The Chicago Fire and new Juliana!

(no really there is a connection)

Today I attended my first Chicago Fire game, after a great deal of hemming and hawing much to my discredit. I drove into the city, wound my way down to the post-industrial wasteland that is southwest Chicago to Toyota Park to hang out in Section 8 with a group of complete strangers. I did “know” two of them from Twitter, which does something to relieve social anxiety I suppose, but not a whole lot. I was nervous as hell, as I always am when I find myself around people I don’t know, but quickly completely lost my mind (and most of my voice) shouting, jumping, singing, and chanting for the Fire to beat D.C. United. It was about 45 degrees, felt much cooler once the sun settled down behind the east side stands, and as someone who doesn’t follow MLS as religiously as the EPL or Bundesliga, didn’t really know what to expect.

Well, what happened was a ballgame, with the Fire grabbing an early 1-0 lead on a beautiful Nyarko shot to the right corner in the 16th minute. United was on the front foot for most the first half, but couldn’t find the back of the net thanks to some brilliant goalkeeping by Sean Johnson. It only took five minutes into the second half for D.C. to equalize, as a brilliant cross from Boskovic found Pajoy for an easy header. Fast and furious from there on out, until around the 70th minute, when section 8 got rowdy, my lungs said “ah well, who needs to talk tomorrow?” and the Fire attacked aggressively. So many brilliant chances, so many near misses, a near-brawl at the United goal following a hard challenge that (regrettably) resulted in some section 8 beer cans and water bottles in the players’ directions, but after 4′ stoppage time, no winner. Still, it was a fantastic experience, I had a great time, and will definitely make it out to Toyota quite a few more times next season.

Of course, then I had the task of finding my car. Lacking both common sense and a sense of direction (a dangerous combination, that), I kind of wandered around for a while before remembering I had driven the *other* car and found that I had walked directly in front of it at least two or three times. Have I mentioned that I’m blonde yet? Anyway, the exits resembled Rush Limbaugh’s arteries, so I checked my messages and tweets, and found a message (that I obviously hadn’t heard) informing me of a new JRD track. Well, I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so I figured I might as well take a listen on iPhone speakers in the midst of concrete purgatory (it took a good twenty minutes to get out of there) and as usual, was extremely impressed by what I heard. Now that I’ve had a chance to listen to it a few more times in quiet with my good headphones, I can say it’s just as good as amid the cacophony of honking horns and yelling traffic cops. So I’d be remiss not to post it, but this is the very same Juliana Richer Daily whom I interviewed below (and earlier) who somehow found time to record this cover of The Tallest Man on Earth‘s “Love Is All” as promised (her time-management skills must greatly exceed my own). And that was pretty much my Saturday. Enjoy!

~ by Benji on October 28, 2012.

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