Friday, August 9, 2013
X marks the spot in Philadelphia, the spot on the radio dial for one of the best and most recognized Adult Alternative stations in the country, Philly's own WXPN. And X also marks the spot on the Camden Waterfront across from Philadelphia where XPN stages its annual three-day summer concert of emerging and well-established musical groups called the Xponential Music Festival.
What's especially cool about the Xponential Festival is that it brings together music fans of all ages, from teenagers like my son Brandon to paunchy tee-shirted bald-headed oft pony-tailed guys just like ... I mean ... way older than me!
"Hey, Bran," I said a couple of Fridays ago when we attended Night One of the festival, "look at the diversity of ages here!"
"It's true, Dad," said Brandon. "At lots of concerts I attend everybody's young, but you must feel very comfortable here."
"Whaddya mean?!! I fit right in with the young people! Just pointing out the geezers here who'd no doubt be more at home sippin' tea, doin' crossword puzzles, and listening to Donovan!"
"Sure, Dad. Let's sit."
To see all the acts at the Xponential Festival you move back and forth between two alternating stages, the River Stage and the Marina Stage, and between the two we caught a variety of very good groups the likes of The Districts, Kat Edmonson, Michael Kiwanuka, and Red Baraat, although I was a little irritated by the Red Baraat lead singer's continual exhortations to "throw your hands up in the air!"
"Look at all the oldsters here with their hands in the air!" I remarked to Brandon. "So suggestible at their age."
"Yeah, but Dad ..."
"These alter cockers would stick their hands up their ass if he told them to!"
"But, Dad, your hands are up in the air too."
"Well ... he is awfully insistent, isn't he?"
Many of us stood during the set of the final and most well known group, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, who played for nearly two hours. Meanwhile I developed a tiny ache in my back which made me want to sit out for just a wee minute or two.
"Oh my god, Bran, I'm dying and they haven't even gotten to Home yet!"
So I strolled over to the river's edge and settled comfortably on the grass when along came a mature mama with jeans skirt, gray hair down her back, and wrinkles upon wrinkles which bespoke "Yes, Perry, I was studying the Classics at Antioch when you were busily flunking algebra and getting beaten up in junior high."
"Are you okay, friend?" she asked.
"Why wouldn't I be okay?"
"Because your face is green, your back arched like the McDonald's logo, and you collapsed to the ground with a thud so audible it could be heard in Philadelphia."
"Don't worry about me, Granny!" I thought. "Go back to your cross stitch of David Crosby."
"Glad you're okay. A scene like this can be a little taxing for folks our age."
Folks our age?
"Gonna be 62!" she said walking away, with a smile .
"62," she said. "Gonna be 62," she had said. So her exponent and mine were one and the same? Now I was Xponentially upset!
"Dad, you coming back?" said Brandon, walking up to me.
"Sure, Bran. Too bad Red Baraat isn't still on."
"Because now I really wanna throw my hands up in the air!"