Everything That You Ever Wanted
Priscilla and I are always on the search for good live music as well as a good baseball game. It's a rare occasion when we get to have both, but today was just such a day.
For months we've been hearing about Hawk Nelson. The band is comprised of Jason Dunn on vocals, Daniel Biro on bass, Jonathan Steingard on guitar and Sqwid (yes, Sqwid) on drums.
Before I get into telling you about the band, I just have to get one thing off my chest. The Memphis Redbirds, the team who hosted this event, did a horrific job with promoting and selling tickets to the show, particularly with regard to online sales and phone orders. The concert was listed as a promotional event, and pretty much all the events that are listed as such throughout the year are included with the price of the ticket. (For example: fireworks, giveaway jerseys, etc.) This one, however, was NOT included in the price of the ticket UNLESS you bought a special package. I never saw this on the website.
So once I got to the game and sat in the expensive seats I had purchased behind home plate, I rudely found out--somewhere in the fourth inning--that I would not be allowed to hang around for the concert afterward. You can imagine my dismay, as that was the primary reason for our attendance. Of course, I immediately went to address this with the Will Call office (which, by the way, had screwed up my tickets earlier and charged me for a game that I didn't go to) and I was subsequently met with an argumentative representative who insisted that despite the growing line of concerned ticket-holders who were piling up to complain during the fifth inning that it was painfully obvious to anyone who wasn't a complete retard that the concert admission was a separate charge. According to this person, I should've bought tickets that were half the price of the ones I had and they would've come complete with concert admission. Essentially, for spending less, I would've gotten more. I sat there, utterly flabbergasted at the thought of pricier tickets being of lesser value and also irritated at having to miss part of the game I paid so much for, as well as wondering how disappointed Priscilla would be, since she had been looking forward to this show for months.
I argued my way through a couple of managers and all the way up to the ticket manager, who stood there and argued with me till I he was blue in the face that the website clearly stated the prices, and basically screw you, and pay $20 more to get the wristbands that would allow admission, even though, as I repeatedly mentioned, my tickets cost more than double what those tickets cost. In any case, I finally argued him down to switching my tickets to the lesser field box seats and giving me the wristband without paying one cent more, left the box office as a hero to the others behind me in line, and sat back in the seats I had originally purchased, angry because I had to miss two innings to argue with the idiots who run the Memphis Redbirds box office. Let's just say that I still enjoy going to Redbirds games, and I attend many, but I doubt that I'll be going back for a game this year.
Anyway...now that I've got that off my chest, on to the concert.
It was sweltering hot out in Autozone Park's plaza. I mean fry an egg on your head hot. And humid too. The plaza was PACKED with screaming tweens who just couldn't wait to see the band hit the stage. Priscilla and I stood about five feet from the stage, which as fate would have it was just one foot closer than a gaggle of screaming girls who couldn't have been older than fourteen or fifteen and whose screaming would later drown several portions of the show. And since none of them were old enough to have experienced an actual punk rock concert, with mosh pit, et al, they insisted on trying their version of it as well, which ended up with them nearly knocking me over on top of my wife three times. The third offense was met with a glaring malevolent stare from me, and as I am a Large Individual, the activity subsequently relocated itself further behind me. I'm all for having fun, but no one needs to get hurt at the show.
The opening band was late getting onto the stage, but they turned out to be worth the wait. Tooth and Nail artists The Send got the crowd going with a four song set. You can check them out by clicking through to their Myspace. They've got most of their songs from their EP posted there. Their debut album comes out July 31st. You can listen to their music and judge for yourself. It's sort of a mish-mash of punk and alt rock. I like it. It's got just enough edge to keep it from being too generic, but not enough frayed edges to make it hardcore. There's a lot of heart and soul flowing through the lyrics, and watching Joseph Kisselburgh singing them is to watch him pour his heart onto the stage. Give them a listen, add them on Myspace, and if you like what you hear, you can pre-order their album at thesendonline.com.
After all the hassle and the heat, Hawk Nelson took the stage. I already sort of knew what to expect, because I've heard their hit single "Everything You Ever Wanted," and it occasionally makes me cry, because I know the feeling well. I'd also heard "Zero," which is the song they've got on the soundtrack of Evan Almighty. (If you haven't heard either of these songs, I strongly urge you to click over to myspace.com/hawknelsononline and listen to those as well as the other two right away. The two songs I mentioned are ballads, but Hawk Nelson, I found, was ready to rock it out. Lead singer Jason Dunn is the consummate showman, and he knows how to work the crowd. You can't help but take notice of him when he hits the stage, particularly not today as he was sporting blonde cropped hair with a black feathery mohawk. There's a reason why Jason has a legion of young teenage girls climbing the walls to get to him. He's a good looking guy, but he can also sing, and he works the crowd like a master. They played every song they'd ever done that got any sort of radio play, a couple of covers, and a few deep cuts, but the whole show was quite enjoyable. It was a rowdy good time, and my wife, who already adored the band is now, in the words of her T-shirt, nuts about Hawk Nelson. (Parents, Hawk Nelson is on the Tooth and Nail label, a label that consists mainly of Christian rock bands, so you needn't worry about any bad influences coming from this CD.)
Check out their Myspace page, and I strongly encourage you to pick up their latest CD.
Oh, and in case you're interested in seeing Hawk Nelson and The Send live, they're on a tour of baseball stadiums through the end of summer. If you have a minor league ballpark in your area, chances are they've either already been there or will be soon. Here's the schedule at the moment:
FRI, AUG 03.07 - GRAYSON STADIUM, SAVANNAH, GA
SAT, AUG 04.07 - GOLDEN PARK, COLUMBUS, GA
SUN, AUG 05.07 - FIVE COUNTY STADIUM, ZEBULON, NC
SUN, AUG 12.07 - DR. PEPPER BALLPARK, FRISCO, TX
SAT, AUG 18.07 - CHENEY STADIUM, TACOMA, WA
MON, AUG 20.07 - GRIZZLIES STADIUM, CHUKCHANSI PARK, FRESNO, CA
TUE, AUG 22.07 - BANNER ISLAND BALLPARK, STOCKTON, CA
FRI, AUG 24.07 - CLEAR CHANNEL STADIUM, LANCASTER, CA
TUE, AUG 28.07 - JOHN THURMAN FIELD, MODESTO, CA
WED, AUG 29.07 - STATER BROS. STADIUM, ADELANTO, CA
FRI, AUG 31.07 - TUCSON ELECTRIC PARK, TUCSON AZ
Do be sure to check each ballpark's website if ordering online, and make sure that you've specifically booked the special package that includes admission to the concert. Tickets should only be $15. Once you get that out of the way, I'm sure you'll find out as we did that the band is hot, and when you get to meet them, they're a great (and humble) bunch of guys.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit their sites!