At least once a summer we try to make it to a show at Ravinia Festival, the outdoor music venue in Highland Park where the experience is all about picnicking under the stars and listening to (not really seeing) live music.
The Ravinia outing this year also doubled as our acknowledgment of reaching middle age-dom.
The tickets were purchased by friend Cheryl as her husband Jim’s 40th birthday gift. His birthday was in July and hers was this weekend, so it was a big birthday celebration event.
The show was Steely Dan and if that doesn’t scream I’M MIDDLE AGED(!!!), I’m not sure what does. But we did spot people younger than us, making me believe that maybe Steely Dan is retro hip now.
Besides a frustrating ride in (they seriously need to do something about traffic control on the nights of shows), we made it inside the gates in time to find a good spot on the grand lawn. Again, this isn’t a place you actually *see* a band in the literal sense, so a good spot to someone our age is one close to the bathroom. 🙂
Finally settled in, we ate our picnic dinner, opened our wine and listened to the very loud cicadas before the show started. By the end of the opening band we started feeling rain drops. The scene quickly turned into something that reminded me of the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” but with a lot more umbrellas. And it was dark. And people were wearing shorts and t-shirts and not fancy dresses. Ok, so, it was nothing like the famous Seurat painting, but aren’t you impressed at my reference of fine art?
It was pretty impressive the way everyone continued picnicking and having a good time despite the rain though.
It was coming down pretty good but, of course, at this point I was more irritated with the “I told you so” look on Brian’s face than I was with the rain. You see, when I was packing my bag earlier that morning, the forecast called for 30% chance of rain. Ever the optimist, I didn’t give it much thought and tossed a small umbrella in the bag not thinking I would need it. As we drove to the show that afternoon, Brian insisted on stopping to get emergency ponchos and another umbrella since I had only packed one. We all rolled our eyes, but humored him anyway and stopped. I never believe him when he goes on about preparedness but claims he was never in Boy Scouts. But, here we are, twice in less than a month, I am forced to say I was wrong, Brian was right. But whatever. The important thing is, it was raining and I was dry.
The rain quit about a half hour later, just in time for what Jim and Brian said was one of their favorite songs. I don’t remember the name but, truth be told, there’s only two Steely Dan songs I know the name of: Hey Nineteen and Rikki Don’t Lose That Number. They played the former but not the latter. But I was better than someone else in the group (who shall remain nameless) who kept saying they wanted to hear the Pina Colada song. Yeah, I was sure we were not going to hear that as I am also pretty sure Steely Dan doesn’t sing that song 🙂
As they played a lot of songs I didn’t know the name of, I recognized quite a few and was even able to sing along to a couple, even if I had the words wrong. That one song totally sounds like “bringing in the sheaves.” I’m not going to tell you the actual name of the song. You may think I was smoking the wacky tobacci under my umbrella which, I assure you, I was not. It was just another reminder that, God, I’m getting old.