A Year in Review: 2012 Summer Music

Between the months of April to September, I blogged a whopping 10 times.
I could have probably written 60 posts instead. I had that much happening.
Instead, I'm just going to give you a few recaps of my favorite things happening this year: Music, Trips, Races and Special Events.

So for Music....

April 14, 2012: Gross Domestic Product
This is a pretty big deal in Des Moines, it's a show put on by the Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC). It highlights local and indie bands spanning all genres. It takes place in the various ballrooms of Hotel Fort Des Moines.

This was my favorite Instagram of the night- T and our friend Chad.
These were some of my favorites from the show:


We had a blast at the show. Some of the bands I had heard of, but not seen live and it was a great way to see them up close. It was really loud since it was in a ballroom, but there were raging thunderstorms outside that night they had to drown out!
April 24th, 2012: Imagine Dragons
I'm going to be bold and just say- this was probably my favorite concert of 2012. It was at the Gaslamp in Des Moines- a small music venue downtown. You can get really close to the bands and it's intimate and dark and they serve strong drinks. I heart it. :)
First of all, Dan Reynolds is awesome.
He puts his whole heart into the performance.
And he plays this giant drum while he's up there which sort of gives it a little extra 'badass-ness'.
AND, they were super nice and I got to chat with them after the show. They all signed a dollar bill which is framed in my condo. I told them I was saving it since they were going to be huge. And if you've ever heard the song 'It's Time' - well you know what I'm talking about.
April 30, 2012: Green River Ordinance
I saw GRO the minute I got back into town from Nashville. I literally drove from KC right to Woolys- my favorite music venue in Des Moines. I think this might have been our first show there.
I've seen GRO before, but this time around they were a bit more polished.

And they came down in the crowd and played which was just awesome!

PLUS, they sang my favorite song of theirs, Endlessly.
We went to this show with Todd's son, Cory. I wasn't that familiar with them, but I really enjoyed the show. 'Skeleton Key' is an awesome song.
May 16, 2012: Grouplove
This show was also at Woolys, the night before my birthday. It was SO FUN. All of my pictures from that show are crazy angles because it was packed, hot and lotta dancing!!

It was such a fun show- lot of energy! Plus- we got to hang out with Sean Gadd afterwards! He has a crazy British accent and a hair/beard that's all grown together...
Probably the creepiest picture ever. HA

But it was a super fun way to kick off my birthday celebration!
 July 6 & 7, 2012: 80/35 Music Festival
This was the HOTTEST weekend all summer. I probably lost 10 pounds in sweat at this concert but it was totally worth it. 80/35 is an annual music festival put on by the DMMC. It's always a mix of local bands, up and coming bands and a couple of big name headliners. It spans 2 days with a big show each night. The music ranges in genres and the line up this year was pretty impressive.
Thursday- stages being set up just by our house

Friday night I signed the art wall!

Funny enough- I totally wrote a novel this year

The show takes place in the heart of downtown, just outside the library

Friday night's headliner- The Avett Brothers. They were awesome!

It's a family affair. Coolest dad of the year award.

My city at night is the coolest

One of my favorite 'never heard of before bands'- Delta Rae

Every year there are a few street artists, these are my favorite. Gold mimes.

I love the little kids rocking out! I think that's awesome.

Final Headliner- Death Cab for Cutie.
As expected, they were fantastic.

Codes and Keys...get it?? :)

The heat wave broke a little so we watched on the grass from the back.

T and I had an amazing time that weekend. <3
If you are not a local and want to see the best of Des Moines, 80/35 is the time to visit. It's right around 4th of July weekend so there is a lot going on and always amazing music. DMMC will start giving 'clues' to the 2013 line-up in the spring- so check their website often!
July 12, 2012: Greg Laswell & Ingrid Michaelson
I LOVE Greg Laswell. Both T and I have some Greg lyrics tattooed on our bodies.

I put on my best summer midwestern outfit to give Greg an Iowa welcome!

Epitome of summer show- it was at Simon Estes Amphitheater, part of their Nitefall on the River Concert Series

There he is!!

And there is his lovely wife, Ingrid. I'm embarassed to say I was not that familiar with her stuff until right before this show (I did my music homework!). She is just as awesome as he is, their music style very similar. He's a little darker, but I love it.

My favorite instagram of the night- them singing an unreleased song together. <3
July 19, 2012: Papa Roach
So...this was sort of random. The concert was at Woolys and honestly- much better than I thought it would be. It was SUPER hot though and the opening band was a bit bizarre, but it was fun to sing along: 'Cut my life into pieces, this is my last resort...'

They came out in the audience and that was pretty cool- I thought this picture turned out awesome.
July 28, 2012: Star 102.5 All-Star Summer Concert
This was the first of it's kind for one of our local radio station. It took place at Water Works Park in a big open field. We walked, thinking it wouldn't be far from downtown, not realizing it was in the back of the park- so we got in a 4 mile walk that day...

Anyway, the line-up was interesting and Todd's daughter and friends were going so we decided to tag along. We really wanted to see GRO, Mat Kearney, Neon Trees and Adam Lambert.
Since our walk was a little longer than expected we missed GRO but were just in time for Mat Kearney. At that point, I wasn't close enough to get any pictures of him. He came out in the crowd though, which was pretty awesome! There were a lot of people, mostly sitting in chairs so this is the best picture I took of him.

He's in there somewhere...

Neon Trees was my absolute favorite- I love Tyler

He just gets down and he's so rad

We got up close for that one- great show!

Then, of course Adam. Fab-u-lous

He brought his ladies with him, it was all kinds of glam up there

The closing band was Train. Someone in their band actually got ordained so they could marry a couple on stage! It was crazy. Then, of course, they sang 'Marry Me.' Great song.

I thought it was a great show, I  hope they bring it back this year!
August 1, 2012: The Black Keys
For my friend Chad's birthday, we drove to Council-tuckey to see The Black Keys- one of his favorite bands.
I didn't really know what to expect- I hadn't seen them play before and didn't know much about them as musicians. I was familiar with their most recent albums, but not a die-hard fan.
I was pretty blown away.
The show was amazing.
They are so talented and their performance was top notch. I took a TON of pictures. here are some of my favorites.
We had amazing seats, so close!

They had this giant screen behind them that put up their images during the show, it was really cool.

Patrick tearing it up on the drums- he was so amazing
Dan on guitar

The giant disco ball for the end of the show was awesome

Definitely a show I'd recommend. Great music. Great performance.
September 18, 2012: Mute Math and Silversun Pickups
Two bands we really wanted to see were playing the same night at different venues. Luckily, one was sort of early and one later, so we did both!
Mute Math was first, they played at Woolys

I loved this show. It is my favorite show at Woolys ever (so far). I was even able to video them playing 'You Are Mine'- my favorite song of theirs!
We actually had to leave the show a little early to head to see Silversun Pickups at the Hoyt Sherman.
Todd really likes Silversun and the show was good. It was a lot less high energy than Mute Math, but I really liked it.

So there you have it- a BUSY summer for music.
I used to keep count of all the shows we went to every year, but we spontaneously see local live music that I can barely keep track anymore- HA. We saw some big name shows this year which was a ton of fun. I love that our city has such a vibrant music scene.
What was your favorite concert of the year?
I think Imagine Dragons or Mute Math was mine...so hard to choose! And don't even get me started on favorite albums- we'll save that for another post!