It was a cold and damp start to the Memorial Day weekend, but that didn’t stop thousands of fans from visiting the Point Pleasant Boardwalk to kick off summer with 95.5 WPLJ’s Summer Blast-Off concert featuring Ed Sheeran, Gavin DeGraw and Sara Bareilles.
One of my friends invited me to go with her. I typically don’t have these artists on rotation on my iPod, but I will never pass up a trip to the Jersey Shore. Since Superstorm Sandy devastated our beaches last year, I almost felt like I owed it to my state to be there to kick off one of the biggest beach weekends of the year. The Jersey Shore is one of my favorite places and I couldn’t wait to be near the ocean again!
When we got there, the line to get in Jenkinson’s (where the concert was being held) was wrapped around the boardwalk, down the main drag and back up to Jenkinson’s. We were surprised when the line started moving at a decent pace. If you were under 21 you couldn’t get into Jenkinson’s because it’s a bar. So most of the underage crowd hit the beach to enjoy the show. We hit a bump in the road at the door when a guard said the place was at max capacity, but a stranger who was in front of us kindly said we were his friends and we were let in. We thanked stranger, stranger told us to have a good time, and we went to find the stage.
At the time, Ed Sheeran was onstage performing and you couldn’t see him beyond the screaming, singing girls. As I suspected, when his set was up most of his crowd followed him out. My friend and I were able to move up to the stage to get a great view of Gavin DeGraw.
I must say one thing for this pop artist – he’s a great entertainer and puts a lot of effort into his songs as well as connecting with his fans. He sang hits like “I Don’t Want to Be,” “Chariot,” and “Not Over You.”
After Gavin DeGraw’s performance, Sara Bareilles took the stage for a small song set. She sang “I’m Not Going to Write You a Love Song,” “King of Anything,” a cover of “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” and her new song “Brave.” For a live early morning set, she hit every note with a lot of power in her voice. I have a new appreciation for the singer/songwriter. In addition to her strong vocals and meaningful songwriting, she also has a great sense of style. It’s sort of indie, sort of bluesy and she was wearing a great pair of oxfords that I couldn’t help admiring.
The concert wrapped up after that and we took to the boardwalk to visit a sweet shop (the same sweet shop that was previously mobbed with fans who waited to see the artists walk through to get to Jenkinson’s) for some fudge. It’s not a trip to the boardwalk without a little indulgence!
We had a great time kicking off the unofficial start to summer!
On one last note, thank you to all of the men and women who have served our country and are serving our country right now. I am thankful to be in a country where we are truly allowed freedom to live without constant turmoil and government constraints.