I usually take solace in the anonymity of a crowd. I feel as though I can gawk at my leisure and be rest assured that no one in the band will notice me out of all of the other people around. This was not possible at this performance and there are more than a few photos of different members of the band looking directly at me befuddled mid-song...probably trying to process why I, one of only 2 people in the audience, was taking so many photos.
Up until this day I had never heard of Robbers on High Street. However, I must say, they are quite awesome and worth checking out. Thankfully, they will be back soon for a July 10th show at Schubas, where I suspect they will have a better turn out than at their unfortunate 1:30pm slot at a soggy family festival. Actually, considering the chilly temperature, the looming rainclouds, and overall general appearance of despair, things weren't all that festive.
I got there around 1pm and the festival was a ghost town, save for a few families, random people walking their dogs, and the purveyors of the various wares and overly expensive fair food nestled in their tents. I realized I was going to be in trouble as I had 50 dollars burning a hole in my pocket and forgot to eat before i went. I have many weaknesses, corndogs happen to be one of them, and i knew at some point i was going to crack.
I killed the 30 minutes wandering around looking at the different little tents, after which i proceeded to give a fake email address to the Chicago Reader booth so I could spin their wheel O' prizes (I got a free tote bag...suckers!) The stage that Robbers on High Street was playing at was located next to a dog obedience school which had one lonely dog outside in the yard wondering what the hell was going on during the sound check, and looked horrified.
Three or four songs in the dude with the sweet beard leans over to me and says, "AWESOME! this is my favorite song by them!" I say, "you know their songs?? I hadn't even heard of them until the other day" He responds, "Oh, well I've been on tour with them all year but its still my favorite song!" Then he introduces himself, his name is Doug but all I can think to myself is "oh my god he looks EXACTLY like my friend Ketchup." I considered letting him know this but realized he more than likely will not care that he looks like Ketchup.
Throughout the 45-minute set a few others joined Doug and I, including a dude in his middle 40's with ear plugs, a strange bow-legged indie rock girl, and another chick with frizzy curly hair who was wearing a sailor dress, white Keds and was getting her groove on the entire time. Occasionally a family and small children would venture over to the stage and leave almost immediately with confused expressions on their faces. Apparently infectious indie rock doesnt bode well for the age 3-7 toddler demographic.
After Robbers were done I was starving and I said to myself, "Self, you know this food is going to be hella expensive. You should probably just go home and have a salad, but you cannot pass up an opportunity for a corn dog. It would be a crime against humanity. Plus, there's no way a corn dog could be more than 10 bucks right?" And i was right. It wasnt more than 10 dollars for a corn dog. So i parked myself on a curb next to the 15-minute free massage booth and ate my 9 dollar corn dog and drank my 5 dollar beer. Such was the end of my solo festival expedition. I was down 14 dollars, but at least i was up one tote bag.