Fan Report: Jack Johnson in San Diego

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Just last weekend Jack Johnson wrapped up his 2013 North American From Here To Now To You Tour, selling out intimate theaters across the country, including the Balboa Theater in San Diego (10/18) in which we attended, and then concluding in Santa Barbara on Sunday.   Here’s how it all went down.

Being from LA and unable to make it to Jack’s show on Saturday left us scrambling for tickets last minute. The show at the beautiful Balboa Theater in San Diego had been sold out for weeks.  Somehow, the day before the show, we managed to outsmart Ticketmaster’s system and land 2 tickets in the 3rd row.  SCORE!  Mission 1:  Get tickets – complete.

Mission 2: Getting from LA at 5pm to San Diego by 8pm on a Friday night, in rush hour traffic, for the show that has doors opening at 7pm with Brushfire label mates, Bahamas, as support.  Our ETA was 9:30p and getting there any earlier was a long shot.  Thanks to the driver’s “need for speed”, we made it sooner than we had planned, putting us in our seats just as Jack graced the stage.  Mission 2: accomplished!

Jack made it clear that he was open to requests, and began by rolling through some acoustic hits, solo, starting with “As I Was Saying”, followed by “Washing”, “Taylor”, and “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing”.  This is when he was joined on stage by the rest of the band, more lights were added, and the fellas subtly made their presence known.

Continuing to play crowd-favorites, they went on with “Flake”, “Eyes”, and a beautiful cover of Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”.  That put the entire crowd on their feet, and that’s where we stayed for the remainder of the evening.  The rest of the night proved to be a sing-a-long as everybody was feeling the energy emanating from the stage with Zach Gill (ALO) playing his accordion and piano, Adam Topol keeping the drums in check, and Merlo laying down the funky bass.

Among other songs, Jack and crew closed out the night with a nice flavor or new jams and hits including “Mudfootball”, a nostalgia tease of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” right into “Staple It Together”.  What was the icing on the cake then?  Paula Fuga, a good friend of Jack and fellow musician from Hawaii, joined Jack to bid us all farewell with her beautiful melodies, and encored with “Country Road” “Turn Your Love” and  “Better”.

Mission 3: sing and dance all night long – done!

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Fan account by Charles Walker; Pictures by Brittany Rogy

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