Saturday, July 4, 2009

The scent of success is vaguely similar to the odor of a basement consignment shop.

Thank goodness a light drizzle was all the crowds felt today at Des Moines 80/35 music festival. It certainly wasn't your typical Independence Day -- no overwhelming heat, or blood, sweat or tears. Well, maybe there were tears. (And there might have been blood -- I just didn't know about it.)

Either way, the 4th of July went pretty much unnoticed, minus the few shout-outs from the bands ("Where are all my fourth of July girls?" said rap/rocker G. Love) and the occasional waving flag in the crowd. Fireworks went off later in the evening, after headliner Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 played the main stage.

It wasn't like I took the time to count heads, but I gotta guess that there were more people in attendance today than yesterday. The main stage area seemed filled to the brim relatively early, by the time third-from-the-end act G. Love & Special Sauce performed.

And yes, the painted-boob ladies loitered in the throngs of concert-goers today, as well! (No pirate sightings, though.) Today's crowd seemed far more like a throwback to Woodstock, with earth mother-types and dread-heads lounging on the cement. There were hula-hoopers, bubble-blowers and ring tossers running through the masses in front of the stage -- to what purpose, I have no idea. It felt a little...psychedelic.

Parents with children, parents without children and expecting parents turned out in greater numbers than college-age single folk. (That's not to say that Boozy Bob and Tipsy Tammy weren't on the scene...because they were. As were hundreds of their clones.)

Various smoke smells and body odors drifted through the crowd, making its scent slightly reminiscent of [Iowa City consignment shop] Ragstock -- a little sweet, a little sour...and very dusty. Patchouli and pot, anyone? It was a kind of a comforting sensory sensation, but that could have been the second-hand high, or the fatigue of walking around for ten hours.

(Photograph provided by DI staffer Christy Aumer.)

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