a groupie?