Nathan's column: It was a week filled with musicI have attended more than my share of gigantic concerts lately. It’s been, like, my share and half the share of some other guy who doesn’t really go to that many live shows.
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
I have attended more than my share of gigantic concerts lately. It’s been, like, my share and half the share of some other guy who doesn’t really go to that many live shows.
I already covered the first of my two big events last week. It was Winstock, an annual country music festival that draws more than 10,000 people each year to Winsted, a tiny town west of the Twin Cities that I’m pretty sure exists at this point almost entirely to host Winstock. Based on what they were charging for ice at one of the convenience stores in town, I’m pretty sure there are people in Winsted who make a decent living — or at least build a healthy retirement fund — helping country music fans keep their drinks cold for two days in June.
As I said last week, I’m not really a country music fan at heart. At most I’m a country music fan at spleen. I’m rediscovering it, though, as I get more and more involved in putting on a country music festival along with the rest of the Farmington Rotary. It’s hard to be a convincing country music promoter if you don’t know who Blake Shelton is. (He’s the guy from America’s Got Talent, right?)
Winstock was a fun way to spend a weekend. There was good music, and I enjoyed myself, even if there was a bit too much male shirtlessness for my personal preference.
There was far less shirtlessness and far more music that I listen to on a regular basis at last Saturday’s Rock the Garden, a show put on each year by the Walker Art Center and the Current, Minnesota Public Radio’s less violin-intensive music station (motto: Hey, where are the oboes?).
The lineup featured mostly bands with local ties, and like Winstock it drew more than 10,000 fans. But beyond the large crowds, the music and the easy access to beer, there was not much similarity.
If you were to do a tale of the tape, Rock the Garden would win on dedicated bicycle parking, ironic facial hair and crowd surfing. Winstock would be the clear leader on ice houses used as housing, t-shirts offering either sexual activity or a fist fight and, in a surprising upset, ready availability of croissants.
Winstock was a fun weekend, but Rock the Garden was my second favorite concert ever. And that’s with the presence of those crowd surfers, who each time they were hoisted onto their friends’ shoulders and thrust skyward seemed to be saying, “Hey, I know you’re enjoying this concert, but would you mind grabbing my rear end and hoisting me over your head for a second? Oh, and don’t mind my muddy foot as I shove it into your face.”
Muddy-toes-to-the-face aside, it was an amazing night.
I don’t really do giddy. I am of Scandinavian heritage. We do cured meat products and pickled fish like nobody’s business, but overt displays of emotion really aren’t our thing.
But giddy is the best description for how I felt after Saturday’s show. It’s why I kept revisiting the videos I shot on my phone, and it’s why I keep thinking back on the show and smiling
I’ll take that over pickled fish any day.