The student news site of Oakton High School

Oakton Outlook

The student news site of Oakton High School

Oakton Outlook

The student news site of Oakton High School

Oakton Outlook

Cougz at Concerts

ratings and opinions on summer concerts from oakton students

What do Snoop Dogg, Morgan Wallen, and the Backseat Lovers all have in common? They gave summer memories (and Instagram-worthy moments) to teens from all over Northern Virginia, with music artists from all genres, from underground rap to alternative rock. While cougar students enjoyed all types of musical fun in the sun, the real question is, where do they rank on our lists? While I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing every artist who came to perform at Jiffy Lube or Capital One, with the help of my fellow students, here’s my rundown and opinions on the Summer 2023 concert era. 

D Savage: One of the first shows I was fortunate to see was somewhat unknown rapper, D Savage. He started as a producer in his home, and around 2015, he gradually started rapping, gaining most of his popularity from SoundCloud after hits like How Does It Feel, Opera, and Pill blew up. He performed at Union Stage in D.C. -which I had never been to, and it was so small and crowded that I got pushed onto the stage. The show started weirdly; there were about 5 or 6 openers, local artists that probably paid to be on stage with him, and one of them ended up freaking out and taking all his clothes off. It was unsettling to see up close. After around an hour and a half, D savage came out -in an all-red SUPREME tracksuit that looked like it came out of a 7th-grade boys’ wishlist- and instantly pulled the energy out of everyone in the crowd. Autotune was present the whole show, but that didn’t stop the public from appreciating his performance. He played the hell out of his more popular songs, and the crowd went wild, as expected.

My Overall Rating 8.8/10

photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

Taylor Swift: Now, I am not a big Taylor Swift fan, so I didn’t go to the concert. Fortunately, while planning this article, I remembered one person counting down the days until she could see Taylor live. Oakton teacher Salma Saeedi described her experience at the Philadelphia Night 1 Eras Tour to me as “overwhelmed by the joy and sense of community” she

could feel in the stadium. When talking about the concert with me, Ms. Saaedi told me, “Taylor Swift is an incredible performer, and I wish I had even a fraction of her energy,” which makes sense for the acclaimed superstar; after all, she sold out and had hundreds gathered outside her performing stadiums wishing to hear even a slight vocal of her songs. Over the past few months, thousands of fans have shown off their “era’s outfits,” and of course, this didn’t slip Ms. Saeedi’s mind- “My sister and I had been stressed out by the logistics of the show (traveling/parking/Eras outfits)”- when planning out her special night.

Overall, she rated the concert a 1300/10, and honestly, if I were a Swiftie, I’d probably say the same thing. 


Post Malone: One of the most popular concerts I had heard of -but unfortunately didn’t attend- was a rapper, singer, and well-known Raising Cane’s consumer. Fellow senior Lilya Zouaoui described her experience as “a really high-energy concert and my favorite concert of the summer.” Now, from what I had heard, Post Malone was unduly chaotic. I mean, teens in Jiffy Jail, -Jiffy Lube security office- passing out, throwing up, and Post Malone’s performance “was super all over the place, but it was really fun to see and be there in person. The atmosphere was very lively and there were so many people there,” and who’s surprised? I mean, since 2019, Post Malone has been selling out stadiums and packed shows. 

Overall, Lilya gave it an astounding 9/10. 

photo credit from Emma Carr (12)

Eric Church: The only negative was that the line going into Jiffy Lube was super long.” That’s how fellow senior

Emma Carr described her experience at country star Eric Church’s outdoor show. For many students here, country music is almost #1 in their favorite music genre, and it’s only getting more popular daily. For Emma and many other cougars, “The tailgating was the best part because everyone from Oakton met up together and listened to the Eric Church before the concert,” which I must admit sounds very fun. Nothing better on a hot summer evening than tailgating with good friends and even better music. With an artist who gets his performance so in touch with his audience, Emma could only say, “Everyone was super energetic, and the music was very lively. It was really amazing to watch him live.

Overall for Emma, she rates it a 9/10


The Backseat Lovers: Before seeing her Instagram post, I had never heard of The Backseat Lovers, but Jocelyn Shortyle (12) found it to be “unbelievably amazing… the atmosphere was surreal.” An alternative rock band from Utah, T.B.L. grew to stardom from their 2019 hit, Kilby Girl. Jocelyn described the crowd as “happy, kind, and excited to see Josh Harmon, the vocals/guitarist. Those guitar chords literally levitated my body into an alternate universe,” a feeling I felt when seeing alternative rock band Weezer at the beginning of the summer, -my take on that concert would be obnoxious, Rivers Cuomo, I love you- so I understand Jocelyn entirely when she says “my life is complete after this concert.” 

Overall, she gives it a 10/10 rating. 


Wiz khalifa & Snoop Dogg: Let me tell you, when I say seeing Snoop Dogg before he dies was on my bucket list for years, I meant it. He came on stage in a purple Corvette and dancing girls, and I screamed seeing him live for the first time. He performed all his classics, Drop It Like It’s Hot, California, Beautiful, etc. The audience was a big mix of older millennials and high school teenagers, but everyone showed massive excitement. After about an hour, Snoop Dogg left, and Wiz Khalifa came on, and just as much for Snoop, the crowd went wild. I think for Wiz, a lot of the younger audience was more into him and his songs than the older crowd; he performed a lot of his party songs, We Dem Boyz, Black and Yellow, and The Thrill -which is just a remix of Walking On a Dream by Empire of the Sun. At the end of his set, a short film of Wiz and Snoop came on of the two of them karate chopping and clips from their movie, Mac & Devin Go to High School. The concert ended with a short set of the two performing together, including their joint hit, Young, Wild, and Free

Overall, the concert and audience energy were amazing, with a solid 8/10 rating. 


Morgan Wallen: Another slightly more popular country superstar appeared at the FedEx Field in early September and gave his fans a night they would never forget. “This was probably my favorite concert I have ever been to; it was absolutely amazing and unforgettable,” Senior Isabelle Nguyen had to say. Just a little over a year before, Morgan Wallen had performed at Jiffy Lube live as part of his upcoming headlining tour, which saw him on the road for eight months, including this past September 2nd, where he showed out for the nation’s capital and Isabelle. “That overall vibe was really good -you could really tell that the audience was into him, and it was a lot better than his concert at Jiffy Lube.” When asked about her favorite part, Isabelle didn’t hesitate to tell me it was “seeing her favorite songs performed by one of her favorite artists and that he showed out with three amazing openers.” As someone who doesn’t enjoy country music at the level that most Oakton students do, I have saved a few Morgan Wallen songs onto my phone; I can’t imagine the euphoria it must’ve felt to see them sung live. 

Overall, Isabelle rated him a 9/10


Cigarettes After Sex: Don’t be fooled by the name; I promise this band delivered nothing but soothing music and

photo credit from Allie Cage (12)

emotion for fans at their performance this past September 9th. “The atmosphere was laid back, there weren’t any openers, just C.A.S. starting beautifully for their fans,” Allie Cage (12) tells me. One of her favorite bands of all time, Allie had no problem explaining how great the concert was for her, claiming the only bad part for her was “being in the middle of G.A. and everyone in front of me was blocking the view with their phones,” which as an avid concert goer, I can’t begin to tell you how annoying it is, -especially if you’re on the shorter side. Luckily for Allie, it was only a minor battle in an amazing experience. “The music sounded really good, and just like the studio versions, I wished it lasted longer; I didn’t want the night to end.” Hopefully, for Allie, the next time Cigarettes After Sex decides to tour in D.C., she won’t have to worry too much about not getting a good view and better enjoying the moment. 

Overall, she rates it a solid 8/10


The year has only begun, and there are far more concerts in Northern Virginia for Oakton Students to see, including the highly anticipated Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert shows in the next couple of months. Hopefully, for those with tickets, it won’t be as disastrous as Astrofest, and even more so, the next few months’ worth of shows will give fellow Cougars more for me to rate and talk about.

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About the Contributor
Aubrey Leverett
Aubrey Leverett, Online Manager/ Social Media Manager
Hey, I'm Aubrey, I'm a Senior and this is my 4th and final year writing for the Oakton Newspaper. I'm the Online editor and social media manager for the Oakton Outlook, which means I'm in charge of all the online stories and publishing, and I run the Newspaper Instagram account! I love writing about baseball, music reviews, and different societal issues. I love trying new things and hanging out with my cat.