Sometimes the weekend is busier than the work week. Starting at 4:00 on Friday it felt as if we never stopped moving. First up was a trip to Eau Claire Friday evening for Country Jam. A fun atmosphere, but I must say that Big and Rich embodied just about every negative stereotype of country music culture, not to mention the fact that they weren't entertaining in the least. We drove back after the show, getting back into the Cities at 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning I got up early and ran with Wynn at Lake Calhoun so we could work out logistics for the 100k race on August 2. After that was Highland Fest, the local community gathering in our new neighborhood, where I purchased the longest bratwurst ever and Katie was accosted by a woman who was fascinated that they had the same hair color. Then we were off to a wedding reception for one of Katie's coworkers, after which we drove to Coon Rapids for a going away bonfire for Katie, getting to bed around 12:30 a.m.
Now we're starting to get tired, but WAIT! There is more! Sunday I rose early to put in 10 miles before running the Highland Fest 5k, which I ran in a relaxed 16:02 followed by another 7 miles. Shower. Katie's uncle's birthday party. Pazzaluna with my family to celebrate my sister's birthday. And then....the man who is forever in blue jeans...Neil Diamond at the Xcel. Even though we were dragging a bit, the show was fantastic. It was his second show of the weekend, but we heard that he didn't play many of the old standards at the first show. Not so last night. Cherry, Cherry. Cracklin Rosie. Thank The Lord For the Night Time. Love on the Rocks. Play Me. Solitary Man. I'm A Believer. And of course, Sweet Caroline. The greatest thing about Neil Diamond is how committed he is to the performance. For You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore, he started the song slouched at a white-clothed lounge table with a bottle of wine. The man looked in pain when he sang I Am, I Said. And he was wistful as he talked his way through Brooklyn Roads. I know I'm being greedy, especially when he played two hours without an intermission, but Shilo, Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon, The Boat That I Row, and Kentucky Woman didn't make in on the set list last night. I guess he did need to make some room for the songs of his new album. Oh well, his voice is still so powerful, I don't see him hanging it up anytime soon.
I will say that he didn't tell any stories like this: