She Was An American Girl, Raised On Promises…

(today’s photos are all courtesy of Joshua Rudd…Kelsey’s camera ran out of juice and my cell phone cord is back in Big D)

Before I move on to Day 2 (and our final day at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Festival as Barnstorming Brother-in-Law Shane will be my proxy for a lineup that looks like Broken Social Scene, Andrew Bird & Wilco), let me show you why my review of Radiohead might’ve been skewed…we were quite a distance away:

Well, Kid1 and I enjoyed our night’s stay at the Rudd’s (as an added bonus, we got to play with their kids while they went to some meeting) and then rolled on to the festival. We grabbed lunch, reasonably priced and GOOD (one of the deals was that they wanted good food at this concert series and didn’t want folks to pay through the nose, so kudos to the organizers!), we threw baseballs at the speed gun, rolled through some exhibits/interactive stuff (which mostly involved playing Guitar Hero or posting your photos onto the site that would scroll them on the big screens between acts), got our fortunes told and listened to a couple of local acts that were on early. Just a couple of songs each…Then we listened to Portland’s band M. Ward, largely because he was on the stage before…

Regina Spektor.




This is why live music makes a difference. Yes. I’ve heard her couple of hits on the radio. Yes. My daughter and her art school friends are into her big-time. So, Joshua and I thought we might do Kid1 a solid and go see her. All I can say is, “WOW!” She was everything an artist should be, man. Just her and a piano (one song had a guitar). Uber talented. Enjoyed herself and interacted with the crowd in a genuine manner. Such a pleasant surprise to me that her 40-minute set went by WAY too quickly and I could’ve done another 45 or so. Kid1 went with high expectations and Ms. Spektor exceeded those. Joshua’s rave reviews made it a clean sweep.

Joshua stuck around to see Cake, while Kelsey and I rolled with Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. Our mission was really just to avoid the distance at Radiohead…but Ben Harper had a good set and was certainly enjoyable, to the degree it could be as I was chasing Kid1 on a mission to get as close as we could to Mr. Petty.

And, let’s just say that teenagers (especially cute girl teenagers) are able to zip past all sorts of folks. We actually got to the 6th Freakin’ Row for the night’s headliner, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Joshua actually did some fine zipping himself using lessons we learned the night before to get to the front row, but down the side (as you can see from his photos). We were just to the left of center stage, but close enough that when anyone played a guitar to our side we could see the expressions on their faces. Here’s Joshua’s photo of when Steve Winwood joined in for a couple of songs. I’ll try to upload some from my poor phone camera once I get back to the cord.

And, this gives you a good idea of how much zipping we all did. About 40,000 strong…and we were ahead of about 39,500 of ’em.

For me, if there’s a better way to end my vacation as well as end the summer, I can’t think of what it might be…

Oh, man.

What a great night.