Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rockin' out in Millenium Park

Yesterday was another work-at-home day which was great because we were able to get some laundry done. Very! Exciting! There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh, clean laundry (unless you were to just inhale a Bounce sheet, but that's just a gateway drug. Next thing you know, you're huffing Rubber Cement). But anyway, the point is that we had to get the laundry done before we could go running which ended up not being until 3 o'clock (this is relevant. really).

We were slated for a 4 mile recovery and wanted to do it properly as we were both tuckered out from our 10 mile lactate run yesterday. It was a remarkably unpleasant 40 minutes of running as we were having to claw our way through the haze, the effort leaving us coated in sweat. I've ran through swamps that were less humid than Chicago yesterday*. But we did it and finished around 3:45 or so. We had to shower really quickly and all that so we could get downtown for the free Decemberists concert in Millenium Park but we still weren't able to leave the house until about 4:30 or so. Everyone clear on the timeline? Good.

(* may not be true)

Well, as it turns out, all of Chicago wanted to attend the Decemberists concert and so, by the time we arrived at the bandshell (~5:30), it was packed. Packed packed packed. We couldn't see a single patch of open grass, so we just started wading into the crowd in the hopes of either finding a free space or else finding someone weak enough that we could intimidate into leaving (music nerds tend to be spindly). Lo and behold, he landed the last 3 square feet of open space and threw down our mat to claim it and enjoyed the next hour in oppressive humidity surrounded by 3000 14,000(!) 98.6 degree space heaters. Yummy. We were later joined by Mouse and the band started right on time at 6:30. As soon at the band started playing, the rain started coming down, but just barely.

Let me just say, the Decemberists with the Grant Park Orchestra was incredible. The bandshell has a great sound setup and the effect of a rock band backed by an orchestra was some seriously big sound. So, we alternated standing and sitting (we could just barely make out the little G.I. Joe sized band on the stage) and just enjoyed the music. After about an hour and twenty minutes of playing, they dismissed the orchestra and made it sound like they were done playing, much to our disappointment as we had still been expecting to hear two of their best songs (the playlist was on the internet). The crowd kept cheering just in case that would bring them back out and, of course, it did (although I think they were always planning on coming out anyway). At this point, half the crowd had already fled to "beat the traffic" and "return to suburban hell" and so the band told everyone to come forward, which we did. And we were able to come *much* closer. Like, we could actually see the band. They then proceeded to play one of their best songs sans orchestra (16 Military Wives, for those who know the band) and it rocked. And then, the song we had all been waiting for. They've become famous (well, famousish) for a big stage performance with what's probably their best song, The Mariner's Revenge (Scott, it's kind of about boats!). I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint as the crowd was completely in it, the band was going crazy, and the heavens were joining in with a nifty little pyrotechnic display. It was probably the best song by a band that I've ever seen live despite the fact that I was seeing it from hundreds of feet away. I can't wait to see them in a regular venue.

And then it was time to go home. We made it to the train before the rain began to fall, but after reaching Chicago Ave where we had to transfer to the bus, it was clear that all hell had broken loose. It was not just raining, it was pouring (and it's quite possible that the old man was snoring). Luckily, there was an awning to stand under because I'm allergic to water and a mere 20 minutes later the bus arrived, but not before we heard the loudest thunderclap of my life. The lightening flashed and then *instantly* came the thunder, so I'll let you do the math on how close it struck. It poured the whole way home and we splashed our way from the bus to our apartment. It seems that we had found the flash floods. Or a lake. Or something.

Today we have 11 miles of general aerobic. 11 miles? In the middle of the week?

What'll they think of next?


Firefly's Running said...

Sounds like a fun day. Great job on the run!

Bridgette said...

Sigh - the life of a married couple without kids. :)

have fun with those 11 miles!

Sailor Sue said...

Hey, what a day in July in Chicago. The Decemberists sound like they're a great band. What would they sound like in December?

Anonymous said...

Tom and I were there. It was so great minus the humidity. Loved the encore

Scott said...

Jeez-o-peet! You guys run 50 miles a week, go out at midnight for the harry Potter book, go to concerts, meet up with friends....and, oh yeah, work on PhD's in PHYSICS! Try to get busier! whew!