Tag Archives: Taste of MN

Counting Crows & Augustana [Yes, together]

26 Jul

Finally…the last of my Taste of MN concert photos! Counting Crows is calling their current tour, “Counting Crows: Traveling Circus & Medicine Show.” It’s an interesting twist I’ve never seen before. Rather than a few opening bands and what we all call a “headliner,” Counting Crows traveled with, and performed with, Augustana this summer and featured several guests as they toured the US. With multiple bands on stage performing hits from every participating “headliner,” the stage did look a little bit like a circus. So much so that I’m not sure which band members were on stage and when…but they played some great music!

I’m afraid to embarrass myself by identifying band members by the wrong names so I’ll refrain from my previous identification strategies. Here are the basics; Adam Duritz is the funky lead singer of Counting Crows with the dreads and Dan Layus is the eccentric, cowboy hat-wearing lead singer of Augustana. Adam affectionately referred to Dan as “Danny” throughout the show, so they must get along pretty well. Actually, I thought the bands shared great chemistry and respect on stage and it made the whole experience pretty awesome. Enjoy. =)

Needtobreathe [The Real Deal]

23 Jul

Okay, no more teasing. Here’s my all-time favorite band. (The whole fan thing makes me feel like a total nerd/high school screaming girl, yet, I refuse to be ashamed.) If you haven’t listened to them yet after all my ranting and raving, you should be ashamed…I mean, how could you not give a band that’s from a town called Possum Kingdom, SC, a shot?

Meet Bear Rineheart; lead singer, guitarist, former college wide receiver, and South Carolina’s 2002 football player of the year.

I love his shoes. And I think I should request tips on squeezing into pants that tight.

Let’s break from Bear for a bit, shall we? Meet Seth Bolt; the gorgeous bassist and a real recording engineer (like, with a real degree!) This guy seems so perfect…I don’t think he ever sweats! Bizarre.

Did I mention that Bear and Bo Rinehart are named after University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant? Talk about southern roots.

Another eye contact moment. Bands must be trained to look for camera lenses.

Ah, my favorite. Meet Bo Rinehart; the guitarist, back-up vocalist, creative guy who went to Clemson for architecture. Woot! A man who knows what torture design school can be and who has pursued his passion for music. (Okay, sorry if I made anyone puke just now with my admiration for Mr. Nathaniel Bryant “Bo” Rinehart…oh come on! I only know his full name thanks to Wikipedia.)

I love how worn his guitar is from strumming in this next shot.

Back to some shots of Bear. These guys seriously know how to put on a great show. They’re so passionate and so real on stage.

And last but not least. Meet Joe Stillwell; the incredible drummer and guy who seems to do most of the Needtobreathe blogging…and is also nearly impossible to photograph. On the off-chance that Joe reads this (uhem)…I liked the acoustic version of “Washed By the Water” in St. Petersburg when you came out from behind that big ol’ drum set. Just sayin’. Also, I totally dig Joe’s facial hair.

And let’s finish on one last shot of Bo. What?!? He’s a great musician. Writes some great lyrics for sure.

Gin Blossoms [I Love the 90s]

20 Jul

I love the 90s. Especially 90s music. I mean, think about it; Nirvana, Green Day, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Verve Pipe, TLC, Spicegirls (errr, how’d that get there?!?), Matchbox Twenty, Hootie and the Blowfish, the list goes on and on…

I was so excited to see one of the great bands of the 90s at Taste of Minnesota a few weeks ago! Gin Blossoms opened the big show at Taste of Minnesota on July 4th in St Paul. I thought I’d share some of my shots from their set, complete with “Hey Jealousy,” “Follow You Down,” and “Til I Hear it From You.” The weather was hazy, yucky, and I was scared it was going to raaaain. But, it held off and ended up being a gorgeous evening for the rest of the bands!

Forgive me for some of the poor composition in these shots. Concerts are hard to shoot, for real! Especially when you’re short. Enjoy!

This next image had to be in here…we made creepy eye contact. Or lens/eye contact, whatever you wanna call it. Gives me the heebie jeebies when I look at it! Did I mention the lead singer’s name is Robin Wilson?

Why in the world do singers always do this? I didn’t come to the concert to listen to the audience sing your songs, I mean, come on! Boggles my mind.

Needtobreathe [Preview]

13 Jul

For those of you that don’t know, Needtobreathe has far surpassed any all-time favorite band I’ve ever claimed to have. I’ve never felt more like a “fan” than I do when I talk/think/obsess about Needtobreathe. I’ll chalk up their success in my life with the fact that their sometimes secular, sometimes Christian alternative folk rock (I just gave them the folk standard, because I can) makes me feel so damn good every time I listen to it. (Yes, I just said Christian and damn in the same sentence. Also, because I can.)

The summer of 2008, which (un)fortunately still remains a little blurry in my memory, was highlighted by my then friend, Nick Respecki, keeping me occupied with phone conversations outlining his shenanigans in DC. I used to actually log into Facebook chat then and we’d talk there and on Gmail chat. He’d send me uplifting and spiritual quotes that always made my day and help me sleep that much easier on those warm summer nights in good ol’ Jeffersonville, Indiana. While he tried to convince me that techno was going to be the newest trend in music (okay, he was right, a la Lady Gaga and the copycats since) he also got me hooked on a Needtobreathe song, Don’t Wait For Daylight. The rest of the story is history…it’s my love story. =) -End sappy story-

So anyways I’ve been avoiding and/or slaving over the 300+ photos I took at Taste of Minnesota on July 4th for over a week now. And I’m still not prepared to show you everything! I know; I’m a horrible blogger. But I have lots to show you! I mean a $20 concert with the Ginblossoms, NEEDTOBREATHE, Augustana, and Counting Crows?!? It was one heck of a deal and so worth waiting on the lawn in the second-ish row for a few hours before show time. Though I don’t think our visitor Danny was too pleased about it; but Danny, thank you for amusing me! You don’t even know how much your patience meant to me! And I hope you enjoyed your first concert experience! (The kid’s 23 and it was his first concert…northern Indiana boggles my mind…)

If you’re not convinced about how wonderful Needtobreathe is, I have a few more ways to win you over. Ever seen the movie P.S. I Love You? Ladies, you know you have, and fellas, don’t lie to me! The featured song in the movie, More Time, was written by the hunk-a-burnin’-love featured in my shot above and put Needtobreathe in the spotlight in 2007.

Most recently, their music has been featured in many TV spots and lots of commercials. Overstock.com’s most recent commercial features their latest hit, Something Beautiful. And there’s an NBC commercial for their new fall show called Outlaw, that’s currently featuring their song, Lay ‘Em Down. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to embed videos using WordPress, so do me a favor and click those links! Hang out a bit on their website, peruse, if you will. (If you’re in Indy and happen to have tickets to see Train at the White River Lawn in August, you’ll see Needtobreathe. Soak ’em in.) You won’t regret giving this band a shot; I promise!

More to come…