I think a while back, I mentioned a little something about Summerfest on this journal. It's a huge, huge, 11-day music festival held every year here in Milwaukee, and it's an absolute blast with gobs of great bands from just about every musical genre imaginable.
Of course, this being Milwaukee and all, there's also a LOT of beer and food. Normally, we all meet up in the South at the Water Street Brewery stand, grab a Bavarian Weiss beer, and ramble our way a mile North to the Leinenkugel's tent for a Berry Weiss and a bucket of crispy squid with yummy plum sauce. Then, we turn around and head South again. Then back North. Then South. Rinse, lather, repeat... Trust me, do enough laps between these weiss beer checkpoints throughout the day, and you're getting a lot of, um, exercise and putting on a lot of miles.
So, I apologize in advance if my updates over the next week are slow in coming. However, don't worry. I am out getting all sorts of much-needed exercise. Ya know what they say, "No pain, no gain."
Now, it should also be noted that the locals (that's me) have a sort of odd festival-checklist for things to look for during this bash (otherwise, you're just drinking, eating and watching bands play). The things to look for are:
- A very tall woman dressed like the Statue of Liberty. She roams around on stilts, and attends ALL of Milwaukee's festivals in this get-up for some unknown reason. She's actually a very nice lady, and she's always smiling and waving (or maybe she's just wildly flailing around trying to catch her balance while negotiating her way through the crowd of several hundred thousand people).
- The Dancing Couple. The same two senior citizens show up in formal attire and ballroom dance to any band they can find. I think it's absolutely cool to be so completely eccentric, and their Fox Trot during the Nine Inch Nailsconcert several years ago has become the stuff of legend. They're both married to other people, and they're just great old buddies who like to dance. And they are damn good at it. Perfect.
- The Gnome. He's a short, round, little old bald guy who always carries an empty duffle bag, and he wears a different pair of custom-colored Converse high-tops for each day (I love his snakeskin-print ones. But, his head-banging garden-gnome ones are also pretty slick). He's just super-cool, and he's not afraid to throw up the heavy metal horns. I even saw him head-banging during a Weird-Al show. But, you've got to resist the urge to rub his head. I hear he doesn't like that.
Aside from that, there are the usual party-lunatics. Sometimes, it's just fun to grab a bench, watch the crowd and see what turns up. After sunset, well... you can always find at least one drunk person from Illinois crawling around in what we here in Milwaukee affectionately refer to as "Festival Gravy." It's a disturbing concoction of spilled beer, dropped food, and god knows what else hits the ground during the crowded day. Rookies.