This weekend I went a bit out of my comfort zone. I don’t really know what I was thinking, suggesting that Steve and I join Alex and her friend Madie, at the Mumford and Sons concert in Monterey. I mean, I know how to do a concert. We’ve done the Stones (twice), the Grateful Dead (more times than I want to admit), the Pauls (Simon and McCartney) and plenty of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, James Taylor, Eagles. I believe I pulled a young Kate out of school for the Lilith Fair. I don’t have Coachella chops, but I used to know my way around. However, these days, when we go to hear music, it includes lovely weather, my lawn chair, wine and good cheese. It typically includes people my own age.
This wasn’t that. This was an incredible band that we all enjoy, plus 7 more. This had a list of rules that said “no chairs, no ice chests, no blankets”. The venue was a horse arena with 10,000 other people. 10,000 people standing in the dirt. To be fair, there was a second stage, with grass to sit on, but I didn’t know that at the time. I brought two pairs of comfortable shoes, and tried to have an open mind about what was ahead. My friend, Craig, who was my high school concert buddy, and is now a grandfather in Austin, suggested I bring my Kindle and a Medic Alert bracelet.
Here are my favorite conversations from the day (not overheard, these were ours):
This one via text:
Steve: Finished parking the car, looking for you.
Kim: We’re in a mile and a half line that reaches the golf course. I am in the golf clubhouse bathroom.
Steve: Are you speaking metaphorically, and if so, what does that mean?
“Should we go see the carnival ride from Michael Jackson’s Neverland, or take banjo lessons?” Twenty minutes later: “We should have done the banjo lessons.”
Steve: “If we are going to hear another band, I need to go into the bathroom and get some toilet paper for my ear.”
But we did enjoy most all of the bands (usually from the back, since we forgot the earplugs), and we met up with the girls between shows. At 9:00 p.m. we crowded into the horse arena and were treated to one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I knew Alex was somewhere having it too….and that was pretty cool. Steve and I were standing in the dirt and we made our way toward the center of the arena. We danced and sang, and felt the moment. Here’s a review and a little video.
And when we met up with Alex, she had the best quote of all….”Without a doubt, that was the BEST experience of my entire life.”
Worth it. And now your Dad has a story to tell you about the time he saw Jerry Garcia and Miles Davis….