Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Music Festival & Todd Rundgren

Well RJ and I can officially say we've been to a music festival and camped together!

Over Labor day weekend, we went to the Gentlemen of the Road - Troy Stopover in Troy, Ohio. It was about 3 hours and fifteen minutes away so not bad at all. We left later than we wanted to on Friday (RJ had been traveling all week and had some work to catch up on in the morning and afternoon.) We arrived in Troy around 7pm on Friday evening and made our way to our designated parking lot and campground. There were hay rides taking people from the parking field to the campgrounds, that helped a lot!

Since we were pretty late getting there, most of the campers were already there and had already claimed their camping spots. Luckily, since we just had a small tent for the two of us, we were able to squeeze in between two spots. I noticed when we were setting up that the campers behind us had set up a bunch of lawn chairs in a circle. I remember thinking that would be bad news for me as an already light sleeper, but the sun was starting to set and we didn't want to lose this spot by looking for another. I figured I wouldn't really be sleeping much on the ground anyway (I had been mentally preparing for this since we booked the trip).

From top left: 1. The hayride to the campground 2. Tthe campground by the river 3/4. Edward Sharpe Show

 After we got our tent set up (relatively quickly, I was proud of us!), we headed over to the stadium to check out the bands opening for the first big band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The main stage was set up at the Troy High School Football Stadium. They had laid down some thick plastic puzzle pieces to protect the field and protect us from getting too muddy!

We liked seeing the opening acts and loved Edward Sharp! I found this festival by looking for Mumford & Sons Shows, but was sold on the 3.25 hour drive and camping part by ES&TMZ's.. they are probably my favorite band right now and I was so excited to see them live.

One really cool thing about the set up of the show was the two big screens on either side of the stage and one big one behind the band. They had cameras going so people could see what was going on up close no matter how far back they were. They kept showing the view from behind the band (looking out over the field with the thousands of people) and it was so cool! They had the coolest lights going on during their show and a lot of the time the screens had amazingly colored kaleidoscope designs going on that were so cool to watch. We loved it!

After the show we walked to the downtown area where they had two other stages set up and lots of vendors. It was fun to check out the little town. We went back to the tent to try to get some sleep.. but our neighbors had other ideas in mind. I guess they figured sleeping was unnecessary because they sat up talking in the lawn chair circle until 5:30am. If it was just semi-quiet talking I could understand.. but they were talking loudly, yelling and free style rapping. Ha! It was.. interesting. I had already mentally prepared myself for a lack of sleep. RJ, on the other hand, slept like a baby basically from the moment his head hit the pillow. That is a skill I wish I had and one I hope our future children inherit.

On Saturday morning I was up at 8am because our other neighors were up early to call a family member on her birthday. Yep, we were that close that I could hear what everyone else was up to.

I read my book for awhile in the tent but after awhile it started to feel like a sweat box - it was a hot weekend! I decided to get up and walk around a little bit. I found one of the vendors selling fresh fruit smoothies - the last thing I wanted was a hot coffee. I walked around the downtown area where the bands had already started and there was a farmer's market going on. In the daylight I could see how the downtown area was decorated for the festival and it was really cute.

Around 10am I figured I should go wake RJ up and on my way back to the tent I ran into him looking for the coffee truck. We got some coffee and walked around for a little bit before deciding we should go ahead and pack up our stuff. We had decided to leave that evening after Mumford & Sons. I had an appointment the next morning and we figured it would be a lot easier to leave at midnight than than the next day when our 27,000 co-campers had the same idea!

After packing up our tent and getting some food (and enjoying the air conditioning in the car!), we headed back to the stadium to check out some of the day bands before Mumford. We sat on the bleachers for awhile and really liked a few of the opening bands. About 4 hours before Mumford was scheduled to go on we decided to stake out a spot on the field in preparation for the big show.

Mumford & Sons went on about 8:30pm and they were as good as we imagined they'd be!

As they were wrapping up, we were getting so tired from standing and dancing basically all day. My body is pretty resilient (for a 28 year old) but even my lower back was killing me. It was well worth it though. By the time we got to the car it was around 11:30pm.  After we stopped for a late dinner (we had a late lunch and had been snacking), we got home around 2:30am. RJ drove and I fought heavy eyelids and provided moral support. Despite the time when we arrived home, the first thing I did was take a shower.

It was really a fun weekend and we got such a kick out of the whole thing. I'm really glad we went!

Click HERE to see my videos from the shows. < For you, Linds!>

On Sunday, after sleeping basically all day, we went to dinner and to see Todd Rundgren with Big Reed and Laura. It was so much fun and we are so appreciative for the invite!

The show was at the Kent Stage which is a really fun venue. 

Todd put on a great show and we really enjoyed it!

It was a Labor Day weekend for the books! (Or the blog?)


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