According to every person on the internet, 2016 was the worst year ever. Of course there’s the backlash of “No, it wasn’t the worse year ever, every year is awful.” But then there’s the backlash to that backlash of, it may not have been the worst year ever, but it was still pretty bad. It’s kind of exhausting. I don’t want to add my take to that chorus, so I’m going to recap the year in moments of joy. Here are a few moments that stick out to me in the swing of things:
-Standing in a drizzle on Hall’s Island listening to Wilco. I recapped this concert in a previous post. It was one of the few times this year where I really tried to focus on “Being There.” I remember thinking to myself during the concert that I was happy just to be standing there listening to the music. I didn’t need to be on my phone or recording it. I just took it all in. It helped that I met a really cool women and we ended up talking about music and soccer during the breaks of the concert. It’s always great when there are little, unforeseen surprises in the course of your day. It really makes you appreciate getting out of the house. There’s so much out there that we wall ourselves away from. That’s what scares me about the future. We’re going to end up just sitting in our house away from everything. That concert reminded me that it’s important to go out and do things even if they feel exhausting in the first place.
-Sitting in Soldier Field watching the United States Men’s National Team play. I went with my buddy Jack to Chicago to take in a game of the Copa America Centanario. Politics regarding the tournament aside, it was a fun game. Luckily, we saw one of the more exciting games of the tournament. The United States ended up winning 4-0 against a pretty decent Costa Rica team. We also had some really great seats on the midfield line. I’d definitely take in another game. (Hopefully, the team can improve this year.)
-Seeing Paul McCartney at Target Center. I’ve seen many of my other music heroes in concert: Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, but I had never seen one of the Beatles, one of my all-time favorite bands growing up. I remember seeing a giant banner over Target Center on the day that Prince died. I had walked over the First Ave to drop off some flowers in front of the Prince star when I noticed the banner. I checked online and saw that tickets were still pretty cheap. I bought two of them for $100. He put on a great show full of energy and some good banter. I’m so glad I saw him before he stopped touring.
-Seeing A Prairie Home Companion on opening night. I went to APHC with my mom. It was the first night on the job for new host Chris Thile. He had some great guests, including one of my favorite bands, Lake Street Dive. I really enjoyed Thile’s energy and passion towards his new responsibilities. I’d love to go see him again.