northerly island just south of downtown chicago is arguably our best concert venue. i know everyone has their favorite indoor venue around this crazy music city, and it’s hard to compare the bluesy jazz clubs around town with the alt rock dingy scenes littered about with the big concert halls and then you have the handfull of outdoor venues and makeshift stages they put up for street festivals BUT; northerly island is unique, intimate, clean, spacious, and sounds amazing. couple that with the panormic view of chicago and you’ve got yourself a pretty comfortable place to see a show.

tom petty put on a show last night that really wowed me. for a guy in his fifties (he’s 56), tom petty still puts it out there. in fact everyone on stage is probably pushing sixty years old and they still had more stage presence and energy on stage then their openings, the strokes. don’t get me wrong…the strokes were great, and the lead singer’s voice was one of those few voices you hope will prove as infectious as it is on the radio, and then actually is.

petty, though, is just a premium rocker. he interlaced classics with covers with a few new songs, and the crowd loved all of it. i loved all of it. most of all i loved that there wasn’t one hint of anyone in the heartbreakers or tom petty himself looking like they didn’t still love to play their music and be on stage in front of their fans. fans who ranged from back alley bandana-capped roughnecks to suburban families with kids in tow to young professionals and hipsters. the night was an experience in american rock.

tonight myself and and kate how just got her hair did for our two concerts in two nights are heading to night two to see dave matthews band. george clinton opens up with his pfunk crew, and we’ll be six rows back watching gc’s crazy hair and dave’s crazy fingers while 35 year olds pass around joints and remember when they were in highschool. i know it’ll be six rows back because it’s row f and when i didn’t count i thought maybe that was 8 or ten rows back, but go ahead and count on your own fingers, it’s six.

that reminds me of when i got my tattoo in san francisco a few years back and the girl in the seat next to me getting her entire back covered in a gothic rose in between yelps and tears of pain told me a long story about her sister, who had just recently been devastated by her boyfriend’s decision to start being faithful to his longtime and well-publicized hometown lover, and his even more recently and even more publicized proposal of marriage to said hometown lover.

as the needle cruised her shoulder blade she went on to say that even though dave matthews had kept her sister in limbo, dating her while he was on the west coast and keeping a fire burning at home, and even though dave had not only married the girl from home but gone so far as to move her and their family out to san francisco, my tattoo comrade was goddamnit still a fan of the guy’s music.

so dirty’s dave’s in town and i bet he’s gonna be great.

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