By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Florida–October 4, 2017
Jack Johnson released his seventh studio album All the Light Above It Too on September 8th and has been touring around the U.S, Canada, and even made an appearance at Farm Aid. His concerts have been somewhat of a “greatest hits” showcase, which is fine by me. I have been into Jack Johnson since around 2003 when he came out with his album On and On. His music was always the kind of music that was calming and upbeat to me. He is the Hawaiian troubadour, the man that cares for the environment, and writes love songs for his wife.
When I rolled into the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, the first thing I noticed was the ultra-high security—lots of flashing lights on police cars, men dressed in camouflage and carrying visible weapons, and long, long lines through the security check. Actually, the atmosphere was tense. It felt kind of alarming and the clamp down is no doubt due to the recent massacre in Las Vegas.
The amphitheatre was totally packed to the top of the seats with eager people waiting to hear Jack Johnson, who would hopefully soothe the tension in the crowd. He came out calmly with an acoustic guitar and began singing, without hesitation. He was backed by a bass player, a drummer, and a piano player. He started playing “Hope” and then moved into “Taylor”. The crowd was very appreciative and started singing along to my favorite “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.” Lord knows, I use to play this song over and over during the day. His music spoke to me and everyone, I’m sure.
The real special moment was when Jack Johnson segued into Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”, which took on a special meaning. Everyone…I mean…EVERYONE…was singing along. Not only was he honoring the sad, sad loss of Florida’s son but also he was displaying the message, “We are going to continue enjoying music. We are going to continue attending festivals and having fun. We cannot let a crazed gunman drag us down and live in fear.” At least, that is what I interpreted from hearing the song.
I noticed on Jack Johnson’s wrist he was wearing a band that said “Compassion”. I found this to be touching.
Of course, we photographers have a limited amount of time in the photo pit but from what I heard, the concert was a beautiful one. Beautiful music from a beautiful man.
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