Our driver was mostly French-speaking (possibly from Ghana or Côte d'Ivoire) and spent half the ride trying to call somebody who had apparently laid some counterfeit money on him. How scuzzy is that? Don't be ripping off your hard-working cab-driver. Spend your fake money in some high-end shops.
Anyway, he dropped us off at 30th Ave. and we made our way to the Banjo stage, which is basically where the headliners of the festival play. We got a fairly decent spot, where we could hear really well and sort of see the stage. We laid out our stuff and proceeded to stay there (with trips for food and bathrooms) for the next 6 hours. In the blazing sun. At least I'd also worn a running hat and brought my sun block. Also I kept my long sleeves on because that's how I am. So although I got some color on my cheeks and schnozz, I was in much better shape than the fools around me getting fried to a crisp.
So here's the actual line up we saw (or at least heard.)
For those of you who don't know, this year's festival was dedicated to Hazel Dickens, so a lot of the acts paid tribute and sang her songs.
11:00am Dry Branch Fire Squad
The same group we heard last year. Hardcore bluegrass and a certain kind of rural humor that I'm not 100% crazy about, but some seriously kick-ass playing. Warren Hellman (the guy whose money pays for the whole thing) sat in for one song and talked about Hazel.
12:05pm Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum w/ The Guest House Band
More Old-tymey stuff. More Hazel love.
1:20pm Bela Fleck & Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer
Absolutely amazing. Nothing like any kind of bluegrass, but just beautiful. Edgar Meyer is a bass cellist and Zakir Hussain plays the tabla. They also had Rakesh Chaurasia on flute. It was both soothing and unwordly world music. Gorgeous.
2:45pm The Blind Boys of Alabama
Soul/Gospel. Let me assure you, you haven't heard anything until you've heard "Amazing Grace" sung to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun."
4:15pm Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys
The man is 83 years and can still play some fierce "banjer" and hit the high notes on the ballads. You can forgive the same old corny jokes when he does that. It's pretty amazing.
5:45pm Emmylou Harris
We love Emmylou, but the fog was rolling in an we wanted to beat the big crowd out of the park, so we left. Emmylou always closes the show on Sunday night and for the same reason, we always miss her.
When the breeze kicked in at around 430P followed by the fog, I was ready to get right back into my sweatshirt and padded vest. It never did get as cold as last year thought. Especially not when we left the park and slogged our way out to Haight Street (about a mile away) to look for a cab.
This was still a vast improvement over last years attempt to find transportation on Lincoln/Judah/Irving side of the park. We walked down Haight for a few blocks (since the 33 Stanyan wasn't due for 15 minutes) and did in fact, find a cab.
I would have liked to go home and ditch some of the shleppage, but Hubby wanted to get to the restaurant, on the theory that once we were home, we'd both collapse and not want to move, which was probably true. We had decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Krua Thai, which is about a block away from our apartment. Now the funny things is that the location used to be Bangkok 16, for as long as we've lived in the neighborhood, which is over 20 years. We just never went. Now it's much nicer looking and more expensive and BANG we're in. It was really good. The broth on my lemongrass soup was excellent, although I always forget how over-cooked the chicken gets in that kind of soup. Appetizers were excellent and the Thai Iced Tea had me bouncing off the ceiling as it should.
Came home and watched Doctor Who Confidential. The "My Way" montage almost had me crying, especially if there isn't going to be a confidential for the Christmas episode, which would make this the last one ever. *sniffle*
I should have a pic-spam up in a few days.