Five For Fighting – and November Greeblemix Contest!

So, when you are a music junkie and an email comes in that asks you to review a concert, what do you do? Run and scream around in your pajamas? … No? Maybe that’s just me.

And even though I would not call myself a hard-core Five For Fighting fan (the name singer/songwriter John Ondrasik records under) – I certainly have several of his songs in my iTunes and respect the man enough to do an extra lap in my slippers. Particularly since it was an acoustic set – which I think plays to John’s strengths exceptionally well.


But first, let’s talk about his opening act, Angel Taylor. She was the kind of opening act you hope for. Someone you have never heard of but you are totally blown away by. And I’m not just saying that because I accosted her in the bathroom after her set and she was totally nice.


You know, it’s funny. I have to be honest – on some Five For Fighting’s songs – when John’s voice goes crazy upper range… it’s just not my thing. Not that he can’t go there. Oh, he GOES THERE. It’s just not for me. But that’s what I liked about seeing him live, acoustic, you really heard the full range of his voice. And more importantly – his piano skills. Or should say “SKILLZ?” I am a sucker for the piano.


A lot of people compare John with Billy Joel. I totally see that. Musically and thematically. He is very committed to his causes, particularly people in the military. Which I totally support. (No haters, yos!) Although. I have to be honest again. The cheese was so thick on “Freedom Never Cries” that you could have sliced it. And seeing as “Slice” is the title of his new album, maybe that’s appropriate? Ha ha. KIDDING.


The funny thing is I just spent a small fortune on Billy Joel/Elton John tickets (and convinced the only gay man in North America who doesn’t like Elton John to go with me) and as I sat there and listened to Ondrasik sing his more flag-waving songs, I wondered what I would have thought of Billy Joel’s songs had I heard them the first time as a cynical near 40-year old. I probably would have felt much differently.


You know what brought me around to loving the show (besides the stellar piano playing?) – John’s sense of humor and sense of story telling. He is ONE FUNNY DUDE. I don’t think that comes across as much in his songs, but really – I belly laughed several times. NOT kidding.

So. What could be a nicer night? Listening to lovely music with a good friend and good stories?

Add getting clearance to photograph it, and:




PS! You may have noticed I didn’t get to do my Greeblemix contest on Monday with the Maghound Sweeps and all (which, by the way, KEEP ENTERING!) So – let’s go alllll kinds of musically crazy today.

1. Comment as often as you like, up until midnight TOMORROW, November 5, 2009.
2. The more comments you make, the more chances you have to win.
3. No anonymous comments. Please make sure your email address is easily accessible through your entry!
4. Winners from last month, please take a month off.
5. Friday morning, I will use to randomly select three winners. Three free mix CDs, three winners!
6. Winners must be willing to give me their snail mail to send the CDs.
7. No need to have to have a blog to enter. We are equal opportunity around here.

Thanks to the One2One Network for sending me to the show.
Full set of Five For Fighting photos here.

This article has 30 comments

  1. zipper

    OK, I am going to FINALLY enter a Greeblemix contest. Cause I *love* Five For Fighting. And LOVE your pics of tghe show!

  2. Meghann

    It is so nice to know people who know music. I am a musician, and so is my husband. However, for being a musician, my husband is clueless. He has always been so wrapped up in his classical and jazz that he hasn’t paid attention to anything else.

    Y’all, he has never heard of the Counting Crows. That was the latest discussion we had that left me sad deep in my soul.

    So it’s nice to know people like Aimee that know music!

  3. michelleamallory

    Well…we were all geared up to go to the FFF concert here on Thursday- and guess what??? The dude LOST HIS VOICE! Our loss…sounds like it was a great concert and I was so looking forward to going. I’d love to win one of your super cool mixes….

  4. Sarah K

    Quoting me I see. 🙂

  5. Anna

    I never really listened to Five for Fighting until I got this CD. I love the piano, too.

    Great pictures! It sounds like an enjoyable concert.

  6. Amy

    I’m heading to see them on Friday in Portland and couldn’t be more excited! They just cancelled their Seattle show for tomorrow…I so hope I still get to see them on Thursday! I’m such a huge fan and love that you got to see him and photograph! He really writes about life!

    How great you got to take photos…I’ve debated on taking my Nikon…wonder if I’ll be allowed…

    Love the pictures of John! <3

  7. Laurel

    How cool! Love the photos! And I want a greeblemix!

  8. Urban Utopia Photography

    I was like you with Five for Fighting…sort of in “like” but not “love”. But as I get older, I like them more.

    also…since you, like me, fall head over feet for the piano (or in my case just about anything acoustic), if you haven’t already give Jon McLaughlin a change. LOVE LOVE LOVE. and in person: Drool Drool Drool.

    🙂 glad you enjoyed the show!


  9. k-RIV

    Can’t win if I don’t try. Words to live by.

  10. Tara Anderson

    Greebs, I love that I always learn about new music from you. Although the name sounds a bit like Party of Five, I’ll be sure to check them out…because you said to.

    With that out of the way, it’s time to pick me as the Greeblemix winner!

  11. Project Ni Hao

    I have to be a fan of Five for Fighting if only for the hockey reference – but I like the music too. Great pics!

  12. Melissa

    Aimee, you are awesome! Your photos are gorgeous – And John does have a vocal range. I read somewhere that he trained in opera? And I want to win Greeblemix, so here I am!

  13. megan

    Yeah, I agree – I always find out about new music from you! I went and checked out his new album on iTunes and I like it. Thanks!

  14. Tree

    Need more music!

    This is an excellent review and your photos are amazing, per usual.

  15. Angela

    I don’t usually enter for the Greeblemix, but I will for FFF!

  16. monstergirlee

    Wonderful pictures girl!

    I hope its OK to enter again since I won waaay back in septmber. Awesome mix as always.

  17. well read hostess

    for the GREEBLEMIX.

  18. Wenderina

    Great post. I love Five for Fighting and have never seen a live concert, so pics were great for me. Also – I was just saying how much I wish Billy Joel hadn’t completely destroyed himself with booze and was writing songs again…

    Pick me for Greeblemix. I need some new music mojo.

  19. Tara Anderson

    And I’m commenting again, only increasing my chances of winning a Greeblemix and possibly annoying you.

    Alas, it’s the price we all have to pay in order for me to WIN.

  20. k-RIV

    Odds are pretty good right now….

  21. Andrew

    Awesome review, Aimee! And awesome pics! And hope I am not too late for some some MUSIC!

  22. Tyra

    Love the pictures!! Sounds like a great night 🙂 I like Five For Fighting, not a huge fan, but what I have heard I have really enjoyed. I have so much respect for artists that are willing to play live acustic sets. Shows off their talent, heck, shows that they have actual talent! Thanks for sharing with us!

  23. Ingrid

    Very well done. An informative review, and enjoyable to read. Well
    done you lucky woman!

  24. Debbie E

    oooh enter enter enter 😀 sweet music,,now im going to have to listen to them on my itunes hehhe have a great weekend

  25. Debbie E

    and let me say, I know its past nov 5th hehehe couldnt resist the past comment tho, I love your blog and reading and entering on things and hope we get to go to nyc 😀

  26. Melissa

    I am commenting again in the hopes that the Greeblemonkey gods smile down on my poor music starved self… 😀 PICK ME!!!

  27. Bryan

    Great review!

  28. Sarah K

    I am just now looking at these pictures and feel really like he looks so much like Will Ferrell playing himself. It makes me laugh.

  29. Jennifer

    GREAT photos. Sounds like a great experience.

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