Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Jack Johnson Live at The Marquee, Cork // 2 July 2018

This has been a good summer for concerts. Having seen Taylor Swift in concert just two weeks prior, the prospect of seeing one of my other music favourites perform was too much to handle! I've been listening to Jack Johnson since my early years of secondary school, he was the background to math study, the only subject I allowed myself to listening to music whilst studying. It feels like we go way back. And when he announced he was coming to Ireland for the first time in 12 years(!!) I just had to go.

He played in the Marquee, which is genuinely a marquee/circus tent set up in the middle of a car park just outside Cork city. It only holds some 4,000 people and is set up each summer for a series of concerts. People such as Bob Dylan, Elton John and Lana Del Rey have performed there in the past. This year's line up is almost complete, but has seen the likes of Kraftwerk, Alanis Morisette and Don McClean perform. It's basically a really cool summer series with some serious artists!

It was a bit of a sweaty summer's day, the sun was still shining as my companion and I walked to the concert. We missed the opening act, local Irish "The Ocelots", but honestly didn't mind too much. I'd never heard of them and was really only there to see Jack Johnson perform. It was so strange walking up to the tent because I'd never been in such a huge one! It's one of the weirdest venues I've been in, as it felt very makeshift, but in actuality it worked well because despite the lack of screens or projections, I could see perfectly well from our middle-row seats.

It was such a contrast to the Taylor Swift concert. Not only was it 1/20th of the size, but it lacked any sort of visual spectacle. The lights on stage changed between about 4 colours, but remained blue for the vast majority of the concert. Jack Johnson didn't outfit-change (lol) and most importantly and specially, it was so casual! It felt incredibly intimate when Jack asked for song requests and consulted his band when he needed help figuring out chords. He forgot/messed up the words on around 3 or 4 occasions, but honestly it just made it more cozy and friendly. He was up on stage having fun, only using a vague setlist which he altered as he wished and with a couple of requests shouted up at him from the crowd. It was so cool! I know he doesn't have as many hard core fans as some of the other artists I listed earlier, but I felt very lucky to be able to see one of my favourite artists perform in such a relaxed and fun way.

He played guitar the whole time as his band played their various instruments. Another thing which I enjoyed was the fact that all of the music was organic. It was produced on the spot with live instruments, which is really so much rarer these days. He didn't have any fancy amps or techniques, it was just as natural as a concert gets! He played some of my favourite songs and many crowd pleasers such as Banana Pancakes, Better Together, Home and Do You Remember. He came back for an encore as the crowd cheered and roared for him, performing a few songs completely solo before he was rejoined by his band and the Ocelots. It was such a pleasant evening, and Jack was on stage for around 2 hours if not a little more than that which was so amazing! Naturally I had to come away with a t-shirt.

Do any of you like Jack Johnson or his music?

Anna x

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