Summer goodness rolls on unabated. One night I got to live one my fantasies by seeing bands at both the Connecticut Yankee (A New Monsoon benifit show with extra bonus Lebo) and a block down the road at the Bottom of the Hill (the New Up kicking off their big national tour). It was the hippies vs. the hipsters, and I had great fun bouncing between the diametrically opposite crowds.
On Friday, we went down to Outside Lands to listen to a few bands from outside the perimeter, but then ran into our friend Aaron who hooked us up with ridiculously cheap day passes. Totally bonus Thievery Corp and Pearl Jam. It felt good to roll though one more time while we still live within spitting distance to the festival. We streamed the rest of the festy from the safety of our living room. Thanks youtube.
Stina and Angel just rocked the joint birthday party at chez Krudden. We’re old, and love the afternoon party. People rolled through all day, and now we’re basking in the glow of feeling really connected to our friends. It was a really excellent day, and there’s still three jello shots left.
Life’s been feeling extra poignant lately, what with the impending baby and all. While I’ve been diving head first into a true concert and general fuzz bender, the nagging suspicion that everything’s going to radically change lurks right beneath the surface. My role at work has been shifting for a while, to the point where its almost like I have a new job. So a “new” job, a probable move to a bigger space on the horizen, and then a baby. Hmmm. I’m not so good with change. Tough titties, I guess. Its gonna happen, and in a big, big way. The best thing I can do is have a positive attitude, so lately I’m attempting to rock a “BRING IT ON” front. I’m not really fooling myself though – underneath it all, I’m scared shitless.
Anyhow, tomorrow I boldly head back into the desert to lose my mind. One last time.
I was pretty stocked when Phish reformed this year. I was fired up enough to follow their initial gigs on twitter. I knew all I had to do was bide my time, and I would get to see them. And see them I did.
The week started insane, as Stiners put on the biggest event of her event planning career – a party for 1500 kids who were participating in the Macabee games (read: the jewlympics). It was an insane party, full of segways, surfboards, more video games then you could imagine, and a giant dance floor. It was logistically massive, and was pulled off with gusto. Big ups to Stina.
I hate going to large amphitheatres at this stage of my concert going life. There are very few bands that motivate to go to them, but Phish is certainly one of them. Going to Shoreline to see Phish on the lawn with a bunch of friends is how I used to know it was summer. It felt so damn good to do it again.
The Shoreline lot scene was alive and kicking, though the food options weren’t plentiful. Everywhere we went, we ran into smiling friends. Since Phish is the Grateful Dead of my generation, all sorts of friends came out of the woodwork to gather and boogie / run like antelopes.
Right when the house music stopped, a giant military plane buzzed the crowd as Phish took the stage. Stina freaked out, what with her plane phobia. Then during Divided Sky, one minute into the silent section, a different plane buzzed the theater. It happened again at the end of the song. It was beyond surreal. If you were on the lawn and tripping, I think you would totally lose your shit. There were a couple other moments, not quite as timed, when different military planes flew over Shoreline. It was odd.
Phish was pretty on. There was some not so exciting, and rather long new songs, and one kick ass new one. They played a lot of early material, and seemed pretty fired up doing it. We had a blast.
The best part was that it was just the beginning.
On Thursday, Stiners, Rachel and I headed up to Seattle. We were going to accomplish one of my life long goals – to see a Phish show at the Gorge. I thought it might never happen. But it did. Twice.
On the way up, we swung by Tom and Yuko’s place for a very tasty breakfast. Tom decided he was going to bike to the Gorge on Saturday and get a ticket to his first Phish show in the lot. This is a 140 mile bike ride. Tom is crazy, but we knew that already.
The trip up was faster than we imagined. Almost everyone camps at the Gorge. Not us. We booked a Motel/Brothel at the nearest town from the Gorge – a good 30 min drive. The only reviews we found online trashed the place. Stina had many reservations, but we arrived to find out it was only a mild dump, with no mold or ants to speak of. Since it exceeded our expectations, we were rather pleased with our little shitty room. Off the Gorge we went.
I have a hard time believing there is a more beautiful amphitheatre in this country then the Gorge. It’s breath taking.
It’s in the middle of nowhere. Rachel and I went in search of the Shakedown. It turns out to be in the heart of the camping section, a good mile plus hike from the parking lot (which was mostly empty, since everyone camps). I scored one of the best lot posters of my life, and food for the ride home. The shakedown went on for a good half mile. Not as impressive as Bonaroo, but it easily earns top billing.
The show on Friday = epic. All three shows had smatterings of new material and material I wasn’t fond of, but overall they were so good. I was beyond joyous seeing Phish at the Gorge.
Saturday, we went to a beach area on the river that Stina found by scrolling through google earth. We ate more crappy food (the food options in this part of WA are not the finest, as we repeatedly discovered), and eventually made our way back to the show to get dinner at Shakedown. Much finer dining to be found there.
I’ll give the Saturday show the gold medal though. Not necessarily from the song selection, but because Tom freaking biked to the show and joined us. It made the show really special to me. I danced my ass off, when I wasn’t lying down looking at the stars. I kept seeing satellites floating past, but later discovered I was watching a meteor shower. Bonus.
The whole concept of schlepping up to WA and then driving out to the Gorge (and driving to and from our Motel) made me tired just thinking about it. In reality, the whole trip was cake. We hit no traffic at any point. There was no cars in the parking lot at the amphitheater. We even got on earlier flight out via standby. It was so worth it, and I’m still glowing from the experience. You’d think I’d be burned out on Phish, but no, I’ve been blasting it non stop.
Lot shwagg acquired: two killer Kerrigan posters, an epic 3-d summer tour poster, and a new giant green hoodie. Plus an awesome pint glass that Kelly White was amazing enough to send me from an earlier show. She just called to saw that she’s coming to SF this weekend, so I’m beyond pumped. I’m taking her and local celebrity Bobby the Butcher to the Fillmore for some funk on Saturday.
Life is beautiful.
Nothing’s quite like the ‘ole 48 hrs whirlwind Michigan adventure weekend. Life’s been quite a blur, and it was surreal to find ourselves back in Ann Arbor.
I’ve become a big fan of the all-inclusive wedding at the hotel where we’re staying. I had an hour to kill while Stina napped before the rehearsal dinner, so I wandered over to the mall across the street from the hotel. This is something I’d normally avoid at all costs, but I had nothing else to do, and it turned out to be a critical decision. There was a lot to celebrate, and it was also a bit of a SF reunion – Dave and Erin flew directly from their insane Latin American honeymoon to MI, Angel came in from NY, Tom and Yuko flew in, and we haven’t seen Tony in like a MONTH. Tony generously procured crazy amounts of top shelf alcohol. It was a solid way to ease into the main event.
The next morning, I forced everyone to go to Zingerman’s.
As I did the next day as well. Its like a pilgrimage to me. So f’n tasty. There was some walking around Ann Arbor that Tony and I bailed on to go play pool and video games. Then the wedding.
I was dashing. A-Town showed up. Stina gave a reading. A Baby cried. Wedding completed.
I reprised my role of DJ from last weekend. One thing I neglected to do was sound check prior to the wedding, but all I needed to do was plug in my laptop. How difficult was that going to be?
I dash into the grand hall during cocktail hour to discover they only had a mono jack going into the microphone mixer for me to plug into. This was unacceptable. Did they have a mixer? No. I was appalled. A giant hotel with two full PA systems did not have anything besides a mic mixer. The A/V room has nothing useful. I found one cable which would help me along my path. I ran across to radio shack to piece together a hack into the P/A. On my return, I discover that the cable they provided me wasn’t quite right. A second sprint to Radio Shack (everyone staring at me running through Sears in my suit) to gather necessary adapter.
Then its steak time. I’m really not a fan catered food. Married to an event person, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to sample it. The dinner was full on delicious. I was shocked.
Dancing commenced, and the Joyce family LOVES to dance. It was wicked fun. After an hour or two, I went completely rogue. We departed from their song book and took a glorious journey though my ipod. It’s good to be the DJ.
We shut it down around 12:30. I jammed on their piano until the hotel staffed yelled at me. “Only people who are paid to get to play the piano.” Humor. We reveled deep into the night. Tony was deeply in love with his Satellite radio and sweet sound system in his rental Car. He brought the raging Carl Cox party to the mall parking lot at 2am. On our return, Angel and Tony stumbled into a Bachelorette party, and kicked it with the drunk girls from Toledo for another hour. Yes indeed.
Brunch was blurry, Zingerman’s round two was critical, and our trip home was long and uneventful.
Wedding sprint = over.
Good times = had, with gusto even.
The killer wedding shots were done by Nicole Landonne.