This weekend we had the pleasure of welcoming two visitors to town. Robb (now going by the moniker Frozen Monkey) from Infinite Monkeys, who already has a post up detailing his experiences, and long time reader and frequent contributor, James Phillips.
Robb flew in (By the way I hate to disappoint the Frozen Monkey but we don't have twelve runways at the Minneapolis airport. Runway 12 designates the direction that it faces, in this case 120 degrees. One end is of the runway is 12 the other 30.) from Phoenix on Saturday to attend the Flops/Semisonic/Trip Shakespeare concert at First Avenue, while James arrived from Folsom, California on Thursday to attend a Minnesota Wild, and two St. Cloud State Huskie hockey games. I'll let you decide which is a more nutty reason to come to Minnesota in mid-December.
We met Robb at an Irish pub across the street from First Avenue to have a few pre-concert cocktails and engage in witty banter. I learned much about the Infinite Monkeys gang during our conversation, including many deeply held secrets such as the name of the magazine where the Chosen Monkey labors and more importantly, Brad's Visa card number (you've got a load of 'Deserve Victory' bumper stickers on the way my friend as well as a hefty bar tab). While we weren't able to resolve all the problems of the world we did agree that those who see Christian symbolism in LOTR are engaged in wishful thinking and that Hugh's resemblance to Ralphie is indeed uncanny.
I wasn't as excited as Robb or Atomizer were about the show itself. First Avenue was packed to the rafters with people, which made movement troublesome at best, nearly impossible at worst. The overcrowding might not have been that bad but it was a long show. Too long in my opinion. And since I'm not all that into Trip Shakespeare, I thought too much of the show was devoted to their music and not enough Semisonic material. There also didn't seem to be a great deal of energy, either from the band or the crowd. I've seen Semisonic perform five or six times in the past and this was definitely not their finest hour on stage.
After the music stopped, we gave Robb a little taste of authentic Minneapolis. Yes, we took him to the Hard Rock Cafe. Can't find one of those just anywhere you know. You have to be a small to mid-sized city to even be considered.
In our defense, it wasn't as if we had a lot of options. It was cold and JB had already vetoed the idea of returning to the pub since his honor had apparently been impugned by a waitress he didn't deliver his beer toute suite. I believe his exact words, bellowed on the corner outside First Avenue, were, "We ain't goin' back in that f'in place!".
So we treated Robb to the overpriced conformity of the Hard Rock Cafe. I treated myself to another beer which I didn't need and we had an interesting discussion (read shouting match) on the merits of the show. Atomizer was kind enough to give Robb a ride back to his hotel at the end of the night.
Sunday I was awakened by my wife excitedly announcing that Saddam had been captured. Which made the pounding in my head and cottony mouth a little easier to take. I knew at least one bastage who felt a lot worse than I did. Other than JB I mean.
We met Mr. Phillips at a sports bar to watch the Vikings-Bears contest. James was a bit surprised by our cynical attitude towards the local eleven, but after watching them choke away the game and very likely the NFC
It was a pleasure to welcome two intelligent, engaging gentleman to our chilly but lively town. However, next time they might want to think about a June visit. It's nice when you don't have to think about wind chill.