I made it back to Iowa City last night in the early evening. Not a bad drive at all, aside from the fact that I felt like crap and had to stave off the strong desire to fall asleep. Minneapolis was a good time, Haley and Jim made me feel welcome, and were very gracious in letting stay at their places. The Mall of America was a huge mall with a little theme park inside of it, pretty much exactly what I was expecting. But, I did love the cheese store and the book store, and I wish I had more money to spend at the peanut butter place. I also kind wish that I hadn't spent $70 on books. I'm not upset that I bought the books, but that money could have probably been better spent. Oh well.
The day I spent in downtown Minneapolis was a nearly perfect day, the temperature was in the mid- to upper-60's, people were out walking around, and there was just a lot of stuff to check out. I got the tickets for Of Montreal after a little searching (you'd think that the venue would have some sort of box office right there, instead of a couple of blocks away), and spent the rest of the day just wandering around. I'm fairly certain that I saw the lead singer of TV on the Radio, which made me want to go to their show even more. However, the week was already pretty packed-full of plans for me, so I figured I'd save the money and do the other stuff with my friends. Sorry TVotR. Come to Iowa City soon, and I'll go, I promise.
I really enjoyed the Of Montreal show. Loney, Dear impressed me, I think it helped that I kind of knew some of their songs before I saw them. They were pretty much what I expected, which wasn't a bad thing. I really liked the lead singer's accent, especially when he'd talk in between songs. My favorite thing he said was "I wish I knew English better so I knew what you were saying to me." to a fan who apparently was saying something.
Of Montreal put on a show that was similar to their Iowa City show I saw in August, but they played more from their latest album and a couple of new songs, but not much older stuff, which was a little disappointing to me. They played almost all of Hissing Fauna, are you the Destroyer, and about 3 or 4 from Sunlandic Twins, but not my favorite song, "So Begins our Alabee." Oh well. They did have a lot of energy, and some interesting images/videos playing on screens behind them. The crowd, in my opinion, sucked. It was made up mostly of what appeared to be high schoolers, who all decided it's cool to have loud conversations during a concert. I hate that. (I think I was spoiled with the Jeff Tweedy show here last year, it was an incredibly quiet crowd during the songs and while Mr. Tweedy was talking, and loud and cheering at the appropriate parts.) Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure the last show I saw at First Ave was similar. I'm not sure if that's the norm for concerts these days or what. I wish they would've had a 21+ show, but based on this crowd, there may have been only 15 people going in that case. It was alright, though, the crowd didn't make me dislike the show. It was just kind of an annoyance. The floor was pretty packed, I felt like I should've bought the guy in front of me dinner afterwards, and maybe had a cigarette.
St. Patrick's Day was fun, or as fun as it can be to go out when I feel pretty terrible and want to go to bed. We went to a couple of bars, I had a decent time people-watching. I feel kind of bad for not really getting into the whole spirit of the day, but I did what I could. Plus, by not drinking, I was able to drive everyone home and avoid any taxi fares. Everyone wins!
All in all, it was a good trip. I wish I hadn't gotten a cold for the last few days, and wish I didn't spend so much money right away on books, but I managed. I'll probably post more about my trip later, but this is a good overview of it, I feel. Oh, I should mention that we played a lot of Settlers of Catan and the card game "Oh Hell," so that was pretty awesome. I think Jim and I pretty much split the games of Settlers, but I never did very well at cards. It was still super fun, though.