Rock the Garden 2009

I feel like I bought tickets for Kristi and me to attend Rock the Garden a long time ago. Then my coworker David went and won tickets the day before the show. He couldn’t make it, so luckily he let me use them to get a couple more friends in. It was a so much fun—and such a great day for it!

I recommend that you go look through the whole set on Flickr for yourself, but I’ve got the highlights for ya right here. (Though this will still be pretty image-heavy. You’ve been warned!)

East Entry

We arrived by bus promptly at 3 p.m., and found a long waiting line. The gates hadn’t opened yet. I was happy to entertain myself by taking photos of Minneapolis scenery (the Basilica and Loring Park pedestrian bridge).

Kristi waiting in line

Basilica and Loring Park pedestrian bridge

It was sort of funny to see really awesome food vendors next to typical fair food vendors. Vincent, Holy Land, and Joe’s Garage all had specialty items if attendees weren’t down with corn dogs and burgers.

Fancy food next to typical fair food

The street isn't crowded yet


I attended the 2004 Rock the Garden when David Byrne was the headliner. The Guthrie was still attached to the Walker then, so the street was the only place to watch the concert from and the stage faced Loring Park. Last year the grassy knoll was open for seating, but the stage still faced Loring Park. This year they got it right: the stage faced the grassy knoll. It was perfect.

Grassy Knoll and Stage

Kristi and I found our spot on the grassy knoll


In case my hundreds of other photos don’t prove that Kristi and I were there…

Me and Kristi in front the stage

I purchased tickets at Minnesota Public Radio’s member price. David won tickets (which Mikey and Noah used) from one of the event sponsors, University of Saint Thomas.

Member and General Admission Tickets

Rainbow around the sun

VIP areas

I thought about trying a pork chop but I wasn’t hungry enough and I was afraid of spilling on one of the 9,999 other people.

Pork-CHOP at the pork chops

I love a good zero-waste event! I also love corn.

Compostable Cupo

Solid Gold played a great set, representin’ local music well.

Solid Gold

More of Solid Gold

Mikey and Noah

Noah and Kristi

Mikey, Noah and Kristi

It is dangerous to have a camera when I get a little bored and antsy.

Basilica and a hint of downtown Minneapolis

Walker Art Center

I don’t listen to Mark Wheat’s set on The Current very often, but I enjoy him when I do!

Mark Wheat

Mikey and Noah at Rock the Garden

Yeasayer was okay. I recognized a couple songs, but otherwise I got distracted by scenery and people watching.


More of Yeasayer


Mikey and Noah enjoying Calexico

I made Kristi take a lot of photos with me. We started getting a little punchy towards the end of Calexico. beer + sun + sitting for too many hours = antsy silliness.

Kristi and me

Crowds to the left

Where can I get a cheap hula hoop? Because I imagine I’ll try it once for about 10 minutes (maybe 5) and then never touch it again.

Hula hooping


Kristi and me

I enjoyed Calexico, it’s just too bad I was so easily distracted during their set.


More of Calexico



Kristi and me

Then some friendly people behind us took our photo, and we returned the favor. I hope we didn’t block their view too much.

Me, Mikey, Noah and Kristi

I listen to Steve Seel and Jill Riley on The Current every morning.

Steve Seel and Jill Riley

A volunteer was passing out bananas, which heightened the silliness. I ate one, it was refreshing (I guess).

Free Bananas

Mikey and Banana

Kristi, me and a banana

The lines to use the “bathrooms” were sooooooooooooo long and I got bored (and broke out the camera again).

Biffy Line

I missed a good chunk of The Decemberists’ set because I actually found someone else I knew. But the music was good, the decoration was interesting and colorful, and most people who were sitting for the rest of the show finally stood up so we had a chance to dance and work out some of the antsy-ness. It was difficult to get a good photo because they were sort of far away and the sun was setting. Or maybe I need a new point-and-shoot camera…

The Decemberists

The colorful Decemberists

I love that they ended with a cover of Heart’s “Crazy on You.” That’s one of my favorites to sing at karaoke, I think.

Sunset over the Decemberists

The Decemberists

More of The Decemberists

I wish I had gone to see it when the cherry was being cleaned or repainted or whatever. It was cool to see it at night though, too.

Cherry and Spoon bridge at night

At the end, instead of taking the bus home, Jared agreed to come pick Kristi and me up. We walked through Loring Park to meet him downtown because, surprisingly, it was less crowded there.

Fountain in Loring Park

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