Monday, October 23, 2006

Bridge School Benefit Concert: A Little Later The Next Day

I'm still not completely awake, but I'm close enough.

You know that scene in "Airplane!" when Rex Kramer and the other guy are driving to the airport and he hits a bicyclist who shouts at him as they drive on?

That's sort of what it was like riding on the shuttle bus from the parking lot to the amphitheatre, except we didn't hit him. The shuttle was packed full, standing room only, so when we got to the next shuttle stop, we kept going.

And boy, did he not like it. We all heard him call the driver an a-hole as we drove past. Someone said they heard a rock hit, but I missed that.

The funny part is that a) He was disproportionately pissed about not getting on the shuttle; and b) he got there before we did because we had to wait in a line of cars.

You could see the little daggers with dotted lines coming from his eyes as he walked toward the gate and saw the shuttle. We weren't sure if he was going to throw something or what.

We got to the gate, and after getting our bag and tickets checked, we were in.

Our seats were about in the middle; not back on the lawn, but not up front, either. I could see pretty well, but Jen had a little problem, given that most everyone in the venue older than 10 was taller than her.

One thing I should have brought -- a hat. Ten years ago, it wouldn't have mattered much, but you know, all that breakdancing and headspinning has taken its toll up there. Early on, Jen made a trip out to the vendors to see what was out there, and she picked up a hat and T-shirt for me.

It was a little warmer than I expected, but it got cooler as the show went on.

And the show was pretty sweet.

The lineup included Neil Young, Gillian Welch, Devendra Banhart, Death Cab for Cutie, Trent Reznor, Foo Fighters, Brian Wilson, Pearl Jam and Dave Matthews Band.

I'm sure I've mentioned I'm a huge Brian Wilson fan, and honestly, I never thought I'd have to chance to see him perform. But there he was up on the stage. He's not the most rambunctious stage presence, but he did smile several times. Brian and his band had one of the longest sets in the whole show.

He smiled right after this. I just missed it.They started with the vocal instrumental, "Our Prayer." It's always been a beautiful piece, but it has a special connection for me now. It was the first song we played at our son Harrison's funeral. I wasn't sure how I'd take it, but I got through it okay. Another high point was hearing one of my absolute favorite songs, "God Only Knows." Just that alone made the night awesome for me. Getting to spend it with my beautiful wife made it even that much better.

And the french fries we got -- awesome.

We almost missed Pearl Jam because of those fries. For some reason we thought Dave Matthews was up after Brian Wilson, so we weren't rushing to get back to our seats. Nothing against Dave; I just haven't had the time to get into his catalog. We were moseying back to where we were sitting, the lights dropped and there was Eddie Vedder up on stage.

After a short sprint, we got to our seats, where, unfortunately for my pint-sized partner, everyone was standing.

They did four songs, one of which was Jen's favorite, "Black." There was an empty seat at the end of the row, so I told her to sit there for the duration while the seat's occupant was out.

The show was longer than we'd expected, and given that we not only had to pick up our son from my parents' house but also had to work the next day, we had to leave before the end of the show. I would've liked to have stayed, but it would've been just too late. Maybe next year.

One of the things that was really neat was the positive vibe you got from the performers. I'm pretty much a stick in the mud, but I really enjoyed being there and being a part of the event, which was for a good cause.

Bridge School Benefit Concert: The Next Day

Hi, y'all...

As an early anniversary present to ourselves (a day early), Jen and I went to the Bridge School Benefit Concert yesterday.

In a word, awesome.

We were out late and I was up early, so I'm still trying to sort everything out in my head.

I'll be back to write more about it when words of more than one or two syllables come back into my brain.

I got to see Brian Wilson. W00t!