For Christmas, the hubs got me tickets to see my all time favorite band, Jack's Mannequin. I've been an enormous fan of their frontman, Andrew McMahon, since Something Corporate (another one of my favorite bands), so Thomas knows that tickets to one of his concerts will always be a big win.
So after waiting nearly two months, February 23rd finally rolled around and it was time for the concert at the House of Blues. We decided to have an early dinner in their restaurant and make a little bit of a day out of the concert, with the added bonus that I had been told there can be perks to eating at the House of Blues before a concert there. And perks there were! Turns out if you eat there you get to "Pass the Line"; basically get in line ahead of everyone waiting outside and get to the stage sooner, meaning you not only get to bypass the cold by going directly from the restaurant to the stage, but also have the opportunity to get much closer to the band.
And I love being close to the band. It's such a different experience to be right up front in the mix of everything than standing in the back. But lately the hubs and I have been finding ourselves hanging just at the edge of that main group of people; close enough that you feel a part of it, but not so close that at the end of the night you have to wonder if all the sweat on your shirt is really yours.
And that's when Thomas said those magical words, "Do you want to go up to the front?". I gasped. I couldn't believe that he was agreeing to try to get into the very front row since we'd be some of the first people let in when the doors opened. At first I thought he was toying with me, knowing just how much I would love to be thisclose to the stage at a Jack's Mannequin concert. But he wasn't. He was serious, and I could not have been more excited for the doors to open and the concert to begin.
Only about 15 people got to head in before us (having finished eating earlier), so when the doors opened we all raced up the stairs towards the stage to secure our places. Success! We got a spot right against the barricade (just 5 feet from the stage!) and only slightly to the left of center. Words cannot properly describe my excitement, which is best expressed as OMG SQUEEEEEEE! Now we just needed to hang out for an hour for the starting acts.
While we were waiting I scampered off to go buy a t-shirt (a concert must for me) while Thomas waited while "standing wide" to keep my spot. After finding the merch booth I quickly purchased and donned my prize and returned to find that Thomas had done a fine job of defending my place in my absence.
My t-shirt and ticket posing together (yes, I'm a dork)
Finally the hour passed and the first opening act, Vedera, took the stage. A drummer, guitarist and bassist took the stage and began playing. Then the lead singer walked out, she was smokin' hot! A combination of her looks, outfit and stage presence. Anyway, they did their set and were pretty good. The music was solid, although the hubs thought that a lot of their songs sounded alike and I have to agree. But I wouldn't mind seeing them again either, so overall a win.
image found on popeater.com
image from Vedera's facebook page
Next was Fun. And I have to admit when I saw a small army of musicians in so-hip-it-hurts garb take the stage, my hopes were not high for the music that we were about to hear. A homeless-hat wearing guitar player, pants that looked like they were spray painted onto the lead singer and a total of 6 people on stage (including not one but two keyboard players) just felt like trying-too-hard-ness. I was really happy when they totally blew my expectations out of the water and were fantastic to watch and listen to! They didn't just play their music, they put on a show. I also found out their frontman was from The Format; I have one of their cds and was surprised I didn't recognize his voice. But I will definitely be checking them out some more. And as it turns out, the band is actually only 3 people, the other 3 were just there for touring purposes. Besides, they were so good that they could actually justify having all of those people in the band.
all Fun photos taken from their myspace page and were taken by Alyssa Applebaum
After two great opening acts I was pumped for Jack's Mannequin. Our spot was perfect, you could see the entire stage, even make eye contact with the band (um, awesome!). The show was fantastic! We've already seen Jack's Mannequin tour for their most recent cd, The Glass Passenger, but they re-worked almost all of the songs for this tour. Normally I'm not a fan of this, because most bands just change the tempo or make a verse longer, but the way Jack's Mannequin did it really made the songs feel new and different while still being recognizable. They did songs from both The Glass Passenger and their first cd, Everything in Transit. I was kind of hoping for more from The Glass Passenger, but I really can't complain since it was a great show overall. Lots of energy, very engaging, great musically, and of course being in the front row was just the icing on the cake.
from somethingmarissa's flickr page here
from DanCox's flickr page here
from autiscy's flickr page here
from alyssa*susan's flickr page here
And to top everything off, it was also announced at the show that Something Corporate will be getting back together for a few shows, one of which will be in Chicago. I bought tickets for that as fast as I could and am so excited I can hardly stand it!