It’s been a stressful week, friends. Everything is coming to a head all at once: the landlord needs to know if we want to renew our lease for another year, I finally found out whether or not I will be able to do my internship for University of Pittsburgh (more on that later), and Justin needs to decide whether or not he wants to take another job and quit the one he has. We’re basically figuring out the next year of our life THIS WEEK, and there’s been a lot to think about (and talk about).
So even though it sounds counter-productive, it was really nice to just take a break and walk along the Allegheny River, right as the sun was setting, and not talk or think about ANY of it. Just for one night.
Our friends originally invited us to go and see an outdoor concert that promised to be a night of 90’s awesomeness: Vertical Horizon, Fastball, Smash Mouth, and Sugar Ray all in one incredible show. We really wanted to go, but we couldn’t find $60 in our budget for something that non-essential. So we did what any crazed 90’s music fans would do…we stood next to the outdoor stage’s barrier and listened. 😉
We weren’t the only ones, you know. There were plenty of people in nearby restaurants who requested porch seating so they could catch a few songs. And some people even brought lawn chairs and blankets and camped out in the grass near the stage, enjoying the view of the three rivers (Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio) where they join at the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, all while listening to Mark McGrath croon out “Every Morning.”
I felt like bringing a lawn chair was too obvious. For some reason, I felt like I needed to be sneaky or else I might get shooed away from the perimeter of the concert area. I brought my fancy camera in the hopes that people would think I was just there to walk along the river and take pictures of the nighttime city skyline. I’m not here to listen to Sugar Ray (my favorite band out of the lineup, if you were wondering). Nope, not me. I’m just taking pictures. Nothing to see here…
Until they played the song “Fly.” This was their first big hit that I remember, circa 1997. I don’t know what happened, but something came over me from the moment I heard that first line: “All around the world, statues crumble for me…” It was like a siren song. All of the sudden, I just HAD to see them. Just get a glimpse. One minute, Justin and I were walking along, and the next minute, he turned to say something to me and I was gone, bolting across the parking lot, heading for the fence.
I wasn’t going to climb it, of course. Pssshh….that would have been crazy. They had lined the barbed wire fence with some sort of black mesh material that was impossible to see through. So I walked along it until I found an edge, and I slowly pulled it aside to peek through. I seemed to be in the back of a concession stand. A surprised patron glanced over at me while he ordered a beer from the guy behind the counter. Beyond that, I saw tons of people, packed in front of the stage like sardines, all moving to the music. There was an array of dizzying colors and flashing lights coming from the stage, but I couldn’t really see Mark McGrath clearly. I thought, If I could just get my camera through this mesh, I could use my telescopic lens to see him! But there wasn’t enough room to fit my camera, and I was worried that the concessions guy was about to turn around any moment and see me.
Then I noticed a perfect round hole in the mesh, a little to the right of where I was standing. I went over to it and stuck my camera inside. Perfect! Now If I could just zoom in a little…
But suddenly, Justin grabbed my arm and yanked it hard. “We’ve got to get out of here, now!” he shouted at me. “The security guy is about to come get you!”
I looked back and noticed for the first time a big, beefy guy wearing a florescent yellow T-shirt, standing in the parking lot with his arms crossed over his chest, looking miffed. I quickly put my camera away and Justin and I high-tailed it to the car. We felt a lot better once we made it inside and locked the doors.
“Sorry I grabbed you like that. I was calling you and calling you,” Justin said, “You wouldn’t turn around.”
“I didn’t even hear you. I was in the zone or something,” I explained.
“How lame would it have been if you got arrested or something for peeping on a Sugar Ray concert?” Justin huffed, still mad at the near mishap.
“That would have been awesome!” I insisted. Justin just rolled his eyes at me.
But he wasn’t too mad to take me up to Mount Washington, to try to get a telescopic lens snapshot of the concert from way above the river (and the rest of the city, for that matter). I wasn’t able to see much from there, but I appreciated his effort. What would I do without Justin there to rescue me and save me from getting arrested on peeping charges? 🙂 I don’t even know…
I took this picture using my telescopic lens from the Duquesne Incline. Smashmouth had started playing at this point. I’m glad I couldn’t really here them clearly from Mount Washington. There was a time when I felt like I everywhere I went they were playing that song “Walking on the Sun.” Ugh. I hate that song. (In the background, you can see the parking lot where I had my peeping incident.)