A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Excitement Abounds

I don’t know if this weekend and the beginning of next week can be surpassed, at least not anytime soon. Not only is our dining table being delivered, but our roman shades are being installed in the living room and dining room. AND to top it all off, there’s this:


Oh yes, friends, it’s Wilco for five, count ’em, FIVE sold-out nights at the Riviera Theater in Uptown. (Don’t ask me for tickets; they’re not for sale.)

It’s no secret that I absolutely love music, as evidenced here. I definitely don’t go to as many concerts as I did in my carefree 20s, but if there is a great band (or bands) playing in a great venue, I’m usually all in. And there are a few artists who I will see over and over again, because each time it’s a new and entertaining experience. I saw the Grateful Dead more times than I can remember and I have seen Elvis Costello even more times than that. Certainly not every time he comes to town, but he is definitely amusing even when he’s in a particularly foul mood, and he’s always a great entertainer and musician.

There are a number of particularly memorable concert experiences I’ve had, and often that involved seeing the same band several days in a row as I’m certain will be the case for Wilco’s Winter Residency here in Chicago. Although Pete isn’t going every night with me, I am taking my very best concert-going girlfriends with me on other nights.

If the remaining 4 nights are anywhere near as great as last night’s 3-hour concert, it will definitely rival the three-day stint that Elvis Costello did at the Riviera in the mid-80s. Or the weekends spent camping at Alpine Valley for the Grateful Dead.

Even if you don’t see the same band several days in a row, there’s nothing like being so close that you can see the subtle interactions of the band members with each other, and you can actually feel the music in addition to hearing it (I guess it’s a good thing my stepdaughter is an audiologist).

Like being so close to The Kinks as a young college student in Champaign-Urbana that I touched Dave Davies’ knee (ooooh!). Or the once-in-a-lifetime experience of being first row, center for The Who. If you had idolized Pete Townshend ever since you were thirteen, it would be a pretty big deal —— at least to me it was.

So while it was fun back in the day at the U of I hanging out after the concert and getting autographs from Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders, or running after the Ramones when their bus pulled in to the 7-11 as we walked home from their concert, I’m totally not into stuff like that anymore. Just give me an evening —— or five —— of incredible music (some screaming guitar is a definite plus) and I’ll go (directly) home a happy camper.


  1. southsideandy on February 17, 2008 at 1:29 am

    I’ll still go see “Live” whenever I get a chance and they’re in town. But, I remember two shows that still stick with me, for whatever reason…I saw Soundgarden at the Aragon (blocks away from the Riv, actually) and was right up near the fence, pressed up there. But it was awesome, and I was pretty much standing right below Chris Cornell and Kim Thayill, and they just had an awesome time…it was great. The other was Foo Fighters’ first tour through — and I believe I saw them at the Riv, actually. I was sick that day, so after 3/4 of sticking it out on the sweaty, hot, smelly floor (thankfully, in my condition, not in the “pit” though), I had to go up to the balcony to sit for a while. My favorite part was when Dave Grohl said, “We have one more song, and then, unfortunately, we have to go, because, well, you’ve heard every song we know.” Good stuff.

  2. denise on February 18, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Ah yes, the Aragon “Brawlroom”—I saw Dave Matthews Band there when they were the opening act for Big Head Todd. We were already into them by then and actually went to the concert to see DMB and not Big Head Todd (although they’re good too). Saturday night Jeff Tweedy commended a group of people on the way they handled some drunken idiot—I didn’t see what happened, but that’s just another entertaining thing about concerts (as long as no one gets hurt, and it’s not you who is the drunken idiot)! 🙂

  3. Renate on February 27, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Girlfriend, YOU ROCK! Danke, mein Schatz!

  4. denise on February 28, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Nichts zu danken! Wie immer, es hat doch viel Spaß gemacht!

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