30 Minutes - A Weekend of Rock and Stuff

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Hi. It's Joe. As promised, I am writing the more detailed tale of last weekend's amazingly rocking time, because 30 minutes is much better than 2 minutes for getting all the details down.

I had dinner with Caitlin and her mom at my house on Friday night. After that, I had planned to go see SUNSPOT at the Frequency in Madison WI. But then Caitlin told me she wanted to get up early the next morning to prepare for the Lake Mills Arts Festival, which she was showing in the next day (Saturday).

I asked, "How early?" And she replied, "6:30."

Well, SUNSPOT wasn't going to start until at least 10 pm and I knew that I was going to be rocking Rock-n-Roll Fest in Delavan WI with them on Saturday afternoon (already, I think you can see how action packed the weekend was going to be). So, I decided to get an early night and be relatively rested for helping Caitlin in the morning. It was Caitlin's first such art fair and we had a few technical difficulties to iron out in her tent setup, by way of a trip to Menards. She learned a lot about the best way to do an art fair. Overall it went well.

I could only stay until about 1 pm before I had to go to my gig. But before I did I had a fun morning. My coworkers Chad and Stephen were at the fest, as was my good pal Sherry Misener. It was my free day on my diet plan (my mom bet me $500 to lose 25 pounds before Labor Day), so I ate a veggie pizza with all local ingredients and had a coffee. I walked around looking at other people's art and then Chad and his wife and daughter and I went to the Lake Mills Cafe on the Square to eat lunch and I had a tasty veggie omelette.

The high point of the art fair for me was scoring one of Caitlin's paintings that I really dig, called the "Steadfast Tin Soldier," and based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale of the same name. There is a picture of it on this post somewhere, I think. Yeah, it is up there near the top.

I drove home and met Stefan at my house so we could car pool to Delavan for the rock fest. It was a hot day, but the bandshell we were playing under had decent shade and they provided bottled water. The Phoenix Park Bandshell park does not allow beer, so we had to keep it on the down low, using unmarked containers. Very high school!

And speaking of school, the opening act were four School of Rock graduates, aged 12 to 15, who were excellent. They were laying down rock cover songs with the skill of some people twice their age. The video is on this post somewhere, of them playing "Rock-n-Roll" by Led Zeppelin. Look down below at the video links. Sorry, the sound quality of my phone is quite crappy. But you get the idea.

The lead singer was nice enough to wear a GUPPY EFFECT t-shirt during their set. SUNSPOT rocked a great set after "Slightly Used," the School of Rock band. They are a power trio like my band, GUPPY EFFECT. I enjoyed it. I ate a chicken salad sandwich from the Downtown Deli, which was vending at the fest.

Then GUPPY EFFECT rocked and it was one of our best performances. That always seems to happen when the audience turnout is low (because of the "no beer" policy…and the Catholic church down the street was having a "yes beer" policy fundraiser, also with a live band).

After us was a popular local group who I want to call Martha's Vineyard, although I know that is wrong. Martha Berner, I think it was. Something like that. They were a 4-piece fronted by a singer-songwriter chick, with an ample following. After the full band played, she did some solo stuff and then brought back the full band. Near the end of the set, a bunch of us cruised down to the Catholic Yes Beer Party.

Caitlin and her mom had arrived in time to hear the GUPPY EFFECT set at the bandshell. We hung out at the church party for a while. Catholics sure love to drink. The next day I heard from Mike Stone, former Queensryche guitarist and leader of the band "Kings Highway" playing at the Catholic Yes Beer Party, that the church sold more beer than ever before at that party.

GUPPY EFFECT stopped by a local Delavan watering hole for a beer before Stefan and I cruised back to Cambridge, where I live. On the way, we stopped in Fort Atkinson WI to check out a little bit of MarioPalooza, a music fest hosted by our good buddy Mario Rodriguez III. We heard some of the music by a band called Sexy Esther. I think they got their name from the front woman named Esther, who is kind of sexy. We chatted with Mario a while before we had to go home, it was late.

Stefan, who is from Madison, stayed over in the guest room at my house, because on Sunday we headed back down to Lake Geneva, near Delavan, to play at Laura Stone's Music Show at Carvetti's Bar and Grill. Laura Stone is the wife of Mike Stone, the former Queensryche guitarist mentioned above (I like to flaunt my minor brushes with fame), and she hosts this music showcase there every Sunday from 1 to 4 pm. You should go, if you are in the area. It is a really fun time.

Caitlin and her mom came to this show on Sunday too. Caitlin's mom lives in Zambia and she is back for a while, so I was glad I was able to provide some opportunities to entertain her. The patrons of Carvetti's really seemed to enjoy mine and Stefan's performance.

Later on Sunday night I went swimming with Caitlin in Rock Lake in Lake Mills WI, where she lives, and then we ate dinner with her mom. I was quite exhausted, and I slept like a baby on Sunday night. I believe I am still recovering.

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