Photo courtesy of My Theatreland

‘Better Together’


As the sun began to set on a cloudless, summer Sunday afternoon, the seats of the sold-out Hollywood Bowl were just starting to fill up with music fans arriving after traditional Bowl picnicking … or battling Los Angeles traffic. People of all ages shuffled into the landmark venue to watch and hear Jack Johnson play.

Johnson’s mellow, acoustic style perfectly set the mood for the warm, July night. He isn’t exactly known for his ability to get people up and dancing, but that isn’t what the more than 17,000 people there came to do.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Sure, there were a handful of upbeat, jovial tunes that got the audience on their feet, but most people came to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. With Johnson’s carefree, loose melodies, concertgoers were easily seduced to “kick back.”

Some of Johnson’s biggest hits like “Upside Down” and “Banana Pancakes” were thrown in with some of his other lesser-known tunes. There were those in the stands who chanted the lyrics to every song and others who only sang the choruses of Johnson’s hits, but everyone appeared to be enjoying the music and having a good time.

Intermixed in all the music, Johnson added a personal touch by sharing with the audience a few of his fondest and most entertaining tales during his time as a singer. From the creative song that he once used as his answering machine voicemail, to recalling the time he played poker with Willie Nelson, Johnson almost always elicited a laugh from the crowd.

In today’s crazy world, where tuning in to the news is often a depressing sight, Johnson gave people a night to forget about everything else—a night to listen to some good music in ideal weather with friends or family.

Johnson concluded the memorable night with probably his most popular song, “Better Together.” Based on the multitude of fans cheering for him as he walked off the stage, it seemed that everyone there that night was better off together at the Hollywood Bowl with Jack Johnson.