Day in the Park

golden gate bridge

Ah, the Golden Gate, a California icon.

And yes, an indicator that I went adventuring on the West side of the bay, today to “A Day in the Park” in San Jose. (Which, by the way, is officially one of the top ten lamest cities in California. I loathe San Jose with something approaching a firey passion.)

violent femmes concert ticket

A Day in the Park was billed as an “afternoon” concert, starting at noon. When I heard the Violent Femmes were playing, I knew I had to go, especially since tickets were only $15. I have to work Monday morning, so I figured the show would be over by six or seven and we could cruise home.

To our horror when we arrived at the concert, the Femmes weren’t scheduled to start playing until 8:45. Which is surprising since the information line for the concert said it would end at 6:45. A number of bands were playing before the Femmes, obviously, so we ended up having to kill eight hours in San Jose. (See above.) This is a trend in concert organizing that really irritates me: they deliberately lie about scheduling to get you on site, in the hopes that you will spend money.

I ambled back to the site around 7pm, after reading under a variety of trees in one of the lovely parks of San Jose, watching an Indian wedding, searching unsuccessfully for an It’s-It, and drinking an alarming amount of water. When I arrived, the Dresden Dolls were just about to go on. Let it be said for those of you who haven’t heard the Dresden Dolls that they are awesome. Much fun was had by all, especially when they covered “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” Amanda, the keyboardist and main singer, expressed immense admiration for the Violent Femmes, saying that this would be the first time she would hear them in concert and she was excited. The Dresden Dolls seemed like the kind of folks I’d have over for Scrabble and cake, very down to earth, fun, and ready for anything. They had some technical difficulties but overcame them with aplomb.

The Femmes actually got started more or less on time, and the set lasted around an hour and a half, including the encore. It also felt like a selection of my most favourite Femmes songs: “Jesus Walking on the Waters,” “Gimme the Car,” “Country Death Song,” 36-24-36,” “American Music,” “Blister in the Sun,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” and of course “Add It Up” were all played. The whole audience sang along with “Blister in the Sun,” with jets flying low overhead on the approach to San Jose Airport. The Femmes were amazing. They are certainly getting older, but they powered through the set. I danced my ass off. I was pleased to see the Dresden Dolls doing backup on stage–they looked thrilled. (Heck, I’d be thrilled to be backup for the Femmes, that much have been amazing.) We got some nice dancing room as well, and wiggled about like there was no tomorrow.

And now I get to drive back to Fort Bragg, probably arrive around three in the morning, and straggle into work tomorrow. Good times. More reports on my adventures to follow.

[Violent Femmes]