Saturday was another of those days only possible due to having a brother, Joe, active in the music scene. His band Fairchildren is also the backing band for Nathaniel Rateliff. Nate and my brother have played together for quite some time, since the mid to late 90's. At one point, Nate and I lived together with another friend and he also lived with my Mom and brothers for a time as well. For me, Nate is a brother from another mother. So, any time he plays somewhere somewhat close, especially if he has the full band with him, I like to go watch and visit.
A few weeks ago, my brother sent a text asking if I was interested in going to the show that they were playing in Dixon, IL. It was a six hour drive but, the show was on a Saturday so I said hell yeah. Along with my wife and Mom, my brother was able to have three guest passes set aside for us. The show that we were heading to was part of the Mumford & Sons "Gentlemen of the Road" tour and there were eight bands to play, most of which I hadn't heard much of. Not that I was too worried about not hearing them before, I enjoy hearing new bands, especially live.
Finally, the day came and my wife and I woke up later than we wanted too. We were to meet my Mom along the way at a particular time so, we rushed getting ready and dropping the kids off. Ended up only being about 30 minutes later than initially planned. I was going light anyway, we planned on driving back afterwards to save a few dollars that would have been spent on a hotel room.
The six hour drive on the way to Dixon was quite uneventful. After picking up my Mom, we passed many, many corn fields that were brown and dead. It wasn't until we got into IL some ways north that we started seeing more green than brown.
And finally, we pulled into Dixon and found a parking spot that seemed quite close.
We worked our way to the will call booth to get our guest passes, the ticket lines were packed, luckily the will call line wasn't. As we were heading in to where the stages were set up, I was attempting to text my brother.
The town of Dixon has a population of around 15,000. And there were 15,000 tickets sold for the event causing the interim population to nearly double for the weekend. Not sure about all carriers but, AT&T's tower couldn't handle the load. Any texts that did manage to go through, would take many, many attempts.
After a bit, we did find where the artists area was and located my brother along with the rest of the band. We hung out in the beautiful weather with the sounds of musicians preparing for the show and the occasional smell of weed wafting through the air. Also enjoyed some drinks and hors d'oeuvre from the artist's hospitality tent.
Eventually, we did head up to the main stage to check out one of the bands playing.
And then, it was show time for Nathaniel Rateliff.
Being backstage for the whole show, I knew that the crowd was big but, couldn't really see just how big. The next day I found this post that showed the front of the stage as they played. Link
This post has been continued here.