Saturday, June 16, 2012

Look, He Waved!

As lovely as Summer Solstice sounds, I think Midsummer Day sounds even better.

More poetic. More musical. More indulgent.

And how satisfying that it was a pagan holiday.

After a stop at Nick's Market for sandwiches ("You put these sandwiches to good use!" I was told) we celebrated Midsummer Day at the Summer Solstice Island Power Jam on Belle Isle.

Walking up the ramp to the suspension bridge, I paused as a CSX train approached overhead.

It must have made me smile because one of the trainmen caught my eye and waved.

My reaction was that of any four year old boy.

Over on the island, the rocks were covered in people spread out for a sunny afternoon's amusement as we made our way to the back of the island.

On the way, we passed two chessboards set up on a table with two guys engaged in play.

Nearby, the sign said, "Super Chess. Are you ready?"

Nope. I just want to get to the power plant.

In keeping with the spirit of the pagans, once there we took the side path, moving through bent saplings dappled with afternoon sunlight (fairy garden-like) before doubling over to go through a low half pipe and emerge at the power plant.

Inside the remains of the building, we found a spot against the wall to watch Bermuda Triangles set up.

Three drums, sax and xylophone (?) made enough sound to hear even in the high-ceilinged stone cave of a power plant.

Then there's the beauty of an all-acoustic show: set-up and breakdown are minimal.

Every now and then, a few guys would appear in the enormous upper windows, causing everyone below to wonder how they'd gotten up there.

Best line overheard in between sets,"You can steal a baby from a hospital."

I know I should have asked, but I didn't.

Second best: "I now have a fashion advisor."

Let the record show that the guy who said this looked better than I've ever seen him look.

The Milkstains came next and it was fascinating hearing their psych-rock done unplugged.

But it worked because I felt just as groovy as usual afterwards.

Between sets, I headed to the Port-a-John where two guys biked past me talking.

"That's where I got that big scar on my leg," one said, pointing to an almost 90-degree angled wall of jutting rocks.

A glance at the wall convinced me I was lucky not to have seen the scar.

Tyrannosaurus Awesome, a garage pop duo, had a good-sized crowd for their catchy drum/guitar earnestness.

Meanwhile, a guy lit a small grill in the corner with too much lighter fluid and the flame shot up two feet.

It seemed like a bad idea.

Next up were the Garbers and singer Allison had admitted that she was planning to use a battery-powered amp.

It's a fine line between unplugged and battery-powered, I said, but she wisely reminded me that she was the organizer of the show.

The Garbers were definitely the easiest band to hear in the cavernous space.

For what that's worth.

I mean, she did organize the whole delightful day of music.

We didn't stay late enough for the dog show, although certainly there were plenty of contestant possibilities sniffing around today.

Instead, we left out through the fairy path and lazily wound our way back toward the river in the late afternoon sunlight, belly and musical souls fed.

Surely that's how a pagan would celebrate.


  1. Your fashion advisor arrived not a moment too soon...for a lot of reasons!

    It's always impressive to see a "new man."