I never found the previous BLI Summer Jam lineups appealing or worthy of my money, but when I discovered that Shawn Mendes and 5 Seconds of Summer were to perform this year, I knew I had to be there. A friend of mine suggested that we look for tickets a month before the concert, but after many attempts, we couldn't find quality seats at a quality price. Saddened, we gave up on our plans to attend the concert... well, at least Katie did.
Tickets for the furthest section in the back were over $150, which, to me, wasn't quite worth it at all. However, I knew that I'd be suffering from major FOMO on a Friday night if I wasn't there. I mean, Shawn Mendes, Zedd, Marshmello, Back Street Boys, Alessia Cara, Liam Payne, and 5 Seconds of Summer were going to be performing at the beach that I live 15 minutes away from. I HAD TO BE THERE.
I looked for tickets one last time during the week leading up to the concert, but I couldn't find any better offers. I texted my friend to confirm her loss of interest in attending the event and started to accept the fact that I wouldn't be going either. I wasn't upset or frustrated. I could deal with not going, but I had hope that ticket prices would drop the day of Summer Jam.
At 1:00 PM on June 15, 2018, I checked online and saw tickets for a cheaper price at a closer section near the stage. This was my moment to claim them. I texted my cousin, a fellow Shawn Mendes fan, and asked if she was interested. Minutes later, she responded and was on board with the idea. After an hour of contemplating, laughing at the spontaneity and the spur of the moment decision, and stressing out about having to shower and plan our outfits and transportation there, we bought tickets for seats in the Orchestra section, which cost the same amount as the tickets in the back row would have cost. To us, that was a deal.
We got to the venue at 5:00 PM and found our seats. The placed was filled, and there were people from all over Long Island having fun, eating, drinking, and dancing to the music. Typical summer concert rituals.
After seeing Bebe Rexha and some earlier artists, I was ready to see 5SOS come on stage. Their comeback album had just released, and I was more than ecstatic to see them perform. As they came on stage, I screamed of excitement as it was my first time seeing the band live in concert. It was an unforgettable performance, as they sang their popular songs and the new songs off their album.
After 5SOS, Liam Payne performed and even sang a bit of "History" by former band One Direction. Directioners, including me, never felt more attacked or triggered or emotional. (Thanks Liam.) Alessia Cara performed just around sunset, and the stadium was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. The blended pink, orange, purple and blue haze of the setting sun and the iPhone flashlights of the audience created a gorgeous scene during Alessia's performance of "How Far I'll Go" from the Moana soundtrack. Is there a song more appropriate to sing during the sunset at the beach?
Zedd came out after dark and lit the stage up, with Alessia Cara and Liam Payne joining him on stage to perform again. After Zedd and Marshmello's performances, I finally can understand the hype surrounding EDM concerts. Around 9:30PM, the one and only Shawn Mendes came on stage and shook the crowd with his beautiful and angelic voice and presence. My cousin and I have never screamed so hard in our entire lies, and our voices were shot at the end of the night. For anyone wondering, the Back Street Boys are still on top of their game with their stage presence and and choreography. The OG boy band, shall I say. At the end of the night, our voices were hoarse, our feet were sore, and our iPhones batteries were drained. (Concerts are honestly a workout!) All of the artists were amazing and equally contributed to my impending post-concert depression.
Do you ever get so lost in the moment that time seems to stop and you never want the night to end? That's how I felt during the concert. I was at the beach with someone I love, listening to my favorite artists and bands perform, dancing under the setting sun and feeling the salty ocean breeze in the air. I realized that this was what concerts were all about: musicians spreading happiness and art and joy to their fans and just having a good time, which I was honestly deprived of in a while.
The beauty of Summer Jam lies in the fact that a single concert with a combination of performers was able to bring all of Long Island together for one night, uniting all of us with music. This is beautiful yet enigmatic, and it's something we should all cherish. Summer Jam 2018 definitely did not disappoint, and I would do it all over again.
Until next year, Jones Beach.