Sometimes you are fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time. Last Friday evening was a terrific example of that. After a day of business meetings in Boston, I met my husband and a colleague for at Dillon’s Restaurant & Bar for a cocktail. Seated at a table at the back of the bar, we noticed that a local radio station, Radio 92.9, was also there to kick off the weekend. Being a radio station that I am familiar with, through personal listening preferences and a fellow columnist’s review of Earthfest, it was interesting to see them there. What made their presence even better was that as their time at Dillon’s wound down, they had concert tickets to give away. With three different choices, my husband and I opted for a pair of tickets to Summerland.
Held last Saturday night, July 28th, it seemed like a less than desirable night for a semi-outdoor concert, as rain was pouring down. However, this venue managed to impress. Seated under a large canopy, we never felt a drop of rain, not even when the winds were blowing. The lack of walls provided us with a delightful breeze that kept the temperatures reasonable.
Although the ticket listed five bands as performing, only four took the stage that night. The evening kicked off with Marcy Playground. To me it seemed like a good start for the evening. Of the four groups, this was the one that I knew the least. So, when they played the one song I knew, “Sex and Candy”, I was glad to sing along. The rest of the performance was fine, but one that I was willing to move through quickly in order to hear bands that I knew better.
The next act to take the stage was Lit. Again, this was a band where I knew only one song of theirs, “My Own Worst Enemy”. However, the performance by this band made this group much more engaging. A. Jay Popoff, their lead singer, particularly put on an energetic performance, covering the majority of the stage throughout the entire show.
The third act was the one my husband was most interested in seeing, as he seemed to know more Sugar Ray songs than those from any other band. From “Fly” to “Every Morning” to “When It’s Over”, this band was intent on playing songs that the audience knew. His charismatic personality made it easy to listen to his banter in-between songs. He, too, entertained the audience with his continual motion while singing and covering as much stage space as possible.
The final group of the night, Everclear, was my favorite act. Among the songs that they performed, they included two of my favorites, “Wonderful” and “I Will Buy You a New Life”. While the songs were a little more guitar-heavy on stage than they are in the recorded versions, the words were clear and full of the emotions of the songs. Rounding out the end of the three and a half hour concert, they kept the show invigorating.
With four bands and two set changes, this show had remarkably little down time. Transitions were smooth and fast. Combine that with some great, nostalgic music, and you have a terrific concert. Thank you, Radio 92.9 for the tickets!
(The Summerland concert tour continues tonight in Detroit, Michigan, followed by Duluth, Minnesota, on Saturday.)