An excellent 4th

Ok, that kicked ass. Ridiculously hot ass, yes, but it still kicked ass.

Backing up a bit, I went to the Taste Of Chicago today because a) I hadn’t been before and b) the Indigo Girls were playing for free.

It was supposed to cool down today, though it certainly felt approximately as hot as the surface of the sun when me and my friends were waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the Indigo Girls came on.

Minor peeve: Concert was stated as starting at 3pm, meaning the first opener went on at 3. Except nobody told us that both of the openers had really long sets. That was fine with the first opener, Marcia Ball, who fronts a pretty good blues band. They played for a bit less than an hour.

The second opener was Midnight Oil, a washed up 80’s band who sings that “how can we sleep while our beds are burning” song, and several other songs I’d probably know if I had paid attention to music in the mid 80’s, instead of being five.

They played for like an hour and a half. It was getting ridiculous by the time they finally got off the stage, but I guess some people seemed to like them. To each his own…but me and a couple of my friends had to seek refuge from the heat during their set.

It was at least 20 degrees cooler in the shade than in the sun. I drank about 3 liters of water over the whole day, which was fine when we were sitting in the sun, but when we moved to the shade, it was like..um…I’ll be right back, guys…

The oddest part of the whole day was one of these incidents. I went into one of the port-o-lets (portable restrooms), only to discover that the person in there before me had apparently been hotboxing (smoking large amounts of marijuana in) the damn thing.

Jokes I made about this included: “Well, at least it’s better than the normal smell.” “I went in expecting to lose my appetite and now I’m suddenly hungrier…”

Anyway, the Indigo Girls were very, very good, despite the fact that their set was actually shorter than Midnight Oil’s, despite the fact that Midnight Oil bites and the Indigos rock. But I can’t complain, because they did excellent version of “Go,” “Get Out The Map,” “Closer To Fine,” “Get Out The Map,” and Amy Ray’s “Laramie,” among many others.

Anyway, we all made it back to Evanston just in time to catch the Ev,IL fireworks, which were really, really good. And surprisingly long. I was happy to see they were 40 minutes long, which is ridiculously long for a suburban fireworks show.

And I was amused to see that large portions of the universe still haven’t figured out that Springsteen’s Born in the USA is a protest song, because it was played as a way to raise patriotism. It’s a great song, it just makes me giggle when people think it’s all patriotic and shit, and have never actually bothered to read the lyrics.

But it was great, because I got to relive my childhood, watching the fireworks from the big park (not downtown in D.C.- these fireworks were an alternative to heading downtown with the hordes until the D.C. fire dept. figured out that it cost them a ton of money to keep an eye on all these independent independence celebrations, and banned all fireworks displays other than the main one).

I remember being so impressed with simple fireworks when I was a kid, mostly because of the concussive force that just smacked you in the chest. And occasionally set off car alarms, but whatever. When you’re eight, it’s fucking cool.

And I had a great flashback to that childlike sense of wonder, as all of us looked at these massive (expected and paid for) explosions going on above us, and made those “ooh” and “aah” sounds like a crowd on a sound effects disc. It was excellent.

And then, of course, when it was over, I came back with my friends, and we drank. Because what would Independence Day be without good, old-fashioned, American drunkenness?

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