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October 7, 2010 - Marguerite Lanthier
I was very excited to attend my first Farm Aid concert, which was also my first visit to Miller Park. After tailgating in the parking lot for a few hours, we made our way inside and purchased shirts. Then we headed off to find our seats in club section 300 something. I liked that you could see the stage while standing in the hallway behind the seats, especially after finding out our seats were just below nosebleed. Not a problem, I was only in the seats for about a half hour. Then my friends went outside to have a cigarette. After sitting for a few moments by myself, I went to find them. As it turned out, I didn’t find them for a while. I wondered around the hallways, then made a split second decision to try get down to the floor. I walked confidently down the stairs, and at the bottom, while the security person checked the tickets of the couple in front of me, I slipped by, walked quickly onto the floor, and nearly fell, tripping on the flooring they had put over the outfield. I kept walking. No one stopped me. I didn’t realize who would be playing next when I took my brave little stroll, so I was pretty happy when they announced Dave Matthews’ name. I walked up the side until I was almost in front and then ended up in seats next to some fellow DMB fans. No chance of getting closer to the middle, but we had a large screen about 20 feet in front of us. Perfect. I couldn’t have timed it better, as Dave was the main person I wanted to see. And standing with a group of fans was no better way to see him. I wanted to remain on the floor. I tried to get ahold of my friend, but my texts didn’t go through. Neither did hers, as she was also texting me. I was waiting in a long line for the bathroom on the floor between sets, when I finally decided to go back up. First up the stairs, then across the stadium, stopping to eat a pretzel and watch John Mellencamp along the way. I didn’t make it back to the seats, but somehow my friend found me. She was a bit annoyed she hadn’t been on the floor to see her favorite, Mellencamp. Then we wandered around, missing most of Neil Young. She’s not a big fan. I wanted to watch more than we actually did. Just before the last set, we tried to get on the floor, but couldn’t get past the two ladies who were tag-team watching the entry way at the bottom of one section. We reformulated the plan. Use the facilities, get drinks, try a different entryway to the field. We marched down to the seats closest to the gate a section over, watched Steven Tyler, the surprise guest, do a few songs with Willie Nelson. My friend wanted to try a different place. I told her to be patient, maybe he would be distracted and then we could go. Walking back up to the top of the section to try somewhere else probably wouldn’t have worked any better. Well our patience paid off. He got distracted and almost ran off to do something ‘official’. “Come on,” I said, and we made our move. “Don’t walk too fast,” I told my friend, “you want to look like you belong here.” We made our way up through the middle as far as we could then cut over to the side I was on before. Then we began moving back toward the middle. It was easier then. A lot of people had left. We never made it to the middle section front, but we were in a pretty good spot near the front. And Willie Nelson put on a fun set to end the day.
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Willie Nelson joins Dave Matthews on a duet during Matthews' set.