It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Just last week, my girlfriend and I were still continuing a nearly two-year hiatus from playing Pokémon Go back in its first few months. Then, last weekend, one of our friends from college hit up the group chat with his friend code, asking everyone to add him. So we’re now playing it again.
That has meant beginning to work it back into our daily lives. Most significantly, we’ve been recently taking excursions out to our nearby Pokéstop hubs once again in pursuit of items and mons. One of those haunts is the Washington Memorial Park in the neighboring town of Dunellen, a single scenic block with four stops and two gyms (that can also be spun for items now?!!!) that makes stocking up easy.
So it was that last night, after we had dinner at our favorite sandwich place, we went on the prowl for item-granting Pokéstops, and it just so happened that Washington Memorial Park was nearby. Thus, we drove over there, parked, and started walking around to collect our items as per usual. This time, however, something unusual was happening in the central gazebo. A bunch of instruments were set up in there, and soon enough, a band practiced their stuff!
Intrigued, we started looking for signage that might be able to tell us what was going on. Eventually, we figured it out: This was the first night of a local concert series called Skylight at Twilight, organized by the Dunellen Skylight Theatre, with the park was their venue, and the show was about to start. After their practice/sound check, the band members were hanging out with a few other people beforehand, and that whole group asked us if Sandra and I were there to play Pokémon, then lightheartedly referred to it as adorable.
Luckily for us, music is kind of majorly our thing! So we were intrigued enough to stick around and hear what this would be all about.
The band was called Vintage Feedback, a power trio of three brothers on guitar (eldest), bass (youngest), and drums (middle). Based on their performance here, at least, their specialty seems to be a a bevy of classic rock and blues covers, with the occasional 90's or 2000's alt-rock tune mixed in. With the exception of some Beatles tunes and a tribute to David Bowie, most of that is a good bit out of Sandra and me’s wheelhouse, but we still greatly enjoyed the music. Vintage Feedback, through the power of three instruments, put on a good hour and a half show!
There were some tracks that I just simply did not know, but I ended up actually knowing a whole lot of them. Their opener was The Who’s “My Generation”, they had two good outside-the-obvious Beatles choices in “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Come Together”, there was some Billy Joel representation with “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, that night was the first time in like years that I heard “Born To Be Wild”, they even brought out a bit of legit shredding for a Van Halen-styled “You Really Got Me”. Also, we freaked at the moment we realized they were playing “Creep” from Radiohead (I literally wrote it all-caps in my notes as CREEP), veering from the classic rock a bit; we sang along to that the best we could.
Being held from a summertime 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm, we experienced it all as the sun was going down, and the fireflies started coming out and twinkling around us. Washington Memorial Park is already quite pretty on its own; it gets to possibly be even more breathtaking as sunset progressed.
Sandra also tried to gently poke a firefly’s luminous butt as it flew past her.
None of this was how we had planned to spend our evening. We’re now heavily considering attending more of the Dunellen Skylight Theatre’s concert days in the park. How incredible it is, to think that it all happened basically through the power of Pokémon Go beckoning us to the park like a magnet, at precisely the right time.
Despite all of the shortcomings that could be attributed to it, no matter how justified they may be, I think that the fact that this game is still able to affect the likes of us in such positively human ways—two years after it first came out, even with the original phenomenon having settled down into a gentle simmer—single-handedly justifies its worth.
After the concert ended, Sandra realized that we probably could have put a lure onto one of the Pokéstops to maybe bring a few more players into the audience. That sure does sound like a good possible idea for next time.