Thursday, August 23, 2012

we're goin' to dixon

                                          (Thanks for the pic, mom)

A day in the life of a Mumford and Sons concert (vague attempt at journalism):

8:00 am: Picked up by car full of girlfriends from Mobil on Lawrence and California with a Dunkin' Donuts black coffee and a coconut donut in hand.
10:45 am:  Parked and arrived in Dixon, IL, perused around the small town looking at wares, the quaintest farmers market you ever did see, meandered across the river and sat on the river-edge eating Wendy's (our classy, local fare).
1:00 pm: Met up with family, walked around good ole Dixon (which I'd become quite familiar with) some more, drank a Chicago-brewed beer, made our way across the river for my second time, spotted boats with nephew, herded into the grounds where the stages were like the sheeps that we are.
3:00 pm: Found a spot by the Mumford stage, settled in (using confiscated blanket), took trips to the bathrooms (port-a-potty's) about 17 times, listened to band called Dawes with brother, ate curly french fries (extra ketchup) with sister, talked to mom on said confiscated  blanket, dad bought us girls a token shirt, nephew made 200 people smile with his smile as we ran around the fest.
7:00 pm: Bordello, band from hell, played for hour, got crowd thoroughly riled up, afterwards sat around for 40 minutes in impatient anticipation for...
8:50 pm: MUMFORD. Which was bliss. If only we had been closer, like, touching Marcus Mumford closer.

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My mind might function as a journalist's for a moment (a half-hearted, dysfunctional one), and even that moment is mixed in with humor and a creative leave that wouldn't be kosher in most journalist settings - and then the journalist moment passes, and I want to crawl back to the insides of my brain, where things are a lot less matter of fact and event based. They are thought based, feeling based, base, base, base. 

Mumford and Sons played this festival in rural Illinois on Saturday, and I happened to be in attendance. Along with 15,000 other attendees, whom I got along with swimmingly until they got too drunk and loud and disturbed my concert vibe. Hello. Aren't you all here to stand quietly, rocking slightly back and forth, only raising your voice to belt out the lyrics to the songs we all know? Although many of you are, there were some of you who decided this was as good a place as any to get exceedingly wasted and clamor noisily during a concert you paid 70 dollars to hear. Oops, that turned into a little rant. It was just so beautiful, and they played a quiet song I just couldn't make out with all the noise, what a shame.

Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free

Now this line, Mumford, is Albert Einstein endorsed genius. Absolutely, how on earth did you write such a thing? The whole song really. Really. Awake My Soul, is not my favorite song, but when a whole crowd of intoxicated people, waving their hands about because they want to move along to what they feel, belt out lyrics that could mean so many different wonderful things, and I think I know the most wonderful thing they mean, that is a tender moment. You feel like family, and I don't hate those people that were talking too loud in front of me quite as much when they are singing along. 

You were made to meet your maker

15,000 people in Dixon, IL were singing that at the top of their lungs, gathered together, under twinkling lights, having the time of their life. I can think of another place where this might happen someday. Mumford, you dogs, you've done it. It's pretty amazing. Inspiring, is the word that comes to mind. You inspire. Thank you for the inspiration.


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