Sunday, August 03, 2008


Friday, August 1 - Saturday, August 2

All summer we had been looking forward to this weekend. Our 2 favorite bands, STS9 and Umphrey's McGee, had teamed up for a co-headline summer tour, and they were closing out the tour with 2 nights in Atlanta - only four-and-a-half hours away!

We had reserved a room at a sweet bed-and-breakfast called Sugar Magnolia. (Despite the Grateful Dead song of the same name, there didn't seem to be any intent to link the place to the band or their legacy.)

The place was in a beautiful residential neighborhood about 5 minutes east of downtown.

The neighborhood where we stayed, Inman Park, was minutes away from the funky Little Five Points neighborhood, so we had all kinds of good restaurants and shopping nearby. Not only that, we were only a five-minute drive from the concert at Masquerade Music Park.

Unfortunately, however, sometimes things can go very wrong. The first signs of trouble were already brewing in the photo above, at about 7pm on Saturday evening. The show was about to start, but so was a wicked thunderstorm.

Soon we were all completely soaked, as lightning flashed all around us and high winds ripped tarps off the stage.

We toughed out the storm and even managed to keep the rainwater out of our beers. We had a good spot near the stage and we weren't going to lose it!

The storm turned out to be particularly severe, and trees had been blown down on power lines all over eastern Atlanta. Up to 140,000 people were without power, including us. The power in our area didn't come back on until around 8:30 Sunday morning, so the concert (the grand finale of the summer tour) was cancelled.

Ironically, the tree in the photo above was in the front yard of the Sugar Magnolia Bed-and-Breakfast where we were staying. (Notice all of the stretched and broken power lines!)

To add insult to injury, the power utility guys showed up in the middle of the night with bucket trucks and chain saws to cut up the tree, keeping Rob up for several hours.

Not only was Saturday night a disaster, but we also missed Umphrey's McGee's set on Friday evening because Rob's new teaching position at Pontotoc County School District required him to be at school that day until 3pm for his first day on the job. We left home at 3:45pm, but with the time zone change, we didn't arrive at the show until 9pm.

At least we got to see a solid STS9 set on Friday night, focusing largely on their new Peaceblaster album, but also featuring a couple of our favorite old-school classics, Circus and Tap-In.

One a Day
Beyond Right Now
Shock Doctrine
Peaceblaster '68 >
Peaceblaster '08

Needless to say, the weekend was disappointing. In 20 years of seeing hundreds of concerts, we've never had anything like that happen! Hopefully we can go another 20 years without such a debacle?

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