Staying in, a Restaurant Week lunch and the Virgin FreeFest

I was 1 for 3 on planned shows this weekend, but I think yesterday made up for it. Friday night I was thinking about going to see the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with live music at Wolf Trap, but the weather wasn’t great and I had a headache, so after Jill made pasta for dinner, we settled for a movie night: Breakfast Club and City Of Ember. Despite John Hughes being the “voice of my generation”, I hadn’t seen all of his movies so this was my fist time in the Club. It was pretty good, although I was already aware of most of the good lines (damn you pop culture). City Of Ember was ok, nothing special, then Jill headed to bed and I skimmed the Skins vs. Pats preseason game – it was the first game where the first stringers got to play a half, and they looked good.

Saturday we slept in, then had a small breakfast as we went to Chef Geoff’s Tysons for lunch. It was the end of Restaurant Week, and we usually can find a reason to make in into DC for it, but nothing cam up this time, so I decided we’d try Chef Geoff’s new location in Tysons Corner. We both started with the grilled peach salad – with ham and goat cheese, it was a great taste of summer. I had the lobster roll, very good, and Jill had the Chicken Thyme Sausage Pizza (she got it on their whole wheat crust too). For dessert I had three kinds of ice cream (toasted almond was best) and Jill asked for a fruit bowl and got strawberries and blackberries. We had to stop by Mom’s on the way back as I had been working on her computer, then we had to head back as we had an appointment for an estimate to replace our windows (higher than expected).

We weren’t very hungry, so Jill suggested hot dogs with the works and green beans for dinner. I had planned to check out America at the Loudoun Summer Music Fest, but the rain was pounding down and we delayed. We did venture out after it stopped, but either they finished early or canceled due to the rain – nothing was going on. So we cam back home and watched another movie: Lilo & Stitch. I had no idea Kevin McDonald was in it, but I identified him right away (somewhat appropriate his character crossdresses), pretty good and funny flick.

Sunday morning we headed up to Merriweather Post Pavilion for the Virgin Mobile FreeFest. I hadn’t made the first three Virgin Festivals for various reasons (mostly conflicts with other shows and weather), but this was different for two reasons: 1) Jill wanted to see the headliners and 2) free. We parked at the mall in a garage I knew was used for concert overflow parking, and it turned out the entrance for the fest was right there, easy in and out. Before we went in we got Santa Fe sandwiches at the mall from the salad place and sealed waters, then ate the sandwiches before we went in. I had gotten CDs from some of the artists that I hadn’t heard before, and Mates Of State really stood out (they’re a two piece in the same format as the White Stripes and The Ting Tings). We managed to catch most of their set, including The Re-Arranger and My Only Offer. Next we saw a bit of Wale at the Woods Stage, but he was ok so we went into the woods and enjoyed some shade where we could still listen. We came back out for The Hold Steady – they were pretty good, but my favorite thing was the pirate tiki glass my smoothie was served in (Jill accidentally kicked it over before I was done, so I made her buy me another so now we have a pair for FRFF next year). We also found our friends Hannah and Dave, but they vanished before the end of the set.

pirate tiki glass

We headed back to the pavilion and staked out a spot on the lawn in the middle of Jet, found our friends Norm and Terrie and chatted for a bit, then Jill went to get some food. She came back and then I left, watched a bit of Public Enemy (Flavor Flav!), then got a good gyro and a beer and sat in the woods so I could take my earplugs out while I ate. When I got back to Jill, The Bravery were on and we watched the rest of their set, not bad, but probably wouldn’t see them again. Norm and Terrie came back after they were done and let us know there was some kind of stunt coming up. They used a cherry picker to bring Richard Branson and some of Blink-182 up on top of the pavilion, then we waited as a helicopter climbed higher and higher and we watched a video feed on top of someone’s head in the copter, then two guys jumped out of the copter. It was cool to watch them coming down at the same time as we watched the live feed as them falling. They pulled their chutes and managed to land right on top. Richard Branson then came over to the crowd with them and sprayed some champagne, then welcomed everyone and said something to the effect of “Wouldn’t it be nice if it was free every year?”

Red Bull skydivers

Weezer was up next, definitely the best show of the day. Who else could bookend their set with covers (War Pigs and Should I Stay Or Should I Go) and still squeeze in all the hits under an hour? It was the first Weezer set I’d seen in 15 years, and it was perfect (the last time was also about an hour). I also think Perfect Situation may be my favorite song of theirs. Food was good, shade and water were great, I’d definitely pay to get the same thing next year. We were done with the lawn, pretty crowded, but we stopped by the second stage to get that other smoothies and to check out Girl Talk. I liked him more than I thought I would – mad props for mashing up “Whoomp (There It Is)” with “Big Country”. We got to chat with Hannah and Dave a bit more, but we were both done and didn’t stay for either Blink-182 or Franz Ferdinand.