Sunday the 1st I returned to the All Things Go Music Festival. It was two days this year for the first time, but I really just liked the second day lineup. I got there around 4, but didn’t have a ticket (I wanted to see boygenius this year, but they also played Merriweather in June as part of Re:Set, and by the time I decided not to go to that, All Things Go was sold out). I had been monitoring Ticketmaster and StubHub, but there were no tickets at face value, which is what I was hoping for. So I went to the entrance near the mall and spent 20 minutes asking people coming in if they had extras. That didn’t work, so I went down to the box office to ask. They only had lawn tix, but that was fine with me.
I had hoped to catch some of Alvvays, but by the time I got in, Arlo Parks was on stage. She was good, but I didn’t have a lot of time, so spent the rest of her set and the break playing pinball (Merriweather has a nice selection of all musical acts). I got in position in the back of the lawn to see boygenius (the supergroup of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers & Lucy Dacus) and they delivered a fun set to an audience who knew every word. Then I was positioned to switch stages and see my favorite new discovery, Muna. The female trio puts a very Chvrches like vibe with their dance pop, and the crowded hill was there for it. I had noticed when preparing for the show that Lana Del Rey has an Axl Rose like approach to starting on time, and the same was true that night. I wasn’t that into it, plus I hadn’t had anything to eat since brunch so I left, stopping at Brew Dog where I wolfed down a cheese pizza and a beer before driving home. I did find out later I missed Jack Antonoff joining her on a couple songs, but I’d rather see him with Bleachers (or a Fun! Reunion).
On Tuesday I observed “Gonna be loud tomorrow afternoon” as they had scheduled a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on Wednesday at 2:20 pm. Wednesday I got to experience one of my least favorite things as I needed to get to Baltimore on a weeknight. When I was waiting to drop Nina off at her horseback riding class at 5, I checked Google Maps. The time it would take to drive straight there using the Beltway was only 5 minutes shorter than going west to 15 and then come back using 70, and it was only going to get worse, so soon I was going very fast on the Greenway. I got to the parking garage I’d reserved at 7:05, and arrived at CFG Bank Arena at 7:20. The problem with that is that the ticket I bought was a “VIP” that came with merch and a “buffet experience” that was scheduled to end at 7:15. So I dashed around, got my merch and finally found my way to a sad looking buffet. I couldn’t have eaten much of what was left, but I did take and eat a gigantic plate of salad before I got a drink and went to my seat.
Queen + Adam Lambert took the stage shortly after 8. Ordinarily I’ll make a playlist to listen to before the show to listen to songs I’m not that familiar with. I didn’t for this show for two reasons: 1. This was the first show of their tour, and 2: I’m very familiar with all their music. Absolutely fabulous show, no notes for it. I will say that watching two elder statesmen of rock and roll perform a full two hour show (Brian even ran back and forth on the runway) show how fit senior citizens can do their job. On a related note, I support re-electing the president. I think he can play the hits for a long time. Nice review here.
Thursday Nina took her school picture, and I urged people to support Say No to a Reston Casino. Friday we got takeout from the new Eve’s Garden. Saturday the 7th Nina got an invite to a friend’s birthday party and sleepover, and we took advantage of it. We drove to The Wharf and had a lovely dinner of pasta and fish at Officina. Then Jill got to go to The Anthem for the first time, but not for a concert – she wanted to see the Hey Ladies Fierce Female Comedy Show. First up was Ego Nwodim (from Saturday Night Live), funny as usual. Jill’s favorite was up next: Nicole Byer (she loves her podcasts), then Aida Rodriguez and Luenell, both good. Sunday after dropping Nina at her class I played pinball and drank a flight of beers at Solace (former home of Mad Fox).
Friday the 13th I tempted fate and completed my Police solo trilogy by seeing guitarist Andy Summers. He performed solo at the Barns At Wolf Trap, projecting photos he’d taken since the 1970s and playing songs to backing tracks, about half solo/half Police (plus a nice cover of “‘Round Midnight”).
Saturday Nina and I got our flu vaccine. Safeway was running a clinic at their entrance, and she was weirded out by getting as people came in and out around us. I go to a lot of concerts, and a lot of them are really good. But some are exceptional, and that night’s show with the Pat McGee Band featuring John Popper was one of those. It was an attempt to recapture lightning in a bottle after he guested on a set of theirs at The Bayou 25 years ago. But years of experience plus a rehearsal made it a one of a kind night, a great run through of the hits of both bands.
Sunday the 15th we had Michelle and Morgan and family over in the afternoon with pizza from Lucia’s and a salad Morgan made. The kids got to hang out and the grownups chatted. Later I took the boat out to read the paper and realized I’d forgotten about the last Lake Thoreau Concert with Felix Pickles, so watched him for a while instead.
That week Nina had catch up with a bunch of unfinished work for school. Friday we took Metro from East Falls Church and had dinner at Immigrant Food and ice cream from Larry’s Cookies and Ice Cream, then saw the hilarious Randy Rainbow at the Warner Theatre. Saturday was a windy, cool day so there was only one thing to do (pictured below). Jill had a dinner out, so Nina and I got Tea Break to go.
Sunday was my birthday. I went to Maryland to go to a record show, play a bunch of pinball, visit a record store, and home to cuddle with a kitty and read the paper. Then Jill and I got Thai food for dinner while Nina was in her class and finally there was homemade carrot cake. Wednesday the 25th I saw the kind of story we need right now: Rock star Bret Michaels adopts hero stray dog also named Bret Michaels.
Friday we got takeout from Big Buns. Saturday we returned the favor for the family that watched Nina while we were seeing the Pat McGee Band by babysitting their 4 kids. The oldest is Nina’s age, so it wasn’t that hard. Although I managed to nearly blow the whole thing up by texting their mom a picture of the little girls cuddling next to Nina to watch her play Genshin Impact with the ironic caption “Things are getting out of control” and thanks to crappy T-Mobile coverage only the text went through, so I got a panicked text back…
Tuesday the 31st was Halloween, and Nina dressed up with 2 friends, and one of the dads and I chaperoned them for hours in the cold. At least the last stop had more friends, a fire pit, and spiked cider.