Seriously the coolest 4th of July and any concert I have EVER been too

So on the 4th we took the kids and ventured to downtown Des Moines.  I am going to admit that I had hem hawed about going to the 80/35 music festival since Todd first brought it up.  I had lots of reasons, money, babysitter, and I didn’t want to deal with crowds.  Yet I could tell this meant a lot to my husband, and we had already told our friends that we were coming.  I wasn’t super excited about any of the bands, but they were OK.  These days even REM can’t make me pay too much to see them live.  I’m getting pretty tight fisted with my $.

First I got excited because I found out Ingrid Michaelson was going to be there.  I don’t have her album (YET), but I love The Sweater Song (which you can here by clicking on the link.)  Second, I found out kids under 12 get in FREE!  Then the  day before I found out that an old friend was helping organize the event.  That got me very excited, because it dawned on me that most likely a lot of our old friends would be wandering around this festival.  So I was getting pretty excited now about the event.

Now if you know Des Moines it is a pretty nice sized town.  I don’t know what I expected (for that matter what the organizers of this event expected), but 15,000 people sort of blew my mind (and the organizers as well.)  That was only the first day! 

We began by listening to a band called Headlights.  I really enjoyed them.  They remind me of another band, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.  Then we ventured over to Ingrid, and she was lovely.  I would have rather seen her in a small intimate setting, but I will take what I can get.  The guys watched Andrew Bird, but Kat and I walked the kids around for awhile.  We got some ice cream, and then met up at Cracker.  I was happy to see them back together, but they were a little harder than I remember from the 90’s.  So we left to find our seats on the grass for the main show. 

This was were things got amazing.  I like The Flaming Lips.  How can you not like a band that sings such quirky songs?  I will be honest though, they are not my favorite band, but I like them a lot.  My husband’s band covers one of there songs, Fight Test.  I never expected to LOVE this show. 

So youngest son, E,  is laying on his belly covered up in a jacket with silencer head phones on (remember he has PDD–loud noises freak him out.  We came prepared for this.)  As soon as Wayne came out in the balloon, I pulled E up to see.  He laughed and watched for a moment, back to fetal position.  Then came the confetti, and it filled the air. E sat up and enjoyed again, but back to the ground.  Then out came the HUNDREDS of weather balloons into the audience.  E was up and chasing.  Both boys were playing in the grass with a hundred other people chasing these balloons.  So streamers, confetti, giant balloons, and flashing lights that showed close ups of Wayne’s face (tonsils included).  It was the most fantastical amazing thing I have ever seen before.  It was a feast for the senses.  Sadly the pics were with my phone so they are not great, but I hope you get the idea!

We danced, ran, played, and experienced pure utter joy for a good hour or so.  Thank you Flaming Lips!  I can only compare Wayne and the guys to Willy Wonka only using music instead of candy.  It was that magical.   Doesn’t this pic look like the stage is exploding!?!  It didn’t. 

I can’t wait for next years 80/35 Festival!  I have also now said that I will PAY again to see The Flaming Lips.  🙂


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