Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Blessed Evening (No, really!)

Who: VN Assistant Editor Anna Peraino
What: Dinner from Papalote and Bon Iver live in concert
Where: San Francisco and Berkeley, CA
When: September 22, 2011
Why: Burritos and Bon Iver are both alliterative and life-changing.

The Scoop: You know when you have those days where everything looks like it's going to go totally 100-percent uncontrollably wrong, and then somehow it turns into one of the best days of your life? The evening of September 22 was one of those days for me. Three friends and I bought tickets to Bon Iver at UC Berkeley's famed (and by "famed" I mean Jerry Garcia, Joan Baez, and Pink Floyd performed there) Hearst Greek Theater. Now, most of you probably don't know me (hi, Mom!), but Bon Iver is one of my absolute favorite, love-you-forever, own-all-your-albums-and-singles-on-vinyl bands. They make sweet, sweet love to my ears and I listen to them daily—but more on that later. First, the drama!

So crappy thing about this concert: it started at 7pm, and my friends and I are all SF residents, and two of us have to make the lovely (read: obnoxiously traffic-filled) commute up from the South Bay. I was to meet a friend at 6pm, grab burritos, and then meet the others at a designated SF intersection at 6:45 sharp. Sounds easy, right? Most definitely wrong! My first friend was late, and we didn't get out the door until 6:30. Luckily, however, a bus that could take us (quite literally) to the doorstep of Papalote was rolling by as we began our walk. We made it to Papalote just as our piping hot burritos came off the grill—filled with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, black beans, rice, guacamole, and the best salsa in the universe (I mean it!), these rolled-up delights are one of my favorite meals in SF.

Imagine this exact burrito, minus the plate and plus my lap. 

After getting the burritos, it was a quick two-block walk to the designated meet-up. Somehow, some way, all four of us arrived within minutes of each other, and so the quad was off! Unfortunately, the lovely (read again: obnoxiously traffic-filled) drive across the Bay Bridge to Berkeley ended up taking an hour, and we arrived at the Greek with 15-ish minutes until Bon Iver was to take the stage. Plenty of time, right? Again, no. All the parking lots were filled! As the clock ticked closer and closer to 8pm, we were almost resigned to driving a mile away (and down a really, really steep hill) to a second parking lot, but fate stepped in in the form of a coed talking on her phone. "Do you need a parking spot? I have one right around the corner." God bless us, every one.

Five minutes (and $25 later—we really couldn't thank her enough), we arrived at the venue, burritos in hand. The outdoor ampitheatre was filled to the brim with excited listeners, the four of us included. And magically, as if the universe was waiting for us to arrive (so nice of it!), Bon Iver came on right as we were taking our seats.

And let me tell you readers, the show was absolutely amazing. Eight musicians, two drum sets, a piccolo, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and a whole host of instruments collided in the musical glory that was that show.

Bon Iver and 8,500 of our closest friends! 

As if we didn't already feel the good juju all around us as we left the concert, as we neared our car, we saw a family of deer grazing in the nearby woods, two little fawns included! Five feet away from us! No joke! It was a blessed evening, filled with the best food, friends, music, and nature around.


Anonymous said...

So wait. The reason this day was about to be the worst is because while living in one of the most iconic, expensive cities in the country, you grossly under-budgeted your time to make it all the way from your full-time job to Berkeley during prime commuting hours, thus almost being late for a concert.

#whitegirlproblems for real.

Anonymous said...

Everything's relative. Life can feel just as hard for #whitegirls as it can for #nonwhitegirls - it's just a different environment.

I don't know, though - sounds like a pretty stressful evening all around, but like it all came together and was a great experience overall! I saw Bon Iver in Seattle and it was also a great experience.

Anonymous said...

Haha, thanks Anonymous #1. Needed to be said.

And #2, it only feels just as hard for #whitegirls because they choose not to keep perspective, which is also their fault. I am a white girl, and this post doesn't deserve any defending, but I won't judge you for being less cynical than me.