Summer means fun

It’s that time of year again, folks.

What did I call it last year? Oh yes, “The Good Times Tour.”

It’s that glorious 10-day span of every summer where the weather is perfect — not to hot, not too cold (I say that as we reached a record-high 91 degrees yesterday and we're experiencing another scorcher today). The colors in our yard are bursting. I celebrate a birthday. We gather with friends and family for Fourth of July festivities. And of course — cue the angel chorus — there's Summerfest.

The Big Gig begins tomorrow, baby. My tickets and enough parking passes — so that this year I don’t have to endure any boisterous, drunken, post-concert shuttle rides with the teenie-bopper/frat boy crowd — are in hand.

But then again, I’m feeling the least excited about this year’s Summerfest that I’ve felt in my entire Summerfest-going history.

Maybe it’s me getting older, becoming a father, having more responsibilities at home and not feeling as connected with the said teenie-bopper/frat boy crowd as I once used to. Maybe it’s the stress and crazy hours of my work-life these days. Maybe it’s just that the whole shine of Summerfest isn’t what it used to be for me ...

I really hope, though, that my lacking excitement has to do with this year’s less-than-stellar lineup ...

There’s only a couple bands I’d go to see — hands-down, no re-thinking needed — Guster and Shiny Toy Guns, who happen to be playing on the same night.

Now, I’ve been wanting/trying to see Shiny Toy Guns for two or three years, but every time they’ve come around they’re playing at the same time as another band I’m more interested in seeing, or their show is canceled ...

But Guster, over the last few years, has become one of my favorite bands in the world. I’ve seen them three times (2 1/2 times if you consider the night I decided to bug out because I wasn’t having any fun) and they remain super entertaining in my eyes. I also adore their music, packed with their sunbathed harmonies, singable melodies and Brian Rosenworcel’s percussion-playing.

Thus, Guster gets the nod over Shiny Toy Guns ... Sounds stupid, I know. Why go for a band I’ve seen multiple times when I could see a band I’ve been wanting to see for years? I guess it’s the comfort of being pretty sure I’m going to enjoy Guster, I'm pretty sure I'll get my money's worth, and Guster, over the last few years, has become one of my favorite bands in the world.

Few others on this year’s Summerfest lineup caught my eyes ...

... Barenaked Ladies ... But they haven’t had a hit in years. And with Steven Page departed, there appears to be a huge hole in their lineup ...

... Sister Hazel or Blues Traveler ... If this was 2000, I’d be all over it. But I’ve seen both a couple times and don’t have an urge to see them any time soon.

... Erin McCarley / Brett Dennen / Mat Kearney ... An intriguing list of up-and-comers playing back-to-back-to-back. But I've seen Brett and Mat, and the combo isn't enough to give up a couple extra hours of sleep and still get up by 4 the next morning.

... Train ... Kates and I thought about hitting them up again. But neither of us wanted to run the risk of devaluing their show a couple year ago — which we still regard as one of the best we’ve ever seen.

And the Marcus Lineup ... Last year’s lineup was stacked with greats; this year, eh. Bon Jovi — though I wouldn’t mind seeing him once — seems to come every year. Counting Crows, I’ve seen them. The Fray, seen them twice, not a fan. Bob Dylan — can’t stand his singing — with Willie Nelson, not interested. Stevie Wonder, saw him last year and I'm afraid of trying to top that. No Doubt, glad their reunited but they’ve never sounded good to me live, plus it's the same night as Guster. And Kiss, thanks but not a bit interested.

Ah, who am I kidding? I’m going to Summerfest and I'll have a ton of fun hearing music and taking in the scenery. Just like I do every summer ...

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