Dear Megadeth, Sara Bareilles and Aretha Franklin,

I know. Weird combo of musicians. I’ve been to a few concerts in the past few weeks though, and haven’t been keeping up with this whole “concert review” thing. So I’m combining the last few that I’ve missed.

First off was Megadeth. Now, I saw them at an outdoor venue in Lewiston, NY. Normally at this venue it’s old people in lawn chairs sitting on a hill. I had nooo idea what to expect going to see a metal show there. And it was… a lot of old people in lawn chairs. People stood during the show, and the front area where people normally stand was a little bit bigger. But there were only 2 miniature mosh pits (probably ’cause someone would’ve broken a hip… I don’t even think security would’ve known what to do). The first one was four drunk guys shoulder checking each other, and the second one was during their encore and it was still pretty tame for Megadeth. Mosh pits or not, it was a FUN show. Dave Mustaine didn’t fall over or anything, and used words I could understand. They only did one song off of their new album (I’m sure a few people were disappointed), but that meant I got to hear all their classics that I knew. Everyone in the audience was into it, and it was cool to see such a different environment in the same venue I’m so used to. Good show, weird venue, but a very good show.

The day after Megadeth, I saw Sara Bareilles, also at the ArtPark in Lewiston. I knew her hit singles, but nothing much beside that. Two weeks before the show I downloaded her discography and listened to it a few times at work. Now… I’m a singer-songwriter, based around the piano, who likes to swear and have fun and wear pretty dresses. Sara and I might be soul mates. I admire her so much for not only for being her own, but for her songwriting as well. It’s so well done. Listening to her albums and to her concert, I just wanted to go home and write my own music and never stop. Not that it would be anywhere close to hers, but still. Her show was actually one of my favorites that I’ve ever been to. Which is saying a lot, because it rained A LOT the entire time. But even with the rain, she was so grateful to the audience for sticking it out to hear her. It’s nice to hear a famous person humbled like that. I loved her music, her stage presence, the interactions of her band, and how REAL she was. Two giant thumbs up for this show, and I would definitely go again. And again. And probably again after that.

A week after Megadeth, we saw the Queen of Soul herself (again, at the ArtPark), Miss Aretha Franklin. We all know Respect. And her rendition of A Natural Woman. But other than that, I didn’t really follow her. I don’t know, call me young, but I guess it was before my time. I respect the shit out of this woman! And I love soul music! Aretha’s collection was just never on my iPod. Still. There was no way I was going to pass up a chance to see such a legend (for only $17!). She’s 72 now and still going! This tour is her 53RD ANNIVERSARY TOUR. Like, that’s mind blowing. That’s 2.5 times my age. She came out (very slowly) in a fancy white gown, and started right off with a cover of Higher and Higher. Which was super cool. After that, it kind of slowed down… She could still sing, especially for a 72 year old, but she’s lost a little bit of that… crispness. I guess that’s the best word for it. She also left the stage for like 15 minutes, and we all thought it was a costume change but she was getting a cake for her conductor for his birthday (oh yeah, did I mention, she had an orchestra to back her?! Not like, full out, philharmonic orchestra, but still. And all the horn players were local to the Lewiston area. That’s awesome.). So that was a dead spot. And they did an instrumental cover of Happy, that Aretha tried a little bit to sing along to, but I think she forgot the words. And then, in between songs, she did this weird singing/talking thing while the band vamped chords. But it went on forever. And I think the moral of the story was that she had cancer but prayed it away, but the whole thing was so uncomfortable that I’m not fully sure. She did Respect for her encore, OF COURSE, but then kept coming out for bows and then she even did a full second song. And it was a ballad and we didn’t know it so at that point we left so we could maybe beat the traffic. It just was a slow show. She’s awesome, I love her, I won’t ever bad talk HER, but the actual concert… Eh.

So. In order of “I would see them again” it would be:

1. In a heart beat – Sara Bareilles

2. If they came to the right place for the right cost – Megadeth

3. I’m glad I had the experience but I won’t go again – Aretha Franklin

So there are my concert reviews for the past week! Keep checking back ’cause I have a few more to go this summer!

Lots of love,

Fiona

PS. A song everyone should know… Not the performance I saw, but one of the highlights of the Sara Bareilles show. 

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