So, first order of business. Summerfest was Awesome. The company was great this weekend (You rock Beth!!!) and despite all the gloom and doom everyone was feeding us about never making it to Milwaukee on time, we arrived at the Fest with an hour and change to spare before the Crows hit the stage. HA! TAKE THAT! Plenty of time to cruise about and soak in the crazy attire, drunken revelers and the overwhelmingly good smells of Fest food (which is in another stratosphere from Fair food).
Anyway, our seats were good and we sat down with our $6 Miller Lites and pack of Twizzlers to await the unknown. Our beloved Crows were billed as a "Special Guest" to the Keith Urban concert. What did that mean? 20 minute opener? More? Well, rest easy friends, we got a solid hour of the Crows (see right, all images courtesy of keithurban.net)... the only thing that was a bummer was that they were clearly pandering to a non-Crows, country-heavy audience. I think there were only a couple hundred folks there who a) knew who they were and b) knew any of their songs other than Mr. Jones (which was the only song that got most everyone fired up). Either way they put on a great show and Beth and I were super pumped to have been able to see them again.
Set break. We bust out for the bathrooms and more beer. Not at all concerned about getting back in time for Keith Urban to start. Because while Beth has listened to his Greatest Hits album, I have only heard like 4 songs and consider myself to be neutral at best when it comes to country music these days. We had both heard that he put on a good show, but the expectations were low. Heck, we even contemplated leaving early to catch the Offspring (?!?) at the Miller Lite Oasis. But we made it back to our seats, moved to better, less crowded ones (see left) and awaited the concert's start.
ZOMG. That is how you start a concert. The huge ginormous screens and flashing lights and thundering bass & drums? Yep, pretty much set the stage. We were in for a country flavored Rock Concert. Not some pansy Pop Country show, which is exactly what I was told I was in for (except for you usmcwife8999). The atmosphere was great, it always is at summertime outdoor arenas and, despite all the non-necessary cowboy hats the show hit the ground running. Literally, that is what he lead with, and after just that first song, I was sold.
I think there were at least 15 instances, maybe more, in which Beth and I were looking at each other totally gobsmacked at what we were witnessing. This guy can freaking PLAY. I never thought I would say that about some pretty boy Aussie country star. Heck, he is more like some countrified hybrid of Paige/Plant (see this guy play and you won't think that is blasphemous, promise)... and I was waiting for him to start playing with his teeth a la Hendrix.
I never knew this guy had such serious guitar chops. Every song had a perfectly placed and timed guitar solo that made the whole thing SO much more like a rock concert than anything else. And the guy is a showman. The whole bit where he walks through the crowd while playing and singing up to a secondary stage in the middle of the amphitheater to play an acoustic mini-set? Fantastic. So yes, I was blown away. And I would dare say it was one of the best concert performances I have ever seen. Better than No Doubt, better than the Crows last year and better than (Ezra? ha! get it???), gasp, Coldplay. Yep. I said it. The best concert I have ever been to was a Country concert. Color me surprised.
Anyway, yes, amazing show. Every song was turned up to the proverbial 11, the whole band was mad, mad talented and the whole thing rocked way hard. Harder than any country show has a right to rock. Kudos to you Keith Urban, for being way more of a Guitar Hero than I ever thought you were, for proving me wrong, and for putting on a damned good show. And I want all five of those giant HD screens, which by the way, made the whole experience for anyone with cheaper seats exponentially better. And while you are at it, you NEED to put our a live CD. Because how y'all play live is a million times more awesome than anything on your studio albums, which I now own.
The rest of the weekend was marked by a Concert Hangover (not beer, promise, 3 in 5 hours won't do that...) on Saturday, new Reef flip flops, ridonkulously cheap Gap jeans ($19.99!), and yummy pizza. Sunday we drove up to Minneapolis, kicked it at IKEA and checked Beth into her uber trendy hotel, got Chipotle and continued to discuss the pitfalls of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, family planning, career/school and everything else under the sun. I love the conversations we have, the exercise it gives my brain, and how I totally get to be me with Beth. No pretenses, no judgment, totally honest, totally open and totally hilarious. Thanks for being that kind of friend Beth... you are a rare find and genuinely amazing!
So yep, that was my weekend. Fan-freaking-tastic if you ask me. I needed that. Happy Monday all!!!