I admit to being pretty lame with my musical tastes. If it’s not on the radio or iTunes top singles list, I’ve probably never heard it. The only time I discover off-the-beaten-path tunes is when I hear something I like and Shazam a movie or TV show. I also really haven’t been to that many shows, making many of them my favorites just because. My very first was *NSYNC’s PopOdyssey tour at Giants Stadium when I was in 7th grade. It would’ve made my list, except I barely remember it. We had nosebleeds and apparently didn’t take a single photo. I even lost my T-shirt. I just know that I screamed until my vocal cords gave out. I made up for those hazy memories a couple months ago when I went to see Justin Timberlake.
Which brings us to my number 1…*
1. Justin Timberlake | The 20/20 Experience World Tour
Madison Square Garden, NYC | March 21, 2014
I. Lost. My. Mind. End of story. Most I’ve ever spent on a show ($175) and I would only ever spend that much on this man. Worth every penny. He was getting over being sick and still flawlessly powered through a 32-song setlist. He played the majority of 20/20 but also revisited hits from his prior two albums. “Cry Me A River” threw the stadium into complete pandemonium. He launched into Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and that was it, I was done. And that was before the first set even ended. It was the best night ever spent with three of my best girls and our beloved JT. Mmph.
2. GLEE | The Glee Live Tour 2011
IZOD Center, East Rutherford, NJ | June 17, 2011
A couple years ago, I was a pretty hardcore Gleek. (Sue me.) The cast was talented, the show was fun, and my sis and I were kind of intense about it. So when the cast went on a stadium tour, we knew we had to go. We paid for the cheapest seats possible, but it was still a blast. We sang along to every song, squealed over the cute boys that we knew and loved from TV, and even made our own T-shirts. Because they turned the concert into a movie, they were filming at our particular arena and we were treated to some repeat performance and a surprise appearance from Gwyneth Paltrow (a guest star on the show). Not too shabby. (It’s a little bittersweet now. ❤ Cory Monteith)
3. Adam Lambert & Train | 95.5 WPLJ Summer Blast-Off 2012
Jenkinson’s Pavilion, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ | May 25, 2012
I was mostly in it for Adam. Every year, this Jersey shore radio station hosts a summer kick-off concert. The year I was living in Jersey again, it just so happened to be at my favorite club on my favorite boardwalk at the shore point where I spent many happy childhood memories. It also started at 6:30 a.m. That alone made it fun. I had already seen Adam at Bethlehem’s Musikfest a couple years prior and I was more than willing to see him again. It was the crack of dawn, but he still rocked our faces off. I love a good stadium tour, but smaller venues can be just as great. I was indifferent to Train, but pleasantly surprised. And the close quarters made for some very nice photo opps. My friends and I hit up a diner afterward and I was back home by 11 a.m.
4. Train with Gavin DeGraw & The Script | Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ | July 28, 2013
My mother and sister and I decided we wanted to see a show, so we looked up who was going to be where, we liked these three well enough, so we bought tickets and went. Simple as that. All three put on great performances and it was just one of those perfectly lovely summer evenings.
5. Daughtry | Break the Spell Tour
Musikfest, Bethlehem, PA | August 11, 2012
I saw Chris with my family. Back when we were Idol fans, he was another one of our favorites. He’s great live, but what really made the night stand out is that around halfway through, it started raining. Not just drizzling, but full on pouring. Everyone was forced to put away their phones and cameras and really get into the music. It was a hot summer night, it felt amazing, and the crowd sang along in earnest once they were no longer distracted by technology.
*All photos from the above concerts taken by yours truly!