Aug 13 2017

The US adventure(part 3):”Looking for Summer” concert

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 5:13

Here it is, the day of the concert. This is the concert I bought the thicket by mistake for, the ticket bought at 3:00 am in the morning that started my US adventure.

I had to fill my day with something and as Vienna is quite poor in places to kill time I chose to go to a wetland national park, the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. As I am a big lover of nature and isolation, this turned out to be a great decision, as the park was mostly empty of human beings and I had the nature all to myself. The water lilies were no longer blooming, but there were other plants and insects just as interesting. I walked between the Deephole Point and Taylors Point, and took small breaks to admire small beaches and butterflies. And of course I got bitten by some bloody insect and have some itchy sports on my right shoulder. But oh well, I will bear it all for the love of nature.

US might have its flaws, but from what I’ve seen seems to take nature and protecting it very seriously.

After I was done with the park, I did a small stop in Springfield. Yes, there is a town named Springfield in Virginia. The town is quite small, it does not look like the Springfield in “The Simpsons” and from a short visit, it did not seem like they really want to benefit from the “connection” with the series, because I was not able to find “Simpsons” themed stuff anywhere. So I just stopped at the mall, had a ribeye steak and headed to the next town.

The next town in my plan was Alexandria. I panicked a little when I discovered that it was quite difficult to find a parking spot, but in the end I managed to find one and walked for about an hour through the Jones Point Park. The park is set up along the Potomac River and over it is the highway uniting Alexandria with Rosalie Island. It was fascinating for me to see how well the space beneath the highway was used, a lot of vegetation, some basketball fields, some skating establishments and parking places. Sure, there is a lot of noise coming from the highway, but I think people are just used to it.

After Alexandria I came back to Vienna, to the hotel and prepared for the concerts. Taking a bath and eating something, there was not much to prepare, really. I climbed in the truck and got there 1 hour earlier. And I had the occasion to notice something very interesting. Aside from the seated places in the Filene Center, tickets without seats were being sold, and people could choose their own place in the grass, on the field in front of the establishment. And they were allowed to bring in blankets, food, drinks, anything that you would bring at a picnic. It was amazing.

The concert started at 19:00 with a young tallent with an amazing voice: Brynn Elliott. She was amazing and I intend to pay attention to her career.

After she was done, Switchfoot was on. I had the impression that being the older and more successful band, they will be the last to sing, but no. That was not the setup. They sang quite a few of their old songs and not many from the new album. Jon Foreman, the lead singer, even climbed down from the scene and walked on chairs between the fans. He was two rows in front of me, and I hated myself for not getting tickets there. But oh well, I’m not a teenager anymore, touching a famous person does not mean to me as much as it would have meant 20 years ago. Now I really think that having a coffee or tea with the admired person would do it for me.

Jon Foreman is an awesome human being, Switchfoot has lanuched its 10th album and the band is 21 this year. That is damn impressive and their alternative sound, the positive messages in their well written lyrics is what has made them what they are. Switchfoot is loved and appreciated in US and they are a trademark of this country. I read some article before coming here that they are a Cristian band, well I did not hear God and the bible mentioned that much in their lyrics, that’s why it made me laugh at first that I, an atheist for more than 10 years, was actually enjoying Christian alternative rock. What I always loved about Switchfoot lyrics was that although some songs were about sadness, there was always that line that mentions hope. And is the kind of music that makes you think. One of their biggest hits “This is your life”, starts up like this:

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
Don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes,
This is your life

And today is all you’ve got now
And today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes.

This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you’ve dreamed
That it would be when the world was younger,
And you had everything to lose?

And I was watching him, listening to him sing this song with so much force that I actually started thinking. Is this all there is about my life, alone here, on a different continent so far away from home? But then again, when I was younger and had everything to lose, I actually thought I had nothing to lose, because I was nobody, with no special skill or talent and also… as it seemed at the time, no potential. But here I was, on vacation on another continent, watching this guy sing live after listening to his music for about 10 years. The younger me never dreamed this, because the younger me only dreamed about survival. So yeah, I am more than I dreamed that I would be, and this is not even the last version of me, there are more changes coming and I really hope I will love the me that I later become.

After Switchfoot, Lifehouse took the stage, and I noticed for the first time(silly me) that this band does not have a keyboard. So all the sounds in their songs are obtained by playing a guitar,a bass and drums. So what makes them so special? Well, the sound is definetly good, but again the lyrics make the difference. And the voice of the lead singer, Jason Wade is quite peculiar. It’s is hoarse and strong, but soft when it needs to be. Maybe I’m wrong here, but his voice resembles a little to Chester Bennington’s. Listen to “Whatever It Takes” and notice how his voice changes during this song. And notice the lyrics as well, they are heart-felt, they are sincere and the song was written for somebody in his life, a real person, a real situation, and thus, real feelings are communicated through the song.

Overall the concert was amazing. I have no doubt that John Mayer will probably top this night, but for the moment, all I can say is that buying the ticket to this concert is one of the two most beautiful mistakes I’ve done in my life.

The other one was kissing you, one year ago, on my birthday.

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