Celebrating Fairfax and the life of Eric Lowen

Friday night we trusted the wise folks at Capital Weather Gang, and after a quick dinner of grilled sausages, headed over to Celebrate Fairfax. We were a little late, and got to the stage during Blues Traveler’s first song. But the rain had indeed stopped, and we had wisely brought seats, so we were comfy and grooved to the show. We left during the fireworks, got home not too late.

Saturday Jill did her own thing, and I returned to Celebrate Fairfax. First up was John Ireland’s latest band, HeLO – a nice dose of pop-rock to start the day (and they were giving out CDs too). I met my friend Norm after the show, he’d made the long trip from DelMarVa with his son and we chatted for a bit, then I went and got ribs for lunch and explored the fair.

I was over near the main stage at the side stage to see Lloyd Dobler Effect, but Norm sent me a text that he was down front to get a good seat for The Fixx, so I went to talk to him and ended up staying there until they went on (Lloyd Dobler Effect were fine, but I hadn’t seen him in a while, then another friend of his came up, and the conversation kept going). The Fixx were good, but loud and it was hot and I retreated for some water before long (and props to Fairfax Water for providing free water – with ice cubes, no less). I only stayed halfway through their set, as I was on a schedule.


After I got back home, I headed straight to the grill with some chicken breasts that I’d been marinating while Jill made guacamole, and soon we were eating fajitas. As soon as we were done, we headed over to The Birchmere. Traffic wasn’t bad, and though it was sold out, wasn’t too crowded at 6:30 and we snagged seats in my favorite area.

We’ve seen Lowen & Navarro at FRFF a number of times (and hung out with Dan Navarro when he came up to our camp), but with increasing sadness – Eric Lowen has ALS, and after struggling to perform the last couple years, this show would be their very last. While that’s a show we might consider, hearing they’d be joined by Eddie From Ohio and Ellis Paul made it a necessity. Plus in an interesting coincidence we ended up seated across from a couple who got engaged on a Lowen & Navarro cruise.

It was a very moving show. Eric wasn’t able to contribute more than backing vocals on some songs, so a number of other artists came up to sing with Dan – also including John Jennings, The Kennedys and SONiA (from disappear fear). For the final song of the set, Eric did sing “If I Was The Rain”, heartbreaking both knowing this would be the last time and watching Dan moving to the mike and back to be there if he faltered. For the encore everyone but Eric came out into the audience for “We Belong”, going out on a high note (Here’s a version from the night before in Annapolis). We caught up with the Jewells after the show and said hi to the band before heading home.

Today I was going to give Illa a walk, then go for a run, but he burst into a run after we got down the steps, so I decided to take him along. We went for nearly 3 miles before getting back home – he was panting pretty hard for a while. Jill had requested I make my oatmeal pancakes with apples, so I did, and they were tasty. I did a little grass trimming, then went outside to read Saturday’s paper. I finished some auctions, played with the dog, and had a leftover sausage for lunch. Jill went out, and I read Sunday’s paper, then made turkey chili for dinner (it’s a lighter summer recipe) before going to surf. She made some cornbread muffins to go with the chili when she got home, then we watched some TV before she went to bed.