We decided to kick off Bella's concert season with a bang, with not one but two concerts in three days! It would have been 3 in 3 days, but we woosed out and didn't go see the Hold Steady on Sunday since we'll be seeing them in a few weeks.
We headed down to the Taste of Randolph Street on Saturday on what turned out to be one of the first real days of summer. Of course that meant everyone and their brother were heading downtown as well, so the drive in was loads of fun. Once we got there, we found a good shady spot and spent the night hanging out with some our friends.
We got to see the Posies, who I never really paid attention to before and didn't that night much either. They were followed quickly by a band I haven't seen in almost a decade, Urge Overkill. UO was a great Chicago band that made possibly the greatest album ever by any band from Chicago, Saturation. They could have played the majority of the album and the crowd would have loved it, but instead they actually played a lot of new material along with the Saturation tracks and some older stuff.
The last time I saw UO, they were pretty sloppy to say the least, but they were surprisingly on that night. The new songs sounded good too, so it wasn't a case of running to the bathroom or getting a drink while the new stuff was on. No idea when a new album will be out though.
We finished off the night with the new "supergroup" Tinted Windows, which features members of Fountains of Wayne, Smashing Pumpkins, Cheap Trick, and, yes, Hanson. The band performed exactly as expected, which is a good thing, as they pretty much knocked out their entire album of power pop nuggets in barely a half-hour. There was a decent sized contingent of young girls still screaming for the guy from Hanson, but it was easy to ignore. Bella loved the band, so much so that she said she'd be asking her mom to play their cd in the car on the way home from school. Knowing Bella, I have no doubt she'll remember to ask.
After a very good Fathers Day to rest, we hopped on the L Monday night and headed downtown again to see a show at the gorgeous Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park. There were two acclaimed indie rock bands there, Dirty Projectors and Sea and Cake. The best part of all was the show was free, so it was definitely worth the effort.
We first let Bella hop around for a while in the cool fountain thing they have outside of the park, so she was extremely happy about that. We parked ourselves on the lawn and listened to the Dirty Projectors, who weren't bad, a little difficult to get into, but could be better with a few listens. After their set, we took Bella back out to the fountain for another good round of hopping around the giant puddles.
We checked out the Sea and Cake after that, they were still good this time around as when I saw them at Pitchfork last year. It was a very cool thing to see bands like this playing for free in such a gorgeous venue on such a perfect night.
Side note: There's apparently a lot more "security" there at the Pritzker Pavillion for these free shows than there was for the previous shows by Wilco and Tori Amos that we have seen there. They must train these guys very well though, early on when we got there, I took Bella to the bathroom, and was stopped at the door and told I could not go into the men's bathroom with her. Reminder, we are talking about my 3 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!! After a minute or two of discussing this, he finally told me there was a family bathroom on the other side of the pavillion, so instead of waiting with him for his supervisor (and having Bella's bladder burst), I walked as quickly as I could to the other bathroom. I hope the city of Chicago was able to sleep better Monday night knowing that that bathroom was safe from my 3 year old daughter.