Day 2 â€“ In limbo
Highlights: mentally playing “YYZ” on Guitar Hero in my head, dinner with Matt Nathanson, lots of geriatrics on stage during Tom Petty
How can you tell people to take public transportation when you can’t increase service? That was still my gripe come Saturday, and though I was a rested Jenz ready to wait for my decked out train to come, it still took me over two hours again to get to where I needed to be. Maybe I’m just an angry little faux redhead, but manâ€¦missing seven bands as a result made me none-too-happy.
[Entering the OSL grounds]
Armed with a packed lunch and amusement at the costumes I spotted in the crowd (who wears green furry felt anymore?), I popped up front for some Primus. Let me tell you, the hilarity just keeps coming when you’re standing nearby while they cover “YYZ” by Rush and the red-blue-yellow conveyor belt of Guitar Hero buttons is flying through your head. Les Claypool was wielding a sweet wooden-roasted guitar, and the blow-up astronauts serving as a whimsical background only upped their quirky ante.
After exploring the festivals grounds (spotting a longass line to play some actual Guitar Hero, make posters, take pictures, and a tent that sort of smelled like a combo of socks and Crisco), I decided to plop down next to The Avenues stage where San Francisco native Matt Nathanson was performing. I swore I coulda been at Cobb’s Comedy Club instead. In between delivering his pitch-perfect quells of pop, Nathanson also took good-natured swipes at the audience as well at himself. During a cover of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl,” he joked “Some of you look really mad. You live in the Marina [a notoriously rich district in SF], don’t you? You don’t like this, do you?” When people clapped along midway through his set, he thanked them for participating by commenting “My nipples just got hard, guysâ€¦that was so magic.” He relentlessly self-promoted his upcoming headliner gig at the Warfield later this year, but by the way he was so endearing, I think it may be worth it to trek out to see him again, if not for the great melodic jams he was pumping out, but for the fact “If no one shows up to that show, it’s gonna suck ass.” Well said.
I made my way to the front for Saturday headliners Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, only to be told I needed to be pre-approved to shoot the band.
“I didn’t know! Honestly! Seriously?” I asked the security dude, who nodded his head sadly.
Well, I didn’t want to photograph Petty anyway, lest I have to spend 14 hours photoshopping his 182 year-old face.
(Just kidding. I don’t use Photoshop.)
Silliness aside, I did actually look forward to Petty’s set. My dad is very much responsible for the vein of music I keep close to my heart, and Petty was one of the things that I was raised on. I had hoped to share the experience with dear papa, but a last-minute change in his work shift made him unable to join me to sing along. I ended up finding myself in the middle of other peers of my age group, who were next to people old enough to be my grandparents, and all of them were freaking out to “Free Falling.” I appreciated that Petty’s multigenerational span of fans spawned from the original dedicated ones were in full effect. And goddamnit, “Free Falling” is still an amazing song, even when Petty spread his arms for the duration of it in a “I’m king of the universe” pose and looks like he is a million years old. At the end of the day, that dude is still richer than me.
I left as Steve Winwood made his way on stage for some rock’n'roll duet action; I’m into classic rock, but not Jurassic rock. Sorry guys. I needed by beauty sleep for day three.