Monday, July 11, 2011

Obligatory Chicago Post: Pt. 2

Ahhh, I'm at home again. I love the Windy City, but sitting in my glider rocker in the living room still wins (for now). I'd have updated you sooner, but we had no internet Saturday or Sunday...our friends were on their own trip, and we weren't home enough to get the problem figured out ourselves.

So...not much else happened on Friday, so I won't worry about keeping you updated. On Saturday, however, our main purpose for being in Chicago kicked into action: The Dave Matthews Band Caravan, a travelling 3-day festival. Obviously, we couldn't afford tickets to see it, so we went with the eco-group Reverb. That's a link to their website, in case you're interested in free concert tickets and helping the environment. We only worked on Saturday and Sunday, because we didn't care much about any of the acts appearing on Friday. Plus, it'd be super exhausting, as we'd later find out.

Anyway, Saturday. We took the Metra train to the show, and discovered all city employees hated us. Not my mother and me in particular, just the concert-goers in general. Also, the train was completely full of us. When we got to our stop, we had to walk about a mile through a semi-frightening south-side neighborhood to get to the staff entrance. Once there, the guards pointed us down a dusty little road. Did I mention the show took place where a steel mill BLEW UP 20 years before? Let that set the scene a little. We took the dusty dirt road 2 miles in, turning tan-red in the process. When I say dusty, I mean blinding and choking dust. People going by on golf carts all had bandannas over their mouths, causing us to realize we needed some for ourselves.

After trekking our way to the check-in point, we met up with the Reverb employees and got our jobs. We were selling carbon-offset stickers, a job that sucked last time we did it. Basically, you have $5 stickers that people can buy. The money goes towards research and education concerning alternative energy, and each purchase offsets 300 miles driven by concert-goers. They're cool, and worth the money (some of the cheapest there), but people still hate you for selling the things. We were at least allowed to wander throughout the venue to sell them, so if we got tired we didn't have to keep doing it. Also, we got in about an hour before the doors were opened, so we could just wander around and check out vendors. During that time, I got a pair of cheap sunglasses, and a bandanna. The bandanna was from some Deadhead vendors, who gave us a staff discount. We thought it might be because we walked into their tent while they were all smoking pot, but it turns out they kept that up the whole day. The bandanna is pretty sweet, with a bunch of Grateful Dead skulls on it like paisley.

When the gates were opened, the main stage's PA started playing the Pink Floyd song "Run Like Hell." That seemed odd, until we saw the stampede start coming down the hill. It was INSANE!!! We got a video of it the second day, which I'll post soon. When the mad rush had subsided, we started selling. We sold 13 stickers the first day, which wasn't too bad. Actually, other people sold quite a few less, so I was pretty happy. We did spend quite a bit of our working time watching shows, and enjoying food and drink. They had frozen Keifer there, which ruined all other frozen treats for me it was so good.

Once we were done, we sought out shade and enjoyed some Diet Cokes. G Love was scheduled to play soon, so we went by his stage. Actually, we first stopped back by the Deadheads' tent and got a huge tapestry to sit on. It has (once again) a huge Grateful Dead skull on it, and looks really really sweet. Once again, I'll post pictures and videos in my next post.

We went and sat down, and then got back up again to watch G Love's set. He was pretty awesome!! We only heard him play songs from him newest album, but only the best from it. We left him early, to go sit down and wait for the next act I wanted to see, Ben Folds. I've only recently started to listen to him, but I REALLY enjoy his music!! Sadly, he was somewhat drowned out by idiot, drunken frat dudes. He did a hilarious cover, though, of "Sleazy" by Ke$ha. I've never heard the original, but now I don't need to...he did it up better and more amusingly than I could imagine.

After his set ended, DMB came on. The second song they played was "Burning Down the House," which I LOVE to hear them play. Honestly, it's my favorite song to hear them play. We stayed for about an hour of their set, hearing quite a few new songs. They seem to have a new album's worth of material, and played most of it during the course of the festival. After about an hour, we took off, because of A) the drunken asses EVERYWHERE, and B) we wanted to make sure we got home at a decent-ish time for work the next day.

When we did get home, we were starving and filthy. When I washed my hair, the water was brown with dust. Not to get too gross, but my snot was totally black straight into the next day. Actually, there have been many, many complaints on Twitter and IRL about "mud boogers." Needless to say, it was bogue. I slept like a rock, understandably.

So that's pretty much how the first day went. This post is already pretty long, and Sunday's experiences deserve an entire post. Man, just The Flaming Lips' show deserves an entire post!! Yeah, we saw them. Stay tuned for more fun and excitement, coming your way!!


Bookish.Spazz said...

As a Ke$ha fan, (don't judge!) for Ben Folds to do a cover of Sleazy is just mind blowing! My friends Hang, Sayra, and I enjoy rapping/singing to Ke$ha. I just looked up Ben Folds' cover and I really like it!

YOU SAW THE FLAMING LIPS?! That is too cool.

Shahan said...

Damn, it sounds like you heard some awesome stuff and had such a good time, I'm jealous =(

Nice post, thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

That Blond Guy said...

It's so great to hear about all of this music. Ben Folds AND the Flaming Lips? That's just no fair. That's not fair at all. I wanted to go to tons of concerts this summer, and you'd think of Atlanta as sort of a music city, but NOBODY good came to Atlanta this summer. I'm seeing Death Cab in August with a friend, but that doesn't amount to Ben Folds.

Can't wait to see the pics and videos. I need to live through you.

That Blond Guy said...

Speaking of Ben Folds, you've seen this video, right?