Somewhere around the seventh inning out in Denver, the line between The Game and The Show here in Boston blurred to the point that people had given up trying to keep track of for what the crowd was cheering. Sudden bursts of hoots peppered stage solos that were worthy of the praise; the musicians nodded with knowing grins as they cocked their heads in the direction of the projection screen.

The Ryan Montbleau Band had gotten things off to a mellow start, but things were heating up the closer the Red Sox crept to the world title.  Likewise, we’d moved from the balcony on the far side of the space over to spots on the crowded floor with better view of the game. Being able to see things happening but without knowledge of the score had been killing me all night.

The band had segued into a psychedelic jam that gave Ryan opportunity to riff at the mic during the bottom of the eighth inning, and as I listened to him going off about smiles out of jars and rainbow bursts, I kept my eyes on Okajima, puffing out his cheeks as he attempted to propel his team through the thin mountain air and into the ninth inning. As the music got trippier, a little darker, it seemed to influence the game as much as Pink Floyd ever guided Dorothy through “The Wizard of Oz” – the home run came, we screamed, and the band moved on to a reggae-riffic rendition of “One Color.” That the island-appropriate music backed an otherwise bluesy tune intensified the already surreal experience of watching a game during a rock show, meshing together a top-notch band with a top-notch ball club.

I laughed and cheered when “Maybe Today” kicked off both the encore and the ninth inning. Michelle asked if it was because I loved the song and, while I do dig it immensely, the poetic nature of the song selection had elicited my praise. “Maybe Today?” Maybe tonight. Maybe this inning.

The band jammed as long as they could to keep Papelbon going on the mound. The guys, who had invited Dwight & Nicole and Jesse Dee onto the stage by this point, kept their eyes on the game. We kept our eyes on the game. The song had stretched out as long as it possibly could by the second out, and the band was tuning, getting ready for it, hoping with us that Papelbon would…

…strike out Seth Smith and seal the deal on the 2007 World Series. Arms flew in the air, screams filled the Paradise, and I called my father to wish him a happy Series (“Hi, I can’t hear you at all, Dad, but I wanted to say Happy World Series and that I love you! OK, I’ll call you tomorrow, BYE”) as the band ripped into a cover of “Sing a Simple Song” and we all sang along with gusto.

I’m livin’ livin’ livin’ life with all its ups and downs
I’m givin’ givin’ givin’ love and smilin’ at the frowns
You’re in trouble when you find it’s hard for you to smile
A simple song might make it better for a little while

(Let me hear you say)
Yaaaaa, ya-ya yaa ya
Yaaaaa, ya-ya yaa ya

A round of thanks yous and good nights before a dash to the car, trip down Commonwealth and over to Storrow, and then, a short time later, a short walk to breathe in the crisp October air and listen to the helicopters flying overhead, honking cars and, in the distance, the faint roar of the crowd in Kenmore Square.

It was a glorious way – for me, perhaps all too fittingly perfect – to welcome in another championship.

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