There is a line in Don McLean’s song, American Pie, about “the day the music died.” For me, it should have been “the days the music died” which perfectly described this past weekend for me. My 2018 concert summer experience was just showing signs of life with September concerts by Cheap Trick and Rare Earth. This past Saturday, I had a chance to make 2018 a memorable concert summer.
Chicago is a city chock full o’ of summer music festivals, and Riot Fest came to town this past weekend. No, it is not a celebration of the 1968 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago between riots. It’s an incredible 3-day music festival. I could have seen Weezer headline Friday night, and I thought it would be cool on Sunday to see Debbie Harry bring Blondie to Riot Fest to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of their great album Parallel Lines. But I couldn’t believe the line-up of artists I could see on Saturday. I could spend about 7 hours there in music heaven wandering from stage to stage to see favorites. Take a look at this line-up …
My musical day would have started with 80’s synth rocker Gary Numan who sang about cars. Not the 80’s band The Cars, but about being in cars.
OK, so this was released in 1979 and not “the 80’s.” Sue me.
Twin Peaks is a local band from Chicago that has gained some national and international attention with their garage rock sound. I just saw Elvis Costello last summer, but I think I could see him every year. And then, the Killer himself, Jerry Lee Lewis takes the stage. Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire, how is it possible this 50’s icon is still alive and performing? He’s set to turn 83 this month! And the 13 year old first cousin he married when he was 22 is now 74.
Okay, that pic of the happy couple is definitely a little creepy and disturbing.
Saturday’s headliner Beck is an older artist, pushing 50, but after seeing Jerry Lee Lewis, Beck would look like a fresh face on the music scene. In addition, he’s so freakin’ talented. Enjoy Colors from his latest album of the same name.
And if I arrived early, the circus sideshow revue looked like it could be interesting. I wonder if they would have any authentic circus freaks there?
Wait a second, that’s not a circus sideshow freak pinhead. That’s Trump adviser Roger Stone, but you get the idea.
The only problem I had was finding someone to spend $65 for a ticket and all day at the music festival with me. Okay, I’ll rephrase that … the only real problem I had was finding someone to spend all day with me. I failed.
Instead, I would spend my Saturday continuing work on a home improvement job. Was I disappointed? Sure. Do I ask myself questions a lot? Yes, why do I ask? Just wondering.
Disappointed but undaunted, I had a plan to musically salvage this past weekend with yet another free concert at the local concert hall on Sunday night. I would save $65, get to hear live music, and my wife even agreed to come with me and drag our 10 year daughter kicking and screaming to the show. Plans were etched in stone. I was not ready for what would happen, or not happen, on Sunday. Sunday details follow tomorrow in the exciting Part 2 conclusion.