My Second Time Seeing Hobo Johnson in Concert

It’s been over two weeks now… and I still can’t get over it.

I don’t even know WHERE to begin; I just knew I wanted to write this. I guess I’ll start with proclaiming my undying love for Frank. His stage name is Hobo Johnson and contradictory to what you might assume, he is in fact *not* a hobo… anymore. Well, he was wearing the exact same thing that he wore the last time I saw him in concert. I digress.

There are two types of concerts when you are me. There’s the concerts of the artists you simply like. Often times it is with these artists you may only cross paths once. An example: I like Florida Georgia Line and I’ve seen them live once.

And then you have the artists you love. These are the artists that have impacted you in the most profound way music can. They’re the people who put your inarticulate thoughts and feelings into words you couldn’t find and still go the extra mile and convey those thoughts and feelings without words too. And that type of connection—that resonance is… I hate to say “special” because that’s such a gross understatement, but it is. It’s rare and unique and its roots go way deep.

And now that I’ve woven the narrative of how obsessive I am with music that understands me in ways I don’t even understand myself sometimes, you can probably take a jab at it and assume that the band Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers is in fact (collectively) one of these artists that has this emotional and lively effect on me.

My point… right. So it’s with these artists that you LOVE that the minute you find out they’re touring and coming to town—no matter how many times you’ve seen them—it’s not a matter of IF you will go again, it’s a matter of, “Oh shit, where did I leave my credit card so I can enter my information and purchase these early access tickets?”

And so I saw Hobo Johnson for the second time. Two Novembers in a row, people. And it was (as expected) literally everything.

I went with a group and we braved the cold weather and stood in line outside the venue for probably an hour or so. Thankfully, we had early access passes and went in sooner than everyone else. Having turned 21 recently, I went straight for the bar and then straight for the stage.

The last time I saw the band, me and my friends were front row and center, pushing right up against the barricade. I don’t know how, but we managed to pull that off again this time (though we were a lil less center). We got up there, we took pictures, and we made friends with security (shoutout to Chris and Dave).

Organizing my thoughts about everything that went down at that show and what order to tell it all to you in is proving to be difficult because so much happened.

I guess we’ll start with how rowdy the crowd was, specifically during the Mom Jeans. set. They were the third opening act before Frank and the guys came out. Their music was also what people went the most wild to in terms of acting up. Two people got kicked out (before Hobo Johnson even came out) for crowd surfing while Mom Jeans. performed! Not to sound lame as hell, but I’ve never actually seen anyone crowd surf? At least I don’t think I have… We, collectively as crowd, moved their bodies closer to the stage and proceeded to yeet them over the railing into Chris’s arms. He carried them off, never to be seen again. In doing so, I got a face full of butt. So that was interesting.

During that set, there was also hella pushing and shoving. Fine. People like to mosh, but this wasn’t music you mosh to, so frankly… I don’t understand. The only other physical rowdiness that happened was actually during Frank’s set when this girl, literally two people over from me, decided to climb up onto the barricade and dive into the crowd. I don’t think security ever got ahold of her because I saw her resurface in her original spot later on. I still don’t know if I think she was a dumb bitch or a bad ass.

Frank is very audience interactive during his shows. To put into perspective, he made us do a dance during one song and also verbally apologize to Justin Bieber and bow our heads. He’s also interactive in that there’s a lot of talking and leading up to songs. He kind of hones in on creating almost a dialogue with the crowd and just being funny and himself. This also opens the door for things like an entire venue of people to start chanting for him to take his shirt off. He quickly shut that down by telling us that he wouldn’t come into our jobs and offices while we’re working chanting “take your shirt off”. He had a point. There was also the usual rowdiness of bras being thrown onto the stage, though it was pretty early on in the night. Frank put it on and wore it over his clothes for a minute. That was amusing.

He performed a mix of songs from both albums (which means I got to hear “Romeo and Juliet” and “Creve Coeur” and pop off) and two covers. They covered “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton and did “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire for their encore. I was living my absolute best life.

I will say I was super confused that they didn’t do “Typical Story,” given it was the leading single off the new record. I was also a little personally upset that they didn’t do “Sorry, My Dear,” but I understand that one being snubbed a little more.  Still, it’s one that has a super special place in my heart and it was a little disappointing. I LIVED for them opening with “Mover Awayer” though. I just knew that is what they would do and it was even better once I was there watching it happen. “Ode to Justin Bieber” was also amazing. Not just for what the song is (that song awakens a different energy inside of me) but the Jack Shoot and Jmsey features make it so much more fun. Jmsey’s voice is angelic.

Important note: Frank and I made eye contact several times throughout the show. He’s literally the sweetest human being. Like his smile and crinkly eyes just have the ability to brighten my day.

He also sprayed water all over me (and most of the front few rows) from a water bottle and it felt like an edgy baptism. I took a selfie of my ugly, wet face after the fact. Hope the guy who photobombed also had a great time at the concert.

At the end of the night they threw roses out into the crowd (like they did last time), and I caught one! Shoutout to Derek for that one. We were right in front of where he was standing on stage.

Seeing him live for the second time was a magical experience that felt more like a reunion than anything. I may not have gotten hit in the face with a wet towel this time (a story for another time), but I got to see one of my favorite artists in person again and experience his music and personality and just be moved and feel everything to my core. These are the nights I live for.

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