Last Saturday I had my first outdoor concert at Stage AE. I was quite surprised and pleased with the venue. I have realized recently that I am getting old. I am sort of past the point in my life where I enjoy huge concert locations that don’t have assigned seating, dancing concerts aside. My husband and I joke that our favorite concert to date, was when we scored free tickets to James Taylor in Maui. We had a seat number, a glass of wine in our hands, we could sit back, and enjoy every minute of it. Sad, I know, but it was magical. I no longer relish in losing the person I came with through droves of people, waiting in my car for an 1 1/2 to get into a parking lot, and then doing it all over again at the end of the night, not being able to see over the person in front of me, and standing for 3 straight hours usually getting bumped repeatedly by the neighboring person rocking out, the list goes on. That being said, I loved Stage AE for many reasons.
- Walkability. We parked downtown, walked to the Strip District to eat, and then to the Concert. (I know! Walking! In Pittsburgh? It can happen. People that do not live inside the city get this one.)
- There are places to eat and drink nearby- We grabbed a drink, and some snacks right next door, and by the time we left there was no line to get in.
- Pregame- You can still tailgate if you want, we just opted not too this time.
- Smaller venue- means you are not squeezed like sardines. We grabbed a seat on the lawn, and had a ton of room.
- This also goes with the Viewing listing below- The angle of the lawn is perfect, I had a tall person in front of me, but didn’t even notice. It slopes down nicely.
- The drink selection- I was shocked to see a regular bar available. You could mix and match whatever you wanted. I am a huge fan of coconut water, and I couldn’t believe they had it as an option. Wine, beer, mixed drinks (with not just crap). The drinks were less expensive than going to a game in this city. $6 for a mixed drink with one shot, $10.50 for double. I think wine was 6 or 7, and I can’t remember beer pricing. I have sort of grown out of mixed drinks. Craft beer and wine fill my days now, but I made up a new drink when I saw the coconut water. I call it the Take Down, probably because I had three. Coconut water, bacardi, and a splash of pineapple juice. It was so good, it is now my standard for a hot day indulgence. Refreshing, hydrating, and not too sweet. Mmmm I could go for one of those right now. Anyways….
- Bathrooms- Whatever, everyone reviews them in their minds. I like to review them in print. When I was little, I had a weird obsession to review all bathrooms I visited. I would then report back to my mom about what they could do to make them better. Don’t ask me why, it was just one of those things. I still do it to this day. Stage AE splurged on port o pottys. They were the nicest ones I have ever had the pleasure of visiting repeatedly Almost like a mobile home, they had them at all four corners of the concert, so they were super easy too get to one in a hurry.
- Viewing Pleasure-Not a bad seat in the house. I couldn’t find one. We did a lap around the whole place, it was great.
- Various exit points. Nothing is worse to me than having to wait when the concert is done, and being herded out one large exit. It takes foreverrrrr. We got out so easily, I felt like we went through the staff exit.
- Don’t want to go home yet? You can just walk somewhere, or take the T for free to Station Square or downtown.
I will save my review of the inside of Stage AE, because in my opinion, it doesn’t hold a candle to being outside. Now that I have experienced that, I don’t think I will venture back indoors.
As for the band themselves…Fitz and the Tantrums did not disappoint. Loved jamming out, and dancing to their tunes. The lady in the band makes the show. She has more energy than ten puppies. I just said that, yes. A great voice, and really engages the audience. You can tell they appreciate their fans, and put on a high energy great event. I can’t remember who the first opener was, and I am glad, because it was horrible, and hurt my eardrums. Max Frost came on second, and I really enjoyed his songs. At 22, I think he will make it, although I would advise him against the white pants he was wearing in the future. The music was similar to Fitz, almost 80’s, but with present day flare. I found myself bobbing my head, and dancing without knowing it. A good sign.
I also got to meet Tall Kathy! Yes, she is tall. Thanks Brian Nac for snapping this photo of us!
All in all a great evening. I am looking forward to seeing more concerts there this summer. Here is a lovely pic of us on the lawn after three TAKEDOWNS!