Posted by: Kate | August 30, 2009

How Grownups Play

Hey, you grownups out there: is that what it’s like to have an evening out?

We bundled the kids off to L’s house for the weekend, and spent the afternoon yesterday napping and watching cheesy movies on our still-free HBO.  Then it was up to Hampton Beach for dinner – turns out, a clambake with steamed lobster served overlooking the ocean is a fine idea, who knew? – and a concert (Switchfoot and Blue October, preceded by an unpleasant series of noise that we’ll just try and forget about).  Gretchen and Dan joined us, so not only were we able to do grownup things for the evening, but we were able to do it with other grownups.


We had a really great evening, unequivocally so.  It helped that everyone enjoyed their meals, and we’ve known each other long enough that the conversation was casual and lacking that so-who-are-you stiffness.  The concert was at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom – a very cool, different sort of venue, with hardwood floors and an intimate-ish setting (meaning, you could get reasonably close to the stage and you were only sharing the experience with perhaps 2,000 of your closest friends).  The opening act, Ours?  Well, they meant well, I suppose, and I liked the beat of some of their songs.  Then there was Switchfoot, who did a better job of performing, even though I had to go sit with my feet up for half of their songs.  As stereotypical as it is, with this pregnancy I am retaining water like it’s my job, and by the middle of the show I had no discernible ankles and very clear indentations where the straps on my shoes fell.  I ended up having to remove my socks and flatten the back of the shoes to wear them like slip-ons, and still… it was not a pretty sight.

Anyway, for Blue October, I decided, I’m going to get swollen and tired anyway, might as well be in a position with a good view of the band for it.  We edged in so that we were lined up with the center of the stage, toward the back of the crowd, and the show was fantastic.  A very wide mix of new stuff and old, including several obscure sorts of things that they said they’d never performed on this tour, or never performed on tour at all, and the Blue October fan set is a particularly intense, devoted bunch of individuals.

I’m not interested in providing a true concert review, so let’s just say, it was a really good show and I’m thrilled we went.  Afterward, we headed to the car – which, given the bad weather and the small-town nature of it all, was parked directly across the street from the Casino Ballroom, to the point that we could walk to the windows at the front and check on it if we wanted to.  Immediately on the other side of the car was the beach, so we walked down to the waterline after the show, just to appreciate Hurricane Danny’s fringe benefits – big waves, loud surf, drama – and take advantage of the 15 minutes left on the parking meter.

A really, really fun night, and I never once had to stop and worry about the kids.  I knew they were having a blast at L’s, and knew I wasn’t going to have to come home and make awkward conversation with the babysitter and then haggle with Willem over who gets up with the kids in the morning.

So if that’s how grownups play, I really want to do that more often.

For those interested, and for my own use, I kept track of the setlist on my phone… which is just terrifyingly modern and trendy, but it was there and I wanted to keep track, so what can you do?
Independently Happy
Clumsy Card House
Say it
Dirt Room
Been Down
My Never
A Quiet Mind
Picking up Pieces
Should Be Loved
Into the Ocean
Jump Rope
She’s my Ride Home
The End

(a very short break, so the last songs can’t really be called an encore)
It’s Just Me
Let it Go
Italian Radio
Hate Me

iTunes playlist, coming up!

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