Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Grand Old Day

Imagine this for 2.5 miles!

Is it really June 16th already? Wow. There’s so much that I want to write about, but it’s kind of futile when I’m ten days behind in my blog postings. Oh well, I’ll do it anyway. But no more of these twenty-paragraph-long posts that no one has the patience to read.

So, thinking back to a couple weeks ago…Sunday, June 5th was Grand Old Day. For those of you visiting from out of town, Grand Old Day is the day when everyone in the state of Minnesota flocks to a 2.5-mile stretch of Grand Avenue in St. Paul to eat mini doughnuts and listen to music. What’s cool is that the bands they bring in aren’t your standard county fair/block party bands. Last year, Guided by Voices played – it was their last show in Minnesota before they broke up. Unfortunately, I had to miss it (well, I can’t really complain; I was enjoying myself in Europe). No worries; if I know GBV as well as I think I do, they’ll do a reunion tour in a couple years and release twenty more albums.

Well, I wasn’t going to miss out on the action this year. I woke up at the crack of noon so I could get to Grand Avenue in time to see local icons, The Hold Steady. Sheesh, it was hot out, and the massive crowds only made things sweatier. My friend, Hema, and I had to vigilantly traverse a sea of bodies in order to get to the block where The Hold Steady was playing. By the time we arrived, The Hold Steady had already been playing for an hour. They still had an hour to go, and Craig Finn’s voice was already showing signs of fatigue. It didn’t matter, though (it’s not like he actually sings). They still tore shit up (sorry, I promise I’ll never use that lame phrase again). To introduce their song “Knuckles,” Craig said, “This song is about those people who give themselves nicknames that never really stick. …I dedicate this to my good friend, Sean Tillman.” Sean Tillman (who self-applied the nickname, Har Mar Superstar) was also scheduled to play Grand Old Day that afternoon.

After The Hold Steady, Hema and I found Chris and Katie at the stage where the Olympic Hopefuls were playing. I’ve seen the Olympic Hopefuls, like, a million times, and their show never gets old. So much fun. Their music is perfectly suited for a hot day in the sun. But I guess a hot day in the sun wasn’t suited for the Olympic Hopefuls – half way into their set, we were besieged by a sudden downpour! Luckily, Katie had the foresight to bring an umbrella (although, it wasn’t quite as effective when all four of us were trying to crowd underneath it). Most of the audience, however, didn’t seem to care. The Olympic Hopefuls continued to play, and the audience demonstrated their loyalty by manically dancing in the rain. What a glorious feeling…

I was looking forward to seeing Har Mar Superstar, but I didn’t really feel like standing around in the storm any longer. I doubt he’d be willing to get naked in that weather anyway; so what’s the point? That’s OK; my personal grand old day wasn’t quite over – I was off to the 400 Bar to see Caribou!

The Hold Steady got the good stuff that kids go for!

Olympic Hopefuls, pre-deluge.


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