Yesterday, eight cities celebrated Earth Day with festivals that included music, activities and information booths to delight, excite and englighten. I adventured across the bay bridge, into the city, searched for a parking spot and then journeyed through the lush, green and [seemingly] endless park towards the music. From a distance, as my friends and I walked up, we heard muffled voices and saw a sea of heads and bodies, and a steady haze rising and resting the air. It definitely smelled like Earth Day.
A huge stage was set up deeper into the park and immediately sprawled before it were crowds of people standing, sitting, dancing, smoking, playing drums, running around, trying to sell baked goods – a full-blown “green” celebration. By the time we reached the crowd, the music had stopped and some sober guy dressed like a clown was slurring loudly into a microphone on the stage. I definitely heard “Let’s give it up for the earth!!!!!!!” for the first time in my life more than a few times.
Because the festivities had already been going on for a few hours, I was only able to catch the last few acts. The first was a beatboxer who spit environmentally friendly rhymes that were laughable and left little to no impression on me. I didn’t catch his name and I barely listened to him. After that was some acoustic outfit whose name I also didn’t catch. During their set a friend of mine spotted Tommy Lee, the drummer of Motley Crue, a few feet away from him and I went over to take a picture with him. He was trying to keep it lowkey and instead offered me a hug. Who wants a hug from Tommy Lee? I just a picture.
The next act that came on was pretty amazing. One of the Grateful Dead’s drummers Mickey Hart brought his band Mickey Hart’s Mass Drums and filled the entire stage with a mass of people of all cultures, ages and genders. It was loud, powerful and impressive. It was mostly African-inspired drumming with flourishes of brazillian percussion and some other world riddims that my lack of world music knowledge prevents me from classifying. They were jamming. During their set, Ludacris came rolling through the edge of the crowd in something like a golf cart and although I didn’t see him on stage, they thanked him and Tommy Lee’s at the end as if they had jumped on stage and performed with the band. Ludacris is a percussionist?