Cover Art for the The Decemberists' latest album The Crane Wife
Our driving force behind our visit to Chicago was to hear The Decemberists give a free concert at Millenium Park with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Decemberists are cool, Millenium Park is cool, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is cool. Put them together, for free? And you get way too many cool people in one place. LOL!
It helps if you get there more than 10 minutes before the concert starts. We got there 10 minutes before the concert started. The seats were filled, the lawns were packed, the sidewalks were body-to-body with people on their cell phones frantically trying to locate their friends who just MUST have magical lawn seating, not that you could get to said seating without teleporting. We were also supposed to locate our friends with magical lawn seating. My husband got out his cell phone and tried calling. When he reached voice mail, he immediately went into a panic, accelerated by the fact that a large storm began to gather overhead. Sigh. I started having fun, however. The band took the stage and they sounded GREAT.
People were smiling at our children, who were remarkably blithe about being pressed body to body with crowds of hipsters. Eventually we found our friends. Their lawn seating wasn't so magical--it was on the outer lawn and the sound out there was good, rather than excellent, as it is on the inner lawn. But still, it was seating and we could hear. We ate some grapes and celery and nectarines and enjoyed the show. The Decemberists played The Tain, a rambling 25 minute song which lent itself well to the presence of the orchestra, but which also happens to be my husband's least favorite song in their catalogue. However, they redeemed themselves with a rousing version of The Mariner's Revenge. Nature joined in with several dramatic cracks of thunder and lightening. But the heavy rain held off until we were safely deposited on the train to our friend Rob's house.
If you would like to see photos and a review of the concert, check out the Chicagoist.
Next up, the family visits a cool neighborhood fruit market and tries Cousin's Incredible Vitality, a raw restaurant in Chicago.