The Life of the Party!
Can anyone think of a more magnificent stage setting than the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway for a memorial weekend benefit concert? No? Neither can we…and neither could multi-platinum alternative rock giants, Lifehouse!
Add to that, a blazing sunset, a completely clear evening sky with a million stars and a crescent moon to the west, and to the east, a fully lit Coronado Bay bridge with a breathtaking view of the downtown San Diego skyline, marry it all and it was Live Nation-San Diego’s recipe for perfection!
It came as a last minute opportunity for me to climb aboard the U.S.S. Midway, make my way to the flight deck and start to absorb it all! Almost surreal was the skyline, the setting sun and the stage that was starting to light up against a darkening sky. Having a little time on my hands as our main performance that was slated to start at 7:30 pm was running late, I wandered around the flight deck of this amazing aircraft carrier taking so many “before” photos I that I managed to almost kill my phone battery and had to shut it down in fear of a phone call or texting emergency down the line.
As time ticked on, the ship continued to play a fun, upbeat, yet still not Lifehouse, collection of music over the P.A. system and as I looked around, I noticed that while many people were still filing into the concert area others were starting to show signs of impatience. 30 minutes, 40 minutes, over an hour late…and finally it came and all was immediately forgotten as Rear Admiral, John “Mac” McLaughlin (Ret), President and CEO of the U.S.S. Midway Museum took to the stage to thank all for their undying support and patience for the delay in boarding all the guests and fans; and then he did something I have never witnessed by any venue or any other managing party, he asked each and every guest to hang on to their tickets because those tickets were going to be honored at the Midway for the rest of the year as a free pass to all the attendees, their families and friends. Yes, you read that right. Each ticket holder can bring as many family members and friends, in a group as guests of the museum, as often as they like until the end of 2017!!! A hero in active service, a hero in retired service! What a selfless and gracious gesture and one I, myself, am going to take advantage of because I don’t think I could ever get tired of being on such a glorious and royal vessel.
RADM Mac McLaughlin, a beautiful and charming presence, held the spotlight long enough to thank guests and fans for their support and spirit for our military and to present generous benefit checks to the representatives of three fabulous not-for-profit organizations offering assistance, services and helpful resources to our local currently serving military community, veterans and their families. Twelve thousand dollar checks were presented to, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP): www.stepsocal.org , United through Reading: www.unitedthroughreading.org and The Navy SEAL Foundation: www.navysealfoundation.org. Please visit their websites to find out more about these causes and don’t hesitate to hit the “donate” button along the way.
With no opening act, Lifehouse hit the stage running, immediately proving they continue to be a force to reckon with! Based in Los Angeles, the diverse alt-rockers first became a household name in the early 2000’s with their, 2001, debut album, No Name Face, and 16 years later they are still captivating audiences worldwide. Over those 16 years, Lifehouse, has released a multitude of multi-platinum ranking singles and a total of six albums, their newest being, Out of the Wasteland, which was released on May 28, 2015.
Composed of lead singer and founder, Jason Wade (lead vocals and guitar), Bryce Soderburg (bass and vocals) and Ricky Woolstenhulme, Jr. (drums and percussion), Lifehouse was the metamorphosis of Jason’s first rock ensemble, Blyss, and through the years they have crossed over into several different genres of music such as alternative rock, grunge and modern rock and even into pop,; always keeping it fresh, energetic and unexpected, yet with Jason Wade’s always discernable vocals upfront and present.
The Freedom concert was an array of old school, Lifehouse, and new school, Lifehouse, spanning their 16 year pilgrimage of entertaining fans, both young and old and that rang true in the crowd. From my seat it was a joy to watch young children with parents, grandparents and, yes, even some great grandparents all dancing together and rocking it to some of Lifehouse’s famous sing along songs such as “You and Me”, “ All In”, “Whatever it Takes” and ”I’m Halfway Gone”.
The acoustics of this venue were incredible. Who knew that the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, of all things, would produce such clear and clean sound? Applause to the lighting engineer, who put together a show as equally entertaining as Lifehouse themselves, a standing ovation for all of the very gracious and humble members of the band, who took the time to continually thank their fans, the staff of the Midway, state what an honor it was to perform in such an appropriate venue during this great country’s memorial weekend and giving their fans even more reasons to continue to follow them on their journey!
Lifehouse will be heading out on tour this summer with San Diego’s very own, Switchfoot, starting on July 23rd in Denver, Colorado. Please follow along with them on social media. Please find their tour dates and breaking news on their website: http://lifehousemusic.com.
Review by: Siege / BackStage360
U.S.S. Midway, San Diego
Freedom Concert, May 27th
Featuring alt-rock band, Lifehouse