Filming Begins in Elmhurst for New ‘Million Dollar Listing’ Reality TV Series

by Dave Noble, Entertainment Editor

ELMHURST – Move over New York, Miami and San Francisco! The city of Elmhurst is ready to be featured in the next series spin-off from the hit Bravo cable television reality show “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles”. Set to air this fall, shooting for “Million Dollar Listing Elmhurst” began earlier this month. The series chronicles the professional and personal lives of local real estate agents and the whirlwind adventures of selling high-end residential properties in Elmhurst.

“There’s a lot of competitiveness in the real estate market here, and some juicy storylines,” said series producer Ralph Gunner, who selected Elmhurst as the location for the fourth spin-off of Million Dollar Listing based on its rising million-dollar home sales and the propensity of Elmhurst homebuyers to tear down perfectly good houses and replace them with “McMansions” that often occupy up 95% of the lot size. “By the time we’re done filming this spring, we’ll have enough material for two or three seasons of shows.”

One of the agents featured on the series is Schiller Real Estate’s Mike Sparrow, known for being the man who not only sold the most expensive house ever listed in Elmhurst, but managed to unload a famously difficult property that had been on the market for more than ten years.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to close the deal,” said Sparrow, who in the opening episode slips one client a pair of free tickets to an Elmhurst College men’s basketball game and is later shown closing a deal with another client during the Turtle Racing Finals at The Club Shot & Beer. “If I have to wine and dine a client to make the deal, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

The series also features some of the home buyers, who are typically a husband and wife from Chicago with two kids, a disposable income and an urge to live in the Bank Robbery and Lost Dog Capital of the Western Suburbs. Agent Suzanne Phelps of Berkshire Hathaway is featured in an episode trying to meet the eccentric wishes of one couple who will only look at homes that are less than six months old and have a direct view of Wilder Mansion, The Prairie Path or Salt Creek.

“Most families looking at million-dollar listings just want an outdoor fireplace, an in-ground pool and a couple of media rooms,” said a frustrated Phelps in a scene filmed outside of Ace Hardware, where the 30-year veteran of the Elmhurst real estate market came up empty in her search for a water feature of any kind that would have been used to depict Salt Creek for her clients. “But I seem to get all the most difficult buyers.”

Local viewers will recognize various parts of Elmhurst that serve as a picturesque backdrop throughout the series, including the town’s majestic parking garages, empty downtown storefronts, and the quarry.  

Elmhurst Crumbles Under the Weight of ‘Spring Fever’

by Dave Noble, City News Editor 
ELMHURST – Record-breaking weather unleashed by Mother Nature this weekend upon the unsuspecting and unprepared residents of Elmhurst wreaked havoc throughout town on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as citizens and businesses struggled with unseasonably warm temperatures, bright sunshine, and a city-wide epidemic of “Spring Fever” in the middle of February.

Hundreds of potential customers were reportedly left feeling hungry and frustrated at Hamburger Heaven on Friday afternoon, as window replacement activity outside the legendary food stand known for burgers, root beer, and speeding 80,000-pound semi-trailer trucks whizzing by within arm’s length of the pick-up window inadvertently gave passersby the impression that it was open for business.

On the city’s west side, resident Brenda Rose told reporters on Saturday that she was still recovering from a terrifying event at her home that took place earlier that morning, where she struggled for more than 20 minutes to locate her son’s lightweight North Face Mack Mays Full Zip Hoodie, which was lost in a sea of winter North Face Triclimate jackets, North Face Himalayan parkas and North Face Thermoball vests hanging in his walk-in closet. Rose was further distraught after learning that two of her three children had already stepped in dog feces within ten minutes of playing in the family’s River Glen Avenue backyard.

Along the Prairie Path, drivers and path users reported a temporary loss of vision on both Saturday and Sunday as bicyclists, walkers, and joggers blinded each other throughout the day with their winter-white legs. Victims were treated with water and shade and were later released to continue their activities.

On Sunday evening, Bryan Street homeowner Tony Guidry summed up the mayhem in Elmhurst caused by three consecutive days of sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60’s.

“I was really looking forward to shooting the puck around with my kids this weekend,” said Guidry, who also owns the property next to his house, where he built a 125-foot by 50-foot hockey rink back in December that is clearly not a membrane structure nor a potential contributor to flooding and is surely covered by his homeowners insurance policy. “I didn’t build this thing for my kids to play soccer in the month of February.  So we’re all praying that Elmhurst can return to normal weather before people lose their minds.”

According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature in Elmhurst is expected to be 66 degrees both Monday and Tuesday.

Elmhurst “Have-Nots” Endure Elements, Each Other to Sign Up for YMCA After-School Program

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Hundreds of local parents inexplicably living in something called a “two-income household” and unable to afford a nanny or to rely on a single breadwinner for their family braved the frigid temperature, the constant rumbling of nearby freight trains, and the company of fellow Elmhurst residents by standing in line for hours outside the First Street YMCA Saturday morning for the opportunity to register their kids for a prized after-school program offered by the local community center that transports children from their school to the “Y” every day and allows parents to pick them up as late as 6:00 p.m.

With space for the 2017-2018 school year program limited by the maximum occupancy of one bus per District 205 school and further reduced by a grandfather clause that allows early registration for current program members, parents began lining up outside the First Street YMCA around midnight for the 6:00 a.m. registration start and were challenged to stay awake, to keep warm, and to interact on friendly terms with other Elmhurst residents competing for same program spots and whose demeanor ranged from “slaphappy” to “irritated”.

“I’ve been out here since about 2:00 a.m.,” said Emerson Elementary dad Max Knight, angrily clutching a Shell gas station large “regular” coffee diluted with an off-brand sugar substitute and a powdered non-dairy creamer while standing in front of the warming flames of a burning Elmhurst Park District garbage can, placed on the sidewalk about 20 feet from the front door of the YMCA. “If we don’t get into this program, then my wife will probably have to quit her job so she can pick up our daughter from school every day. And then there goes our trip to the Wisconsin Dells this summer.”

While the stress weighed heavily on the minds of many parents waiting to find out if their children would get into the swanky after-school program noted for turning meagerly-athletic children into adequate swimmers, skaters, and mixed-martial arts competitors, others clearly embraced the comradery of waiting outside in the cold with their fellow residents.

“I’ve had three shots of Fireball, so I’m feeling pretty warm inside,” said Jackson Elementary mom Sandy Meyer, referring to the popular cinnamon-flavored whiskey often compared to the flavor of Red Hots candy soaked in water and associated with a complex history of bad decisions by those who have over-consumed the spirit. “It’s just so nice to share this nice experience with other nice people, and to share a drink or two.”

YMCA front desk clerk Brian Smoltz – scheduled to open the doors for registration at precisely 6:00 a.m. and instructed to “get the hell out of the way” after he does so – was concerned that some parents would display unhappiness or frustration if their kids weren’t able to get into the Y’s after-school program.

“I’m not the ‘bad guy’ here,” said Smoltz, wearing swim trunks, a tank top and flip-flops while staring out the YMCA windows at a large crowd of drowsy, shivering zombies waiting to complete the registration process and go back home to bed. “So if they can’t get into the program, it’s not my fault. Maybe these people should have thought about child care first before moving to Elmhurst.” 

Elmhurst Restores Town Dignity by Squashing Hoop House

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – A collective sigh of relief was felt throughout Elmhurst last week as an administrative judge ordered a local family to remove their unsightly backyard membrane structure (commonly referred to as a “hoop house” and bearing no aesthetic value whatsoever) by the end of February, or face fines from the city.

Rising a couple of feet above every privacy fence in the neighborhood and constructed primarily with plain one-inch PVC piping and HDX six-millimeter polyethylene clear plastic sheeting typically used by painters and axe murderers, the now-famous hoop house built by Fairview resident Nicole Virgil and her family for the purpose of gardening during the winter left many citizens wondering over the last several weeks if the backyards throughout their town would eventually resemble “Tijuana junkyards” had the city upheld its unofficially-official stance on the subject, which inexplicably allowed the ghastly 12 x 20 foot atrocity to exist over the previous two winters.

“I’ll be happy when this nightmare is over,” said N. Van Auken resident Karen O’Neil, who admitted that the only time she’s ever driven through the Virgils’ neighborhood located west of Spring Road was when she got lost trying to find parking for the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade a few years ago. “I don’t have to see it every day to know that I don’t want it in my town.”

Residents who live closer to the Virgils’ home echoed what the overwhelming majority of Elmhurst residents feel about the hoop house.

“Until all this came up in the news, I thought they had a speedboat or an RV tucked under there to prevent it from the winter elements, which was cool with me,” said Jeff Canseco, who lives one block west of the Virgils and can point to the exact spot on his street where anyone driving by can clearly see the peak of the 9-foot tall hoop house if they are heading southbound and traveling at less than 10 miles per hour. “But to grow vegetables in the winter in a town that has both a Mariano’s and a Whole Foods? That’s ridiculous.”

In addition to the dreadful sight of the structure – which one neighbor reports is 100% visible from both her deck and her bedroom terrace – Elmhurst residents have also accused the Virgils of using their winter harvest in a lucrative summer business called “Fairfield Produce”, where their children are forced to sell vegetables from the front yard for two full hours each and every Saturday morning from June through August.

“I’ve had to wait a couple of times while the kids try to figure out how much change I have coming back to me when I drop down a hundred dollar bill for six bucks worth of kale,” said Brendon Cooper, who added that he only shops at Fairview Produce because it’s easier to keep an eye on his Range Rover when he’s away from the vehicle. “If they’re struggling with that, then you know their parents are skimming off the top of the kitty. Where is that money going?”.

The Virgils are reportedly exploring all other options before surrendering to the city and removing the hoop house. 

Villa Park Head Shops ‘Fired Up’ for Black Friday Deals

by Dave Noble, Local Business News 
VILLA PARK – Carefully reorganizing a spotless glass shelf full of ceramic marijuana smoking instruments depicting movie characters and famous people like Darth Vader, Bob Marley and “Chronic Man”, reefer paraphernalia and tobacco store owner Stacy Reynolds told a group of clearly distracted reporters perusing the “Bowls and Pipes” section of Discount Smoke Zone on Sunday that Villa Park’s head shops are gearing up for Black Friday by advertising deep discounts and early shopping hours the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season.

“Walmart, Target and the 5-Star Swap Mart won’t be the only local shopping destinations packed with customers on Friday,” said Reynolds, who last year rented a 25-foot inflatable bong (A smoke filtration device also known as a “water pipe”, a “billy”, a “bing” or a “moof” made of clay, ceramic, plastic tubing, PVC or a host of other materials that is used for smoking cannabis) on Black Friday and placed it in front of her store’s St. Charles Road location, which resulted in a new one-day sales record.

“We were sold out of every pot-smoking device and candy bar by noon,” boasted Reynolds, who opened at 6:00 a.m. and advertised cannabis-crushing devices known as “grinders” for $3.99 and hydroponic equipment for the cultivation of marijuana starting at $49.99. “We had over 100 people standing outside the door for hours before we opened.”

A few hundred feet west of Discount Smoke Zone, No Limit Smoke owner Amit Sidana plans to open at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving night to get an edge over his nearby competitor for Black Friday sales.

“I feel guilty for making our staff work on Thanksgiving,” said Sidana, who is selling 18” Weed Star beaker bongs featuring a reinforced fixed downstem with drum diffuser for only $137.00 (while supplies last), which is less than half of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. “But there’s a lot of competition around here for pot-smoking customers, so we all have to make some personal sacrifices for business purposes.” 

Further south, Roosevelt Tobacco is promoting the big shopping day as “Fried Friday” by giving away a free pack of Hempire single wide rolling papers to its first 300 customers. Assistant manager Mike Tenace is counting on his store’s plethora of cannabis culture-related items to separate Roosevelt Tobacco from the competition.

“We have weed magazines, psychedelic art, blacklight-responsive posters and a lot of other cool stuff,” said Tenace, who noted that the Taco Bell located next door will also draw pot-smokers into his store for the Black Friday sale, which includes a “Marijuana Advent Calendar” with 25 windows that each reveal a picture and the name of a highly potent marijuana strain. “Peronsally, my favorite days in the calendar are Sour Diesel, White Widow, and Blackberry Kush.”

While the competition between Villa Park’s head shops continues to increase each year, everyone agrees that the unique customer demographic makes Black Friday shopping for weed paraphernalia a lot less hectic than what customers experience at national retailers and “big box” stores.

“I’ve found that the customers on Black Friday are really patient and somewhat lethargic,” noted Reynolds. “Their paranoia can be a little hard to deal with, but at least I’m not breaking up any fights over the last one-hitter on the shelf.”

Local Man Cuts Jewel Deli Line with Risky Move

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Stating that he simply took advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself, local resident Bruce Mercer told a handful of reporters gathered in the utensils and cookware aisle of the S. York Street Jewel-Osco Thursday evening that cutting in front of seven other customers at the deli counter just moments earlier was the riskiest move he has made at the grocery store since snatching three tasting cups of Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps from an unattended sample table last April.

“It was really tense there for a moment,” said Mercer, who was holding ticket 62 but answered the third call for number 55 after no one else claimed to be holding the ticket. “I think a few of the other customers were suspicious that it wasn’t my number, but once I committed to being number 55, I just had to go with it.”

Sensing that he shouldn’t draw more attention to himself than needed, Mercer stated that he scratched four of the seven different sliced meats and cheeses he intended to buy and refrained from speaking up when the deli counter worker went slightly over on weighing out his requested one-quarter pound of Signature Brand smoked provolone.

“There was this one customer who was eye-balling me from the moment I started ordering,” said Mercer, who crumbled up his ticket and put it into his mouth to destroy the evidence of his wrong-doing. “I wasn’t going to swallow the ticket, but when the deli counter worker handed me a sample slice of pastrami, I had no choice.”

At press time, Mercer was contemplating whether he should enter the “15 Items Or Less” aisle with his shopping basket stuffed with 20+ items.

City Done ‘Clowning Around’ With Latest Prairie Path Crossing Effort

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Brushing off questions regarding the failure of previous safety upgrades at the York Street crossing of the Illinois Prairie Path, Elmhurst Public Works Committee chairman Jim Kennedy told reporters gathered around the Bicentennial Fountain at Wild Meadows Trace that the city’s recent hiring of clowns to startle joggers and bicyclists approaching York and other Elmhurst street crossings along the path has been a huge success thus far, as the city continues its effort to prevent accidents between drivers and path users.

Adorned in customary clown clothing often accented with fake blood or other unidentifiable stains and covered in various complicated makeup designs featuring attention-grabbing details like bleeding tears, a caged mouth, or pointed teeth, “Prairie Path Safety Patrol Clowns” are authorized to jump out from behind trees and bushes and do whatever it “reasonably” takes to alert path users that they are approaching a street crossing where drivers are historically unsure of their yield responsibility to pedestrians, according to Kennedy.

“We had hundreds of clowns apply for these jobs,” boasted Kennedy, who hired 18 clowns for the part-time positions and noted that the “Help Wanted” signs he placed on the windows of area Halloween costume stores and inside of local park porta potties drew the best applicants. “We’re very confident that every day they’re out there, our clowns are preventing accidents at York Street, Spring Road and the other Elmhurst path crossings.”

Prairie Path users agree that the clowns are already making a difference.

“I had a clown jump down from a tree branch and scare the hell out of me,” said local avid bicyclist Dan Cooper, who estimated that he was traveling “at least” 25 m.p.h. on his $3,500 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 mountain bike Monday as he approached the York crossing, where 47 accidents have occurred over the last ten years, including six in 2016. “Yeah, he was creepy. But that clown saved my bike. And my life.”

While the majority of path users and local drivers have benefited from the hiring of clowns to patrol the area, local restaurants and convenience store employees have complained that the city’s use of clowns has had a negative impact on their business.

“Two scary-looking clowns walked in on Friday around 5:00 p.m. and ordered Carbonara Tradizional to go,” said Roberto’s assistant manager Linda Yount, who stated that nearly every customer left the restaurant within minutes as the clowns stood in the middle of the dining room and smoked cigarettes while waiting for their food. “I never thought that being located near the Prairie Path could have a negative effect on business.”

Kennedy admitted that tweaking the roles and responsibilities of the clowns is all part of ongoing training, which essential to the success of the program.

“This is all new,” said Kennedy, who has already confiscated a chainsaw from one clown and asked another to stop spray painting messages like “I’m Watching You” on the path.  “Once we get them to stay on the Prairie Path and do their jobs, then we can focus on the smaller details of their responsibilities.”

A few of the clowns are scheduled to make an appearance during Saturday’s “Fall Festival” at Wild Meadows Trace and introduce themselves to local parents and children.

Fact-Checking: Elmhurst ‘State of the Park District’ Address

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Ushered in by brass and percussion members from the York High School marching band and by a smattering of applause from the handful of attendees seated comfortably in metal folding chairs around banquet tables adorned with green disposable tablecloths, Elmhurst Park District Board President Vince Spaeth and Executive Director Jim Rogers delivered the first ever “State of the Park District” address at The Abbey on Thursday evening with a presentation of the park district’s recent accomplishments, current projects, and future plans.

The Elmhurst Funion editorial team – with the help of local playground vagrants and prominent park district program participants – has annotated everything Spaeth and Rogers said during the titillating 45-minute presentation. Portions from the “State of the Park District” address are listed below, followed by fact-checks to determine the accuracy of the statements.

Spaeth: “I love The Abbey. We should hold more events here.” (Overheard during the 15-minute networking session before the presentation began).

FALSE: A Yelp review under the name “Vinnie S.” verified as coming from Spaeth’s personal account shows a 1-star review of The Abbey from November of 2015, and states: “Refreshments at The Abbey are a joke. Stale potato chips and an off-brand version of Tang served in a Dixie cup.”

Rogers: “The Polar Express Storytime Train is a wonderful winter event for children that recreates the holiday magic from that Tom Hanks movie.”

FALSE: Refreshments ARE NOT served by the train’s conductor and service crew performing a dangerous musical number while dancing on tables and shooting hot chocolate from a decanter across the train car.

Spaeth: “Both kids and parents love the new playground at East End Park.”

TRUE: Parents at the playground are often heard commenting that they are relieved the park district didn’t install basketball courts nearby, keeping a more “communal” and “inclusive” atmosphere at the playground.

Rogers: “There have been a few bumps in the past, but we have greatly improved the online registration process for park district programs, and we are 100% confident that everything will go smoothly this year.”

FALSE: Both Rogers and Spaeth have booked vacations abroad during the park district’s on line program registration period this February so that they will not be available to address angry parents when the system fails again.

Rogers: “There were fewer incidents at the Wilder Park Easter Egg Hunt this year.”

TRUE: Arrests of parents at the event dropped significantly in 2016 from the previous year, and the number of eggs collected at the event rose sharply to an average of .75 eggs per child.

Spaeth: “Wilder Mansion has become a destination spot for couples to hold their wedding reception. The Park District took in a lot of revenue last year through weddings at the mansion.”

TRUE: But Spaeth failed to mention that the park district made an additional $11,000 last year from couples who divorced in 2015 and paid for the removal of the engraved paver brick that was placed within Elizabeth’s Friendship Walk to commemorate their wedding day.

Rogers: “Children enjoy dancing to live music with their parents at the annual Park Palooza.”

FALSE: Numerous children were seen hiding under lawn chairs and openly crying this summer at the site of their parents playing air guitar or attempting to perform “The Macarena” during Park Palooza.

Rogers: “Adult softball leagues are so popular, we are going to add additional time slots and lower the maximum duration of each game.”

TRUE: The start of the last scheduled game on weekdays will be midnight instead of 10 p.m., and the maximum duration of each game will be lowered from 50 minutes to 25 minutes.

‘Selfish’ Homeowners Force City to Scar Elmhurst with Stormwater Detention at York Commons 

by Dave Noble, City News Editor
ELMHURST – Leaning cautiously against a poorly-supported section of chain link fence that forms a perimeter around the recently-ravaged York Commons Park, Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Kennedy told reporters Tuesday morning that self-centered Crescent Avenue homeowners who frequently experience flooding are to blame for the “horrendous” sight of tree removal and digging underway at York Street and Cayuga Avenue that will culminate into a loathsome 11-acre detention pond, part of the controversial York Commons Stormwater Improvement Project that was approved by the Elmhurst City Council last Monday.

Scheduled for completion over the winter, the $2.1 million plan to create flood storage in the open portion of York Commons Park is intended to reduce the risk of flooding in three southwest sections of Elmhurst, including 38 homes along Crescent Avenue. Selfish and boisterous homeowners in that area were the primary reason why Elmhurst was forced to address the flooding. Kennedy was clearly emotional as he issued an apology to the majority of Elmhurst residents unaffected by flooding that must somehow weather the inconvenience of stormwater improvements going on throughout the city that are not benefiting them directly.

“We realize that this is an unpopular decision with most of our beloved citizens,” said Kennedy, clutching a portion of the galvanized aluminum fencing lacking a top rail and pole caps while surveying the land that once held no less than 15 trees and included an area most-commonly used for fireman at the adjacent Fire Station 2 to test hoses and scare teenagers entering and exiting the skate park with blasts of water from across the open field. “This black eye we’ve created is going to ruin the fire department’s open house next month, by the way.”

While a small minority of Elmhurst residents who experience flooding were thankful for the decision by Elmhurst to move forward with the project despite the resistance of more important citizens, others never affected by flooding were concerned with the appearance of a giant hole in the ground that will undoubtedly grow dandelions during the summer and will result in multiple traffic halts on York Street as ducks try to reach standing water that will build following heavy rain.

“I don’t want to see this every time I pass York Commons,” said resident and ‘stormwater anything’ opponent Jim Lucas, who stated that he drives past there ‘at least twice’ each month. “So what if they get a few feet of water here and there. Doesn’t everyone in town refurbish their basement every couple of years anyway?”

Other non-flooding homeowners expressed apprehension over the clear site line into the skate park and Smalley Pool that has been temporarily created after the trees were removed at the beginning of the project.

“It’s all visible from the road now,” said resident Mary Kuch, noting that non-Elmhurst residents who pose ‘numerous’ threats will clearly see the swimming pool and the skate park from York Street. “If they’re just coming into town to rob a bank or burglarize a home, that’s one thing. But I don’t want them swimming in our pool or performing Ollie’s on our half pipes.”

The York Commons Stormwater Improvement Project was finalized after the city entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Elmhurst Park District to provide the 11 acres for stormwater detention. The negotiation process between the city and the park district was “Easy peasy”, according to Kennedy.

Mayor Morley’s Mötley Crüe Tribute Band ‘Rocks the Block’

by Dave Noble, Elmhurst Funion Music Critic

ELMHURST – A crowd of more than 1,200 people at Elmhurst City Centre’s 3rd Annual “Rock the Block Party” Friday night were treated to an unscheduled and raucous 75-minute heavy metal set from Mötley Crüe cover band Theatre of Pain, led by Elmhurst mayor Steve Morley on lead vocals and backed by city manager Jim Grabowski (lead guitar), and aldermen Mark Sabatino (bass) and Bob Dunn (percussion).

Dressed head-to-toe in black and donning blonde hair extensions that gave him an appearance somewhat resembling Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil, Morley and his bandmates (also clothed to resemble the real band) opened with “Shout at the Devil” and ripped through 13 more Mötley Crüe songs, delighting the crowd with power metal hooks, scream-along choruses and multiple choreographed pyrotechnic explosions.

Relying on the classic hits rather than deeper cuts, the band’s intoxicating combination of serrated guitars and polished drumming focused on the musicianship but was complimented by a spectacle of fog bombs, sparkle showers and Roman candles launched from the stage, located at the corner of Schiller and York Streets. While some numbers like “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood” were hindered by overpowering vocals from Morley, the band’s thick, nasal distortion highlighted by Grabowski’s intricate and expressive guitar solos and licks created a sound that blended well with the rest of the band’s instrumentation. Dunn’s powerful and technical style of rhythmic drumming was outdone only by his cowbell solo on “Live Wire”, while Sabatino’s bass playing never reached any level of prominence during the show.

In addition to screaming “Hello Elmhurst!” into the microphone at an ear-piercing level between every song, Morley also took time during the performance to explain the difference between “customer-only” and “free shopper” parking in the downtown area before the band launched into “Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.)” and later dedicated “Helter Skelter” to everyone who works at City Hall. 

The band closed out the first set with “Home Sweet Home” as hundreds of people waved their cell phones back and forth throughout the ballad. After performing “Wild Side” for the first encore and looking on with delight as a mosh pit formed near the City Centre fountain, the band returned to the stage for a second time and jammed “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”. The song was halted prematurely, however, after Morley dove into the crowd during the second chorus and body-surfed out of sight from the stage, never to return. The start of headlining act Lucky Boys Confusion was delayed by approximately 25 minutes while security detail located Morley and maintenance crews removed explosives debris from the stage.

The Rock the Block Party continues Saturday with School of Rock at 11 a.m., followed by American English at 2 p.m., Run Forrest Run at 4:45 p.m., ARRA at 6:30 p.m., and Sixteen Candles at 8:45 p.m.