As much as I wanted to go to London, the money defeated me. Airfare + hotel + scalped ticket was a little much for one person, let alone two. So the alternate plan was Philly. As it was 20 years ago, London had the better lineup, but out of the other 9 cities hosting concerts, Philly still was pretty good. It probably wasn’t the best idea seeing as I pulled something in my back on Tuesday (and was in particularly bad pain Friday), but I still really wanted to go (and as opposed to 20 years ago, have a car).
We made an early start, leaving around 7:30AM. Coolest thing about the teip up – the biggest delay was traffic around the toll plazas, and the being able to use my Smart Tag there was a great timesaver. We got to Marcus Hook, PA around 10:45 to make the 10:47 train into Philly (no cars allowed near the concert, not that I wanted to drive in anyway). By the time I parked the car and walked back, it was almost 11, but the train was running late. It was supposed to get downtown by 11:30 and it was 12:15 by the time we got there.
We used the station restrooms and walked up 18th Street to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (near Logan Square). Bon Jovi was going on, and we could see them on one of a number of Jumbotrons set up. I decided we’d walk as close as we could to the stage. That wasn’t too far, as after 3 blocks we ran into a wall of people (and there were 4 blocks to go). I told Jill we’d try a flank attack, so we went north and then west. Much better, as we could actually see the stage (Jill wasn’t tall enough to see people on it) and the Jumbotrons (though the ones near the stage we could see easily didn’t always show the performers – annoying).
We watched Destiny’s Child and Kanye West (both good). Best crowd response was for the hometown boy, Will Smith (I was happy he brought out DJ Jazzy Jeff), especially during “Summertime”. We suffered through a long wait (and Toby Keith) before Dave Matthews Band took the stage. Nice set, and I got to see “American Baby” (made up for missing it last Sunday). Here’s a pic of Dave on stage. Afterwards, the crowd was getting thicker and we beat a retreat back around to Logan Square to the tunes of Alicia Keys (this girl was enjoying herself). Jill was hot and her feet were sore; we thought about going in a bar, but it was packed and they wanted a $20 cover. So we went to the train station to head out. The schedule was completely out of whack and we had to wait around an hour for a train (although I did go back to get a sno-cone and more water).
Once we were on the train, the ac perked Jill up and she got hungry. I recalled there was a mall near the train station, so we went there. It was only a strip mall, but it had both a beer and wine store (where I scored a case of Magic Hat #9 and Jill got a good price on some vodka) and a chinese buffet (fried crab is both tasty and addictive). After dinner we got on the road and made good time (about two hours) getting back home.
We were home to watch most of ABC’s broadcast of highlights, then Jill went to bed and I skipped through most of MTV’s broadcast to check out Pink Floyd. Truly great (though I wish someone would explain to me why those stupid VJs talk in the middle of frickin’ “Comfortably Numb”).