Not that I’m wishing Bono ill, but this cancellation of the 360 Tour sucks. I just bought tickets to the Philly show two weeks ago, and for various reasons this was going to be the first show of the year I was going to. Usually I end up going to about 10-12 shows a year, so only having one to look forward to, and then having it cancelled is a bit of a blow.
Earlier today, I looked at other upcoming shows in the DC/Baltimore area. I’m sure Bob Dylan is going to be touring Baseball stadiums again, so no doubt I’ll go to that. Kings of Leon are coming to Jiffy Lube Live (what a terrible name – Nissan Pavilion wasn’t much better though), and I’m considering that too. But that venue is a bitch. I saw Coldplay there a few years ago, and since there is only one road to get in and out of the stadium, my friend and I missed about 20 minutes of the set even though we had left 4 hours earlier. What should have taken an hour at the most, ended up being almost 4 hours in the car.
My absolute favorite summer-time venue is Merriweather Post Pavilion. (And yes, that is what Animal Collective named their last album after.) It’s easy to get to, lawn seats are cheap, and I’ve also seen some of the best shows there. In 2008, I saw both Death Cab and R.E.M. there within two days of each other during what might have been the hottest week I can remember in recent history. (Although seeing the Black Crowes in the summer of 07 and leaving Sonar at midnight only to find it was still 86 degrees outside, also gets a nod.)
While I love going to concerts anytime of the year, going to concerts in the summer at an outside venue is an entirely different experience. You get to go early and tail-gate (Merriweather is perfect for this.) Your friends tend to have more free-time in the summer, so before you know you have about a group of 12 people coming to show. There’s also nothing like drinking beer outside in the afternoon, listening to good music and hanging out with your friends. This sense of being part of a community of music and people is about as close I’ll come to be a hippie. And whether you like pot or not, there’s also something comforting in seeing a haze of pot smoke hanging over the audience.
So what are your favorite summer venues? And any suggestions for good summer concerts?
(Iron & Wine last summer at Merriweather. The date is wrong, it was sometime in August.)
(Me at the same show.)