Sunday, June 13, 2010

You Missed Out: Akron/Family


Tonight I realized that hippie celebrations beckon rain. The people become one with the wet earth as they dance to drums. A couple weeks ago, my cousin got married in a barn up in northern Illinois. The minister quoted some Grateful Dead song before pronouncing them husband and wife. The husband tossed his massive dreadlocks behind his shoulders and kissed his hippie bride as the raindrops hit the barn's roof. Then we all ate a pig roast and danced to Rusted Root. Wet dogs roamed the premises, and a good time was had by all. The soggy, hay-covered ground of the muddy barn seemed to heighten the "hippie wedding" experience.

Oh and dogs always help too. Hippie parties need dogs. We took our 11-week old puppy to his first Chicago neighborhood street fest today, Metronome in Logan Square. We walked around with him, letting him meet other dogs. Children and adults would stop us to pet him and tell us how cute he is (like it wasn't obvious!). It was great for his socialization.

But the headlining band of the evening was Akron/Family. Now, while this band may fit in more with a hipSTER crowd than hippie, there were enough dreads and sandals in the audience to warrant an argument for the latter. At the very least, this band is rhythmically psychedelic. And in my book, that's cause for hippie categorization.

So with our dogs, and Akron/Family getting wild on stage, of course it started to rain. Wet dogs were shaking off on humans, humans were dancing to outdoor experimental jam sessions, and umbrellas were wielded only by the weak. The event caused neighbors to hug each other for no apparent reason other than to express the blissful emotion that comes from dancing in the streets of Chicago with dogs and Akron/Family blaring.

It was my first time seeing Akron/Family live, and I didn't realize that only three guys were in the band. On album, it certainly doesn't sound like just three players, but I suppose I can toss that up to high production values. But they sounded just as full today as they do on record. These guys were great, and I feel bad for having left early to avoid the thunderstorm. But we had to get the doggy to the safety of our apartment.

It was a big day for our puppy, who had never walked more than a couple blocks away from home. Today, he got the biggest workout of his short life. And after his bath, he started dozing off early. He's sleeping soundly right now, and I'm so proud of him for hanging out at his very first street fest.

Dogs, downpours, and drums. This is what summer is all about. We were a part of the rain dance today, sorry if you missed out.

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