Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Jack Johnson @ UCLA

It was kind of like a green festival, which I thought was cool. There were booths set up to tell you about the environment and a photo booth (they displayed the photos on the big screens right before he came on) and food booths (disappointed that there was no grilled corn). For some odd reason they didn't allow blankets into the area (which was a giant field, so I don't know why they did that). My sis has a theory that Jack Johnson has a fear of blankets. Maybe a bad experience with a kidnap attempt? Some people suck them in anyways. Once we got to the merch booth, I found out they were selling Jack Johnson towels, so the restriction was probably to motivate towel sales. Also, maybe he doesn't have a fear of towels.

Culver City Dub Collective
Paula Fuga, a Hawaiian songstress who has been touring with the jazz band on the Jack Johnson tour, has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard. Her voice is so big and full. You would never imagine that to come out of her when you see her. Seemed like the type of music Jack Johnson likes. I love love the duet they did called Country Road. I find her singing style very interesting. It's a mix of jazz and Hawaiian.

Rogue Wave
Their background and shirts were really cute: Stars and parachutes or a keyboard with marionette strings of the letters spelling out their band's name. They have a very good designer...and that's about it. I was THIS close to buying a t-shirt because it looked so cute, but after I heard them play, I'm extremely glad I didn't. They played mellow Keane-like music, but not as catchy or as talented. They seemed really into their music though. I have to give the band members credit for acting like they were playing punk rock even though it was actually slow and Travis-ish. They were playing the singer's favorite song and I thought it was going to be fast and catchy and they started out, and it was like the slowest song of the bunch. Why is that your fav?! And they were jumping in the air and running around on the stage. My sis said that the girl standing next to me (who looked like she was 15, but she was dating a college student. Gross!) said that was her favorite song too. I was thinking to myself "Seriously? Someone actually knows who this band is? Not only that, they actually LIKE this music?!" And the singer came off as kind of cocky to me, like he thought he was playing the best music in the world. Then he said it was their last song, but he LIED! He started getting political and singing "Bust Them Out" of the white house as soon as their supposed last song was over! Ugh. It was torture. I was so glad when it was over. All their songs kind of sounded the same after awhile and they would've blended in together if he didn't stop in between all of them to say something or make a joke.

Jack Johnson
OK, so a lot of people seem to be surprised that I like Jack Johnson. I don't know all the words to all his songs or anything (like my sis, heh. The show was mostly for her), but I must admit, I'm a total sap when it comes to his songs. I absolutely adore the In Between Dreams album. There are soooooooooo many sweet songs that appeal to the hopeless romantic in me (which I think has been growing due to watching too many episodes of How I Met Your Mother). My fav songs he played off this album:
- Better Together (merged with the end of Angel played during the encore. Even though I think Angel has some silly lyrics, when I heard it live with Better Together, I almost cried because it was so heartachingly romantic. Made me wish I had a guy who could write me songs like that!)
- Banana Pancakes
- Good People
- Sitting, Waiting, Wishing (1 of my all time fav Jack Johnson songs, but even I admit that a lot of his songs sound similar, so I couldn't even tell he was playing this song until it got closer to the chorus)
- Staple It Together (1 of the few distinct songs he has)
- Breakdown (great chorus)
- Do You Remember (which also pokes at my heart. It just reminds me of college crushes)
- Constellations (because I love looking at the stars in the sky)

That album is so fantastic. That's the only Jack Johnson album that contains songs that have 5 stars in iTunes. Anyways, I'll stop gushing about this album now. Other songs he played:
- Sleep Through the Static (the first song)
- Flake (which was fantastic live)
- Bubble Toes
- Fortunate Fools (love this song too. A bit disappointed he didn't play F-Stop Blues, but I guess it's too depressing)
- Gone

He had Zach Gill sing backup vocals for him, who had an amazing voice, and he played a mean piano and accordian. You should've heard him play Devil Went Down to Bavaria. It was so awesome and that will be the only time I think you'll ever hear me saying the accordian is awesome, ha.

I was a bit worried about how Jack Johnson would be live because he tends to just do acoustic music. I was afraid he'd be the only one on stage, but he was fantastic. His voice is even better live and Zach Gill provided great support.