In the parking lot and the ticket lines, and the bathroom lines and the beer lines, you can practically taste the hairspray. The man behind me bellows, “Does anyone have any mushrooms?” The women in front of me are quite literally cawing at each other, and when one of the ticket lines ends up leading nowhere — a machine has died; long live the machines — a brunette says, “It’s ‘cause men are running it,” and then her friend says, “I need a coloring book and a safe space right now!”
At last, there’s activity on stage. Vanessa Carlton opens with a few bright, pop-y tunes, though it’s hard to hear her over the noise of the crowd. Everyone’s eyeliner is already running. Every inch of the lawn has been pasted over with sleeping bags and blankets, corners peeling back like damp postage stamps. A woman clutches a tiny dog in her hands. The breeze stinks with cigarettes and weed.
Then the lights go down and the band starts appearing on stage while Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream” pounds out of the speakers. There’s someone on organ and someone on piano; others on bass and drums; a few guitars; background singers. Then, all of a sudden, there’s Stevie, center-stage, spot-lit; there she is with her mane of crimped, silver-gold curls, in heeled boots, a black velvet jacket and a tiered skirt.