We could open up this suitcase full of sparks

by chuckofish


I used to be “with it”. But  they changed what “it” was.  Now what I’m with isn’t “it” and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me.”

–Grampa Simpson, From “Homerpalooza” (Season 7, Episode 24)

Sadly, I can relate to Grampa Simpson. Can you? I guess this is an inevitable part of aging. Not that I was ever too “with it” to begin with…but a lot of modern pop culture seems “weird and scary” to me. Hello, Kim Kardashian. And The Batchelor. I don’t get that either.

However, as readers of this blog know, I have a soft spot in my heart for Eminem. I try to keep an open mind. Occasionally I even go to a concert.

Such was the case last Sunday night when I ventured downtown to the Sheldon Concert Hall to see Josh Ritter.


Mostly I bought the tickets to see his opening act Gregory Alan Isakov. My Old Man bailed on me at the last minute (he had a headache) and so the boy stepped up and went with me. He was a good concert date.

It was a sold out concert. Unfortunately, a lot of the audience arrived during Gregory Alan Isakov’s performance which was annoying. And rude. And the poor guy’s band was not with him. They had to leave in Chicago, he explained, and so he was on his own for the rest of the tour. It had been “super fun and scary” since then.

I kind of love him for saying “super fun”.


Gregory  epitomizes the introverted artist who must perform. And to stand up there without his band–zut alors! But I thought he was wonderful, performing his set of seven songs from numerous albums with humor and spirit.

Before his last song, he said, “I’ll leave you with a sad one, because that’s how I roll.”

Is he my kind of guy or what!

On the flip side was Josh Ritter who bounded onto the stage full of self-confidence and raring to go.


He put on quite a show, which I enjoyed very much. His fans, who filled the theater, were enthusiastic. Two middle-aged women to our left were down-right embarrassing–swaying and giggling like teenagers. (They also made several trips to the bar, which probably explains a lot of their behavior.) Please shoot me if I ever behave like this.

We opted to leave before the encores in order to avoid the parking lot mayhem and because it was a school night after all. But I was glad I had nudged myself out of my routine.

(My thanks to the boy who took these photos on his iPhone.)