Sunday night’s show was one I had been looking forward to ever since it go announced. Full disclosure, I was hesitant to jump onto the Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers train the first time I heard him. His music was quirky which is totally my thing but his audience was young which is definitely not my thing but when I saw him for the first time last October, that all changed. I became obsessed with Hobo Johnson and everything he did. The honesty and rawness he put on stage that fateful night last October instantly changed me from a passive, pessimistic concert blogger to a complete fan girl who just couldn’t get enough. To say I was excited to feel that raw emotion and scream along to every word on Sunday night is the understatement of the year.
Kicking the night off was The Philharmonik from Sacramento, CA. I instantly fell in love with all of the different influences that were so clearly heard throughout his very quick (fifteen minutes) set. The music went from funk to pop to rock to R&B with no hesitation and although all of those things shouldn’t flow easily, The Philharmonik made it happen. From what I can tell in my research this morning, The Philharmonik is just one guy but last night he was joined on stage by a stellar drummer. The amount of sound that this duo was able to produce was stunning. Had you put me in a corner without being able to see the stage, I would have absolutely put money on thinking that there was a full band on stage. I wish The Philharmonik’s set could have lasted longer but he was quickly replaced by Nate Curry.
Frank Lopes Jr. (AKA Hobo Johnson) is one of those performers that I would kill to get a drink with but, at the same, would be absolutely intimidated by meeting. Some people call his personality quirky and his actions on stage a little weird but I find them comforting. From the act of taking his shoes off just to put them back on moments later to picking up one of the stage monitors and moving it without any noticeable reason, I was literally watching a person like me on stage. Frank openly sings about dealing with depression and anxiety but he also acts on those impulses during his live performances which adds something irresistible and painfully real about him.
The first time I saw Hobo Johnson, I was unable to sing along and really felt like I was missing out. I was able to finally sing along last night having spent the past year obsessing over Hobo Johnson’s music but the words escaped me. Majority of them were too raw for me to sing along with and, for fear of busting out in tears during the set, I just avoided singing altogether. The amount of power his words have on me and other fans is next to unfathomable and is what has made Hobo Johnson my go to when I’m having a rough day. Listening to him is one thing but watching him perform those songs that hit straight to your core is something that clearly can’t be put into words.
From the old songs to the new songs and the couple of covers thrown into the mix, every song Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers performed was the one I wanted to hear and I wasn’t alone in that. Everybody in the crowd seemed to be having an religious experience as they either danced along to the beat or screamed along to every word. There was no denying the power and emotion that was flying through the air and, when it was all said and done and the crowd was ushered out of the venue, you could still feel the love and passion that was laid out during the set.
Yes, I realize this blog is all over the place but I think I’m still just overwhelmed by all of the emotions that were going through my head while watching Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers perform. If you weren’t there last night and if you can’t relate to the words that Hobo Johnson says, you’ll never understand.