I think I’m probably too old to have children, especially 9 or 10 of them, for more than a couple days.Nevertheless, it was a wonderful weekend. NOMO moved through town as part of their 40 city tour. They’ve been up to Canada, down the east coast through Boston, New York, D.C., Chapel Hill, across to Texas. Dan jumped the tour for two days late last week to fly back to Michigan to take part in a new young composers competition in Detroit and then his sister drove him back here early Saturday morning to pick up with the tour again.
That’s right- his sister. Abby had just successfully been through Misha’s immigration interview with him last week and armed with his green card, he’s free to travel to visit his grandmother and parents and extended family back in Russia for one last time before school starts up for them in August so Abby is taking this opportunity to visit her family, too. She had flown to Ann Arbor on Thursday and so, by mid-morning Saturday I had Abby, two of her high school friends and Dan- but Dan rushed off for the sound check for the afternoon concert at Wicker Park Festival.
I love listening to this band play. They’re just SO good and it’s wonderful watching the band progress with each CD release and tour. Now NOMO has more than just a following; they have a name recognized in music circles. Since the tour began- and with the great reviews- the band has made it into the top five on iTunes twice. It’s pretty common for them to do a live set at the local NPR or jazz music station as they pass through towns along the tour. Lots of times, when I hear them live, I want to nudge someone in the enthusiastic crowd around me and say, “You have no idea how far he’s come from when I sent him to the garage to practice…” Abby says it’s bad enough that I dance without talking to people. She stands far away from me so as to not be associated by accident.
(Dan finds it too hot to tour with hair- rubbing his head reminds me of the first ten months.)
After the concert, every one piled back here for a home cooked meal. There went the Saturday market photos. Two chickens, two loaves of bread, two dozen ear of corn, potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, cheeses-it was all good. A couple of them crashed instantly never to be seen until morning and the rest catnapped just long enough to get up a second wind and go out until four in the morning-to the local pool hall, late shows of The Dark Knight and, in Dan’s case, a run and then a swim in Lake Michigan. Of course, the mother in me was worried about him being carried off by a seiche in the dark… We woke up when we heard noise in the wee hours and I went down, saw a bunch of sleeping bodies, locked the doors and went back to bed. A short while later we heard more noise. I had accidentally locked out the last couple of stragglers.
(McCloud would like to go out.)
(You can’t see the two sharing the double bed behind the door.)
(There was a person sleeping on that sofa a minute ago…)
730 was rise and shine with waffles, fruit and bacon for the whole crowd- they had to be in Omaha last night for a show before moving on to Denver, Las Vegas and the west coast. I also packed sandwich wraps and lunch stuff for the entire band and repaired a pair of jeans for the drummer. Halfway through the tour they’re tired and needed a bit of home patching, laundry, clean towels. I love it when they do come and stay- this band has a wonderful personality as a whole and all of the parts- well, they are just exceptional young people. And funny.
The entire band of eight travels, with ALL of their equipment, in a single van. The band packing goes something like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle with only one solution and they have it down pat, with clothing inside drums, headsets draped over hand straps, cymbals under the seats. We couldn’t believe it, but it goes fairly quickly with everyone putting their personal gear in in sequence. And then they’re off.
(Ingrid, on trumpet, jumped tour here in Chicago to go study music in Africa for a couple weeks. That means there was room for the sandwiches and juice I packed.)
Abby and her two friends drove back to Ann Arbor midday- that was too quick, but I was pretty much done with kids by then anyway. She’ll come back alone sometime in the next week to spend a little quality time with her mum.
This morning, while the band was packing up, this was playing on NPRs Weekend Edition. I would love it if you would go and listen because it’s the best way to hear a bit of the music and know what the band is all about. I’m proud.