Another year, another Summer Jam. While the website's mainstage lineup was vague, the real deal ended up as follows: Mann, Jason DeRulo, Fabolous, Drake, (45 minute gap), Trey Songz, Rick Ross and The Game. And over the course of the day, I learned a few things:
Photo courtesy of KUBE 93 / Chris Carino
1. The legendary traffic of White River Amphitheater is just as bad as everyone says.
2. Jason Derulo can dance a little, sound album-quality polished and exceed some pretty mild expectations.
3. Summer Jam is clearly a female-oriented event, but sometimes you have to tell your daughter no. If she's six and wants to go to Summer Jam--something about that makes me uncomfortable. (See #7)
4. J. Moore rocks at breaking up fights in the pit without a punch. Respect.
5. Apparently putting your hottest, most-hyped act (Drake) on in the middle of a bill is the new trend, so if you absolutely must see someone performing at Summer Jam show up for the whole thing. I didn't have that problem, but I know of more than one person who did.
6. Drake's knee is healed up, and his ability to rock a crowd is definitely respectable. Seeing him perform was probably more exciting than the performance itself, but the set was still my high point for the night.
7. Trey Songz has a great voice, and stage presence to match. But he also came to get us all wet--his words, not mine--and for that reason the near-x-rated set was hard to enjoy if you have no fantasy of bedding him. On that note, a lot of people still think "Say Ahh" is about drinking champagne.
8. With the exception of a quick Drake appearance during Trey's set, collaborations didn't get performed at Summer Jam. Especially considering the sheer number of features the day's artists recorded with each other, that was one of the biggest disappointments.
9. "The Bawse" Rick Ross, very much like Fabolous earlier in the night, was good to see in order to be checked off the master list, but felt a little dated.
10. People still really (and surprisingly) like The Game--even after the butterfly tattoo and the harsh dump on daytime reality show Change of Heart. As for me, seven hours at White River was more than enough and I felt no remorse ducking out before the night officially ended.