Marquee Memories: Jesse McCartney

All's Well in the world of multi-hyphenate entertainer Jesse McCartney - and that's what his freshly released EP is titled, too. He's about to head out on tour to treat fans to some of those new tunes - as well as old favorites - but before he got too busy we had the chance to have him by our Setlist.fm studio. We had the chance to mine his memories for some of his best live music moments, which included NYSNC, James Taylor, Carole King and one of Jimmy Buffet's final shows. Watch:

NSNYC

One of my earliest concert memories was going to see NSYNC when I was, I want to say I was 12 or 13. At the time, I had just signed on to join a boy band of my own called Dream Street. We were a short-lived boy band in the late '90s, early 2000s. And the producers took us to an NSNYC concert to basically say like, "This is what you guys need to be doing." And it was at Madison Square Garden, and it was packed, It was sold out, of course. A couple years later, Dream Street got to a point where we were making noise and waves and we ended up opening up for Britney Spears. And on the opening night of the concert, one of the producers of the show came up to us and said, "Hey, there's somebody that wants to come backstage and talk to you guys before you go on." And we're like, "Okay." And the door opens and it's Justin Timberlake. And he's like, "Hey, guys." And we're just... Shell-shocked. Could not believe it was him. He just was so gracious, and he came up and he is like, "You guys are the next thing and I'm so excited for you." And it was definitely a full circle moment because just a couple years before that, we were watching him from the nosebleeds of Madison Square Garden. He's one of the best. And I'm sure over the years, I've stolen some of his moves.

James Taylor and Carole King

So I went to a James Taylor and Carole King concert at the Hollywood Bowl here in Los Angeles in 2010. And that was a very special show for me because these are two artists that my parents grew up listening to and idolized. As a kid, I remember getting in my dad's car and driving up to Grandma's house for an hour and a half and just listening to these albums on repeat. But what really made this experience special is three short years later, I had the opportunity to play at the White House. Carole King received the Gershwin Prize for Music, and I was invited. I still don't know why, I had no business being there, but I was invited to perform for President Obama and Michelle Obama, and I performed one of Carole's songs, "Home Again." And I was on stage with James Taylor, Carole King, Billy Joel, some of the most incredible people I grew up listening to. And so it was such a full-circle moment. A few short years before that, I was watching them at the Bowl, and now, here I am at the White House performing.I think I messed up the first four bars of music, to be honest with you 'cause I was so nervous. I'd never been more nervous as a performer in my life. That generation of songwriter is... They're getting older and we have to cherish those moments as they come.

Jimmy Buffet

So I was sort of a late subscriber to the Jimmy Buffett madness. I didn't grow up listening to Jimmy, but my wife and her dad, my father- and mother-in-law, were both big Parrot Heads. And Jimmy was performing in Delray Beach, Florida which is where my in-laws are from. We went to the concert and it was just such a cool experience. He came out, and I mean, he was, you know, in his 70s and performing in shorts, and a t-shirt, and flip flops like he does. There's something that happens when you've been playing that long together that just everything clicks. They don't even have to look at each other, they just know where they're going. And I've been playing with my band now for over a decade. A lot of the guys I play with, I've been playing with for a long time, and we're just starting to get that. He's just such a gracious and giving musician where he lets everybody shine and have a moment. And so whether it's my drummer, or my bass player, or my guitar player, I try to always give them a moment. And that's something that Jimmy did a lot during his show, which I really admired. One of the songs that I really loved from that concert was a song called "Little Miss Magic," which my wife and her dad chose as their father-daughter dance for our wedding, which was super emotional, to say the least. Little did we know that it would be one of his last shows. I just feel so grateful that I actually got to see him perform.

Jesse McCartney's All's Well Tour kicks off this Friday, April 12 in Austin and runs through May 16 in Los Angeles. Get a full list of dates and details on his official website.
Stream his newest EP here.

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Last updated: 25 May 2024, 22:30 Etc/UTC