Days into Nights

Late nights are magic.

For someone who has to manage how much I've spent in the sun and hug the shade, nighttime is perfect for wandering freely from band to band and not keeping track of how long ago I applied sunscreen. But there's something else about a late night of music, and I don't know what it is. Magic just seems to happen. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

After Pearl Jam finished at our first year, we were exhausted and sweaty. (Plus my husband was recovering from some cold he'd picked up) we stretched out on the lawn with a plate of samosas and sweet potato fries to watch Sigur Ros. I first heard this band on a mix cd my best friend gave me for my 19th birthday, and was amazed by the sound. I could hardly believe I was watching them suddenly live on stage, sparkly atmosphere and a marching band? The perfect wind-down to a wonderful day.

Same year, we were at the epic My Morning Jacket show. As songs would build, the rain poured down and the wind blew hard; then ebbing as the song wound down. It felt like they controlled the weather. Eventually they had to take a break since electronics and water aren't very good friends. When they came back, Jim James wore a cape and they tore into a great James Brown cover. We ended up leaving a bit before the end, soaked to the bone and shivering, but warmed ourselves in our sleeping bags listening to the last song,"Home Sweet Home," as we fell asleep.

LCD Soundsystem made us dance our socks off a few years ago. As we dance-sprinted to the tent, we dodged and leapt over sleeping bodies. I wish that LCD would reform every year for a late night set.

Walking back to Public Enemy from the portapotties, I reached a point in the road where I could distinctly hear Phish and Public Enemy. The sound of the two bands briefly complemented each other for a minute, rhythm and tonality syncing just for a minute. Just the right moment and right time. Amazing.

The Flaming Lips played a double set of their own work and then played The Dark Side of the Moon. First, Wayne was in the hamster ball. Second they played Dark Side. Need I say more?

And finally, Alice Cooper's set last year. My great friend had been so excited and she made sure we found the perfect spot. There was a kid dressed up in a top hat and cane on their parent's shoulders the whole show. I had never seen Alice Cooper before. Such a stage show, and just amazed me from beginning to end.

So many different sounds. So much fun. And a lot of dancing. It's the magic of late nights.