Two much on my mind

Completing our special two-part series devoted to the events of September 29, we start by returning to our swing state tour of 2004.  The estimated five-hour drive to Madison from Grand Rapids ends up taking hours more, thanks to hardly atypical traffic en route to Chicago, and unexpected traffic even after we escaped O’Hare.  We barely arrive in time to set up and play, and somehow incorporate new members Rick Rizzo, Mark Greenberg and David Kilgour into the proceedings.  And the show is outdoors, which may not have been the wisest strategy for Wisconsin in the fall.  Or was it?  Kerry wins the state in November.  In 2006, we drive overnight from Boston to our next date in Jersey City, at the beautifully restored Loew’s Theatre.  Others arrive in more spectacular fashion, like Qbertplaya of Brooklyn (might not be his real name): For the Yo La Tengo show in Jersey City on Friday, September 29, 2006, I won a prize package from Matador Records via Stereogum: a helicopter ride from Manhattan to Jersey City, and a pair of nice tickets to the concert for me and my brother.  The two of us had never been in a helicopter before, and we certainly weren’t going to let our overprotective parents know of our plans that evening.  It was a thrilling way to kick off the weekend, especially as my birthday is on the 30th.  We got to see you guys in a majestic old venue in our home state, and meet you afterwards.  One of my best concert experiences ever, and with a band I love.  Happy birthday, Q!  The following year, we did a one-off opening for Bright Eyes at the Hollywood Bowl.   Just an amazing night–M. Ward also on the bill, Bright Eyes backed by an orchestra, outdoor concert weather the envy of Wisconsin promoters, and holy shit Hollywood Bowl.