Monday, April 28, 2003

Triathalon and Pinestock

Saturday was one super busy day. I was up at 7:30 am and didn’t hit the pillow again until after 1 am. The entire day was filled with awesomeness. I was up so early because I was doing the triathlon here at SJU. I always look forward to doing it as it is usually the first race of the summer for me. It always gets the ball rolling for the competitive road racing I do in the summer (mostly 5k’s and a couple longer races). This year my team consisted of Theresa Lonsky and Becky Welch. Becky was the swimmer and Theresa was the biker. Kristin was also there with us. She was our coach/cheer leader for the day. It's always nice to have fans to cheer you on, so her getting up early and coming to watch us was really appreciated.

We got registered and tattooed at about 8:30 am. By tattooed, I mean that they wrote our heat and team numbers in big, black, permanent marker on our arms. I still have it glaring at me on my arms this morning. I swear they must use the most permanent of markers to mark us because I’ve taken six showers since I finished and it just won’t leave! Anyhow, we hung around for a while since we were in the last heat. As we were there, guess who I saw? Oh wait, you wouldn’t know because you don’t know the back story. Here, let me recount it for you.

When I was getting my triathlon team together about a month ago, my original swimmer was going to be Yen. About a week and a half or two weeks before the triathlon she tells me that her knees have been too bad for swimming and that there would be no way she’d be able to do the triathlon. Well, I respect that. If you’re too injured to do it, there’s no changing that. I then recruited Becky to fill her shoes (and did she ever!). I am actually very glad that Becky swam for us because she was phenomenal in the pool—like a fish! She ended up swimming her 700 in 10:40, which is good for swimming, I think, but I’m not sure since I don’t swim.

Now, back to the actual triathlon. I saw yen there and not only did I just see her there, I saw her swimming for another team. What happened to those knees? Did God suddenly grant her a miraculous healing? Or maybe did she just bail on me for someone else’s team and came up with a lame ass excuse for it? Whichever excuse it was, I’m glad she didn’t end up on our team as Becky was such a fun addition. Hopefully all three of us will come together and do it again next year.

Anyhow, we finished in the middle of the pack for teams, I think. We all met our goals. Theresa biked her 20k in around 50 minutes, I did my 6k in about 24.5, and Becky got her 700 in under 11. After it was done we all had to get going because Theresa and I had Pinestock to go to at noon.

I got back, showered, ate, picked up Jared, and headed over to Watab Island for the show. I can’t believe how many people I saw and talked to during that afternoon. I think I actually enjoyed the festival more for the social aspect than for the music. I saw a lot of friends that I haven’t talked to in a while, some that I have, and I even managed to talk to some random people I’d never met before (but they were really drunk, which is why I think they started talking to me).

Now for a review of the music. The updated, day-of-show band list was: Fred Savage & The Unbeatables, Panoramic Blue, The Exies, De La Soul, and Everclear. You may notice that Authority Zero is absent. That is because they decided to drop off of the tour to start their own. Talk about bunk. I really wanted to see them and they were one of the main proponents of me plopping down $30 for my ticket. I don’t think I’ll ever rush to see them if they come to Minnesota any time soon since they don’t seem to care about their fans.

Anyhow, the first band was Fred Savage & The Unbeatables (FSU for short). They are a campus band that won our battle of the bands. They play some great ska music, much akin to Reel Big Fish and Buck-O-Nine. They put on a good show and had a huge throng of fans for only being a campus band. I only got to see the second half of their set since the triathlon went long with my team being in the last heat.

The next band, Panoramic Blue, I have seen many, many times. Each time, though, I realize how truly average they are. They sound like every other wannabe rock band out there. They play classic rock cover songs and some originals that seem wholly unoriginal. They hail from here in St. Cloud, but their crowd was not very large at all. I really didn’t enjoy their set very much—just too bland.

The next band, The Exies, was the band I was here to see. They easily turned in the best performance of the day, in my mind. They played through almost their entire release, Inertia, along with closing their set with a cover of The Beastie Boys’ “Gratitude”. Jared and I were right up in front in the middle of the pit for half the set going nuts. I managed to get a big gouge in my side and a few other cuts from moshing it up—which goes to show how much Jared, myself, and the other people there were getting into it (I think it was from the stupid wristbands they made us wear when we came onto the island). They had the best performance of the day, easily.

De La Soul were the next performers. I am not the biggest hip hop fan, but I respect it and will listen to it occasionally. They put on a good hour long set which I actually got into. I was in the front row against the barricade with Jared, Hank, and Hanson for all of it, so we had a great vantage point for their hipin’ and hopin’. They were a lot of fun, but might have put a little too much emphasis on trying to interact with the crowd instead of performing. They were great to watch, though, don’t get me wrong, and I am always amazed at people who can rap fluently.

The last performers were Everclear. Oh man, I don’t know how else to really put it, but these guys were terrible. I saw them last year at St. Cloud State and they sucked then, but their Pinestock performance was even worse. Art couldn’t keep a tune if he wanted to (he said he had strep, however). The vocals sounded like crap for most of the show. The songs also didn’t seem nearly as tight as on their album (or even as tight as their opener, The Exies). They also only played for about an hour (and about 10 minutes of that was spent finding girls to come up on stage). I will say that I am glad they played four of their songs off of their Sparkle and Fade disc instead of their newer crap, but we were still treated to way too much of that. They ended the show with a cover of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”. I feel sorry for Cheap Trick as they destroyed this tune. Horrible, horrible attempt at a cover. I would never be able to recommend this band to anyone to go see live. I’m sorry, but they just suck live.

After Pinestock, I took the rest of the night to hang out with friends. I went to a party at a friend’s place, played some Bocce ball, watched a movie, and then said a little prayer of thanksgiving before I went to bed for this wonderfully spectacular day. Sunday was just another day in comparison to Saturday. If only all of my days could be like Saturday, I would never complain about anything again. Ahh, this was one of those days I’ll be reminiscing about 25 years down the road.

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