Boston Summer Concert Series

One of my favorite things about summer, other than having an excuse to eat ice cream, is summer concerts. There’s nothing better than relaxing outside in nice weather listening to live music. I’m lucky that I’m dating someone who also loves live music and was able to take full advantage of summer concerts with him. This summer we attended 8 concerts and still have one more to go. Here’s the wrap up.

Country 102.5 Street Party

The summer concert series started out cold and wet in May at Country 102.5’s Street Party outside of the House of Blues by Fenway Park. The weather was iffy from the get go but we decided to chance it and meet up with my friend Kate to enjoy some country music. Caitlin joined us on the crowded Landsdowne Street and we all managed to enjoy a few songs just before the skies opened up and Kate and Caitlin took their party to Eastern Standard.

country street party boston landsdowne

My boyfriend and I decided to make the most of the day and, with the help of some gut-warming beverages, enjoyed singing and dancing in the rain. I was happy that I had brought along my trusty rain jacket and camo hat to complete my country concert hillbilly look.


A stark contrast to country, we attended the AWOLNATION show inside the House of Blues in June. My Electronica for Studying Pandora station first introduced me to the band over the winter, so I was super happy to  learn that my boyfriend was also a fan and even happier to get the chance to see them live in Boston.

awolnation run concert tour house of blues boston

Not fans of being grown ups, we dressed in our Millennial concert finest—cutoffs, jeans, graphic tees, and Converse sneakers. The show was great, with opening acts from Parade of Lights and Family of the Year. I was previously unfamiliar with both bands but have since downloaded some of the tunes.

rock concert outfit awolnation

Imagine Dragons

Another indoor concert, we headed to the TD Garden in Boston to see the Imagine Dragons Smoke and Mirrors Tour. Imagine Dragons is one of those bands whose music you hear but never know who sings it. I found myself singing along to songs that I didn’t even know I knew.

imagine dragons concert boston garden

We had floor tickets at the Garden which were amazing! It’s a great experience to be so close to the stage at a show, especially in such a large venue.

Outside the Box – Kasey Musgraves & Guster

Outside the Box Boston is a free 6 day summer arts festival on the Boston Common. Ted Cutler, the philanthropic visionary behind the event teamed up with local sponsors to put on the shows. If you don’t live in a city where some rich guy wants you to enjoy the arts outside in the summer, you should move to Boston because this event is awesome!

I had heard of Outside the Box last year but was unable to attend any events. I had almost forgotten about it when I saw Instagram posts about Kacey Musgraves on a Friday night. Within 10 minutes, I was out the door, boyfriend and picnic blanket in tow. We met up with friends to watch the show sponsored by Country 201.5, the only country station in Boston. Kacey Musgraves played a great set, including my beloved “Mama’s Broken Heart”.

outside the box boston kacey musgraves

Guster, a Boston-born jam band of the 90s and early 2000s, also played as part of Outside the Box. A fan since high school, I jumped at the chance to see them live. I planned a double date picnic with my friend and her then-fiancé-now-husband and we enjoyed a night of Upper Crust Pizza and music. It was a surreal experience for me to be time-traveled back to high school in Pennsylvania while sitting in a park in Boston.  As usual, we had an awesome time being weird while people pretended not to know us.

outside the box concert boston

If you weren’t able to check out Outside the Box the past two years, put a calendar reminder in for July 2016 so that you don’t miss it next summer.

Darius Rucker

Keeping with the momentum of outdoor events, my boyfriend snagged last minute tickets to see Darius Rucker’s Southern Style Tour at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. Darius Rucker was the perfect first country concert experience for him…Kacey Musgraves in a park and a rained-out street party didn’t really count.

country concert outfit

New England country lovers came out of the woodwork for the concert.  There were cowboy hats and girls in boots and songs about homegrown love. Darius played some of his famous Hootie and the Blowfish songs from the 90s that we sang and danced along to before realizing that having attended high school in the 90s, we were part of the oldest cohort of concert attendees and left early to beat the traffic to go home and sip tea.

Australian Pink Floyd Show

Flipping the switch, we found ourselves to be some of the youngest hippies at the Australian Pink Floyd Show at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston in August. I had never been to a Pink Floyd anything and this cover band was certainly an experience. We had floor seats at the outdoor venue which put us inside of the light show action.

australian pink floyd show

I took the opportunity to indulge on stadium nachos covered in cheese and chili which, if I have to make a ruling, is the best way to enjoy a concert.

Counting Crows

Rounding up the second to last of our summer concerts was Country Crows and Citizen Cope also at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. For concert outfit consistency, we attended the 90s throwback concert in our grungiest baggy pants. Feeling the need to outdo our previous concert outfits, we pulled out all the stops—I rocked a belly shirt and choker, my ringer tee-clad boyfriend pushed a hoop earring through his cartilage piercing, and we took pictures to send to our pearl-clutching moms.

90s grunge style

We probably looked like fools to the normally dressed people at the show, but we were loving every moment of reliving the 90s and dancing to songs that we hadn’t heard in years.

We’ve got one more concert to wrap up the season. Look for a post on Little Big Town after tonight’s show!

Wine + Moonshine: Spodee White review

Spodee White Review and Cocktail RecipeOver the weekend I had the chance to try out Spodee White, a wine infused with moonshine from the good folks over at Spodee Wine. I knew I was planning a weekend with friends in Martha’s Vineyard, an island with a surprising lack of vineyards, and brought Spodee White along.

After a long day at the beach, I broke out the Spodee. I’m no oenophile or moonshinephile (if such a designation exists) but did appreciate the sweet slightly citrus smell of Spodee. To play off the citrus, I made my own Spodee recipe similar to the Spodee Mojito that I have named:

Spodee Porch Rocker
1 part Spodee White
2 parts lime sparkling water
5 mint leaves
Twist of lime
Serve over ice with a lime garnish, enjoy anywhere outside
Spodee was surprisingly good, as I was slightly skeptical of a wine and moonshine concoction. It was sweet and light and refreshing for a hot summer day– perfectly fitting for some Martha’s Vineyard Gingerbread house porch drinking to get the evening started.
I had other plans for the evening and took Spodee White to go to be enjoyed on the beach with friends over a fresh cooked seafood dinner. Spodee fit right in, both in aesthetics and taste. This refreshing drink was a great accompaniment to our lemon-squeezed shellfish. 

An added perk was the wide mouth jar that Spodee comes in. I was able to easily add more sparkling water, mint and lime for the ultimate portable beach drink (if your beach allows glass). Spodee was an exciting new addition to a weekend away with friends! Check out their website and get some today! 

Note: Spodee White was provided in exchange for an honest review of the product. As always, all thoughts and boozy musings are my own.

Townie: Night Shift Brewery

Last weekend I participated in one of Boston’s newest “cultural” experiences–the taproom at Night Shift Brewing.  Although the brewery has been around since 2012, the taproom is brand spanking new, as it just opened on May 22.  Some people might not think of a taproom as culture, hence the air quotes, but I’m pleased to report that in terms of craft beer, this was a decidedly awesome experience.

I headed out to Night Shift with a self-described food nerd friend.  While he doesn’t exactly share my love of malted hops, he has a car, and my charm was enough to convince him to chauffeur me to Everett, MA in search of the Boston area’s newest taproom.  The ride to the taproom was super easy considering I was the passenger, but my chauffeur insisted that it was fairly convenient and in close proximity to Costco, a fun fact that I refused to let him act upon.  While I may be desperate for a ride, I do have standards and trolling for food samples on a Saturday isn’t my cup of tea.

The taproom felt straight out of Denver, Colorado.  No stranger to drinking establishments, I had visited the Denver Beer Company while out West for a wedding last year and Night Shift was creepily reminiscent of that great experience.

From the picnic tables to the bathroom placement, it was like I had been transported back to Colorado a year later, almost to the day, complete with a beer drinking selfie in a blue striped shirt. Weird.

The only thing missing was outdoor tables (thanks Massachusetts blue laws), a dog friendly space, and board games.  There’s hope for at least one out of the three.

I got a flight of 4, which for $8 was a good deal for 16oz of beer.  There were 6 beers available to taste and 7 if you’re a member of their club.  However, only 4 of the 6 were available as part of the flight.  I tasted them all–Trifecta, En Garde, Viva Habanero, and Jojo…and then I got a 4oz sample of the Ever Weiss and Simple Sour…and brought home 5 bottles.  I was in a sour beer mood and took advantage of the three sour beers on the menu (En Garde, Ever Wisse, and Simple Sour) although the Viva Habanero was also a favorite solely for being the first habanero beer to ever grace my palate.

Other tasters commented on the Trifecta which appeared to be a taproom favorite.  While it did have a good flavor, I’m not the biggest Belgian style fan unless it’s a triple or a quad.  If you’re going to throw a beer at me that will sit like a stone, you better make it count.  For those who don’t drink or who were suckered into driving, there are non-alcoholic options as well.

Current laws prevented there from being food at Night Shift so they have a BYOF policy.  I wish we had gone there on a day when there were food trucks, as I could have used some sustenance, but no one ever went to a taproom to eat.  That being said, I can’t wait to go back to drink.

day and night: red shorts and stripes

The weather in Boston has been hot as balls lately, or if you don’t have balls, hot as the underside of your boob rubbing against an underwire.  Yesterday I saw a window washer who, after washing a window with sudsy water, went back to squeegie it off 10 seconds later but the water had already evaporated.  Yeah, it’s that hot.
While my plight isn’t as bad as a window washer standing on a scaffolding in the sun for 8 hours a day (or however long unions allow them to work in scorching heat), I’m a delicate flower and this heat is just too much for me.  Thankfully, I received a package of shorts from Old Navy’s Stuff and Save sale that I placed last week.  In it were two new pairs of their 3.5″ chino shorts in a reddish coral color and black.  I also got them in yellow but they’re hella see through and even I have standards so those puppies will be returned!  While I love my cutoffs, they’re not appropriate for all occasions so I needed some “adult shorts”, if you can call 3.5″ shorts “adult shorts”.
I love these shorts so hard that I wore them all day to work (I work at home or at Panera or anywhere with wifi) and then all night to meet a friend out for drinks.  I could have changed because they got a little wrinkled but instead ran my straightening iron over them because I’m cool like that.
Here are my two looks for these awesome shorts.  I was feeling the nautical vibe–I’m living in New England after all–and paired it with a chain link necklace and stripes.
Not pictured are mustard leather flip flops in which I smashed up my toe because I’m a klutz and might now have only 9 1/2 toenails.
I dressed up the shorts for nighttime by pairing them with some awesomely cheap wedges from Target.  If you’re wearing heels, follow the Hemisphere Rule–if you’re baring your legs, keep the top covered, if you’re bearing your boobs, cover them legs!
There’s my day and night look.  Annnnnd now I have the Kid Cudi song stuck in my head.  Awesome.

truck yeah!

Ok, so there’s no truck in this post but if you’re a fan of Tim McGraw you’ll get the reference.  For everyone else, it’s a song about, you guessed it, trucks.
Tonight I’m headed out to see Tim McGraw with Brantley Gilbert and Love and Theft.  The weather is iffy so I’m braving the mud and drunks in a white lace dress because I’m obviously insane.  If I end up soaked, at least the dress will be easier to use the facilites in than wet denim shorts.
While the chambray looks cute for the pictures now, there’s no doubt that it’ll come off in this 90 degree and 1000% humidity day.  More pics to follow tomorrow…hopefully not in parkas.

Dress: TJ Maxx, Chambray: Old Navy, Belt: Abercrombie circa 2000, Cowboy hat: Charlie 1 Horse