Archive for June 19th, 2007

It’s summer and with it comes the real concert season in Minnesota.  It’s tough to beat an outdoor concert of almost any kind.  Heck, I’d go sit on the grass after work and listen to a clarinet sextet as long as the weather is good. There’s just something about being outdoors and enjoying music that brings a smile to my face – and the faces of hundreds of others who stumble upon this treasure.


Music is something my daughter and I share a tremendous interest in. Since she was able to read and started piano lessons, we have talked about, listened to and analyzed music of all genres. As a family in Iowa, we enjoyed concerts in the park when she was just a toddler. Several years ago, I took her to her first real rock concert, and we’ve kept going back.


So when I learned a few months ago that Ben Folds was touring with John Mayer, I had to get tickets.  Folds has long been one of my daughter’s favorite artists. She has most, if not all, of his songs on her iPod. And Mayer is hard to ignore as a musician. Someone so young can’t really be that talented when it comes to singing and, even more so, playing guitar with such ease!  The only downside was this duo would NOT be touring through Minneapolis. In fact, the closest venue was in Des Moines. That was not going to stop us, however.


Last night was concert night and my daughter, her best friend and I trekked to Des Moines, just four hours due south of Minneapolis, for the show. We were not disappointed.


Folds opened with “Trusted” and continued for nearly an hour playing seven or eight of his most popular songs. “Landed” and “Bastard” were crowd favs and he brought the hour to a finish singing a cover of “Such Great Heights,” a song from the “Garden State” movie soundtrack.


Mayer was all about the guitar – something I truly enjoy hearing him play. His solos, along with a great backup band including two additional guitar gurus, make songs like “Gravity” and “Belief” so much more enjoyable than the pop versions that were originally written. Mayer gives it up for his fans and the 8,000 of us listening and swaying could have stayed planted on our feet for another hour had he played on.


But the most enjoyable sight of the night was finding my daughter and her friend (they had floor seats and I sat upstairs) standing, singing loudly and dancing in the aisle without a care in their world as Folds then Mayer did their thing on stage.  Their smiles were huge as the two sixteen year olds were in the moment, listening and watching favorite artists that they’ve grown up with and will continue to appreciate for years and years.


That scene alone, made the journey to Des Moines so worthwhile!



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