Camping, Canadians, and DMBPosted: September 7, 2004
If you know Clint at all, you know one thing – he loves the Dave Matthews Band. Even though we were good friends before we began dating, I didn’t know this about him until we’d been dating for a month or so. I remember when I found out that this was his favorite band. I believe my exact response was “Of all the bands in the world, I hate the f*cking Dave Matthews Band more than any of them.” At that time, I meant it – I only knew them as the guys who did “Crash” and lumped them in with Matchbox 20, Ben Folds Five, and Oasis, all of which I disliked. After hearing DMB’s songs over and over for the past 5 years I have to admit that they now rank in my top 5 favorite bands. Actually, they might be #2 – right after Radiohead. Good thing too, cause this past weekend was a fun-filled Dave Matthews extravaganza. As soon as we decided to move to Seattle (actually Redmond, but close enough) I knew that we’d be attending the 3 day concert at the Gorge in George, Wa since it’s only a 2 hour drive. We actually only went to the 2nd and 3rd shows, but still. So on Saturday morning we got up early, packed the up our stuff, and set out for the Gorgeous Gorge in George. I don’t know how many people were camping out there, but it was a lot – we camped way in the back which was actually pretty good because until Sunday evening, there weren’t too many people around. We got to the venue around 5:15pm and it really is a spectacular amphitheatre. You can view pics here . While it was about 85 degrees during the day, when the sun went down it got cold. We had a blanket and sweaters, but we were still decently chilly. The band took the stage around 8:15 and started off with one of my favorites, The Stone and then went into another favorite, Best of What’s Around, It was a great show, they played a lot of good songs and despite the fact that Everday is not a favorite, pairing it with a kick ass Don’t Drink the Water made for an awesome encore. Sunday morning we got up and hung out at the campsite all day reading, listening to our ipods, playing guitar (well, Clint played guitar), and snacking. Oh, and getting sunburned. The sunblock was one of the few things we used out of our carefully put-together first aid kit. We didn’t use enough of it apparently since my face is still a bit pink. We got to the Sunday night show a bit later, but still got better seats. All of the pics of the actual amphitheatre are from Sunday. You’re not supposed to take in cameras, but if you pack a backpack full of extra shirts, blankets, and jackets, the security girl will take pity on you after you’ve pulled it all out and not look into the bottom of the bag and see your camera. Sunday night’s show was even better than Saturday’s in spite of their playing Cry Freedom. It was a more upbeat setlist and included personal favorites Crush, Grace is Gone, Lover Lay Down, and all 4 of the new songs they’ve been playing – Hello Again and Sugar Will being particularily superb and closed with Two Step. And just when I thought things couldn’t get better for me, they came out with Rhyme and Reason and their cover of All Along the Watchtower for the encore. DMB is really one of those bands that you have to see live in order to fully appreciate. The show also left me with the best conversation overheard at a concert. I was walking back from the bathrooms which are right next to the beer garden when I overheard this little gem:
Irritated sounding girl to her obviously inebriated boyfriend: “You need to sober up.”
Obviously inebriated boyfriend to irritated girlfriend: “Yeaaahhh….. well.. you .. need to laugh more…. yeeaaahhh..”
Back at camp that night there were a lot more people camping than the previous night. One of the new campers were a group of Canadians. Now, I’ve never had a problem with Canadians before – I’ve always found them to be quite polite and nice. But these particular Canadians were a different story. Earlier in the day when they arrived, one of them was blaring some shitty hip-hop music. This was odd because it was the only time during the whole weekend that I heard anyone playing music that isn’t currently on my ipod. There was lots of DMB (obviously), and a lot of Jack Johnson – which was cool, I quite like Jack Johnson. I also heard a lot of Modest Mouse, Muse, Jason Mraz, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, which again, was totally cool with me. I spent most of my ipod time listening to Incubus, Radiohead, Modest Mouse, and PJ Harvey becasue I didn’t want to od on DMB, but others didn’t seem to have that concern. Back to the Canadians. So we were pretty tired and cold and generally ready to go to bed so around 1:00am we made our way to the tent. Many people still had their music playing and so it was no big deal that the Canadians had gathered outside with two guitars, bongo drums, and a harmonica. At first it wasn’t that bad – the guy who was singing was decent and while one of the guitars was slightly out of tune, and the bongo guy had obviously never played drums before – it was decently listenable. About an hour later, everyone else had turned off their music and gone to bed except for the Canadians. Within a few minutes the decent voice guy left with apparently the one guitar that was in tune and that’s when things really took a turn for the worse. These guys tried their hand at Gravedigger (off of Dave Matthews solo album), and failed miserably. I don’t think they had even one chord right. Then they moved onto Watchtower. I listened to them try and figure out the chords for a while – I thought about going over there and telling them “Am – G – F – G” (BTW- these are the chords for Dave’s version of Watchtower, not Dylan’s or Hendrix’s or anyone elses so don’t post a comment on how those chords are wrong) but I didn’t – though I regretted that decision for over 10 minutes after they had given up on finding the right chords and proceeded to play some that were very, very wrong. I’d also like to note that I really like that primal scream thing Dave does in many of his songs, Watchtower included, but Mr. Canada does not possess a voice that is capable of making it sound like anything other than a dying giraffe. If they had just gone on slaughtering Dave Matthews songs, I might have been ok. But they didn’t stop there. Oh no – what they did next is grounds for murder in my book. They …… attempted to play Creep …. by Radiohead. Now, Creep is one of my least favorite Radiohead songs but that doesn’t mean I want to hear it butchered. It was awful – they didn’t know any of the chords – they didn’t know more than half the words – and there is no… … I repeat, NO HARMONICA in Creep. They went on to play extreemly inaccurate versions of High and Dry and something that was mostly unrecognizable, but I think they were shooting for Fake Plastic Trees. Apparently they only purchased the first two Radiohead CD’s which I’m quite thankful for because they moved on to other stuff. It was really quite unpleasant. Did I mention that they were also very drunk? Normally, this would excuse some of the bad playing, but trust me, the level of alcohol that would make this kind of mayhem understandable would render a large Elephant unconscious. To quote Don Knotts, “The horribleness and awfulness of it will never be truly forgotten.”
Otherwise, it was a good time. The concert was fantastic, the camping was pretty decent, and I made it home in one piece.
If there are typos and such in the post, forgive me. I am trying to get this up quickly because Clint made it clear that he wanted his take on this weekend at the top because he’s the big fan and it was really his weekend – according to him 🙂