Sunday, May 5, 2013

Memphis in May Day 2 #bsmf13 #inMemphis

Saturday we got up and had breakfast at our hotel before we headed to get Jon attired for the rainy weather. We found a Tractor Supply Store and got him some rain boots, then headed to Walmart in search of ponchos. They didn’t have any, so we settled for an emergency blanket, which ended up being super warm and got lots of compliments, as it was bright silver and everyone thought it was foil and kept saying we were geniuses. We had barbecue for lunch and got to Beale Street just as a storm blew in. Freezing cold wind was blowing us all over the road, but it only sprinkled. We tried to meet up with Brandon and company, but they’d gone back to their hotel before we got to Beale.

We went to Alfred’s and had a drink, then headed to the festival. We met up with Brandon and Ann for a minute, but they were going to a different show, so we parted ways. Jon and I went and saw Patti Smith, which was pretty awesome. About then I realized I’d lost my ID somewhere on Beale Street, though. But, we were already in so I thought we’d make the most of it while we were there. So we worked our way through the crowd to about the 10th row for Dwight Yoakam, also pretty good, although Jon hates being in the crowd and wasn’t loving it. After that, we stayed put for Black Keys, or did our best. Unfortunately, everyone brought their entitled attitudes, and stood behind us spouting the most arrogant drivel you’ve ever heard. Jon had an even harder time, since everyone was pushing to get up front and we were packed in like crushed pineapple. We stayed up front for the first 7 songs, but then we had to go use the bathroom too bad, as we’d been standing in the same place to keep our spot for the past three hours.

Getting out of the crowd was crazy! We knew there were lots of people pushing up front, but we didn’t realize just how many people were at the show until we tried to get out. I thought we’d just pop out the side of the crowd, but it never ended. We got to the fence at the side of the park, and the crowd was still packed. I’ve never seen so many people at any show at Memphis in May in all the years I’ve gone. It was insane. We finally made it out of the crowd, almost at the next stage. We got some Asian noodles and ate, and sat and waited for ZZ Top. We sat on a poncho (we’d bought one from a guy on Beale) and wrapped up in Jon’s Silver Man Superhero blanket. That was a bit warm, but the wind was punishing. I don’t think I’d gotten that cold all winter. After a few songs, we left. It was just too miserable.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Beale Street Music Festival 2013 #bsmf13 (Day 1)

 My sixth trip to Memphis in May kicked off yesterday, this one being the beginning of our honeymoon. I’ve been meaning to write some about the wedding planning, but the planning itself took so long I haven’t had time to write anything. So, I’ll write about the honeymoon instead.

This trip started off with a bang, as it SNOWED in the morning. That’s right, on May 3, in ARKANSAS, it snowed. For reference, it’s usually about 80 degrees on May 3. Not snowing.

I drove the first three hours to Little Rock by myself, listening to The Odyssey. Jon’s friend had said we could park at his place, but he backed out at the last minute. I managed not to freak out, and a couple other friends came through for us. After parking one of the cars there, we set off on our honeymoon adventure. We only got lost once, and had to backtrack a looong way to get to our hotel in West Memphis. We got settled and took off for Tom Lee Park. About ten minutes after crossing the bridge, I realized I’d left the tickets in the hotel room. So we had to backtrack again, and got off on the wrong exit and took the loooooooong way around to get back to the hotel. We finally got back to the hotel and collected the tickets.

As I was standing in the door of the hotel room folding my tickets, the guy in the next room came out and said, “Oh, I’m glad I saw you doing that or I would’ve left my tickets and not realized until I got all the way to Memphis.” ARRRGGGHHH!

I went to get a jacket, since it was freakishly cold here, too, and when I came back, Jon was chatting to the guy. He said he’d give us $20 if we gave him a ride down to the show. I agreed, and we set off once again. We chatted to Leon on the way over, and about ten minutes past the bridge I said, “I think we were supposed to get off on an exit right after the bridge.” So for the third time, we had to backtrack all the way through Memphis.

We finally got to the park and went in to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, which was the first band on our schedule anyway. We missed eating at a restaurant, but got our customary gyros in the festival. We stood and listened to about half an hour of Sheryl Crow, which was better than I expected. Then we went to ES&MZ, which unfortunately, Jon didn’t like. While we were dancing around in the mud, some girls walked by and one of them totally nabbed my beer! I just stood there like, “OMG! She did not just do that!” For all she new, it could have been someone’s spit can, or someone could have peed in the can to avoid the porta-potty, or…EW EW EW!

Before she could even walk away, Jon retrieved the beer, though, and we continued dancing. After the show, we went to the last stage to see Alice in Chains. They were awesome! I knew almost all their songs, and the few new ones they played were really good, too. Jon loved the show, which was good, because I wasn’t sure he’d enjoy it. The first thing they said when they walked on stage was, “Well, at least we made it on stage this time.” We danced around, and got really close. It was so cold that the crowd was super thin, and we got to about the 10th row without having to push our way through at all. The crowd was pretty sparse, and calm for a rock show. But it was an awesome time all around, and though we froze our butts off the whole time, it didn’t rain on us. We sloshed through the mud to leave the festival, and just as we were walking past another stage, Hall and Oates were playing, “You Make My Dreams Come True.” We stopped and did a swing dance on the muddy sidewalk for the whole song. I dropped my phone in the mud, but otherwise, it was an exciting, fun evening that went off without a hitch. We even got the drive down on the way back, and realized we are staying really close to the festival, if only we don’t get lost getting there again!