Novak (novak) wrote,

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Personal/Musical: Summerfest; Five For Fighting

I hit the Five For Fighting concert Sunday night as my finale for Summerfest this year. Although I don't know the music terribly well, I plan to buy it and to listen much more closely in the future: the songwriting quality was high all around, with only one song not having much of an impact on me. My cousin Ben and I went down to the grounds early to hear a school buddy of his playing bass for a cover band called Little Debbie and the Tone Gods on one of the small stages. We just relaxed there for two hours and I found myself glad that I'd given the group my time: these were people who weren't out to "make it big," or even to "make it local" with their own stuff: they were just good musicians who loved rock, and that kind of pleasure came out and infected the audience, many of whom stayed for the entire set. And you gotta love a female drummer, always, especially one that looks like Everybody's Mom.

After grabbing some dinner and running into Christie--the hippest young nurse who took care of me nights at Froedtert after my surgery--we ran into Pat Clemins and his old roommate Amanda. I had run into them the previous year about 100 feet from that very spot. We talked for a while and listened to locals Goran at the North Shore Bank stage until they finished and moved in at the vacated benches. We had decent seats, about eight rows back in front of the speakers on the audience's right. After another fifty minutes of chatting, right on time at 10pm, Five For Fighting came out to generous approval from the crowd, except from the squad of drunken idiots who, naturally, were right in front of us. Other than my being (justly) irritated with them the rest of the night--"Good theologians don't stab people, no matter how thankful everyone would be," I reminded myself--the show went off without a hitch. Everything could be heard clearly and the band gave the crowd quite a show in 80 minutes, with John Ondrasik being notably attentive to his audience. Especially since I didn't know several of the songs, it was refreshing to be able to catch the lyrics easily and to hear a bit of the singer/songwriter's thoughts on some of them as they strolled along to their next piece. The setlist, as best as I could figure, was something like:

NYC Weather Report
Devil in the Wishing Well
Bella’s Birthday Cake
If God Made You
Angels and Girlfriends
100 Years
Easy Tonight
The Taste
Maybe I
Something About You


The last few days were quiet by comparison. I finished Brideshead, talked with some absent friends, worked on the ongoing recording of "Listen To You," flipped out and cut my hair, had dinner tonight with Dan Kern down on the river (too cold!) at the Rock Bottom Brewery, and then we relaxed to a showing of Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines. See? All low-key.
Tags: books, family, friends-marquette era, literary, milwaukee, movies/film/tv, musical, personal, restaurants, setlists

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