Monday, June 9, 2008

Motley Crue, A Motley Crew, and A Gospel Choir?

Okay. What do Motley Crue, A Motley Crew and a Gospel Choir all have in common? Portfest in Newport!

Last night was the second and last day of Newport's annual summer festival called Portfest. It is a two day festival with approximately two weeks of local activities i.e. talent show, fishing tournament, 5K race, etc. leading up to the big weekend (not including the wearing of the official t-shirt which begins about six weeks or so before and is "required" wearing on Fridays around town). It seems like everyone in town has some connection to the preparations for the big event.

Friday was a long day and I was not able to make it out to any of the festivities but Saturday night I made my way out for the BIG show with some friends. While there, I made a few observations.

First, I might mention Vince Neil, lead singer for Motley Crue, was the headliner for the concert. Now when our Chamber of Commerce director announced this at our annual banquet, I found myself asking "Who in the world is Vince Neil?" It didn't matter enough to me to investigate . . . until I saw his photo on the posters . . . and found out he was with the metal band Motley Crue. To say his photo was ultra hot would be a gross understatement. I might mention here I've never heard one of their songs either. But hey, looking that good, who cares?! It also bears mentioning that most of the acts that do these festival circuits have seen their heyday and so when they show up here, they look nothing like the photo on the posters. I now realize these photos are from days gone by. So with no recognizable music and nothing to LOOK at, I tried to nap until the fireworks. But that was an effort in futility. For even though we'd moved almost a football field back from the speakers, I still felt like I was attached to a defibrillator. Every cell in my body was reorganized. Moral of the story? Sit TWO football fields away from the speakers, don't believe those guys look ANYTHING like the photos on the posters and oh, rock stars do not age gracefully, especially ones with lives like this one.

Second. It is indeed a motley crew that shows up for Portfest. My life takes me out into our community on a daily basis where I know and see a good many different people. But I'm telling you, I've no idea where this motley crew comes from each year for Portfest! When the napping thing wasn't panning out, I decided to people watch. Veeerrrrryyyyy interesting . . . where DO they get those clothes? Does he realize mullets are 'out'? How can she walk in those wedges on this turf? Can they not see their clothes are waaaaaaaaaay too small? Does her mother know she is with him? When was the last time he took a bath and do guys wear shirts anymore? You would not believe the interesting humanity congregating at our little festival. Yep, quite a motley crew of our own. As these thoughts went through my head and I recognized no songs, I realized . . . I am very much middle-aged. By the way, where did Brawny Boy go to? Is he wearing a shirt?

The concert finally finished (not a moment too soon) and during the lull, I leaned back and looked up at the stars. The stars are very visible where I live as it is rural and there is very little light pollution. The temperature at 9:30 pm was 89 degrees, there was a good breeze and no humidity and miraculously, no bugs thanks to the fogging crew. The air felt like satin against your skin. It was Perfect with a capital P. There were couples taking advantage of the night and the stars (apparently Motley Crue music puts some people into a romantic mood) as we waited for the fireworks to begin which did none too soon because I didn't want to watch the couple's fireworks :) The wind wreaked a bit of havoc with the fireworks but it was still a good production with the best finale I've seen yet at Portfest.

Third. I almost forgot. The gospel choir. Interestingly, only in the South would you follow up a Vince Neil/Motley Crue concert with fireworks set to music from a gospel choir! Only in the South.

All in all, Portfest was a great time. Five years ago at my first Portfest, having just moved here, I knew one person. Now, not only was it fun to head out there with a group of my friends but I knew dozens of the festival goers around me (the 'normal' ones :) . Good friends, good junk food, perfect night, Brawny Boy behaved and also wore a shirt. What more could you ask for on a summer's night?

Next year? You're welcome to come with me . . .