Precisely which tastes have I enjoyed at the Taste of Chicago this week?
- Chocolate-covered strawberry and mini chocolate frozen banana (after all, there's always money in the banana stand)
- Toasted ravioli with marinara sauce
- Vegetarian pav bhaji (cauliflower, peas, eggplant, tomatoes) with "bread" (hamburger bun, no joke)
- Big-ass juicy sweet watermelon wedge x 2 (no upset tummy or anything! I can eat watermelon again! w0000t!)
- Jerk chicken with rice and beans
- A bite of a sweet potato biscuit
- Mango rice pudding with dried cranberries
- Frozen SoCo lime slurpee
- Potato pierogies with applesauce
- Grilled chopped lime chicken salad
- Rainbow ice cream (cherry vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, pistacio, orange sherbert)
- Eli's Cheesecake with strawberries
(What will I be doing all next week, and the week after, and the week after that? WORKING OUT, dear God.)
Anyway, I really, really wasn't at the Taste for the food, crazy as that sounds. I swear. Monday, it was for fireworks (and they were right overhead! and then we got to leave Grant Park with a million other people! that part kinda sucked!).
Tuesday, it was for Mike Doughty, who was really great--lotsa Haughty Melodic stuff. He's fantastic live, but I'd love to see him play for a longer set. These festival shows never keep the acts onstage long enough for my taste. (Oh, and he didn't play I Hear the Bells, the jerk.)
And today? I went for Fountains of Wayne and Liz Phair. And I got there at 1:45, and I got a "ticket" that gave me premier access to seating, and I was FRONT FREAKING ROW. Awesome awesome awesome. World Party was the first act--they were quite good, and I'm surprised I wasn't familiar with them. Mandolin/fiddle folk-pop, and the lead singer looked like a grayer, British version of friend Matt (is that really just saying that the guy looks like Tim Curry? hmm). FoW played a Welcome Interstate Managers-heavy set, which I guess is to be expected (Bought for a Song, Bright Future in Sales, Mexican Wine (yay, it's been in my head every time in the past week that I've thought about the concert), Stacy's Mom, Hackensack, Hey Julie). The self-titled debut had a strong showing, though (Radiation Vibe (yay yay yay), Leave the Biker, Sink to the Bottom). They played Maureen off of Out-of-State Plates, but only one freaking song off of my much-beloved Utopia Parkway, though it was the highly appropriate It Must Be Summer. (Guess if I want to hear Troubled Times, I need to stay home and fire up iTunes. *sigh*) Anyway, I've been wanting to see an honest-to-goodness real FoW show since the Soundstage taping last October, and now I can say that I have.
Oh, and you'll be reminded again, but Fountains of Wayne's PBS Soundstage performance will be on July 20. Check your local listings, as I believe it's nationally syndicated.
I stuck around for Liz Phair, and she was a surprisingly charismatic performer. Also, I'm bummed I never got around to importing Whip-Smart or Whitechocolatespaceegg into iTunes, because she played several songs off of each that I recognized (NOT Polyester Bride, though, which makes me sad, AND I can't stay home and fire up iTunes to hear it. *pouts*). She closed with the one-two punch of Why Can't I and Fuck and Run, the latter of which made for some amusing ASL by the signer onstage. I'd see her again in an instant, though--totally rocking, very laid back, and lots of fun.
Also, perhaps the best part of both Mike Doughty and the FoW/Liz Phair combo is that I wound up at the shows with friends of mine who really weren't coming along because they were fans of the acts, but who walked away from the shows suitably impressed/entertained. Maybe I of all people shouldn't be surprised when people have justified faith in my choice of music, but it's still nice for some positive reinforcement now and again.
Anyway. Time to fish around on TV for some late-nite Law & Order or X-Files reruns. That's right, fellas--it must be summer, because the days are so freaking long, especially when you fall asleep on your sofa watching cable...