Bluesfest 2007

One of the great summer festivals in Chicago is Bluesfest. Chicago started out a few decades ago with JazzFest and over time added fests for blues, country, gospel and salsa music.

My wife and I took in a few hours of Bluesfest on Saturday– after spending time at the Printers Row Book Fair a few blocks away. (I told you that June in Chicago was outstanding). The setting is spread over much of Grant Park, a beautiful area just off the lakefront– that would be Lake Michigan for the geographicaly impaired. There is a mainstage at the bandshell and numerous side stages.

We started at one of the side stages that was featuring blues singers that doubled on the harmonica. Picture a sunny day, people of all ages, races, sexes, creeds, etc. numbering in the hundreds enjoying great music. The area around the stage was an open grassy field. People were on blankets, in chairs, just sprawled out on the grass, standing or dancing. I love people watching in this type of setting. Here are a few of my favorites.

Oriental guy. In his mid fifties, with a a mustache and goatee. Semi serious look on his face.  Dressed in bermuda shorts, a buttoned down short sleeve shirt, black socks with dress shoes and a straw hat. Camera strap around his neck with the camera at one hip and a fanny pack on the opposite one. Everything perfectly in place while he looked perfectly out of place.

Dancing 20 year olds. A pretty girl and a good looking guy in their very early twenties. He was taking her through some swing dance moves in rythm with the music with cigarette in mouth. Occasionally they would stop and kiss. She was clearly into him. He was clearly into dancing. My bet is one night together and she never hears from him again.

Tall Dancing Guy. Must have been at least 6’6” with short cropped brown hair and brown goatee and long arms. Tee shirt and shorts. He had the dancing feet. He was light on these feet and they were moving with the music. Watching just his feet was entertaining enough. Add in this long torso and arms and this would have been a YouTube chart topper if I only had a camera.

ZZ Top Guy. Enough said.

Last there was the man sitting on the grass in front of where we were standing. He had one leg straight out and one bent. My wife whispers in my ear that it takes all kinds. Look at this guy’s shorts I am told. I see nothing out of place and just as she is about to point “it” out she laughs and says, “oh, that’s his foot”.

All sorts of people, a delightful presummer day and wailing harmonicas backed by rythm guitar, bass and drums. Bluesfest in Chicago.

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