I worked so hard on Friday that I actually got all of my work squared away by noon, which meant I got to go to the Irish Fair! (the fair I did not even know was going to be this weekend until 2 hours beforehand)
We got there at opening and stayed for like...5 hours, and that's even without sheepherding or the pettable dogs (which are only on Sat/Sun) to distract me. It's not even like it's a huge place, it's just that they pack in a lot of fun per square foot with all the live performances going on. I probably spent at least an hour watching the Irish dance school performances, for instance. The teens are always amazing, and sometimes even the kids are fun to watch just because they often use live musicians.
Also, for the first time in YEARS we were able to get free drink samples before they ran out. The Angry Orchard cider was of course amazing, but I was able to try a pale, grapefruit-flavored Traveler brand beer as well. I've never had beer before (except an accidental sip once that was horrible), but let me tell you, I will drink All Of The Beer Always if a host ever serves this stuff. Amazing flavor!
I did experience one immense disappointment, as I saw a really pretty dress for $20 at one of the booths and was going to buy it, but even though there were 2 in stock, they were sold out by the time I had made up my mind a few hours later. That was definitely the lowlight of the visit.
BUT THEN. My dad wanted to see Aofie Scott's performance. I've never heard of her, nor am I as familiar with her extended musician family as Dad is, but she blew me away. Right off the bat, I was enchanted by her outfit (she also had darling ankle boots), but then the first song ("What You Do With What You've Got") nearly bowled me over with how much I loved all of its lyrics and sound -- this is EVERYTHING I seek out in music!! -- and then every single other song she sang was equally amazing. We had talked about maybe splitting our time between there and a band on the main stage, but once she started I sat there, spellbound, for the entire hour.
Some made me cry. Others made me feel I might actually float out of my seat on bubbles of happiness. I really cannot stress enough that I have never in my life fallen so fast and hard and completely for a particular musician's style; she might as well have been custom-ordered. By the time she was having us all sing back the chorus of her last song ("All Along The Wild Atlantic Way"), I had made up my mind that forget the dress, I was marching straight over to the merchandise tent and buying her CD.
Which I did. And I regret nothing. I've listened to it 10 times now and there is only a maximum of 2 out of 13 songs (counting the hidden track, an instrumental that sounds familiar but which I cannot place) that I don't utterly love. Best money ever spent on music, not least because it turns out my only other options for purchasing it would have been an $8.99 digital download, or ordering it straight from Ireland at retail prices and god-knows-what-shipping. Instead I have a beautiful CD + case with a glossy booklet that includes photos and her story behind the reason for writing/choosing each track. *taps head* Sometimes, I recognize when purchasing opportunities need to be taken due to rarity.
I loved her whole personality so much that I wanted to go back and see her again, but work (which effed up spectacularly and, as you may have briefly seen, put me on the schedule 2 weekends in a row and failed to correct the situation in a timely manner) and then rain conspired against me. I am regretting that decision more and more as I acquaint myself with her Twitter and Instagram, and starting to feel like I missed out on amazing opportunity to hang around in a fairly small venue with a musician who is better than 95% of the people on the radio.
But hey -- the riverside concert alone was worth it, and it is only thanks to some kind of divine intervention that events transpired in such a way to get me to see it. Here's a clip she recorded mid-performance, after inviting up anyone who wanted to dance, where you can actually see us in the crowd! But only if you know what I look like and exactly where to look*. Or if I was nice enough to take a screen shot and circle us, which I am not. Still, I am pleased to have finally made it to Instagram.
*such as toward the left side of the crowd, 2nd row from the top, or drawing a diagonal line up and left from Green Shirt Guy in the front row at the beginning. Dad is to the right of me, in a black shirt. You still can't actually really tell what I look like, but I'm happy anyway.