It didn't matter if you were sitting behind the stage.
It didn't matter what you wear, just as long as you were there.
It didn't matter that the weather was JUST EXACTLY PERFECT. (Yes, it did.)
It didn't matter that Peter Shapiro ___________________________. (fill in the blank)
It didn't matter that sometimes you couldn't hear Bob or the keys or Mickey in the mix.
It didn't matter that your Uber driver got in a knock down-drag out, "bitch" vs. "ho," money-throwing (!) fight with parking security in the middle of Lakeshore Drive. You GO, girl!
It didn't matter that it took hours, minimum, to walk/navigate the insane passageways of Soldier Field / the Field Museum.
Except that it did. A little.
It didn't matter that Jill.
Trey fucking mattered.
It didn't matter that Mickey wore 64 different t-shirts.
It didn't matter whether you had drugs or not.
It mattered that Phil kissed Bob and Trey in front of 70,000 people.
It mattered that this was "the last time."
Wait a minute! -- it always matters, one way or the other, if you have drugs.
It didn't matter that Trey flubbed "Help."
Or that Bob blew the return on "Estimated." (Like that's never happened before.)
It didn't matter that there were dozens of people you'd hoped to see and didn't.
It didn't matter that the Uber surge rate after the shows was 4.4X or above.
It didn't matter that the exhibit at the Field Museum was . . . lame.
It didn't matter that the security inside the stadium was non-fucking-existent.
OH YES IT DID!!!
Shapiro conspiracy theories didn't matter. At all.
Candace Brightman mattered.
The fireworks mattered.
On an entirely personal note, it didn't matter that the Asian/sushi place on Michigan Ave. had only one waitress working at peak lunch hour and she never looked at you from the moment you sat down. (Yeah it did. You left after 20 minutes of waiting and ate Indian food around the corner.)
It didn't matter that you missed 95% of the events going on around FTW.
It didn't matter they played "Cumberland" twice.
It mattered, cosmically, that Donna and TC weren't there. But you didn't really miss them.
It mattered that Hunter was not present on stage for something, for God's sake. That mattered.
The intermissions mattered.
Mail-in envelope art mattered.
It didn't matter that they didn't play whatever it was they didn't play.
It didn't matter if you missed Santa Clara.
It didn't matter that grown men were weeping openly. Or women.
Traffic mattered; you dealt.
It didn't matter that the playing of "Standing on the Moon" didn't coincide with the orange moon rising over Lake Michigan.
It didn't matter they played "Jack Straw" on the third day of July.
It didn't matter that you dropped your camera and it broke.
It mattered that this show produced its own Grateful Dead Movie / "U.S. Blues" guy on the rail in a white suit emblazoned with roses.
It didn't matter that the last image of Bob you have in your mind is that _______ (insert your own adjective) "LET TREY SING" t-shirt he wore for the encore.
Cody mattered. Still does.
It didn't matter that Phil was pissed at the end of "Unbroken Chain."
It didn't matter that the "drums" segment sounded sorta the same each night. Well, yeah, it sorta did.
It didn't matter that Garcia wasn't there.
Garcia was there. Everywhere. At all times.
Larger than life.