April in Glenwood: Songs we know by heart in the summer | PostIndependent.com

April in Glenwood: Songs we know by heart in the summer

Ever since I began regularly attending concerts, mostly when I started college, I’ve always looked forward to summer for the music. Outdoor venues are ideal for hearing my favorite bands.

Dancing under sunny skies and evening stars seem to make music sound better.

Last week, that surge of excitement when a band plays those first few notes came rushing back as I attended another lively Jimmy Buffett show. I hadn’t seen him live in several years, and have been relying on Margaritaville Radio to hear his wide-spanning catalog of island music.

“One Particular Harbor” stands out for me as a favorite.

The sold-out concert was just as I remember — a happy sea of Hawaiian-shirt-clad Parrotheads comprising the audience as beach balls playfully bounced in the summer air.

To prepare for the event, rows and rows of tailgating fans set up temporary party stations in the parking lot. There were the classic cheeseburgers (in paradise) on the grill and shakers of salt to rim the margarita glasses. I was mostly impressed with the array of colorful handmade hats to celebrate the summertime occasion. Kentucky Derby, eat your heart out.

The Buffett concert opened with one of my favorites from the ’80s, Huey Lewis and the News. I had always wanted to see Huey in concert, and his set had just the right rock ’n’ roll spirit to warm up the crowd for Jimmy’s much-anticipated, barefooted appearance. The band didn’t miss a beat with the songs we all knew by heart in the audience, including “The Heart of Rock ’n’ Roll” and “The Power of Love.” I would have enjoyed an entire night of his music.

Huey still has all the right moves that make him a great entertainer.

Jimmy also seems like he’s stuck in a time warp. It’s as if the years haven’t even passed by like boats in a harbor since he first recorded “Margaritaville” in 1977. Barefoot, tan and donning khaki shorts sounds like a great way to spend those relaxed golden years. I can only hope I’m having as much fun as Jimmy is at 69 — especially since I’ll have a 25-year-old who I secretly hope doesn’t wait as long to have kids as I did.

I have a few years to think about being a grandparent, though.

One highlight of Buffett’s Indy show was a tribute to Glenn Frey, who died in January, as he and the Coral Reefer Band played “Take It Easy.” Frey wrote the hit song in 1972 — the year I was born — with Jackson Browne and recorded it with the Eagles.

The song brought some memories back for me, as it was played at my high school journalism friend Johnny’s funeral in the ’90s. His Indiana University buddies still host the annual Take It Easy Open golf tournament that raises money for the John M. Jackson Memorial Scholarship. The ultimate goal of the event is to build a $100,000 endowment to ensure that Johnny’s memory lives on in the IU students who receive the scholarships in his name.

I think he would’ve appreciated Jimmy’s version of “Take It Easy.”

Like the Jimmy Buffett concert, another show I’m attending this summer is guaranteed to bring back a rush of memories that span most of my lifetime. Tonight I’m seeing Def Leppard, one of my favorite bands whose song “Pour Some Sugar On Me” has been my big-hair anthem since I first heard it on “Hysteria” when I was 15. Whenever I find myself in a karaoke-singing situation, that one’s high on my list.

I think I could sing it in my sleep.

Def Leppard, which has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, is joined this summer by fellow ’80s blockbuster bands REO Speedwagon and Tesla. The latter sings another one of my high school power ballad favorites, “Love Song.”

I play it on rotation when I need reminded how important love is in our world.

I’ve had a long-running teenage crush on lead singer Joe Elliott of Def Leppard, and am well-known by my friends for being one of the band’s biggest fans.

Even during through those college grunge years when Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots were considered way more cool than hair bands. I’ve never seen Tesla live, so I’m excited to add them to my lifetime list of concerts that started with Cheap Trick when I was 9.

And the fact I’ll be seeing the show in the summertime with a few of my girlfriends, who also rocked the big hair in the ’80s, makes the experience even more memorable.

That’s what music brings to our lives.

April E. Clark likes her cheeseburgers with lettuce and tomato. And sometimes Heinz 57. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.

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