God bless her.
After a week of heavy rains, the Friday night bands were relocated to an indoor venue. This meant that the sun shining through the trees and the breeze coming off the nearby water on Saturday was a very welcomed sight to everyone there. At risk of sounding cliche, it could not have been a more beautiful outside.
I supposed I should explain, for those who don't know, that I've maintained Todd Snider's online presence for about the past ten years through his official site at ToddSnider.net and the archival site of his live performances I started from the ground up at EighteenMinutes.com. Anyway, that's not self-promotion -- just setting the stage for why I was there in the first place.
With Todd not set to play until 7:45, I arrived early enough that I could wander around and take in all that the two-year-old festival had to offer. It was clear that many people had come to see Todd play as I started seeing a good number of Todd Snider and Hard Working Americans t-shirts being worn by others as the place started to fill up. It was especially cool to see a handful of people wearing the Elmo Buzz shirts I designed last year (Elmo Buzz is Todd's occasional "alter ego").
Item number one on the agenda was meeting up with Louise and Louis.
Everyone's got a "cool aunt" and a "cool uncle" in their families -- you know what I'm talking about. No offense to my parents' other sisters, but my Aunt Louise has always been that "cool aunt" -- one that would always go out of her way to play games with us as kids and talk about music or have a beer with us as we got older. As avid music fans and lovers of the outdoors, I wasn't surprised when I learned that she and Louis would be at the festival. All music aside, it was so great catching up with them for a while yesterday. Again, not to sound cliche, but I really hope we can do it again soon!
With about an hour before Todd was to take the stage, I had some time to hang out with my pal Brian -- the guy I mentioned a few days ago that is a spitting image of Los Angeles Dodgers utility infielder Justin Turner. Brian and I have run into each other at Todd Snider shows for years and have become good friends along the way. Once a fan recording shows from the back of venues, Brian now serves as Todd's tour manager. Knowing Brian and maintaining Todd's websites isn't without its perks as Brian was kind enough to give me an extra wristband which said I was important enough to hang out backstage if I wanted to. Not wanting to be "that guy," I caught up with Brian for a while and said a brief hello to Todd before heading back out with the masses.
Just before 8:00, the sun was setting and Todd started to play. Having seen countless Todd Snider shows in the past, my initial plan was to stand near the back and just soak everything in -- the music, the location, the weather. I did this for the first several songs before deciding I might as well take some small advantage of my extra wrist band for a few backstage photos.
So that's what I did.
I decided to head home and pass on the Bottle Rockets set that was to follow -- a decision I'm sure I'll regret. Before hitting the road, Brian tried as he always does to load me up with merchandise and freebies. I graciously accepted a few pretty cool items he had to offer and was on my way.
To Brian, many thanks for your generosity and your friendship. I always look forward to seeing you when you guys pass through the area.
The Summer of Tim continues...