Thursday, July 8, 2010

All work and no play? Not this tour...

Yesterday, after performing at the beautiful Hotchkiss School Summer Portals program in Lakeville, CT, four rabidly passionate soccer fans in Cantus ventured out early in search of the perfect place to watch the World Cup semifinal #2: Germany v. Spain. Paul, Chris, Gary and myself (Adam) left early and drove up to the Massachusetts shore. Cantus will be performing on Thursday night in Rockport, MA, a lovely little sea town with a very grown-up Performing Arts Center. As we arrived at our accommodations for the next two nights, The Linden Tree Inn, we were told that no pub or restaurant in Rockport would be showing the match. Aaarrrggghh, thought we. We were told to head down to nearby Gloucester (which some folks might remember as the setting for this George Clooney-Mark Walberg vehicle). In downtown Gloucester, we found a superb little pub, called the Topside, and plunked ourselves down for lunch and football (I mean soccer). One lobster, two bowls of clam chowder, and a host of other local nubbins, not to mention the soccer beverage of choice, we were ready for the match. Gary, sporting his 1998 Germany WC shirt, and Chris threw their support cleanly behind Die Mannschaft (German for 'The Team'). Adam, a Spanish soccer fan since the early '90s, would have worn the Spanish national team shirt he received as a gift in 2000, if it had fit. Paul was decidedly neutral. The match was a joy: skillful soccer played without cheating or feigning injury (long a complaint of U.S. soccer semi-fans) and on the few threatening occasions in the first half, each side encouraged a bit of volume out of cheering supporters. In the 73rd minute, off a wonderfully struck corner, Spain took the lead, much to Adam's enjoyment. In fact, that sequence at the pub went very much like this:

(Spain scores, after many close efforts)
Adam: YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!
Chris: Dude, quiet down.
Adam: YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Sorry...YEAH! YEAH!
Bartender: No, really, quiet down a bit.
Adam: Sorry. Yeah! Yeah!
Gary: Rub it in, much?
Adam: Yes. Sorry.

Following the glorious Spanish victory (sorry Gary and Chris), we then trotted out to sit by the sea on the little patch of beach in downtown Rockport. Watching the tide come in, and the sun set, we were reminded of how great it was to have a job that allowed us to make music full-time and paid us to travel to these exquisite locales. Paul and Chris decided to swim out to a landing about 200 yards from shore, while Gary and Adam talked about the concert the night before. When it was time for some dinner, Paul and Chris back-stroked to shore. We left Chris lying on the beach, mostly in recovery, to return to the Linden Tree Inn for supper. After some time, the rest of the Cantus gang arrived and said that they had passed a sleeping man on the beach, realized it was Chris, and promptly harassed him into joining them for dinner.

It was a slow, beautiful, and relaxing day. Got the blood pumping with some swimming and cheering on the best soccer nations in the world, sampled some local cuisine (and about 80 oz. of local beverages), took in the breath-taking shoreline, and enjoyed the company of colleagues I'm lucky enough to call friends. All in all, a good day. Check our Facebook page to see more pictures of our tour 0ff-day. Ta ta, friends!