For the Love of Music

I love music. Music speaks to me in so many different ways. From each intricate note and instrument to the lyrically poetry that tops it off like a cherry on an ice cream sundae. I especially enjoy live music. There is no other feeling than when I put my hand on my chest during a live performance and feel the music in the core of my body.

In the past couple weeks, I have had an amazing live music journey of 3 stages in my life. The 3 bands I have had the joy to see live have made a lasting impression in my melomaniac life. 

If you appreciate music like I do, go see the artists you love. Even if you only see them once or 25 times, there is a reason why they are on your playlist. There is nothing more real than seeing music live. I swear there are songs that I didn't like when I listened to a bands CD but once I hear it in person, I find myself appreciating it and wanting to hear it again. 

Summer of 2015 is full of my favorite music memories yet!  These 3 bands represent significant times in my life, college, my late 20s and life as it is right now.

3.  Dave Matthews Band 
Back in April of 1995, Blues Traveler came to Omaha, NE and my new favorite up and coming band, Dave Matthews was the opener. I had Under the Table and Dreaming and it was a top played CD on 5th Floor Swanson Dorm at Creighton University. I was so excited for this amazing concert!   When we got there, it was announced that Dave Matthews Band had cancelled. Devastated!!! Forward to 20 years later, and constant fan of DMB, I FINALLY got to see them live. I have had many favorite DMB songs over the years and even though only one of them was played, it was still an amazing show. They sound exactly like they do on all their CDs. I went with my dear friend Amanda and we enjoyed the soothing sounds of DMB.  DMB is my first love of a band. It is hard to list which albums are my favorite, but Under the Table and Dreaming, Crash, Live at Luther College and Stand Up tend to be the most listened too. This is my band where I have purchased all their CDs and can listen to everyone start to finish.  I guess good things come to those who wait! 

2.  Andrew McMahon
(aka Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin) 
In July of 2006, I went to another one of my favorite bands, O.A.R, again, in Omaha, NE with my best friend Carlena. I always like to see the opening band to see if I can discover new music and Jack's Mannequin was the opener. I was hooked. The lead singer was on stage with a baby grand and sang/danced and was amazing during the show. I immediately went out and bought their album Something In Transit and connected with their beachy piano tunes. This turned into the 2nd band of which I bought every album (under numerous names) and still love the transgression of the lead singer, Andrew McMahon's, music. I have seen Jack's Mannequin/Andrew McMahon 5 times and they/he delivers at each and every concert. This time Andrew McMahon performed in Wooly's  (http://www.woolysdm.com/), a cozy venue in Des Moines, IA and my friend Stacey (newbie to the Andrew McMahon scene) and I were shocked by the number of people in attendance and the youth of the crowd. Finally, after more than a decade, Andrew McMahon is being played on the radio and a new fan base has emerged.  My favorite song will always be I'm Ready, even though I did not hear it this time. But I can honestly say, I have being singing along to all his songs, almost since the start and I will see him anytime he is in my general direction.


1.  Heartless Bastards
Last year, I was introduced to rock and roll again, by listening to a new band to me, Heartless Bastards. Who you say?  Exactly. They really are not a band you stumble upon, so I am a lucky girl to know someone who has a sense for my music taste. The HB's have been around since 2003, with the recent release of their 5th album. Who knew?  Since I was new to the band,  I only had a couple of their albums, The Mountain and Arrow. When I listened to The Mountain the first time, I remember hearing one of their songs, Sway, on one of the TV series soundtracks I liked to watch. (Soundtracks are a whole other love of mine, but we will save that for another post). Arrow, by far is my most favorite album of theirs, but their new release Restless Ones is really growing on me (it is in rotation on my workout playlist which is sacred, sacred ground) especially now that I have seen them live!  Since I have seen them, I am venturing out to purchase their earlier albums as well. They played their first song, Gray, off their first album Stairs and Elevators and this one I really felt in my chest and not going to lie, gave me a few goosebumps.  I know it's a great song when that happens. Out of all the concerts I have seen so far this summer, Heartless Bastards has been by far my favorite and is my favorite concert of 2015.  Maybe because they represent new music in a new stage of my life, maybe because they are just a really great band and sound fantastic live.  They just might be the greatest band you never heard of....

Spend the money, even if it's the cheap seats.  Put your hand on your chest and let the music just fill you up will all of its goodness. It's worth every penny. It's worth the goosebumps.