Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finally, the taper!

Congratulations Phil!! Great job!

Saturday I had a good run. Short, but good. Sunday I had a good bike ride. Short, but good. One swim left, one more run, then it's down to Pacific Grove for the big triathlon. Yay, yippee and yahoo and I can't tell you how ready I am for this. Mentally, physically, emotionally ready. Ready set and go.

Well, maybe just a teensy weensy bitsy unready. My knee is ok, ,but hasn't been tested. My back hurts, but not too badly. My neck is stiff, but I can turn it. My stomach is -- it could be better. I'm getting used to sleeping only a few hours each night. I'm nervous but not frantic. I'll be saying this daily, but I'm ready to just do the damn thing!

I had a treat on Saturday when I went to my (almost) annual Dave Matthews Band concert. They played for 3 nights at the Greek in Berkeley, an intimate little venue in the Berkeley hills. Because it was open seating, Ms. Olivia and I arrived early. We thought. The lines were a gazillion miles long and the seats were filled up when we got to them. We ended up sitting way up near the top of the bowl, a little off to the side. It's so small that even toward the top we still had a good view of most of the stage, only excepting the far right side.

The crowd at a DMB concert is usually a hoot. The majority of the attendees are true fans, seeing multiple shows each year, going to shows year after year after year. They know all the songs and all the words and (unfortunately at times) feel free to sing along. After the place had filled up quite a bit, a fellow with his date squeezed into the single seat next to me. I didn't mind too much, but then they pulled out cigs and lit up. Yuck. They proceeded to smoke throughout the entire show. The people two rows in front of us were also smoking, but not tobacco. There was a lot of that going around. The lovely fragrance of a rock concert.

It was hot all day and the concrete seats had soaked up all the sun. They were sizzling and even though we were sitting on freely distributed cushions, my ass was cooked. Every time my leg touched the seat I could feel the heat seeping through. My purse was hot when I picked it up. My feet burned even through my sandal soles. Hot. I felt like it never cooled off either, highly unusual in Berkeley.

Olivia made a celebrity sighting, but I'll let her tell you about it. We crowd watched until the opening act, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. They were a fun, funky, R&B band with original songs and a great sound. One of the things I like about the annual DMB concert is the great openers they come up with. This was no exception, very enjoyable.

The boys finally hit the stage and started slowly, building momentum as the night went on. They were great, in good form, lively and obviously having fun. Dave was dancing all night, talking Dave-speak, improvising ("Fuzzy Wuzzy"??), laughing and talking and playing guitar and singing like the master he is. Although he's the perfect front man, the band needs everyone else too. It was sad seeing them without LeRoi, it'll never be the same again, but I have to say the sound was still good.

My favorite part was when they started playing Jimi Thing, one of my favorite songs. The singing was -- odd -- and then I looked closely and realized Dave wasn't singing. It was completely a crowd sing-along. The band, although used to it, was cracking up that the audience was doing their job for them. Dave finally chimed in and sang parts, but after that the audience felt free to sing whenever they felt like it. And Mr. Smokey next to me felt like it. For many songs he completely drowned out the song but luckily he'd shut up when he lit up.

They played and played for hours, a fabulous show. I was a little sorry I had sold my tickets for the last show Sunday night, but when I didn't get to bed until about 1am I felt better about it. Too late for me to do two nights in a row, especially when I'm supposed to be resting for my tri.

Every year I say I'm going to drop my membership in their club (shut up. That's how I get tickets to multiple shows each year, usually great seats) but after such a fun performance I think I'll be continuing on with the Warehouse for at least one more year.

I wonder if the fellow who hired the plane to circle the stadium all night is now engaged. "Where you are is where I belong. Will you marry me?" Even Dave popped his head up to try to read the scrawl. This old cynic thought that it was a sweet gesture and I hope he got lucky.

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