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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rain, Rain Go The F**K AWAY!!
or welcome to the Pittsburgh Arts Festival 2010

Day One:
(Don't worry. I'm not going to blog on and on, day by day about the festival. I'm already bored with THIS post. This piece of drivel should have be published Saturday, but I didn't get my ass in gear until now. Shut up. I know. I procrastinate. So sue me.)

Okay, so it happens every year. The Arts Festival moves into town for ten days filling the lower end of town with artsy vendors, a plethora of food booths guaranteed to clog your arteries or bust your gut, sometimes interesting public art, a wide array of musical performers and... rain. Lots and lots of rain.

a semi-lull in the monsoon

This year is no different. Not only is there blinding sheets of rain, there's damaging winds, tornado warnings, swarms of locusts, frogs dropping from the sky... And we're only three days into this thing.

That said, I declared "elements be damned!" and headed off to the park to see local crooner and cutie, Bill Deasey open for the Godfather of Texas Rock, Alejandro Escovedo. It had been raining on and off all day. So what. It's bound to let up at some point, right?


Armed with my trusty yellow slicker and folding camp chair, I staked my claim near the front gating. I've only seen Bill perform solo or as a guest at the Special K, but this time he had a full band. His soothing voice held up well against the full sound. His music is somewhat mellow, but he does have a few rockers including this one from his latest CD:

Sorry about the lack of quality. I need a new camera or video camcorder. Any suggestions? Any hints? Anyone wanna just buy me one? There are so many damn choices, my head's spinning as if I drank an entire fifth of vodka on an all-night bender. I think I may seriously vom. But I digress...

The crowd size was respectable considering we were standing in a constant drizzle which fluctuated between mist and medium pelt. The rain fell heavier towards the end of Deasey's set, unsafely pooling around the monitors and mult boxes, not to mention completely soaking my shoes and shorts. And don't get me started about my hair.

I think they stole towels from the Hilton in a misguided attempt to mop up

Note to self: blue jeans shorts and excessive rain equals saggy butt syndrome. I swear those shorts stretched at least three inches in that dastardly downpour. It was a night not fit for man nor beast. And yet I stayed along with a couple hundred other knuckleheads in denial.

Lightning? What lightning? I didn't see any lightning.

After a short delay, Alejandro and his cadre took the stage and launched into our favorite "Always A Friend"

He's a little man with a little head, but Zowie! He packs a punch and boy can he shred that gee-tar.

The concert was great. At times Al (I'm calling him "Al") was begging the crowd to get up and move, but honestly the extra 20lbs of water in our cloths was making it tough to get up and shimmy. Although that could have been awesome. Like a massive soaking-wet-golden-retriever-post-bath shake. Water could have flown for yards!

What the Hell is this ancient thing? It's like from the 50s or something.

Everyone was into the music, in spite of inclement weather. I think we made up for our initial inertia with a couple rousing sing alongs. The soggy bottom dropped out for the encore of a hard driving cover of the Stones' "Beast of Burden". Everyone was movin' and groovin'.

Really not a bad way to spend a rain-soaked evening. Now I know what it must be like at Bonnaroo. That's a festival for a different year.

It took a day and a half for my shoes to dry and I don't know if my shorts will ever go back to their original shape, but other than that... it's all good.

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