I thought to myself as I bought the tickets that while I didn't remember seeing many (if any) kids during previous years that there must have been a bunch there. what do music loving people do when they have kids? they bring them, right? well, I guess not because van was one of about six littles I saw all weekend long.
we had such a good time, our little family of three. van was a really, really good boy. he ate his snacks and listened to the tunes. he let us hold him through all the sets, and we took him to run around in between bands. he made tons of friends. TONS. people thought it was awesome that there was a baby at a music festival. he high-fived and low-fived people all over the place. festival goers asked if they could take pictures of him. vendors have him little treats and buttons and stickers every time he passed a booth (see his anchor tattoo in the watermelon pic below). we heard "oh my god, look at that baby!" about 500 times over the three days that we were there.
the first day we saw band of horses, the national (with bob weir!) and paul mccartney! this was my third time seeing paul, tony's second and vanny's first. he was badass as ever. the three hour set just flew by. we made friends with this really funny, older gay couple and danced and sang all night. van took a little snooze toward the end, but woke back up in time to see the fireworks go off during live and let die. while I will go to any paul show within a 500 mile radius and love every second of it, I must say that I was pretty annoyed with his commentary. his stories and banter in between songs have literally been word for word the same since 2003. I think that's pretty absurd. tells us some new stuff, man! he's gotta have some other stories!
|van and paul!|
we arrived early on day three - right after a sweet breakfast at a little café in Berkeley where we were staying. ( we stayed in the cutest little one bedroom apartment we found on air bnb, by the way. it was adorable and I would stay there again in a second.) we ate some eggrolls and got our last lemonade of the weekend. this one tent sold the most delicious lemonade I've ever had in my life. word. they made it right in front of you with these big lemons that they squeeze right into your cup. you can taste the little sugar granules when you drink it. or maybe the little crystals are really meth, because it was THAT good. we drank a cup every day we were there, which means we spent about $20 on lemonade over the three days. whatever. it was vacation.
van loved fishbone! while he really took in all the bands we saw, i'd say fishbone was the only one that really moved him to his feet and got him super excited. it was pretty funny. we also checked out trombone shorty, hall and oates, vampire weekend and the red hot chili peppers on our last day.
hall and oates were so much fun. I didn't ever expect that they'd be a band i'd ever see live, so it was so cool getting to sing along to all their songs. there is so much greatness behind their stuff - so on point and soulful and melodic, but there is something else so cheesy and kinda funny about them too. I freaking love them. we'd seen vampire weekend before and wanted to check out willie nelson instead (he played at the same time) but van fell asleep during hall and oates so we were stuck at the main stage for the vampire weekend set, which wasn't bad at all. they sounded better than I remember them. the chili peppers were pretty magical for me - and probably most people my age who probably remember them as one of their first favorite bands. they kick so much ass and have so much energy. the only point during the weekend where I almost wished I didn't have a toddler to look after was when their set started. the tween inside me wanted very badly to just run up to the stage and whoop and dance through the encore!
all in all it was a surprisingly successful and memorable weekend. i'm glad we were able to enjoy it together. honestly, it's not my natural instinct to say, "hey! let's take our year and a half old to a huge and crazy music festival for three days." really, it isn't. i knew it would be logistically difficult and we'd be experiencing the festival differently than we'd had in past years. we had to find quieter areas to sit, further away from the stage. we had to pack healthy snacks. we didn't drink beer after beer all day or get to enjoy the huge Wine Lands area they have. there wasn't a ton of lounging on our part since we had a crazy on the move toddler we had to chase around. our MO has been modified, and we have a new kind of fun now. ob la di, ob la da.