It was still was still 2 hours before the free show, but the green lawn was already covered with people. There was an open spot west of the stage, just outside venue. Within seconds, I was pinned against the concrete ledge, looking over at the still empty stage of the open air pavilion. The air was warm and restless as the sun slowly diminished among the encroaching clouds. Perspire began to drench my cotton Threadless shirt from the heat and high humidity amid an approaching storm. To my left, a male figure impatiently waiting, and to my right, a cute girl who kept on exchanging looks with me; both of them were my age. Strangers we were to each other, but there we stood together staring at the thousands gathered, waiting to watch the stage come to life.
Look down from the ledge, there was as steady stream of elderly couples approaching the seated section of the venue with their season passes in hand. They were mostly 60s, a few 50s aged adults strolling in below me, all of them surprised by the enormous crowd that gathered. Of the hundreds adults present towards the front of the stage, thousands more young adults packed the sides and the back; all for a free concert with the Grant Park Orchestra.
As the orchestra slowly filled their seats and tuning their instruments, people continued to flow into Millennium Park, disparately trying to edge to the Pritzker Pavalion in hopes of perhaps glimpsing the stage. Then a voice spoke over the PA system; false alarm, the waiting game continues. Finally, a loud applause erupted from the stage, slowing making it’s way to the back of the field and the sides of the park. No, it wasn’t for the conductor, it was for what we all came to see…at least anyone below the age of 50. The excitement that was brewing all day, especially from those who spend the whole day on the lawn, was about to be released.
“So I guess before we waste any time, let’s just jump straight into it.” Said Colin.
The concert went on for almost two hours. Not rain, lightning, or the unbearable heat could send the thousands of hungry people away without being fed. And we were. It was the perfect crime, no. 2.