Weekend Wrapup

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If you'll recall from my previous entry, I was contemplating the idea of heading to Summerfest. Well, after much deliberation, I decided to make the 80-mile drive to Milwaukee and check out Summerfest 2010.


The adventure began with the fight to find a parking spot, and after 20 minutes of driving around looking for lots with open parking spots available, I settled on one near the festival, ponied-up $25, and... got door-dinged by some moron who flung his door open and directly into my passenger door. I was in the truck when I heard that sickening "thud" noise - I looked over at him and all he could muster was a feeble "sorry." Ugh.

From there, I made my way to the ticket window and paid $15 for an entry ticket, then stood in a long line so that I could get frisked by some Neanderthal who when finished frisking me asked, "Do you have any illegal drugs or weapons on your person?" Um, yeah - I've got a whole boatload of drugs and a couple of Uzi's in my pocket... seriously?

Once inside, I made my way over to the US Cellular stage - it's one of the companies that I work for/with on a daily basis, so I figured I should see the stage and snap a photo (and I have no idea who the two random folks are in the middle of my picture - they just walked through as I was taking the picture).


The neat thing about Summerfest (and particularly the USC stage) is that the entire event is located quite literally on Lake Michigan - the shoreline is just a few feet away from the grounds; I took this photo from the "other side" of the USC stage:


Since there wasn't a band playing at the USC stage, I decided to walk around for a bit and check out some of the smaller stages, the vendors, and the various food stands. I stumbled across this tropically-themed stage where a band was playing some really catchy music. I have no idea who they were, but they attracted a decent crowd and they were fun to listen to. I stuck around for about 15 minutes or so, then grew tired of getting bumped into by drunk people while being cooked by the sun (there's not much shade at Summerfest).


I continued walking around the grounds, where I passed twenty-odd food vendors... and eventually settled on getting a "sampler platter" that consisted of cheese curds, chive fries, and mozzarella sticks. All for $9.

I found a seat at the Harley Davidson stage where I snapped this photo of the sampler platter:


After devouring most of that plate (it was actually quite tasty), I walked around for a bit more - I was thirsty and needed a beverage ($6 for a bottle of Lite!!!!), and I still had another section of the park to check out. I thought about taking the sky cars - they have these mini-gondolas that run from the north side of the park to the south side of the park - but decided a picture of them would suffice and a walk would do me better.


I quickly started to realize that Summerfest isn't as great as my mind likes to remember it... it's expensive, it's hot, it's crowded, the crowds are annoying, and there's far too much "downtime" between acts. And, for some strange reason, they schedule most of the bands to play at the same time; for the most part, all of the stages run on a 2-hour schedule, so at noon, all of the stages are "live." Then at 2pm, the stages are "live" again; 4pm - live; 6pm - live; 8pm - live; 10pm - live. Why they don't stagger them so that there's always a show going is beyond me...

I spied some kids playing chess - I thought the huge chess board was pretty neat:


Having covered the grounds end-to-end, I was ready to sit down and settle-in for a band or two. The Counting Crows would be playing the Harley stage, so I figured I'd go over there, stake out a good seat, and wait for the 10:00pm show to start. Two bands played prior to The Crows - the Nick Howard band and Katzenjammer. I took a decent photo of Nick Howard (who was actually quite good):


Katzenjammer played next - they're an all female group from Norway (I believe) and they were sort of neat because they all played all of the instruments at one point or another - pretty talented group to say the least.

And finally, at 10:00pm, The Counting Crows started their show. Blurry photo - I was standing on a bleacher seat getting bumped by dozens of people.


And I stayed for exactly one song. Modest Mouse was playing next door on the Miller Lite stage; I checked them out for a second, but their area was even more packed than The Counting Crows area was. And so, after driving for 80+ miles each way, spending almost $140 on parking, ticket, and food, and sitting in the hot sun for 5 hours, I left early.

Just as I was leaving, the fireworks began:


And they carried on into my drive home - a "gang" of motorcycle riders were in front of me as I left the grounds and for some reason or another we got into a "heated discussion"... I think they weren't moving for anyone and were busy revving their engines and trying to look cool... so I honked at them to get them moving, and they took exception to it. So, we had a little chat. And then a traffic cop came over and told them to move along and told me to leave them alone. Fine - in fact, I'll leave Summerfest alone all together next year. To say it was a supreme disappointment would be a major understatement.

Summerfest is a "free" concert that tests your patience, your wallet, your resolve, and your cardiovascular and digestive systems... I ate way too much junk food while there. :-)

So, yeah - next year, Summerfest will be a big "no go."

Finally, in other news - I bought my first Blu-ray DVD this weekend: Batman: The Dark Knight - and all I can say is "WOW." I'd never seen a true Blu-ray picture before... it's absolutely unbelievable. I cannot explain it and do it any type of justice - the colors are so vivid, the contrast amazing, the motion looks almost 3D, and the sound will blow you away. I tried to take a picture of the experience, but it's not going to be fair... trust me that you need to get a Blu-ray player if you haven't already.


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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on July 5, 2010 7:25 PM.

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