This is a post I've been meaning to write since last August.
Lollapalooza 2006 was the first weekend in August. I stayed with my wonderful cousin Bill who really helped to make it an awesome experience for me. More details on family time later, tho.
Lolla last year came at a perfect time for me. Work had been overly hectic, a long-time personal relationship was just about DOA and I was pretty overwhelmed with life in general. So I escaped to 3 days of music in Grant Park.
Even tho it was last year, it feels like it was yesterday. Weather was PERFECT! First band I saw that Friday morning was Blue October. There were just a couple hundred of us there since the gates had just opened. I remember standing in front of the band thinking that this is what heaven would be like.
Live alt music, beautful garden surroundings, plenty of shade trees, cool breeze from Lake Michigan tempering the heat, and everywhere you turned there was music.
Lotsa killer bands over the next couple of days. Coheed and Cambria. 30 Seconds to Mars. Mates of State. Wolfmother who so rocked it! My Morning Jacket. Nickle Creek, Umphrey's McGee, Ranconteurs, WEEN, Death Cab for Cutie..and those are just some of the bands that graced the multiple stages.
Every 55 minutes like clockwork, crowds would shift from one stage to another. Sometimes it was just a matter of turning around and looking at the stage in back of you. Most times tho meant a trek to the other side of the park, past the Buckingham Fountain located in the middle of the park.
At the end of each day I would walk several blocks down Michigan Avenue and catch the bus back to my cousin's apt. Between catching concerts and catching the bus all I did was walk for 3 solid days. Not complaining, tho. It was neat and gave me a great sense of 'being there'.
There was a span of 6 years that I traveled to Chicago every winter to attend a Radiology tradeshow that was always the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Chicago weather I was used to was definitely not evident during the summer. Duh. It was a neat change.
At nights after the concert ended I got to hang out with my cousin and his daughter C. It was so nice to come home to FAMILY at the end of the day. You have no idea how much I miss that. Bill would have a lovely spread of cheese and crackers and several wines as well...and of course who better to learn about wine from than the Chicago Tribune Wine Critic. (All my stories of Jager Bombs are like nails on a blackboard to Bill!). Two nights I was treated to home cooked dinners with Bill and C and one night C's mom stopped by as well. It was the perfect way to unwind after being in an anonymous screaming crowd for most of the day.
One night Bill and I went off on our own and did the Halstead Street bar-hopping thing. I FINALLY got him to try a Jager Bomb and he was not impressed. But at least he tried it.
My cousin has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Chicago..as well as other parts of the world...and it was fascinating to see Chicago thru his eyes as well as meet some of his friends.
It was also really nice to have the one-on-one time just to hang out and get to know each other. The first time Bill and I met, we were kids and we met at my Gramma's house in CT. Bill and his twin sister Melanie grew up in CT. He spent the day snapping rubber bands at me and I hated him for it. (Don't ever snap rubber bands at me if you want to stay on my good side, k??). The next time we hung out was 4 years ago at my parents wedding anniversary.
The trip ended with a visit to the Chicago Botanical Gardens that Monday. I love sights like that, especially this really cool hops arbor we found! I definitely want one of those for one of my future homes. And private shady nooks where you can spend the afternoon with a book surrounded by peace and quiet...like this one!
So. That was last year. One of the best vacations I'd had in ages. Perfect combo of family and music and adventure and travel.
Bands that opened were Sullivan and Everfall (I think?) but the crowd was clearly there for JM.
For those of you that don't follow the band, the lead singer of JM is Andrew McMahon, lead singer of Something Corporate . Andrew was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia on 1 June 2005. He cancelled plans for his tour to promote his new CD 'Everything in Transit'.
On 23 August, Andrew underwent a bone marrow transplant, the same day that 'Everything in Transit' debuted at #37.
Today, Andrew is better. And tonite, he showed all of Denver just how good he is.
From the opening note of the show, I couldn't stop dancing and singing. SO much energy, so much passion. Knowing the back story and seeing this vibrant dude and the rest of the band totally giving it their all and more to their fans....for me, it was close to a religious experience. Music does that to me. It elevates me and takes me to a place of pure joy and happiness. Without music in my life, life really wouldn't be worth living...not much at all.
If you have the talent to sing and make music, do it. Do it because you can. Because there are people out there that you will inspire. You'll bring such joy and meaning and purpose and happiness, all because of the gift you have and that you share it.
If you're like me and have NO musical talent, get out there and support those who do. There are SO MANY AWESOME bands out here in Denver and out there in the world, just waiting for you to discover them and add another dimension to your life.
I was in heaven tonite. Thankful for the music I got to witness. For the friends that were with me. For the new friends we met (shout out to Josh, his girlfriend and her grandparents who traveled from MD and couldn't leave without seeing the show). Thankful that Andrew is now healthy. And as always lately, so thankful that I live here, surrounded by so many cool people and cool things to do.
'Music is the light you cannot resist' - Michael Stipe- REM
Name 7 songs you are currently listening to...EASY! They're all iPod driven since I haven't been able to find a Denver/Boulder radio station that I can stand to listen to for more than 10 minutes.
#1- Ocean Man - Ween - the last song on the 'Chicago Live' CD. I love every Ween song I hear (honest) but this song HAS to be my favorite...guaranteed to make you wanna stop what you're doing and start dancing!
#2- How To Save A Life - The Fray
#3-The Shadow Proves The Sunshine - Switchfoot
#4- Space - Something Corporate - The louder, the better
#5- Take Me Away - Ween - First song I play every day as I walk from my bedroom to my office
#6- What About Everything - Carbon Leaf - Don't know why I love this song, but I do
#7 - Sea Frost - Cave In - This used to be my 'pensive listening music' when I would drive down A1A on hot summer nights with my sunroof and windows wide open. Another louder, the better type of song.
Back on 24 December I wrote about losing my iTunes while trying to download My December.
I had first heard the song December of 2003 and really liked it but could never find it. Sooo...was gonna try getting it from iMusic Store.
Long story short, you know what happened. The good news is that I'm now able to listen to the download my buddy Scott sent me since my iTunes is all better now. And listen to My December (by Linkin Park) is what I did most of last night (when I wasn't listening to Sum 41) and a large part of today.
As songs go, it's really unique. Slow, moody, good sound effects, GREAT vocals...it really got under my skin. It could very well replace the 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' ringtone I have for my family.