Five things I learned at the JoJo Concert at Port City Music Hall

My first concert was Shaun Cassidy. I remember little of the concert today but I still have some pictures. This was no easy feat for a show held decades before cell phones. I wish I could take credit for this work of photo artistry but it was actually my friend Ann who took them. She had the better seats. I’d still be bitter except she did share her pictures with me. She’s a good friend.

My youngest is especially passionate about music. She discovered Spotify well before I did, although thanks to a social media contest a few years ago from the CW, for their show Supernatural, I did create some rather unique playlists. Still, in a game of name that tune my daughter is the only serious threat to my husband although if a retro Shaun Cassidy song comes on, I’m your girl.

I do by osmosis learn quite a bit about her musical tastes so when I got my weekly newsletter from State Theatre listing upcoming shows, I recognized the name JoJo. My original thought was to get her tickets so she could go with a friend but I discovered that Port City Music Hall is an eighteen and up destination and that anyone under that age needs to be accompanied by a guardian. Looks like I was heading to a JoJo concert. I was up for it. I love concerts.

We headed into Portland and decided to go to Otto for some pizza first. It’s located close to Port City Music Hall.  We love Otto and don’t get there as much as we would like so it was a nice treat for us. As we headed to Otto, we noticed that a line was already forming outside Port City Music Hall with people waiting to get into the show so we opted for quick rather than leisurely on the dinner and headed over to wait in line. The venue opened an hour before the show and was general admission.

I have been to Port City Music hall a few times. The first visit was to see a Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band, which I blogged about in this post, and then another time I went to see comedian T.J. Miller.  It’s a cozy venue and fun place to see a show.

Here are five things I learned at the JoJo concert at Port City Music Hall:

(1) I would not enjoy a mosh pit.

Waiting in line was a good call and we were able to get close to the stage. However, once JoJo came on a group of girls shoved in front of us. I spent the first half of the show trying to protect my daughter from all the pushing and shoving. It was a bit stressful and I couldn’t focus on the show as much as I would have liked but things eventually settled down. It was also the exception not the rule. Most of the other concert attendees were polite and nice. Given how annoyed I was with the one group of girls jostling us around, I’m fairly certain being anywhere close to moshing would push me over the edge. I don’t think this is just an age thing either. I think it would have annoyed me in my youth too.

(2) Standing for shows is challenging when you’re short.

I’m only 5′ 2″. My daughter is taller but just by a smidge. This is not a new revelation. I’ve been short my whole life making it challenging to see when I’m standing in a crowd. I didn’t specifically learn this at JoJo but the show was a reminder. Even being close to the stage with just a few rows of people ahead of us, I spent the night weaving my head right and left to find that sweet spot where I could see the performers.

(3)  Cellphones are everywhere and that’s not always a good thing.

My prized pictures of Shaun Cassidy are even more valuable to me because there are only a few of them. Things have changed. I was stunned by the number of people who just held their cell phones up and recorded song after song. It was constant and everywhere. I get wanting to take a few pictures, or to document a few moments of the show, but I’m not sure I see the point of just holding up your cellphone the entire time. It takes you out of the moment and makes it more difficult to enjoy the show. It’s also puts up another viewing barrier for the short person standing behind you.

(4) Don’t try to learn the words to a song at a concert.

It usually takes me a few times listening to any new song to actually understand all the lyrics. Sometimes even after hearing them dozens of times, I still struggle. For the longest time, with the fun. song “Why Am I The One”, the line “She used to come and visit me.” sounded like “She use to call me Mr. Fizzy Pants”. I still have a specific image in my mind whenever I hear that one line of Nate Ruess wearing clown pants with bubbles floating all around.

Hearing lyrics for the first time at a show is not really the best way for me to learn them. Clearly, I struggle even when listening to a CD for the first time. I may not have known any of JoJo’s songs but I could appreciate the music and the performance. There was a great energy and it was fun to see how excited my daughter was as each new song was played. She had no problems with the words.

(5) Small is better than big.

One of my absolute favorite things about many of the music venues in and around Portland, including Port City Music Hall, is that they are fairly small and intimate. I’ve been to my share of arena shows. They have their own charm too but I prefer a small venue. There is something special about a smaller, more intimate show that makes for a better experience.

JoJo put on a great, high energy show. It was a successful mother-daughter outing although next time I’m splurging on the preferred seating area. I’m too short to stand.


things to know
Place Port City Music Hall
Address 504 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101
Tour JoJo Mad Love
Website Port City Music Hall
Favorite ♥ My Daughter’s Passion for Music

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9 thoughts on “Five things I learned at the JoJo Concert at Port City Music Hall

  1. sherijkennedyriverside says:

    I too am short, but I love music and love to dance to live music. I used to go to the small venues in Seattle and get there very early so I could be right up next to the stage. I kept my space with strategic dance moves that defended my space without pushing. Generally I didn’t have to touch anyone at all, even when it got packed. If people did actually push me, they received an unpleasantly placed elbow until they created a bit of space again. lol. When I met my husband, he, 6’3′,’ and his best friend, 6’5”, liked the front of the stage as well. We would generally be off to one side to be considerate, but the two of them forever solved the pushing problem. For some reason no one wanted to take them on. They are both the sweetest guys ever, but their size defended them completely. Glad you and the girls had fun at the show!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sharonecathcart says:

    I used to be in the music business, so I’ve been to venues large and small.

    At 5’1″, I definitely feel you when it comes to being lost in the crowd. I was always one to jockey for a place by the stage early on and never leave it, LOL.

    As I’ve gotten older, I have definitely come to prefer the more intimate shows in small clubs over the huge arenas.

    Great write-up.

    (My first concert was the BeeGees.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      The BeeGees is a fun first concert! I wanted my girls to have a good first concert story so we took them to see Bruce Springsteen at Fenway Park when they were younger. My oldest who is now in art school created an anime picture of us watching Bruce that I made into custom family t-shirts. We had a great time. Everyone remembers their first concert.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy says:

    Nothing beats a small venue for a show! I’ve been lucky enough to see some big bands in small places, and it’s always awesome.

    (Also, it appears this JoJo character is not the same person as the JoJo of K-Ci and JoJo/Jodeci fame, which is who I initially thought it would be.)

    Liked by 1 person

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