Day 80

Seeing: Rachael Price’s seductive stage presence, error messages about my ticket PDFs, my food science notebook
Tasting: gin and tonic, mushrooms and egg on brown bread, food from Wagamama
Smelling: black tea, oatmeal banana loaf baking, some strangers’ shampoos
Feeling: rain on my head, sore knees and back, very cold (especially my hands)
Hearing: Bridget’s firey bass-playing, heavy rainfall and wind whistling, the Penumbra podcast

Eighty days feels like a benchmark! Like Around the World in Eighty Days, except I have only been like a quarter or a third around the world in all this time. Which I am more than happy with.

I woke up relatively late (about a quarter to eight) and felt refreshed until I remembered that I had also stayed up relatively late. It was raining hard when I woke up, making it difficult to wanna get up. I remember I had made tentative plans to go lifting with one of my USAC pals that morning but neither one of us brought it up, so I’m guessing the rain held us both in. I spent much of the morning in the kitchen– first making breakfast, then baking a snack for my travels. It was a breakfast bar recipe which I made in a loaf tin, so it ended up much like banana bread. I cut it into thick slices and wrapped several of them up in wax paper. Then of course, I cleaned the kitchen. More or less.

I did a little bit of studying for food quality but had some trouble staying focused. My dear friend Evangelina back in Maryland happened to be up at an early hour, and we made plans for things to do, see, and eat for when I returned– especially eat! What can I say, I follow too many DC restaurant Instagram accounts. It’s always nice to catch up with Evangelina– we’re both busy people so we’re not always consistent about talking, but thankfully we can reconnect quite easily.

I thought I had to meet with my drama professor about my final project because she implied so in emails and in person, so at 3pm I went outside for the first time that day. I told her my idea and she gave it approval with a few suggestions, so the meeting felt rather pointless. Oh well.

Then there was a rather anxious scramble to get everything together for the trip, and then I met up with my concertgoing partners Connor and Mariya to meet Delaney at her apartment. The main reason being that I thought I might have to go straight from the Lake Street Dive concert to the bus stop (spoiler: I didn’t), so I stowed my suitcase and backpack in her room which was very close to the stop.

There was some confusion about which building was Delaney’s, but after finding her and heading out towards the bar we stopped into Wagamama for dinner. I had never been, but I’d drooled over the menu many times and was excited to try it. Yet I ended up getting donburi, a big bowl of fried rice with veggies and tofu. I’d made fried rice for dinner the night previous, but ramen and yakisoba would have destroyed my lipstick and it was cheap (compared to other menu items) and filling. Come to think of it, there are many Japanese dishes whose popularity is based on the intersection of those two qualities.

There was more confusion about where to enter the concert venue, but we were some of the first people there and even saw Rachael Price (the lead singer of Lake Street Dive) enter.

The opener was a local band called Fire and Water, a husband and wife (on lead acoustic guitar and tenor sax, respectively) and a third guy on rhythm guitar/percussion guitar. They were fire, wordplay intended. Really, the lead guitarist actually took out a lighter and held it while using the fingerboard.

Cypress Avenue, the venue in which the concert took place, was pretty small and the stage didn’t have a backstage. That meant that Lake Street Dive had to squeeze in through the audience!

We stood very close to the stage and it was a real treat to get so close to the amazing performers. Most of their songs that they played were from their new album, Side Pony, so I didn’t get to hear “We Love All the Same Songs,” sadly. But I did get to see them do some other of my favorite songs, like “Elijah” and “Seventeen” and “You Go Down Smooth” and really actually so many. McDuck is so serious onstage, Calabrese is a very spirited drummer, Bridget is absolutely charming, and Rachael is emotive and entertaining but somewhat reserved. And oh my goodness, the harmonies are heavenly.

When it came time to say goodnight and then come back for an encore, they didn’t actually leave the venue and come back. They just hung out in the reserved offstage couch corner in plain sight of anyone in the front, so that part was sort of tongue-in-cheek. But guess what their encore was? Bohemian freakin’ Rhapsody. Those heavenly harmonies sure came in handy. With just four musicians and four instruments, they made such a generous encore.

I bought a shirt from the merch table because I’m a sucker for concert merch (hey, it supports the band) and since it was only half ten, went to Delaney’s place to drag my bags back to my apartment so I could chill and watch Community for an hour before heading back out again.




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