Absolutely Rockstar

Dr. Ruth and I woke up the next morning, gloriously refreshed. To begin the process of purging the beignets from our thighs, we went for walkies around my neighborhood. When we lived in Edinburgh together, American tourists were always taking pictures of the blue plaques on building (historical markers), the red telephone booths, and the red, cylindrical post boxes. Well, it was now Ruth’s turn to take pictures of iconographic American things that she’d only seen in movies and on TV up until now….


Fire hydrants don’t exist in Europe, in this form, so she was excited. The other funny thing that keeps happening is how people respond when Ruth says she’s from outside of London. It proves that Americans? Not so hot with the geography.

Ruth: “I’m from the UK.”

Man in NOLA: “Wow! I have friends in Belgium!”

Ruth: “I’m from the UK.”

Young Elvis in Pirate Bar (pre-Toxic Baby): “I’ve been to Spain!”

Ruth: “I’m from the UK.”

Waiter in Memphis: “I’ve got a cousin in Austria! Or is it Australia…..?”

Ruth: *in her posh English accent* “I’m from outside London, but I live in Edinburgh.”

Woman at Target: “I thought I recognized that accent! My family came over from Scotland in the 1700s!”

People’s reactions to Ruth have been a constant source of amusement. Especially the server at the McDonald’s in Memphis, who, when Ruth ordered a cheeseburger, stared at her like she was speaking in Medieval Latin. I actually had to translate. Hilarious!

Anyway, after our walkies we had leftover tacos and then drove over to my brother’s, where we met up with him, my nephew, and a few of his police buddies so that we could all drive together to see the DROPKICK MURPHYS!!!!!

Can I tell you how much I love that band? And my family? It was my nephew’s, Wyatt’s, first concert. He’s nine, but he’s got an old soul. And we all had so much fun! Peelers on Parade!


The venue was at the old Meig’s Field, which I think is now called Northerly Island Park, or something. I hadn’t been to a show there, yet, as it was only converted from a functioning air strip into a concert venue in 2003, when I was already living abroad. The story of how it came to be is a wonderful tale of Illinois Politics, involving contractors – illegally hired by the mayor – showing up in the dead of night to vandalize the air field with big bulldozed Xs, so that planes couldn’t land. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that this is SUCH an amazing venue. We thought it’d be huge, but it’s actually the size of a mid-size Chicago theater, just outside and with an AMAZING skyline view:


Look at that skyline behind us! Awesome!!! Also awesome were the BUCKETS O’ BEER they were serving. Rootie was just getting comfortable with the idea that, in America, everything is simply BIGGER. But the size of these beers blew her away…


My brother and his buddies kept us well supplied:


Peelers rule!

And the concert ROCKED. I love the Murphys, and it was awesome to see them live. Unfortunately, while they are normally the headliners when they play in Chicago, for this show they were supporting….the Offspring. I have fond memories of the Offspring, and my own very first concert was a Q101 Low Dough show with the Offspring opening up for the Violent Femmes. So that was kinda cool. And it was pretty funny to see the disparity in the two sets of fans. There was about a ten year age difference, with the majority of the Offspring’s fans hovering at about 20, and a big tattoo difference. The people covered in tats with the buckets o’ beer? Murphy’s fans. The decidedly stoned teenagers drinking soda? Offspring. I was afraid the children were going to get hurt, but they knew to back up and let the adults play when the Murphys came on. That said, the Offspring had some very fun t-shirts on sale:


I love the couple buying the same t-shirt. And I love the kid who’s so excited he has to put on his t-shirt RIGHT AWAY. That said, it’s not as cool as my new Murphy’s shirt, which says, “Kiss Me – I’m Shitfaced.” I will wear it to the Savage on Fridays. So I don’t have to say it out loud, anymore. 😉 Time is money.

The concert itself ruled. The Murphys are SO GOOD live. My brother has seen them about a dozen times, but I’ve been gone so long and was never in the same city they were at the same time. I’d be in Boston…they’d be in Dallas. I’d be in Dallas, they’d be in Chicago… it was like we were ne’er fated to meet. So i was a VERY happy bunny seeing them, finally – not least because I may have a big girlie crush on James Lynch, the guitarist. Big…Girlie…Crush. I may have squealed when he came on. I quickly tamped it down, made a high sign, and rocked out, but there was definitely a squeal emitted. Embarrassing!

But Rootie and I had an AWESOME time, and Rootie is now a fan of the Murhpys:


Not least because we got to smooch Al Barr, the lead singer. He was really cute in person and really sweet. He warned us he was pretty sweaty as we went in for the kill, but Rootie is not for turning…


I love his face. He’s like, “Yeah, this is my job. Thanks.” I look like I may be about to lick him. That is unintentional, and there was no follow through.

For the rest of the show, we drank more, blagged our way into the VIP tent, drank more, and then left halfway through the Offspring. But not before one last picture!


After the show, we dropped Chris and Wyatt off at their hotel, and went round the corner to Mercat’s, where my friend Ervin is the bartender. I love me some Ervin! See him in action!

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Ervin hooked us up with some gorgeous cocktails and some AMAZING food. Meow. If you’re in Chicago, hit Mercat’s up for some tapas. Soooooo delicious….


Ervin lives with my good friend from Aurora, Sean, and we eventually finished gnoshing on everything in sight and went back to their lovely apartment. We sat up with Sean for a while, talking, then went to bed. In the morning, we were fed delicious coffee and bagels (ohhhh I love bagels) by the boys, until my brother picked us up.

Tomorrow, Rootie enjoys an American BBQ and Father’s day, during which my mother promises to take her to the Top of the ‘Cock! We giggled.

Yay for the Murphys! Yay for Al Barr! Yay for Chicago!