Then we got there. And I would be lying if I were to say I wasn't a little disappointed. There were hardly any people there, and we saw that the advertising took liberal use of the plural form of "food trucks"; there were two, and one of them only had juice! But we settled in to listen to Fly Moon Royalty, and we were all enjoying the up-beat hip hop Seattle band. They're coming back to the Bartlett soon, and I might go see them--it's not often I see a dance band anymore! I looked around at a dad and son play catch with one of those Velcro pad/tennis ball sets, we ran into one of Tim's cheeriest colleagues and her kids, and we sat in the grass with our delicious food from Tacos el (or del, we can't remember) Sol. I felt like a twerp for judging the event so quickly.
By the time Rogue Wave came on, I was thinking, "You go, Spokane." During their first song, more people started showing up and , settling into the grass around the stage. The sun was going down and people looked like they were enjoying themselves. There were a few hippies dancing, and of course, the Spokane celebrity The Tambourine Man.
After the first song, the lead singer something along the lines of, "Okay, so I guess you're all sitting down. Uh, we're not really a sitting down band, but whatever. Maybe we'll get tired and sit down, too."
My first thought was, "What an asshole." By the end of the night I thought, you know, these guys have probably been touring around and are exhausted and hot like the rest of us, and they wanted to give everyone a good show and knew that wasn't going to happen with everyone sitting down. But I confess it was my first thought that fired up my "I'll show you" attitude and convinced my husband to stand up and go closer just to "try it out." Our friends were quick to follow.
We weren't the only ones who had the idea--around the same time, most everyone sitting down got up and started dancing. And by the end of the second song, the lights of downtown Spokane were clear from across the river, the people at the perch booth decided to stop selling those long plastic halo sticks and threw them out into the crowd for free, and Rogue Wave fell in love with Spokane.
And boy was I proud. Say what you will about the many different types of Spokanites, one trait we share is grit, and I think it was that grit, compared with a desire to have a good time and enjoy the day in front of us that made everyone step up the Challenger instead of sulking away in a "too cool for school" attitude.
It was a good night. I was a proud of my city.
Speaking of grit, look at these two bad-asses: