7 Music Festivals You Don't Want To Miss This Summer

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What It's Like To Go To A Grateful Dead And Company Concert

There was a spot for everyone there, not just die-hard Dead fans.
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OK, so concert vibes. Nowadays, people are bopping to and from mainstream concerts like Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez. All great and merry, but you've never experienced a real concert until you've been to a Grateful Dead and Company concert.

Throughout this past year, members of the Grateful Dead including Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, along with the company of Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Chimenti and John Mayer have been on a tour known as The Dead and Company. Although a key member of the group, Jerry Garcia, is no longer with them, John Mayer has stepped in and taken the job by storm.

Whoever thinks that they have experienced real music before going to a Grateful Dead concert is beyond wrong. The first concert I attended was in New York City at Citifield. Immediately upon stepping onto the grounds near Citifield, I was surrounded by countless Dead-loving fans. People were dressed from head to toe in tie-dye, wearing Grateful Dead concert shirts from all different decades.

There were smiles on everyone's faces and love in the air. It was the kind of atmosphere that you would want your everyday life to be like.

After attending another amazing concert at Citifield the following night, I immediately looked up more tour dates online. Soon enough, I ventured to Boston a couple of weeks later to see the Dead perform much more. Although the vibes were much different in Boston, the music was still just as amazing.

The Dead played with soul and passion. Their long guitar instrumentals kept the crowd dancing and when John Mayer or Bob Weir would finally sing, the crowd would go wild.

Experiencing the Dead and Company opened my eyes. The people were accepting, easy-going, and kind. There was a spot for everybody there, not just those who were die-hard Dead fans. Just being in the midst of such free people made me feel like I was part of a community.

Enjoying pure and good music with such open people reminded me to be open in all aspects of my life; to all different scenarios, people and opportunities.

Overall, going to the Dead and Company was and is not just a concert, but a way of life.

Cover Image Credit: Imgur/Reddit

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Pharrell Williams Lights Up Napa's BottleRock

"Yezzir."

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If we want to take a pair of binoculars and zoom into one specific moment in my most recent trip to California, then the focus should stay onto BottleRock Napa. While the name itself gives away where this was located, it does not elicit the weather, food, music, and vibes – as we all know, I have a soft spot for music.

Day 2, Saturday (May 25th), included artists such as Sir Sly, Gary Clark Jr., Cypress Hill, Juanes, White Panda, and Pharrell Williams. A music festival in Napa Valley lives up to the perceived expectation – Michelin-star chefs and food vendors, wine galore, liquor, craft beers (IPA heaven), and a beautiful landscape. This is quite a difference from Chicago's Lollapalooza or Milwaukee's Summerfest, which mind you, there is no ill will for those festivals – but BottleRock poses its experience in a league of its own. Such a league includes an older age demographic of attendees, a "one-of-a-kind" location (for the US at least), and the non-festival route musicians — many of which are included above - and that was only Saturday.

As far as shows of the day, Pharrell Williams takes the cheesecake with his "mini-N.E.R.D. reunion" with Shay Haley, amongst his vocal featured classics "Gust of Wind," "Get Lucky," "Drop It Like It's Hot" and plenty more. His singing, even at age 46, came with grace and passion; start to finish, with little to no technical difficulties. The band was incredibly tight, note for note, and the all-female supporting singers and dancers added an element to this show, which I had yet ever to witness. The art and focus on a "performance" could not have been more prevalent in this show.

Pharrell's show is one that goes in the books with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Childish Gambino, The Foo Fighters, The Weeknd, J. Cole, Drake, and Disclosure. It is like the Men's Warehouse saying, "you're going to like the way you look," except Pharrell says, "you're going to like the way you feel, after my show." And that my friends, is a wrap.

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