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Hobo Johnson: Live Review

Apologies to Justin Bieber, covers of popular songs, and stories of Frank’s nightmares. That is a perfect way to sum up the Fall of Hobo Johnson Tour that came to Starland Ballroom on November 10th. 

Hobo Johnson and The Lovemakers is a group from Sacramento, California, with Frank Lopes (Hobo Johnson) being the frontman. His poetic lyrics have inspired many, myself included. They speak on issues relating to mental illness and difficult situations that can cause people to feel lost and hopeless. Hobo Johnson is someone I have wanted to see for a while, and the concert did not disappoint. 

The lights darkened, and the stage lit up. Playing over the speakers, Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” with Hobo and The Lovemakers walking out on stage, hyping the crowd. When I saw him walking up on stage, a happy, positive energy grew inside of me. I could not believe I was seeing the man that has been playing on my Spotify, and that has appeared on my favorite Tiny Desk Concert by NPR. 

Throughout the show, Lopes explained the meaning of his songs. The best commentary by far was the apology everyone gave to Justin Bieber. On his new album, Lopes includes a song regarding this, “Ode to Justin Bieber”. He adds that we have been disrespectful, despicable, malicious, and “downright dirty” to Justin Bieber, creating laughter throughout the crowd.

The fans did not disappoint, as well. Most of the crowd knew all of the words to the rap. My favorite song that he performed was “Romeo and Juliet”. The song itself is so personal and gives fans an inside of Lopes’s parents’ divorce, along with how he views love. Seeing this life presented a new perspective because Lopes added so much emotion to the song, causing me to tear up. The ending of the show was “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. His band really nailed the sound of the song with trumpets and the keyboard, sounding so close to the original that it was impressive. 

Hobo Johnson and The Lovemakers really put on a fantastic show. I cannot put into words how grateful I am to have the ability to see him live. As a long-time fan, seeing Hobo Johnson and The Lovemakers was an experience that I’ll never forget, somehow making me love their music more. His lyrics have comforted and guided so many, and I hope he continues to produce more music and bring joy to so many.

Review By: Grace Dermenjian