I am extremely behind in blogging. Like…a year behind. Do you know how many concerts that is?! No? Okay. Well me, either…
Anyway. Hi. Sorry I am the worst blogger on the planet.
I’ve gone to a ton of one off Matt shows in the past year, so here is a huge hodgepodge blog of them all. YAAAAY procrastination! We can call this throw back…year.
Let’s go back all the way to…
NOVEMBER 2015 (I told you I was way behind!)
I couldn’t even be sad that fall tour was over, because I had two shows within a week of tour ending.
So, just 4 days after the last show on tour, I was back in my car driving to San Francisco.
The first show was a really cool event called Story, Song, & Conversation with author Kelly Corrigan. I met up with a few of the girls, and we hug out in front of the venue before the show a bit just chatting.
After waiting a bajillion hours in line over the previous few weeks, it was nice to have a seated event (even though I prefer general admission 1000% more!)
We were let in, and the venue had this cool loft feel to it. We we treated to some snacks and alcoholic beverages, which were fancy as fuck. And free!
After not even an entire drink and I realized I was tipsy so I dumped the rest, we proceeded to our seats. There, we found a makeup bag full of full sized beauty products. Okay, I love this day already.
Then it got better. Matt and Kelly began the evening by talking about a topic (which 11 months later, totally eludes me, but it was GOOD.) Matt said a bunch of things which totally stabbed me in the heart, because I could 100% relate.
Then, they switched off between Matt playing a song, and Kelly reading short stories. She made me cry. (Sorry for the crap photos. They said none were allowed so I ninja’d these.)
After the show, we were outside saying goodbye to each other, when Matt does a 3 point turn in his car right in front of the venue. “Come to my house, I have gelato!” he jokingly yelled out the window. I shake my head at his ridiculousness.
6 days later, it was back in my car, this time back down south to San Diego for another Matt show.
This show was a benefit for Rob Machado’s foundation which puts clean drinking water into Southern California schools. Brett Dennen, Grouplove’s Andrew Wessen and Timmy Curran also played.
I drove down with Yvonne, and once we arrived to San Diego, we picked up Nina from her hotel. We wandered around downtown for a bit finding food and caffeine, and sat in line in the rain and got called “dedicated” by staff. Ha.
Jane showed up after work, and we all claimed our front row spots once doors opened.
This show was kinda weird, yet fun at the same time.
I thought it was going to be my last Matt show of the year, so when I drove home the next day, I was totally bummed out.
Turns out, Matt was headlining a show in Denver. And flights were only $39. So, needless to say, a bunch of us were crazy and decided to fly in.
Yvonne and I flew in the day before the show. When we arrived to Denver, Nina was there to pick us up, and we went off to find food. Because yes. Fat kids.
Jane flew in that night. Yvonne, Nina & Caroline went to see some band play in Denver. Jane and I played lazy kids, and just stayed at the house. But Nina’s husband is amazing, and he made us tea and popcorn.
The girls came back, I think I was asleep already, and we all settled in for bed.
The next morning we woke up and listened to Matt on the morning radio.
Then we wandered out for caffeine and fun. We went to Red Rocks because it was always on my bucket list, and even if I don’t ever see a show there, at least I can say I went there and climbed all the stairs. (And holy shit, were those some steep ass stairs, plus the air?! Dead.)
We then had lunch at Whole Foods, and then headed towards the venue. Amber and Beth had flown in and we met everyone for a light dinner and drinks before the concert began. Yay to the crew!
The show was really great, and when Matt spotted me, he had the whole surprised, excited look he always gets when he’s not expecting to see me. (He should always expect to see me at this point, haha.)
Afterwards, we headed back to Nina’s, and we all stayed awake for way too long talking, considering most of us were flying out at the butt crack of dawn the next morning.
Most of us had different flights, so Beth went with Nina, Caroline took Amber, and again, Nina’s husband is awesome, because he drove Yvonne, Jane, and I to the airport at like 6 in the morning. #besthusbandaward
Yvonne, Jane & I continued the trip to Portland. It was Jane’s birthday, and Matt had a show, and flights were only $39 to Portland as well, so why the hell not?!
When we landed we had a free day to spend in the city. So we did what we always do when in Portland: wandered around Powell’s for hours, ate donuts (we tried Blue Star donuts this time instead of Voodoo) and got me Dutch Bros Coffee.
When we were driving past a venue, Yvonne realized 21 Pilots was playing that evening, so she bought a ticket to their show and Jane and I dropped her off later that evening.
Jane and I then wandered around some random strip mall. Ended up in IKEA. I bought a rug. (Yes, I realized I was going to have to fly home with said rug, but I made it work.)
Jane and I picked up Yvonne when her show was over, and then we headed back to our hotel.
The next morning we breakfasted at the hotel and then we made our way out to wander some more. Made our way downtown to where the show was at. We met up with Leah, and then we went into the venue. Only…it was the venue next door, which was a HOCKEY GAME. WTF?! Why did our tickets scan?!
So we had to deal with getting our tickets unscanned, and then going into the CORRECT DOORS. Oh jeezus. Here for the picks, not for the pucks!
This show was fun. Civil Twilight, Matt, Michael Franti.
The following morning Yvonne and Jane dropped me off at the airport because I had an early flight home, and they were flying out later that afternoon/evening.
Turns out I was at the airport the same time as Matt (and a guy dressed as Santa Claus!) but sadly at different gates.
HA. He’s my favorite.
It wasn’t long before we saw Matt again, either. Luckily someone had backed out of Sketchfest, so Matt was added last minute. Yes, and yes.
Janet Varney was recording a podcast about awkward teenage years, and how things haven’t really changed since then. Other guest were Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant from the podcast Stuff You Should Know, and television/internet personality Veronica Belmont. Featuring music from Matt.
This started SOOO early though. Okay, noon. So you know we like to get to places early. So we parked out front around 10 and stared at the door, then decided to make a line around 11:20ish.
I was sleepy. But this was SO funny. The podcast lives somewhere online, and you should all find it and listen to it.
They had a strict no phone rule, so no photos from me, but here are some I stole off the SketchFest website.
And then we got another show a few weeks later. #spoiled
Matt was playing a show for the Superbowl, and this may have been the day I had MATT NATHANSON FAN written on my forehead, or something.
We got to the place where the show was that evening stupid early, because we heard it got crazy with all the superbowl fans. Yeah, it wasn’t crazy at all. Oh well. Better safe than sorry. At least I had Philz in hand.
We made ourselves comfortable in front of the stage, and this guy came up and asked if we were there for Matt. When we said yes, he asked “Can I interview you for the radio?” and Nina, Caroline, and Yvonne all say “NO” while I say, “YES!” haha. So the guy is asking questions, and is blown away when he asks how many times I’ve seen Matt. When he’s done, he said, “I’m airing this on the radio tomorrow!” (I didn’t listen so I have no clue if it actually aired or not.)
We were sitting and waiting around when this marching band came and literally stood 2 feet in front of us. It was SO LOUD. Don’t mind us sitting here. Just blow our ear drums out, that’s fine.
So then I’m interviewed for the second time of the day. What even?! And this actually made it onto TV. Hi, my name is Joslyn and I am a “Matt Nathanson fan” HAHAHA.
The newscaster asked me if Matt knew who I was, and I was like..oh yup. She came back out after the interview and she told me she asked him. Of course he said yes, and he also told her, “it’s weird when she isn’t at one of my shows.” Cute.
So then Matt came out and did a soundcheck, and they played Adrenaline full band for the first time. After he was finished he looked at me and gave me a look and a thumbs up to ask, “good?” and I probably had a dumb face cause SO good, and gave him the thumbs up back.
During his actual set, it started raining. So we had a poncho party!
And then there was Pet-a-Palooza.
Pet-a-palooza was a long day. Considering that “doors” opened at 10am and it was a general admission show, I drove part way and stayed in Walnut Creek the night before so I didn’t have to get up and drive 3 and a half hours at 5am. No one wants to deal with me when I have to get up that early. #grumpy
I had to drive through Davis, which meant one thing: DUTCH BROS COFFEE. And of course I got the one the size of my head, because caffeine was needed. I mean, look at how tired I was. Gross.
And of course, Jane, Yvonne and I were the first ones there. That’s how we roll. We hung out on the grass and chilled, and convinced Yvonne not to steal all the small dogs.
I was pretty stoked about this show because Ben Rector was also playing. I have seen him on 3 boats, and this show reminded me of how much I need to get to an actual show of his.
Matt had the flu this day, but he still trucked out to Sacramento and performed like nothing was wrong. He is just amazing, puking or not.
AND THEN THERE WAS SUMMER TOUR.
So. Many. Shows.
Which you’ll get blogs about, eventually. Maybe. Next year. HA.
Oh, and I’m not counting it as a Matt concert, but a few weeks ago he did this awesome thing at his library (YES. MATT IN A LIBRARY. BE STILL MY HEART.) and I don’t know where to put this other than this blog so here you go!
The event was called Photographic Memory. It’s a podcast where people come and discuss a song that has had some sort of impact on them, and what it means to them. And then they play the song on vinyl for everyone. It was cool. They posted that podcast somewhere on the internet as well, so you should find it.
I knew it’d like like 5 minutes of Matt, but I still drove up anyway because LIBRARY. Plus, I ubered on the way to and from SF, which more than paid my way there and I got Philz so…thanks for an excuse to drive to the city, drink my favorite coffee, go to a library, and get paid for it, Matt! 😉
So there you have it. A year in the life of a California and one off Matt shows!
*off to write the other 2 billion blog posts I’m behind*
It’s fitting that I am making my way home from Montana from a Matt Nathanson show today.
On this day, ten years ago, I saw Matt for the first time.
My first show I actually went for the opener. I only stuck around to see what the fuss was about, because I had been told by multiple people for a few years that I needed to see Matt live.
I was completely captivated. I kept looking around me like, we are lucky individuals to be experiencing this guy right now.
My first conversation with Matt made me feel like we were old friends. Then he told me a story about his cat and I was all, this dude is so rad!
A few days later I saw him again opening for Pink, solo with just an acoustic guitar in hand. I was blown away by how he could capture an entire audience’s attention by just himself.
I was hooked. I went home and downloaded Beneath These Fireworks and Live At The Point. The following year, Some Mad Hope came out, and that was the album that made me go, WOW. I’m all in. Throwing myself in completely. And I threw myself in, alright.
To make a long story short, here we are a decade and 175 shows later.
I sometimes wonder how this guy I go and see a crazy amount of times per year (and usually in places nowhere near where I live…I mean come on, who drives to MONTANA?!) will still look shocked or get excited when he spots me in a crowd. How is he not sick of me when I walk up to him at a meet and greet for the 10 dozenth time?
I guess I can say that I’m lucky; my appreciation for him is reflected back.
So. Matt. This is what I have to say to you.
There’s a million words to express how I feel and how thankful I am about everything over the years. I could sit here and write a novel, because I never shut up and talk way too much, but I’ll just get to the most important part of this post. I just want to say:
Your music has gotten me through the good days, and more importantly the bad ones.
Being at your shows feels like home; they are my happy place.
Because of you, I have been introduced to some of my other favorite artists (but no worries, you will always be my #1!!!)
I have also met some of the absolute best friends I could have ever wished for. It’s because of your music we were brought together, and without you, they wouldn’t be in my life.
I know I say this all the time, and I’ll most likely keep saying it to you for the next 10 years, but you are the best. The best.
Thank you. For everything. For the music. The friendships. For the endless hugs, and guest list spots. For the flowers and pastries. For hitting me in the face with a guitar pick and nearly taking out my eye (haha, never letting you live that one down!)
You mean a lot to me. More than the words in this post can express. So since a picture says a thousand words, here are a few of my favorite moments together over the past 10 years.
Thank you for the last ten years. The best 10 years. You truly are the best.
The last edition of my very belated blog from October.
We drove for a day from Eugene to San Francisco, and then the sadness that was the end of tour funk started to set in.
San Francisco ended up being a double show day for us.
We decided to head to the venue early, and claim our spots first for the evening show before heading over to the other side of town for the radio gig.
Paul got off the bus and was talking to us for awhile, then got all concerned. “Who is going to hold your spots in line when you go over for the radio gig?” Oh, you know. Just hired someone to wait in line for us because we’re professional front row people. “How do I get that job?!” Paul asked. HAHA.
We decided to just take one car over so we could save on parking, so we somehow fit 6 people into my car. Don’t try this at home, kids. We’re professionals. (Plus that’s not legal.)
The radio gig was at a Capital One Bank Lounge/Peet’s Coffee. It was a pretty cool spot. If I lived in San Francisco I would hang out there.
Matt then lifts up my arm, smells my armpit and says, “Oh yeah. That’s good.”
“Is it called ‘GIRL!’? GIRL.” Omg, I can’t even explain the way he said girl. It was hilarious.
We then take our photo, and we’re all pretty much cracking up. You know someone is your homie if he smells your armpit. HAHAHA.
We then headed back to the venue to get back in line, and SOME people were not impressed with our craigslist friend who held our spots. Haters gonna hate!
At one point of the day, Matt’s car almost got towed. It was parked behind the bus, and this tow truck got just came and tried to start towing it. Yvonne, the quiet one, gets up and bangs on the bus door screaming THEY’RE TRYING TO TOW YOUR CAR. Luckily they ended up talking the guy out of not towing it, and Yvonne saved the day. (I went to try to find a bathroom at this point, and missed 85% of the entire saving of the car mission, but saw the tail end of it while I was walking back down the hill and was like, “WTF is happening right now…?!” Later Matt walked past us in line and squeezed all our knees as a thank you. I’m like didn’t do anything…just tried to pee.
We bought dinner tickets for this show, which means you go in early, and some people again were not impressed that this was happening. Um, we were still first in line so even if it was all general admission we were first, period. Haters gonna hate, part two.
This show was really good, but also horrible at the same time, because once again there were douche bags in the audience. Matt got to the point where he said, “Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up” and the people STILL KEPT TALKING. When someone tells you to shut the fuck up, you shut the fuck up!
I thought he was going to storm off the stage. He was angry. And I wanted to punch people in the face for him.
“No.” He says and just hugs me. I felt bad for him.
Matt grabbed my hand for this pose and I was all like, what is going on? But this might be my favorite photo from the entire tour, so…weird pose, cute ass photo.
As we’re getting into my car to leave, Yvonne says, “Nina and Caroline’s car got broken into!” and we’re all like “WTF!” and go over to their car and everything is just GONE. I felt terrible.
They made us eventually leave them while they went to the police station and then to the rental car place to get another car. But I felt so bad and had trouble sleeping.
We woke up extra early the next morning (it was still dark) and all piled into the car and headed down to Los Angeles.
We were super classy and lazy and ordered Veggie Grill and had it delivered to us in line. Which was also all kinds of awesome. Fat kids on tour. Lazy-ing it up with delivery.
While sitting in line, Shiben walked by and I was like HI DUDE. I’VE MISSED YOU. We talked for a few minutes and then he was off to do his thing.
Los Angeles was probably my favorite show of the tour. I LOVE the Troubadour. I used to follow a local LA band around a decade ago, and there are so many memories in that venue for me.
Matt was in a fantastic mood. The crowd was not acting like douches. Shiben and Lovejoy came out and played a few songs with Matt and Aaron. It was perfect.
When Matt started playing “Gold in the Summertime” he forgot the lyrics to the song and looked at me. I started singing the lyrics and he was like, “Oh yeah!” and then he sang the second verse…which is the verse I just sang at him. We kinda looked at each other like oh shit. Oops.
“He said there’s only one left. I’m not ready.” I said pouting.
“Does that look okay?”
“Oh, then who gives a fuck what it looks like.” he said jokingly. Hahaha.
“So. I totally fed you the wrong lyrics. I didn’t realize until you started singing the second verse.”
“I didn’t notice until I started playing the second verse either.”
Um. What? So the whole night we were like, why does he need to know when we’re getting there?!
San Diego would be the day known as the day that Matt made me cry. And then the flood gates were opened and I just continued to cry like 5 thousand times over the next 48 hours. Read on.
The venue they played at was a fucking DIVE. When we arrived there were just homeless dudes hanging out out front. We set up our chairs and they left luckily, but we were like. Oh fun. Bum central.
“Oh woah, I was just asleep and woke up and you were standing there and it scared me.”
“Oh man, you just woke up to a nightmare!” HAHAHA. Matt talked to us for a long time, and then eventually went into the venue.
I’m sad I missed him dropping them off, but I’m also glad I wasn’t there because when I walked back and saw the flowers I got all emotional and teared up. That jerk made me cry!
I had already felt emotional all day considering it was the last show, I didn’t want to say goodbye to the girls, and I didn’t want to drive home the following morning. This was just the straw that broke the camels back and the flood gates opened. I think I ended up crying like 4 times in line that day. It was ridiculous. My emotions were broken. Those damn flowers. Haha.
The last show was so bittersweet. I wanted it to last forever. At one point of the set, Matt started talking and he was all, “The front row has pretty much been the same every night, and that’s awesome.” and I had to make myself not cry. #emotionsstillbroken
Waiting in line for the m&g was also sad. Matt had told us before the show that he was not good with goodbyes, which I think was a hint that he wasn’t going to say goodbye to us that night.
“You made me cry today.” I said to him as I walked into his opened arms for a hug one last time.
“Stop.” was his only reply.
“Do you know how many boys have given me flowers? Only 3. So now you’re the 4th.” I joked. He proceeded to start singing some song to me but I didn’t know what it was, so I couldn’t tell you what he was singing. Ha.
“Do you eat those pastries? I wanted to eat them all myself.”
“Um, yeah. I’m a fat kid.”
“You should have seen me. I was in Whole Food picking them out. And I NEVER pick out pastries for anyone! But I thought you would like them, because I know you like treats.”
He knows I like treats? Okay. I post too many #fatkidsontour posts. HAHAHA.
We drove super sleep deprived back to LA (a 2 hour drive took us over 3 hours because we kept switching drivers back and forth.)
The next morning I dropped Yvonne and Amber off at the airport. Cried the whole ride there. Cried after I dropped them off. Cried a majority of the drive home.
When I got home I took the flowers (we divided them up evenly) and pressed them in Harry Potter books for a few weeks. They sit next to my record player to this day. The cutest.
The morning of the Denver show, Nina and Caroline had to work, so Amber and I went and hung out near the venue. And near the venue I mean we parked right out front and sat in the car because it was raining. Ha.
When Nina was done working, she picked up Yvonne from the airport and we continued the car sitting for awhile. They brought us VooDoo Doughnuts and I fat kid ate one up.
We eventually formed a line because other people started showing up. While waiting, Matt walked by and talked to us for a long bit. As we were talking he freaked me out, cause he got this excited look on his face and started reaching for what I thought was my sweater.
“You just re-did this, didn’t you?” he asked, basically petting my hair. I get the most compliments/touching of my hair from guys, so if you want a lot of comments about hair from random dudes, dye it purple!
We talked about more random things like attaching my car to his tour bus after he told me again, “you should just ride in our bus” (“I can get a trailer for my car, then attach it to the bus.” “My bus already has a trailer…”), the drive through Utah.
He mentioned something about it being cold, and I pointed to Yvonne’s feet. “She’s wearing flip flops!”
“Do you need socks? I can get you socks off the bus.” I don’t know if I could ever trust bus socks…haha.
We were finally let in out of the rain and into the venue which was tiny and a total dive.
The show was really great though. I was so happy to be back at shows, and not working. Live music is my life line.
He proceeded to tell me this really great story about his kid, but it’s not my story to tell. But lets just look at this photo as well. His face. My face. I was laughing SO HARD.
Since this was the last leg of the tour, I said to him. “Alright. I have a list of songs that I want to hear that you haven’t played on this tour yet.”
“Okay. What’s the list.”
I named 5 songs. Don’t ask me what 5 songs they are now, because I do not remember. Ha. I do remember asking for “Beat Of Our Noisy Hearts” because it was on the setlist in Atlanta but skipped over, “Kept” because it was on the wheel, then disappeared, and my favorite Matt song, “All Been Said Before.” He played it in Texas when I wasn’t there, and I told Nina to tell him I was going to kill him.
“Yeah, I know. But I’ve only heard it twice out of the 155 shows I’ve been to…” Paul starts laughing at that one. It’s the truth though.
OH MY GOD. I legit thought we were going to die. It was snowing hard, and we were going about 15 mph, and there was black ice everyone and my car was skidding and I kept visualizing us flying off the side of the mountain. I cried. Multiple times. I am a wuss.
Eventually the snow let up, and Amber took over driving because I was probably having an anxiety attack. We learned when we got to our hotel that they had closed the freeway when we were on it. Yeah…not so sure how I drove through that and am alive to tell the tale. Winter, I’m glad I live 4 blocks from the ocean and don’t have to put up with your shit.
Nina and Caroline got on their flight when we went to sleep. They told us to not worry about getting there early. I’m not sure what time we did end up leaving the hotel. But when we got to the venue, they were the only ones there anyway. Ha.
Salt Lake City was a blur of a day. I just remember laying on the ground and being delirious.
Little did I know that I was going to know multiple groups of friends at this show.
When we were inside and waiting for the show to begin, I got a text from my friend Steve. I don’t remember the initial text, but I replied, “Hey! I’m at a Matt show.” to which he replied, “Yes. yes you are.” I happened to look over my shoulder right as I got this and just had a feeling he was there even though he lives in LA. Then, I see people waving at me. Ha. HI FRIENDS!
My other friends who actually live in the state of Utah, Lindsey and Emily, were there also. Emily texted me when she got there and we had a hug-fest on the middle of the floor because it had been YEARS since I had seen her.
Omg, Utah. You are really special sometimes. There was a girl who kept trying to steal guitar picks from off the stage before the show even began and gave us stank eye when we yelled at her. This girl asked Matt during the show why Lovejoy unmatched her on tinder (or un-swiped? I don’t do tinder. Basically whatever the equivalent of unfriending is.) and the whole band dying and trying to text him to find out the answer.
The best for me was when Emily got to go onstage to spin the wheel. So Emily is talking to Matt and then comes over to hand me her phone to take photos since I was upfront. Matt is like, “Oh you’re just handing your phone to people in the front row?” and I yell, “I know her!” and Matt was all, “You know Joslyn?” and looked excited and confused.
After the spin, Matt went to begin singing the next song, but looked at me and asked, “How do you know her?!” like it was the biggest mystery of the world. I have friends, Nathanson. Some you don’t know (even though I’ve seen Matt with Emily and Lindsey before!)
The meet & greet was fun because I joked it was a Joslyn m&g because everyone wanted me to be in their photos. BUT, my phone killed itself a few weeks ago and I lost pretty much all of my photos so I don’t have the ones I was in with other people any longer. Sad faces. People send me these things again. Thanks.
Boise day was supposed to be our day off, but a week or so before, it was announced that Matt was doing an in-store. And since we literally were driving through Boise to get to Seattle, we couldn’t pass it up, even though it began at noon which meant we had to wake up and start driving at 6am. #sleepwhenidie
We also talked Nina and Caroline into going, because they were supposed to fly to Seattle that morning, and we convinced them to drive to Boise instead, then drive to Seattle after. Bad influence, or good influence?
We were delirious at this show. I remember we were saying random shit to each other, and one of Matt’s people looked at us and I just said, “Sorry. We’re a little delirious” and he kinda just nodded like yup. That you are.
BUT! This record store that Matt played at was amazing. And it had a coffee bar thankfully. I legit had the best americano of my life there. I want to go back just for that damn coffee.
Matt randomly started talking about this band named Mr. Mister and asked people standing in the M section to find the vinyl for him. Ha. And then when he did a signing, he wrote lyrics to that band on everyone’s stuff.
Matt asked me if I knew the song that he had written on my CD. Paul was standing there singing them as Matt asked me. I said, “No. I’m too young for that.” and Matt looks up and gives me the biggest DEATH look. I’m sure he took it as me calling him old. I just started laughing cause I found his look hilarious. I was just saying I’m 12 years younger, not saying anyone is old. I wish I had a photo of that look, cause it was priceless.
It was still really early, so we wandered around the area afterwards to find lunch. We ate this little diner that was music themed, and it was so cute and perfect for us. We all thoroughly enjoyed our food as well, which is always a plus.
BUT! We stopped for gas right before we hit the road and I found out that Boise has DUTCH BROS! I had talked this coffee up so much, that Amber was excited.
When we got to Leah’s place we were all dead tired, so we barely talked before going to sleep. Team Elderly.
The next morning we woke up and Leah had made us the most delicious pumpkin muffins. They were vegan and gluten free but tasted like heaven! Droooool.
We headed over the venue and were dorks and read books in line to pass the time.
Matt walked by at one point and started talking to us about random shit once again. I had asked if he was playing any holiday shows in California in December and he pulled out his phone and was reading random cities out of his calendar and was like, “This tells me nothing.” then we were talking about something else and he just walked away. (He’s bad at saying goodbye. Hahaha.)
It rained ALL DAY. And I was a grump face. So much that halfway through the day Nina was like, “I’m going to go get a shot a tequila and I am buying you one.” One turned into three, and I was drunk off my ass. But guess what! I’m a happy drunk so grump be gone!
I was sober by the time that the show began. All was moving along like normal and then Matt welcomes…Train onstage. I swear they follow me everywhere I go. So they’re covering Don’t Stop Believing and I see Pat see me halfway through the song. And then he puts his microphone in my face. I’m mentally screaming NOOOO but then I just sing really really soft cause no one needs to hear that shit. Nope.
So after the show we do the m&g thing like always. And Matt was NOT happy with us. Nina went ahead of me and I heard him say, “you’re shitfaced and she’s shitfaced.” and I was like…mouth drop. People in the crowd were being shitty that night, so I think he took his frustrations out of us. I am the least obnoxious drunk in the world. I just smile and touch people’s boobs. Hahaha.
“That sounds like my kind of party!”
We headed back out to Leah’s to sleep, and then woke up early to drop Jane off at the airport and head towards Portland.
Portland was cold. And wet. Surprise, surprise. When we arrived at the venue Nina and Caroline were already there, and we took turns through out the day saving spots and doing whatever we wanted to do.
My only task of the day was going to Powell’s Bookstore. Amber had never been to Portland, so I made sure she came with me, because everyone needs to experience Powell’s in their lifetime.
I am a book nerd, but Powell’s gets me for their little souvenirs every time. This round I went home with a shirt that says, “I just want all the cats to love me best.” TRUE STORY.
At one point of the day, it was just Yvonne and I in line. Aaron had rounded the corner and was telling us this story about some crazy folk that he had seen earlier walking around. And right after he finishes this story, this total wackado comes up and starts talking to us and Aaron just gives us this look, nods his head and leaves. It was a “good luck, I’m out” look. I still laugh thinking about it, cause I would peace the hell out if I was him as well.
Nina and Amber wandered to VooDoo at one point of the day, and brought me back a Memphis Mafia. HOLY CRAP SO GOOD. Also, way super large. #fatkidsontour
It was cold, so we hugged it out towards the end to stay warm. No tequila required. 😉
So, during this show, Matt decided to play All Been Said Before. And he’s a liar, so he intro’d it saying that some fan asked for it 20 years ago and he kept promising to play it. Unless there was someone he promised to play it to, then he’s telling the truth, but I think I call bullshit.
So after the show, Amber was like, “Matt I won the radio thing for tomorrow but I can only take one person, who should I take?” and Matt was like, “What do you need? Tell Paul.” #spoiled
I was walking up to him right as she was asking, and so I was like, “We all win!” then I looked at him and said in this total dork voice, “And you totally win cause you played my song!” to which Matt started CRACKING UP AT and mimicked me and then was like, “Come here, you.”
We were legit laughing in this photo. Look at us cheesing it out. I love that jerk.
So then afterwards we headed to get some of the girls food. I originally wasn’t hungry, but as soon as I walked into the restaurant I was like YAS PIZZA IN MY FACE and it was seriously the best pizza I ever ate. Pizza! You rule my life.
Part two of a very overdue blog…
I went home for a total of three days before getting on another plane and flying back to the east coast. I still don’t know why I even went home…
First stop on leg two was North Carolina. It was extremely expensive to fly into NC, so I flew into Atlanta instead, and drove to Carrboro from there.
Amanda joined in on the fun for Carrboro. Our flights landed within ten minutes of each other, so once we found each other in the airport we headed over to pick up our rental car, and then drove to Carrboro. I had gotten a cold the night before, so the whole flight and drive I was shoving tissue up my nose, because the snot would not stop flowing out. I felt miserable. I had brought cold medicine with me, so once we got into our hotel I took some and passed out.
The next morning I felt a little better, and after we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel, we headed out.
It was HOT AS BALLS in Carrboro. In October. Thankfully I had packed a dress, so I gladly put that on, and yet still sweat the whole day. Hashtag, gross.
While sound checking, we heard them play Disappear about 6 times. So I was patiently waiting to see if it would appear in the setlist.
Amanda and I ended up being in the front row, but it took Matt probably a good 5 songs in before he saw that we were there. He gave me this shocked look and his mouth dropped open. And then he kept talking to me from onstage the rest of the set.
Randomly Matt asks me, “Are you coming tomorrow?” and I nod yes and he’s like,”OK!” Don’t mind us, other 600 people, just having a conversation over here…hahaha.
So one point of the set, the wheel is spun and it landed on “New Coats and New Hats” which is a super old song. And you could tell that Matt didn’t want to play it because he then started spinning the wheel and having people cheer for other songs on the wheel they wanted to hear instead. He looked at me and I pretty much gave him a DEATH look and gestured for him to spin it back.
Matt asks the crowd, “How many of you would be upset if we didn’t play that song?” and I shot up both of my hands. He then counts how many other hands went up (it was only maybe a dozen or so) and then he looks at me and says, “I am going to play this for you since you go to so many shows. If I fail you, I am failing myself.”
So needless to say…Matt played the song. HA.
This was one of the larger shows on the tour (most were around 200 – 300, this was 600) so we jumped into the front of the m&g line so we wouldn’t be stuck there all night long once the show was over.
In those three days that I was home I had tweeted that I had extra download codes for his new album, and joked that if anyone wanted one to send me a cat photo. Matt RT’d it and my feed BLEW UP.
“Have you seen any great cat photos lately?” and his eyes got all wide and he says,
“OMG that was the BEST!” he says laughing.
“I just kept refreshing my feed, and it just kept getting cuter. Oh. And sorry I am so demanding of songs this tour…”
He laughed, “You’re allowed to be.”
The following morning I demanded coffee before we finished the drive to Nashville. When we got to the venue the rest of the crew was already there waiting for us. It was a big hug fest, and then we enjoyed each others company for the next few hours. Which apparently the rest of the line did not, because we can be loud. #zerofucksgiven
There was a chalk board and Rachel is cute and artsy, so she drew this of us in the front row watching Matt. Ha.
We took turns wandering and fooding and recaffeinating. And taking photos outside of frothy monkey and this rad wall.
I had ended up buying 8 tickets for the group for this show. And when the guy at the door checked my ID, he said “Oh, so you’re the one + 7.” And I was taken aback by it a little bit, and I just said, “I have a lot of friends.” Don’t be rude, I’m giving your venue business.
We walked in, and were surprised when there was NO stage. Like…the stage was the floor. Um. This was about to get really up close and personal.
So about three songs in, Matt points to Amber and says, “Do you want to spin the wheel?” and Amber was super cute and was all, “ME?!” and then went “onstage” to spin it. I forgot what song she ended up landing on, though…
THEN, a few songs later, he points at me and says, “Get up here!” so I hop over the monitor and Matt sarcastically asks, “Hi, what’s your name?” and I stupidly go, “Hi, I’m Joslyn!” oh Jesus shut up. Haha. There’s a video, but that doesn’t need to end up on the internet.
That’s me being awkward. You can imagine what the video looks like.
So I spin the wheel and I end up landing on the Wild Card for the first time. These faces. I’m like OH YES, and he’s like OH SHIT.
So then he’s having the crowd vote for what song they want and I say, “Can I choose?” cause HI, I landed on it, I should be able to be demanding once more, haha….and he looks at me and says, “I got you.” (Disappear was on the setlist, so I was like, eh ok.)
Well he ended up playing Wedding Dress. That’s not getting me. #TeamDisappear
Another few songs later, Matt starts intro-ing a song. “This is a song that Joslyn asks for a lot at shows, and I always say no because we haven’t really played it. And we’re going to do it for the first time and if it doesn’t work, blame Joslyn. I’m just kidding, it’s going to work.” 1. LIES you played it in Detroit. 2. TRUTH I asked for it a few times…
So then he played it and it was perfect and gaaahhhh he spoils me.
Just when I thought that the night couldn’t get any better, Matt fucking invites JENNIFER NETTLES onstage to sing “Run” and “Giants” with him.
That girl can SING. Holy crap. And she told me she liked my shirt and I just smiled like a goober.
Amber and I decided to take a photo together since we were the “wheel girls” for the night. I don’t know what is going on with my hair here. #frocity
Post show group photo!
Then we were dumb and decided to drive all the way to Atlanta after the show. And not to mention that Atlanta is an hour ahead of Nashville, so we lost an hour while crossing state lines.
We got to the hotel at 5 FUCKING AM. I had Jane and Rachel in my car and we were super grumpy and we were like NOT GOING TO WAIT IN LINE TODAY I’M GONNA STAND IN THE BACK SO DAMN TIRED and told the other girls to not wake us up.
And then at 8am I was awake because those bug bites for NC were driving me INSANE. They were SO itchy and I couldn’t sleep because they hurt. Note: bring bug spray if I ever return to NC….
We got to the venue around lunch time and none of us had eaten at this point, so we went off to find food. We ended up at this place with the most amazing pineapple salsa and tofu burritos. Like, OMG good. I still dream of them.
Then we put a blanket out and sat in line.
Matt was playing an early and a late show this night, and we had luckily gotten tickets to both shows, and the wait wasn’t too bad since doors were at 4pm for the first gig.
I was sitting on the ground feeling like crap, when Matt walked by the line to go into the venue. He points at me laughing, says, “You look fucking…” then kept going. I LOOK WHAT? Let me finish that for you. Homeless? Like shit? Tired? Exhausted? Crazy? Strung out on cold medicine? Haha. Basically we all started laughing after he walked away like, what does that even mean?!
So these shows were amazing. Minus the sitting, because I don’t like seated shows.
Matt was in a good mood and told a ton of jokes and my face hurt from laughing and smiling.
We skipped the first meet and greet because I felt weird going through them twice in one day.
“Don’t worry, I won’t.” JERK. “Wait, I will a little.” Better. 😉
This is me dead tired. I think I was holding onto Matt so I wouldn’t fall over.
We said bye to half of our group, and I was sad. Love my posse.
So I miiiight have went a little cuckoo when Matt Nathanson announced a small acoustic tour and bought 18 tickets for the tour…and there were only 26 shows on the entire tour. Whoops. All of the shows were in October (yeah, yeah, these blogs are super belated again, what’s new?) so we nicknamed it “Mattober”
NEW YORK CITY
The evening prior to my first show of the tour was a long travel day. I boarded a plane in San Francisco at 10am, and landed in NYC around 6pm (darn you, time zones.) I found Amber in the airport and we hopped into a private car and were shuttled to JC’s apartment on the other side of the city.
NYC in the evening is beautiful. We drove over some bridge, and you could see all the lights from the city in the horizon and…heart eyes for days. That city is magical.
The next morning we hopped on a subway with JC who headed off to work and Amber and I to the venue. The venue was literally at the top of the subway stop stairs, and what do I see as I am walking up them? Matt getting on the bus. For some reason I felt a little creepy appearing from the underground so I avoided eye contact. Ha.
Nina and Caroline were already in line, so we all reunited with hugs and happy. Paul was getting off the bus and was like, “Joslyn! Where have you been?!” and I gave him a look and started laughing because it was only the third show of the tour. “I have to work sometimes…”
After awhile, we took our belongings to Nina and Caroline’s car (we had lugged our luggage with us on the subway. That was fun. Not.) and then spent the day waiting in line and wandering off to get food and caffeine.
One point of the day Matt came out of the venue to leave for a radio thing, but stopped to say hi to us. He came right over and gave Amber and I huge hugs and then proceeded to talk our ears off for a few minutes.
We were talking about the wheel and the awesomeness of it, and he said something like, “The wheel is for you guys.” and I was like aww but then I quit the cute. Ha. My favorite song from the new album ended up being on the wheel and not the setlist, so I yelled, “WHY IS DISAPPEAR ON THE WHEEL?!”
As we’re talking, he says, “You’re hair is KILLING, by the way. I saw it the other day…uh, cause you know, I see things on the social media…” HA. He sees all…
When Matt had to leave for his radio thing, we make ourselves comfortable for the next few hours in line. Where it began to rain. SIGH.
They let us into the venue lobby about an hour before doors, which was STUPID, because then they opened two doors and some people ran and some people got fucked over and ended up in the fourth row. I don’t even know how Amber and I got in the front row. Nina and Caroline were way the fuck on the other side of the stage and that made me sad.
Then the show…while Matt played well and YAY MATT, there were the MOST disrespectful assholes I have ever come across at a show. I couldn’t really fully enjoy the show, and it pretty much ruined my entire start of tour.
Then security were dicks to us after, and long story short, Matt tried to talk to us, we got shooed out, so the only words spoken during the m&g was “Did you have fun?” and I said, “No. Bitches.” Ha. I was fine with that since we had a long conversation before the show, and I had 17 more shows to go to, but security just sucked.
We got JC into a cab, and then the rest of us loaded into the car and basically got the fuck out of NYC the quickest we could.
We decided to drive to the next city that night. It was a quick 2 hour drive to Pawling. Beth had flown in that evening and met us there. We decided we were hungry and went to a horrible Denny’s with water that tasted like dirt, and then I didn’t order anything and became delirious and apparently burped so loud everyone stared but I have NO RECOLLECTION OF THIS. Loosing my mind, night one.
We went and checked into our hotel, and then went to sleep for a few hours. We woke up, complimentary breakfasted, got ready, got caffeinated, and then made ourselves comfortable at the venue.
This was CD release day. And probably my favorite of all 18 shows I went to on the tour.
When we were waiting in line, we were standing near this creepy ass mofo. That’s a giant Daryl Hall. That’s my, I am creeped out face.
Matt and Paul appeared out of nowhere and they came over so Paul could take a photo with creepy mofo Daryl.
Matt then of course stood and talked to us for awhile. All I remember is blabbing about library murders (there was a murder behind my library right before this show. I dunno why shit like that comes out of my mouth, I have no filter.)
They ended up letting us into the venue at 5pm when the show didn’t start until 8, and we were excited to be inside and not in the cold. And we ordered all the food since it was a bar and restaurant as well.
Finally it was showtime, and I was just blown away by this night. The setlist was fantastic. There weren’t assholes in the crowd. I was happy. Super duper happy.
Obviously the happy was noticeable, because when I walked up to Matt for the m&g that evening the first thing he said was, “I loved watching your face tonight, you just kept getting more excited over certain songs!”
We chatted for a long time about crossing the border and passports and being fat kids, then headed out to get back on the road to Canada.
Speaking of fat kids, JC got us Sprinkles Cupcakes!
“Do you want a cupcake?”
“Do you just want to be grumpy?”
Don’t worry, we love each other.
After waking up on the right side of the bed, we finished the drive to Toronto after finding food and caffeine. We then sat in the FREEZING COLD all day. It was extremely windy and the air was piercing. We hid behind a wall and a construction scaffolding for most of the day until more people came to form an actual line.
There’s my sad, frozen ass.
There was a Starbucks across the street from us, so we used that to our advantage to recaffeinate and use the restroom and to unfreeze for a few minutes through out the day.
At one point of the day, Aaron walked by us to go to said Starbucks. And when he saw our set up of chairs and blankets he stopped in his tracks and looked at us. I started laughing and said, “We’re not homeless!” and he started laughing as well.
Aaron then had a nice chat with us about how we would be really well off homeless people with our chairs and portable phone chargers, and how we should get the square and ask for $10 donations. Ha! He’s awesome.
A little before doors, we went off to find food, and when in Canada…POUTINE! I got the vegan version, and it was SO GOOD. But let’s face it, when are potatoes of any sort not good?
So then we had an incident once we were inside the venue, but it still gives me anxiety and makes me angry to talk about, so I won’t mention it here. All was good in the end, so yay.
This venue had AMAZING acoustics, and lighting.
“I will spin the wheel and cheat like that girl last night!” I said.
“Oh man, that girl. That was the best. She was like AHHH…fuck.”
I don’t even remember what time we made it back to Amber’s house from Toronto. I think it was something ridiculous like 4am. (We stopped and slept behind a bank for a little bit because we all were dead.) And then our alarms went off a few hours later, and I hated everything. Except for Amber’s cat which I plotted to steal.
The only reason we had to get up early was because Matt was playing two shows. He had a free radio gig at noon, and then the show that evening.
Amber and I headed over to the radio thing first, to check out the scene. (But first, a stop at Starbucks, where I received THE WORST Americano of life. It was horrible.) The radio show was inside of a restaurant inside of a casino and it was just weird, and not well organized AT ALL.
Beth, Caroline and Nina showed up a little later, and we enjoyed our little sweet free show.
We were seated at tables for this, and after Matt played he walked past our table, and totally hip checked me as he walked by. I was still sitting down at the time, so his butt basically hit my shoulder and was in my face. So I back handed his ass without even thinking about what I was doing. HA. Oops. Whatever.
Since we were seeing him later that night, we didn’t take much of his time at the meet and greet. He asked how we were, I said tired, and I left half my voice in Toronto, we took our photo, then we peaced out to get in line at the venue for that night.
We were first in line like always, but we had made Amber’s husband wait at the venue for us just in case, so Amber went to have lunch with him as a thank you (and we bought him a video game for his trouble and his time. We’re ridiculous.)
It was a pretty chill and relax time in line. Made a trip to Dunkins to recaffeinate. Went to a bar, and ate a bomb ass peanut butter and sriracha grilled sandwich.
Now, the show. I was so tired and had literally no voice left at this point and was still singing along to everything anyway, and was NOT expecting what happened next.
I hate him. I love him. Pretty sure my face was just all 😀 the entire song. Ugh, my heart. ❤
So Paul takes this photo as we’re hugging, but then I was like, “Um, not to be high maintenance but I was gonna ask to take a photo with us making a 1-5-0 with our hands..” so then I got that glorious photo.
Everything about it makes me happy. My geeky grin, the look on his face.
I love that dude.
We actually stayed at a hotel close by that night, because Amber lives 45 minutes away from the airport and we all had ridiculous early flights home. 6am is not my favorite time to be at the airport.
I don’t do sun well. But I do concert well. So somehow I made it through three days of intense heat at radio festival shows. 108 degrees. 105 degrees. 98 degrees. BAH.
BUT. In three days, I saw almost all of my favorites. Andrew McMahon. Matt Nathanson. Andy Grammer. Lifehouse. Parachute. Rachel Platten. COME ON. This was like if I was going to book all my bands to play “Joslynapalooza”
So. Let’s begin on what almost was the end of me, but the best weekend.
I was probably dreading the Sacramento show the most, only because I had never stood in 108 degree weather before. Luckily, the line was in the shade all day, so even though it was hot as hell, it didn’t feel that bad. This was actually the only day I didn’t feel like I was nearing death.
Jane, Yvonne, Caroline, and I were all in for this show. The doors opened at 5pm, but we decided to get there around noon because…well, we always get to everything way too early. Front row or no row…
The lineup for the Sacramento show was the following:
I was super stoked for Andrew and Matt. During Andrew’s set, he came out to the crowd and jumped on the barricade. He spotted me and came over and was singing right in my face, while lightly hitting my arm with a fist. I’m pretty sure my face was all 😀 😀 😀 the whole time (and also I was thinking, “Don’t put the mic in my face, please don’t put the mic in my face…”) Ha. I love that man. Matt was sitting on the side watching Andrew, and it was cute.
Mat Kearney was on next. Kinda funny that he was playing this show, because the first time I ever saw Nathanson, I had gone for Kearney who was opening. My friend and I kept joking around, “Mat with one T, not with two T’s!” and then I stayed to watch Nathanson and well….we all know how that turned out.
Matt was on last, and I just love him the most out of anyone. Seriously. Plus he played one of his new songs, “Giants” for the first time, and I was heart eyeing the shit out of it. He’s so good. So good.
Vegas was a crazy day. I woke up at 6am after getting to my hotel around 3am, and hit the road. It was another 4 hour and a half hour drive, and doors were at 11am. Ugh. Why am I insane?
Originally, only Andy and Lifehouse were scheduled to play this gig, but then Hilary Duff canceled and they added Matt. (That’s a funny substitution, but okay, I accept.) Since I had shows the days before and after Vegas, I originally decided to skip this one. But then the whole hang time in Minnesota with Grammer’s band happened, and I asked Rachel, “I kinda have to go to Vegas now, don’t I?” So. Vegas was added. Flights to Arizona canceled. Driving plans set.
I arrived in Vegas about a half hour before doors opened, and I could have totally gotten there about 2 hours later, because the no one even stood in the GA standing up front. Everyone brought chairs and umbrellas so they were sitting halfway back on the field. Annoying. I should have napped longer.
Luckily the first 2 hours I was in shade though. And then around 1pm the sun poked out from behind the stage and…DEATH RAYS. It was a bit cooler than Sacramento, but I was in the direct sun. In the desert. Sweat instantly.
I pulled my hair back into a braid and gave up trying to look decent because I knew I was gross after about 30 minutes.
Nick Fradiani was opening this show as well, and he went on at 1pm. Then there was a huge break.
Zach and I chatted for a few minutes and then he jumped back onstage to do his thing. It was SO HOT during their set. I was basically willing myself not to pass out. As I was chanting, “don’t pass out, don’t pass out, don’t pass out” in my head, this girl in the crowd fainted and got pulled out by security. So I chugged some water and focused the shit out of the music and somehow survived the set.
There was another long break between Andy and Lifehouse.
Needtobreathe also performed.
The sun finally tucked itself behind a cloud when Lifehouse finally came out, and I turned 16 when they walked out. I was supposed to see them back in June opening for Nickelback (gross, I know) but then the tour got canceled last minute, so I was deprived.
Jason started talking to me in the middle of their set from onstage, and I was heart eyeing all over again. Sometimes he makes me feel 16 all over again. While they were playing, Matt was standing side stage watching, and I wanted to yell at him WHERE IS MY ICE BITCH?! HA.
So then there was a break again between Lifehouse and Matt. I feel like they could have condensed this into a lot shorter of a day if there wasn’t so many breaks!
By the time Matt came out, the sun had set and it was a much enjoyable temperature. Dahl and Erin showed up and threw me a water from a few rows back, so I hydrated myself a bit more. (By the end of the day I drank 6 bottles of water and never once had to pee. So. Much. Sweat.)
Usually I am sad when a Nathanson set is close to ending, but by the time that Matt started playing “Come On Get Higher” I had the thought, “thank god it’s almost over” run through my head. Man. 10 hours is too long to be in that sun…
Third Eyed Blind was closing the night after Matt, but I was beyond done so I pushed my way out of the tightly packed crowd and found my way to my car. I just sat in my car for a bit before driving to Erin and Dahl’s place, because I hadn’t sat down in hours and my body was just done.
I looked in the mirror at myself, and I started laughing, because I looked like I came right out of the movie The Hangover. I was a hot mess. A stinky, sweaty, hot mess.
Eventually I made my way to Erin and Dahl’s, and they fed and vodka’d me. I was so dehydrated that one drink and whoops, I was drunk.
Matt then responded to all my tweets about being so glad about it being over with, “We just need to start putting you onstage. Seriously.” I’ll believe it when I see it, Nathanson. Aaaand I was slightly intoxicated so I said something stupid in reply that Sober Joslyn the next morning went NO IDIOT to. Ha. #dontdrinkandtweet
I needed to be in Tucson the next day by noon, and it was a 6 hour drive, so guess who woke up at the ass crack of dawn again?! My alarm was set for 5am, but for some reason I had trouble sleeping, so I ended up awake at 4am and just went with it.
The drive went surprisingly quick (it always seems faster earlier in the morning when the sun still isn’t up) and I was pretty much in awe of this amazing sunrise. Gah. Gorgeous.
I met up with Yvonne and Caroline who had flown in, and we went to check out the scene. It was on a golf course, and there was a shuttle bus from a shopping center a bit aways, so we had lunch before heading over.
This whole place was disorganized. It was the first time they had done something like this, and you could tell. No one knew anything. It was annoying. And hot as fuck again. Even though it was cooler temperature wise, the sun was beating and seemed hotter to the feel.
We were let in and I ran past the slow pokes to secure our front row spot.
All was going fine. It was hot. I was complaining about it. Parachute came onstage. I sang and was happy. And then these huge rain clouds rolled in. SHADE, yay. But then they started pouring. And it was cold. And I was sad and complaining about that as well.
Then it was gusty as all hell. So gusty that things were flying off the stage into the crowd. What the hell, Tucson?!
So security starts going CRAZY and pushing all back about 500 feet behind the sound booth until the mini storm rolled through. I was beyond done with everything at this point and basically told some little kid he needed to not stand in front of me and I was saying loudly I would physically move someone if they got in my spot when we were let back. These teens looked at me when I said that and I pointed at some things we had left at the barricade and I said, “You see those? That’s our spot. Don’t stand there.” #bitchmodeon
along the drive that had me freaking out. It reminded me of the flash flood storm Yvonne and I drove through during the summer getting to Tahoe.
YES! It’s my favorite time of year (December, because I love all things Christmas) but also the end of the year because I get to talk about what music I loved the most. So let’s get right into it, for the fifth straight year! Hooray.
5. Kelly Clarkson – Piece By Piece
I won’t lie. When this album first came out, I gave it a listen, was kinda “eh” about it, and then didn’t listen to it again until a few months later. When I came back to it, I was like “What is wrong with me, there are some amazing tracks on here!”
It’s not my favorite Kelly album (Breakaway and Stronger forever) but I think that’s because this album took a different approach than what her others have sounded like. But has any Kelly album ever sounded the same? No. And I love that about her.
4. Rachel Platten – Fight Song EP
I was waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Rachel’s album to come out all year. It kept getting pushed back further and further, and finally it had a release date: January 1, 2016. ARGH!
I still wanted to include the Fight Song EP on this year’s list though, because I listened to the EP a billion times on repeat and it is gold. If the rest of the album is as good as these tracks, you know that it’ll make 2016’s list (and there’s a duet with Andy Grammer and I am anticipating! Is it Friday yet?!)
Personal Favorite Tracks: Lone Ranger, Congratulations, Beating Me Up
3. Andy Grammer – Magazines or Novels (Deluxe)
Okay, this is kind of a total cheat because this was on my list last year as well. This time last year I had only had the album for a few short weeks though (oh what a difference a year and 19 shows later makes…) and the album got re-released a few weeks ago as a deluxe album with bonus tracks so…obviously it had to make the list, right?!
A year later, and my favorite songs are still my favorites, but the bonus songs are JAM!
You all know how much I love the Grammer, so I’ll just leave this as is. FAVE.
Personal Favorite Tracks: Back Home, Remind You, Kiss You Slow, Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)
2. Lifehouse – Out Of The Wasteland
LIFEHOUSE IS BAAAACK!!!!
Out Of The Wasteland is a total comeback from their last release, Almeria, which did not go over with most fans and critics. There are multiple songs on this album that welcome back sounds from previous albums; most tracks make me reminisce to No Name Face (aka my favorite album of all time.) I watched an interview that Lifehouse did for Guitar Center and Jason had said that they had passed on some “radio friendly” tracks to really make sure they were creating an album with dept, and I am so happy with the outcome.
There were a few different versions of the album that were released (deluxe, Target addition, iTunes addition) which I ended up purchasing all three versions of for the additional bonus tracks (do it, worth every penny!)
I have been a fan of this band for half of my life, and this album just reminds me exactly why. Now, I’ll continue to patiently wait for a headlining US Tour for this album…
1. Matt Nathanson – Show Me Your Fangs
YOU GUYS. NEW MATT ALBUM.
So, there’s multiple reasons this is number one. 1. It’s Matt. Duh. 2. This album blows me away. Seriously. When it was first released back in October, I was so crazy about it I thought that it had bumped 2007’s Some Mad Hope out of first place of all time favorite Matt albums (I calmed down and realized that SMH will always be #1 in my heart, but this is pretty much like #1.25; that’s how much I love it.)
There are so many great tracks on this album, it’s hard to choose a favorite. With lines like, “I just wanna for once feel love, I just wanna be done with lonely” to “I’m done trying to fit in and be half forgiven for things that I never did” to “I won’t only love you when you’re winning” UGH MY HEART. The first time I heard Bill Murray I was sitting at my desk at work, and I was just CRYING my eyes out. And Disappear just pulls every single heart string.
I went to 16 shows on the Show Me Your Fangs Tour (blogs soon, I promise!) and the songs execute live so well. Favorite tour I’ve ever attended. Favorite dude ever. Favorite, favorite, favorite.
…and it was the best. decision. ever.
Andy had announced in mid July that he was opening up for Shawn Mendes at the Greek in LA. Tickets had been on-sale since May though, so when Jane and I looked at tickets the only available tickets left were in the far back section.
I am spoiled and decided that if I was going to drive 5 hours to see a show, especially just an opening gig, I wanted to be in the general admission pit up front. So, as much as I wanted to go, it wasn’t worth it.
Fast forward a month and a half later, and three days before the show. I was making the schedule at work and randomly thought, “When is that Andy show?” and decided to look on AXS. OH. HI GENERAL ADMISSION PIT TICKETS. I texted Jane pretty much going OMGZ and we both bought tickets to go. (And then I changed the schedule so I could get back to work on Monday on time. THE biggest perk of being in charge of that thing.)
So. Sunday morning I drove down to LA. Jane and I figured that this Shawn kid was gonna draw all the crazy teenagers in super early even though the pit only holds 300, and it was 98 degrees, so we decided to not get in line super early.
We headed over around 4pm, and doors opened at 6pm. The venue gave us water while waiting in line, and once we got inside, so kudos to them for keeping us hydrated so we didn’t pass out in the heat.
Jacqui Lee opened the show and I had been a fan of hers when she was on The Voice, so I enjoyed seeing her live. Little body, BIG voice, that girl.
Andy was next. Jane and I got excited when the band came out to set up. Eman spotted me and gave me a wide eyed look and mouthed “what the fuck” to me. Once he was done setting up, he came to the end of the stage. He went to high five me and these teens in front of me were like OMG and tried to high five back and got denied because that high five was mine. HA. “It’s good seeing you!” he yelled to me.
When then set began, Zach spotted me within a minute or so and gave me a huge grin and HI! The girls behind me were like “OMG, they know you!” and I just said, “Yeah…I’ve seen them a few times.” There was a part in the set where I think Andy saw saw me and he had a huge smile on his face, so love to all those guys.
Since it was an opening set, they only ended up playing 7 songs. Which is not enough Grammer time. As they were walking off stage, Eman came over and handed me a drumstick. Again the teenagers in front of me reached out for it, and he told them “NO. NO. NO.” until they let go and it was in my hand. That’s my homie.
Jane and I then left the pit because we knew things were going to get crazy. I wanted to stay just to see girls go crazy when Shawn walked out though. The crowd was deafening. Jane and I looked at each like WHAT, and then we ran away because I didn’t understand the crazy.
When we were walking out, there were teenagers laying on the ground sobbing because they couldn’t get in. One guy asked if he could use my ticket stub. Um, teenagers, you can’t scan a ticket twice. He asked again. I said no and kept walking. #bitchmode
Jane and I went to Swingers for dinner afterwards. I had a soy shake which is the most delicious thing on the planet, and I nom’d on some of her vegan nachos.
Rachel and I had been talking about me flying out to Minneapolis for months. Flights were reasonably priced, and Andy was playing two free shows, so it’d be worth it.
I then went a little crazy and bought 15 tickets to see Matt Nathanson in October so…I was a little broke.
After the LA show though, I was all crazy and thinking “35 minutes in NOT enough Andy. I wonder how much flights are to Minneapolis…” and checked Kayak. UM. Flights were $118. Holy crap, I was all over that.
As I drove home from LA, I texted Rachel asking if she’d still have me, and she basically told me I had to buy the flight or else.
So. Once I got home, and double checked the work calendar to make sure everything was okay, and I bought the flights. And 12 days later I got on a plane. YOLO.
I got into Minneapolis late the Saturday evening before the first show. Rachel and I sat up and talked for a few hours before heading to sleep.
The next morning, I was super excited. Not only for the shows, but for state fair food. I am a fat kid.
We then headed to the fair. We walked around for a few hours and ate a variety of things. And then we headed over to the Bandshell Stage where Andy was playing. There was some old people band playing a few hours before Andy, and it was a MESS trying to get seats. I almost got in a fight with an old lady, no joke.
We eventually settled into a second row seat, and were okay with it. There was an amateur talent show happening right before Andy, and we were getting ready to watch, when I spotted Eman talking to a security guard. I turned to say to Rachel, “They are going to FLIP OUT when they see me.” and she replied with, “Uh, yeah, Eman is staring at you right now.” I look up and he is in fact staring at me. “What the fuck!” he mouths to me and then heads over.
I stand up to hug him and he’s like, “You don’t have to get up.” I’m like no dude, real hug here.
He asks why I am in Minnesota and I tell him Rachel is my excuse and he basically is surprised, but stoked to see me. We stood around talking for a good 10 minutes before the talent show was about to begin. Eman said goodbye for the moment, and we watched the talent show.
There were some…interesting performances. Ha.
We got ready for Andy, and right as he was coming out, everyone rushed the stage and Rachel and I were, like WHAT THE HELL. It became a huge sticky pit of smooshed people. In the Minnesota humidity. Ew.
We ended up near Zach, who spotted me within a few seconds. His mouth DROPPED and he stood there staring at me for a few seconds before he walked towards me, reached his hand out for mine, and kissed the top of it. Such a gentlemen. And adorable.
I thought I was going to pass out a majority of the show. SO HOT. Humidity can suck it. I was sweating like crazy.
When the set was over, Zach leaned down and squeezed my shoulder. “Thanks for coming gorgeous girl! Come say hi afterwards!” and I nodded that I would.
We stuck around until Zach came out and chatted for a bit. “What are you DOING HERE? You CONFUSE ME!” (See a band 15 times in multiple states in one year, and that’ll do it. Haha.)
The conversation lead to, “So, are we like your favorites now?”
I pretty much laughed in his face and said, “No. Matt Nathanson is my favorite.”
“Oh, he’s the one to beat? We’ll get there.”
I laughed again, “No. I’m sorry but he will be my favorite forever. I love that dude and he takes care of me. I’m seeing him 15 times next month, actually.”
“FIFTEEN?! HOW. Where are you going?”
“He’s on tour…everywhere.”
We talked for a few minutes and then he told us, “I’m gonna go find Andy for these other girls. I’ll be back.”
“Hi sweetie! Nice to see you again. Thanks for coming!” he said opened arms for a hug.
“Thanks for being so fun! I flew from California for this.”
Well. At least Andy can keep it straight where I’m from. Ha.
I took a photo with Andy, and then he was like, “Is everyone good? Okay, bye” and peaced out before Rachel got a chance to say wait, you skipped me! I felt like such a jerk for getting a photo in her state.
The second day we were much more prepared than the first. Well. Rachel’s car wouldn’t start so we had to have her roommate drop us off at the fair, but besides that we were super prepared. Ha.
We got to the fair early, and then proceeded to sit at the Bandshell Stage all. damn. day. No old people saving seats or getting in our way. Nope. But we still managed to also eat ALL THE THINGS.
(Zach later was scrolling through Instagram and asked me, “Joslyn, did you EAT ALL THAT?” Yes. Yes, I did.)
Eman came out before the show again. “I wanted to say hi now, because I’m not sure if I’ll see you after the show.” ADORABLE. Foreshadow: we saw a lot of the band after the show.
We watched all the performances all day long, and then prepared ourselves to run to the stage once Andy came out.
After the set, we were talking to Zach for awhile. Then he was all, “I’m gonna be right back.” and disappeared. He came back a few minutes later and yelled at me from the side of the stage. “Joslyn, come here!” I thought he was just yelling at me to say goodbye, so I walked over and he was like, “Come backstage and say hi to everyone.” So I go back over to Rachel and say, “Uh…we’re going backstage?” and then the security guard drew smilies on our hands which was our “pass” and we headed to the back.
“Do you guys need anything? We have fruit and water and there’s really nice bathrooms you can use.” Zach says as he’s escorting us to their dressing room.
“Oh my God! Yes, I will get you a water.”
We stopped to use the bathroom first (which was super nice) and Rachel and I had the whole whisper “WTF is happening right now?!” moment before we headed back out to the hall and lost where Zach went.
We could hear the band talking from a room a bit down the way, but I didn’t want to be a creeper, so we stood there both going, “You peek into the room. No, YOU peek in there!” until Zach pops out and goes,
“I’m gonna let you pick which one you want.” Oh my god, I love that dude.
He led us into the back room and there were couches and such and we plopped ourselves down on and enjoyed the AC and water and the company of the band.
Four and half hours later Rachel and I got in a Uber car and laughed the whole way back to her house. “WHAT IS MY LIFE?!” I exclaimed. I am grateful to have moments like these in my life.
Matt Nathanson shows are always an adventure.
I had gone to the first four shows of the summer tour with Train, and even after claiming when tickets went on-sale that I wasn’t going to do more than the California shows and the last two of the tour (tickets were $$$) I ended up adding Lake Tahoe and Boise. (Kudos to the M.A.N. for making this tour happen, because he took good care of me and listed me for a few. The best.)
The morning of the Tahoe show I woke up in LA extra early and was out the door by 6am. I drove up to Los Banos to pick up Yvonne where she was leaving her car for the weekend at her parents’ place, then we continued the journey to Tahoe.
There had been a flash flood warning for Tahoe for the previous 24 hours, but the drive seemed totally fine. And then, about an hour outside of Tahoe…we found it. This huge ass storm that had me gripping the steering wheel deathly tight; I was on the verge of crying because I am a huge wimp when it comes to driving in the rain, and I hated every second of it. But seriously, driving through the windy mountains when you can barely see because it’s coming down so hard SUCKS ASS.
Eventually we made it out alive and arrived at the venue. It was a little drizzly, but luckily it cleared up by the time the show began.
We got our tickets from will call, and went to find our seats. It’s probably the furthest back I’ve ever sat for Matt, but our tickets were free, so I was happy just to be there.
I posted a video of Tahoe failing at the Faster clapping later and a certain someone DM’d me asking, “Why are your seats so far away?!” which we laughed about. Apparently Tahoe is just lame and has sucky guest list seating. Can’t complain if they were free though!
We stuck around until Matt came out to sing the cover song with Train, and then we peaced out to go pick up Jane from the airport in Reno. We arrived right as her plane was landing, so we timed it perfectly.
We began the drive to Boise, and it wasn’t until we passed a sign that said, “You are now entering Mountain Time” that I realized OH SHIT we just jumped ahead an hour. The speedlimit was 80, so I may have pushed that limit a little further…
It began raining as we headed to the venue Matt was playing, so we hung out in the car as we waited for doors to open. But not before I took a photo near these huge ass flowers. (The only good thing about the tour being seated was not having to wait in line all day!)
Nina and Caroline had flown in for the show, so we all hung out. I had bought my Boise ticket right after getting back from the California shows, and scored a second row center ticket. The other girls all got front row center a week before the show. So when Matt walked out and saw them all in the front row, and then me a row back, he had the best confused face ever. Luckily Jane is short so I just stood behind her and had a perfect view. Ha.
One of the best moments of the show was when Pat Monahan tried to approach Nina with the microphone and have her sing and she backed the fuck up away from him. He went closer, and she backed up more and I was standing in the second row DYING from laughing. She turned around and I just pointed and laughed and oh man. You probably had to be there, but she was so not having it. #TeamMatt
After the cover song, we left (sorry the front row just ditched you) and checked into our hotel. Since we were in the potato state, there was a chocolate spud in our room! I ate 75% of it. It was delicious.
The next day was a day off, so we slept in a bit, had breakfast (and nerded out watching Andy Grammer on the Today show in the lobby) then headed out to make our way to Portland. JC was flying in that evening, so we made sure to leave enough time to get to Portland and check in before heading to the airport.
DUDES. We got to Portland right around rush hour, and we seriously went the length of 4 cars in 30 minutes. So then I drove in a lane I wasn’t supposed to be in and made a very illegal turn because I was tired and wanted to be out of the car and I gave zero shits.
We checked into our hotel and had a few hours until JC got in, so Jane and I hit up the hotel gym because after driving for 7 hours we needed to run it out. There were bunnies outside of the gym window that totally sidetracked me for several minutes, but after I was all JANE JANE JANE BUNNIES! I did a Jillian Michaels workout I had on my iPod, then ran a few miles. (Oye that hurt the next day.)
We cleaned ourselves up after that, and then headed to the airport to get JC. I am just a little bit exciteable, so when I saw JC I jumped out of the car and ran to hug her and nearly knocked her over and killed her. WHOOPS. (I joke that if I fell over and killed her, isn’t in my arms a fantastic way to go at least?! ;))
After dodging being a murderer, we took JC to VooDoo Doughnuts. Because when in Portland, YOU NEED VOODOO. Fat kid forever!
We headed back to the hotel afterwards to eat doughnuts and to settle in for the evening. We were all tired from our travels from the day and just wanted to relax.
We had an early morning, because Matt was playing a noon radio gig that was open to the public. Thanks, Kink radio! They also had free Dutch Brother energy drinks, so I was highly caffeinated throughout the morning…
My friends Sara and Joann from California were also in Portland, and we arrived at the same time, so it was a fun morning sitting in line in a state that none of us lived in. Ha.
We also were treated to a meet and greet after the set, which we all were happy about.
Too much caffeine equals too much excitement equals too much hugging. Sorry, Matt.
The meet and greets were super rushed because they had another band coming in and playing a show an hour or so later, so this lady in charge was all, “OK sweetie, we need you to take your photo now.” and Matt looks at me and chuckles and says, “SWEETIE!” like it was the best joke he heard all day.
Paul overheard and was all, “What do you need?” which I told him. “Okay, you’re good.” he said typing something in his phone.
He looks up and gives me the biggest DUH look of life. “Yeeeeessss.”
You know you go to too many shows when….hahaha.
So then we headed out to find lunch. Portland has this whole block of food trucks, so we wandered in that area to go and find something good.
After shoving our faces we headed back to the car and then headed up to Ridgefield. A local had told us traffic sucks (it was a Friday) so we decided to just drive the hour up after eating, so we didn’t get stuck anywhere.
Ridgefield is in Washington, so we ended up seeing two Matt shows in two states in one day. I’ve done the double shows before, but the two state thing is a new one for my list.
Um. So. It was hot as balls in Ridgefield. And I had a row B ticket, which to my surprise ended up being a front row ticket. I’ll take it!
During Train’s set, Pat always takes selfies on people’s cell phones. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but when he grabbed my phone, instead of taking a photo he turned my phone off. This just makes me believe that he hates me, just a little bit (Matt disagrees.)
We did our thing of running away after the cover song to not get stuck in concert traffic, and then headed back down to Portland to our hotel.
We woke up, did the breakfast thing, and then headed out to the last show. They all go by too quickly. We stopped off halfway on the drive to our hotel in Yakima (which we fought over how to pronounce, haha) to drop off our stuff, and to have lunch, then continued the drive to the Gorge in George.
The Gorge. HOLY CRAP GUYS, this is seriously the most beautiful venue I have ever been to, and we all know how many shows I’ve been to in my lifetime. Just set me up a tent and let me watch sunsets and bands play here for the rest of my life.
Our plan for the Gorge was to sit on the lawn for the view. I wasn’t 100% on board with this idea, or super thrilled with sitting far back, so I had been sporadically checking Ticketmaster. The day of the Tahoe show I had asked Yvonne to check while we were driving and WHY WERE THERE FRONT ROW CENTER TICKETS AVAILABLE.
So…you know we bought them. I grabbed my credit card and threw it at Yvonne while driving screaming BUY THEM! and then we told Jane and JC to go and buy the other ones left. I totally YOLO’d the shit out of summer 2015. The best $98 splurge ever.
Since it was the last night of tour, you know there would be end of tour pranks. Since Matt was the opener, he had this joke that no one knew who he was, and referred to himself as “Mike Nickerson”. So during Matt’s set…out came Train’s crew people with this sign. Not a huge prank, but enjoyable.
Front row photo spam, for you. After Matt’s set, my friend Cheri who I hadn’t seen in YEARS found me to say hi. HI CHERI!!!
Nothing exciting happened during The Fray.
And then there was Train’s set…
Things were going totally normal…
After 8 shows, we finally stayed for all of Train. You are welcome, Pat Monahan.
After the show, we headed back down to Yakima and Jane and I slept for 3 hours before waking up at 6am and driving 14 HOURS. Holy moly, that’s a world record for driving in one day for me. And in one week I am some sort of beast.
I can’t imagine not having gone to the last four shows, so I’m glad I gave in to the crazy and added more shows. Matt is always worth it.