Monday, June 18, 2007


Whoever said grown men don't cry never took a 3 wood in the crotch.

I think I'm getting softer in my old age. And I was pretty soft to begin with.

Last week I was at the Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island, Chicago's gorgeous open-air lakefront concert venue, to see the band The Fray perform the first of three sold-out shows. It was an all-ages show, which meant we were surrounded by "kids" - many of whom looked too young to be drinking beer (but were probably in their mid-20's). The Fray put on a fantastic show - but there was a moment about half-way through the set where I was suddenly overcome with emotion. I wasn't sure why exactly, but I felt tears welling up in my eyes. My instinct was to fight the urge to weep openly at a music concert, but truth be told, I was kind of enjoying the experience.

As the band broke into their smash hit "How to Save a Life," a massive light-board behind the drum kit began running short clips of old home movies featuring the band members as little kids. A cool wind off the lake sent chills up both arms as a chorus of pre-teen girls began singing in unison with the song's first few somber bars of piano. By the time the tempo changed with the chorus break, I was overcome with such sadness that I could not fight the tears back. I felt the sinuses blooming with snot and sniffed back some of the runny byproduct as a stream of sorrow meandered for my collar.

Enjoying the novelty of the situation, I let the experience completely consume me. It was quite possibly the single best song I have ever heard at any concert - including the kick ass acoustic version of Down Under I heard Colin Hay perform a month ago.

When the song ended, I noticed I wasn't the only one who'd been touched with sorrow. I promptly wiped my eyes and retreated to the nearest concession stand to recover with a fat, 24-ounce plastic cup of luke-warm domestic beer. And that snapped me out of it pretty quick because, as everybody knows, you just don't cry in your beer.

Great show, though - and one I would not hesitate to recommend if you are familiar with their work. Or if you just like a good cry every now and again.

No comments: