06 July, 2008

Jack Johnson Concert in London

Paula and I planned a 4 day/3 night trip to London, partially to see the sites in this great city for the first time and also to take in a Jack Johnson concert in Hyde Park in central London. Hyde Park is 350 acres of green smack down in the middle of London and a 5 minute walk from our hotel. Jack Johnson was the headliner and was supported by Macio Jennings, G. Love & Special Sauce and then Ben Harper.

We arrived in London around 9am and too the few minute walk from the train station to our hotel to drop off our bags. As we were several hours early to actually check into the hotel, we decided to walk to the park to figure out what the setup was like and then take in the circus that is the Harrod's department store.

We made our way to Hyde Park after a couple wrong turns and about 10 minutes. The concert venue was about 200 yards into the park and already had a crowd of maybe 50 people camping out waiting to be let in at 2pm to get to the front of the stage. As the event was general admission and just in a big field, getting to the front would be a good idea but also would not allow you to sit down and hang out in the lawn as we had planned.

After reaching the concert venue and talking to a worker about what we were allowed to bring in with us, we headed to the other side of the park towards Harrod's. After passing by a park working cutting the grass we ran into a guy who looked very similar to a certain guitar playing superstar. Turns out it was Jack Johnson and he stopped to talk for a minute when I said hello. He seemed like a really cool guy just walking around the park in a t-shirt, jeans, flip flops and a newspaper. I had a Phillies shirt on and I mentioned we were Philly and he got a smile and said we were from G. Love's town which was cool. Although it was just a passing minute, it showed that rock stars can be cool down to earth people. Some even a bit shy like Jack seemed. I didn't think quick enough to ask for a picture but I felt good that I didn't so he didn't think I was a big tool!

After walking around a bit more, having lunch and a pint at a pub, we arrived back at Hyde Park around 3pm to get into the venue. There were already thousands of people roaming around the venue, eating drinking and just having a good time. It rained a bit throughout the first hour or so of the concert but by the time G. Love came on, it was pretty nice out which made it easy to sit on the ground and to take in the sounds.

G. Love played alot of his best songs and a bunch from his new album. At first I thought his show would end without playing Cold Beverages but while I was in line for some beer and wine, he played it and everyone rocked out to it. G. Love put on a great show but I was a little diasspointed to see him be second in line and not third. It also didn't seem like the London crowd was that familiar with his music but he still got a good cheer.

After Ben Harper, who also put on a great show, Jack came on and everyone went nuts and finally stood up for his performance. He seemed a bit shy at the site of over 30,000 fans going crazy for him but he started out with some great songs from his new album and alot of the hits that you are used to hearing on the radio. Later in his show he brought out G. Love to play on Rodeo Clowns which I love and he also brought Ben Harper out later as well. For one of his encore songs he said he had 2 guests to bring out, G. Love and Jimmy Buffet! I could not believe that Jimmy Buffet would be there but sure enough he came out and they all rocked out to A Pirate at 40 or something like that. Cool song and a great show overall! Definitely worth the cost of flying to London for the show!

Check out some pictures we took at the show. Maybe a few videos as well.

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