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Jack Johnson Concert

October 7, 2010

A couple nights ago, I went to a concert featuring Jack Johnson, one of my favorite artists.

We got to the Greek Theater rather early, right before doors opened and found a spot in the pit 2-3 rows back from the rail. Super close.

The two opening acts set the stage for an awesome night of music under a beautiful Berkeley night sky. Zee Avi brought the smooth sounds of acoustic guitar while G. Love & Special Sauce added spice with blues and hip hop. They were good, but you could sense who everyone was waiting for.

Jack came out to a huge roar from fans, myself included. He quickly settled in and played through a great mix of songs from his old and new albums, with the sold-out crowd swaying and singing along with him. On stage, dressed in a simple brown t-shirt, jeans, and flip-flops, he looked and acted every part like the laid-back surfer dude I had always imagined him to be.

His three-part band, especially Zack Gill on piano, backed him up superbly. At one point, Gill played accordion for a song and in the middle of it, Jack dared him to crowdsurf. After much hesitation, Gill took the leap into the pit and crowdsurfed over my little area! How awesome is that! And after his thrilling adventure, Gill commented that he had never done that before and that we had made an accordion player’s dream :)

At the end of his set, Jack took a few song requests from the crowd. I thought it was a cool gesture and everyone else probably thought so too.

To finish the concert, he brought all the performers back on stage and they all so fittingly sent fans home with a rousing rendition of “Better Together”.

Jack Johnson’s songs all have that calming feeling to them, with treasures tied in.  They are so simple, yet so deep. That’s why I love his music.

p.s. Jack Johnson is donating all of his 2010 tour profits to charity :)

(Photos by Ray Chavez)

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