FRIDAY was not our worst Gorge experience ever. In 2010 we had tickets and got there Sunday for the show–only to find out our tickets had been for Saturday. And the venue was $hitty about it and wouldn’t honor them even though they could tell they’d never been scanned. And they wouldn’t even downgrade us to lawn. They said we could purchase 2 lawn tickets for $100 (extra). So we went home, having missed out. So this wasn’t that bad, but it’s a close 2nd worst.
I wish I could say Friday was amazing and everything I’d been looking forward to for so long. It truly makes me sad I can’t.
There was a parking situation. They made brand new paths to drive on–which is a lot better because they criss-crossed the whole lot. So there would be less waiting in line to leave when that time came. Our flag lady, however, was not doing her job. She didn’t indicate which path Cool should take. We rolled down the window and Cool asked and received a reply I didn’t hear. Later, Cool told me she said, “follow the path and park.” NOT helpful. But Cool didn’t persist for clarification. And the thing about Cool is she folds under pressure and recedes inside herself when presented with any kind of choice in a perceived pressure situation. She has generalized anxiety on top of her bipolar. For me, it means she totally shuts down and freezes, doing nothing. Meanwhile leaving me, the passenger, to control the situation–from afar. It’s stressful for her and frustrating for me. Well, that happened, putting damper #1 on our time.
At 3PM, the venue opened for the Caravan Acts (we didn’t care about). But I like to be early and we both wanted to check out the merch before it got picked over so I grabbed our awesome poster and we lined up. Smokers were in front of us and behind us in the line. I realized how spoiled we are as Washington residents, that not a staggering percentage of people smoke. But there were a lot of out of staters for the crux of the summer concert series, so we had to endure it. But not without some loud grumbling. The poster was a little unruly to carry because the wind kept wanting to gust it away. So I had to use my arm muscles to keep it from bending or flying away. It would be well worth it later! As we approached the front of the line, I noticed there were 8 security stalls, all of them manned–but people were only standing at the first 2. And the security people at the later stalls were goofing off. I told Cool to follow me and went from the 2nd long line, so the 5th completely empty stall. And made it all the way inside in about 2 seconds. I turned to celebrate with Cool, and no Cool. Where did she go? I waited on the other side of the lines expecting her to come right through. Nope. I went up to the gate to look for her. Not only had she not followed me, she was no longer in any line. She was waiting in a random area–crumbling from the pressure. Again. Frustrated, I yelled for her. Her hearing loss and panic prohibited her from hearing me. I had to go back out and grab her and get her. I actually was so frustrated at her inability to function enough to go through an effing line I thought about just going to our seats–but she was holding our tickets. When I grabbed her she said she lost me. Even though I wore a bright yellow skirt and was holding a large, colorful poster. . . Damper #2 on our time.
It was more windy then it had been at our past concerts. Wind is my least favorite weather. But my hair was back out of my face in a cute hairstyle, and my skirt had built in shorts and looked cute and flouncy when it whipped around. BUT I forgot my fire shoes. Sneakers that matched my adorable outfit, yet were comfortable to walk across dirt, weeds, and up & down all the hills. So my plastic flip-flops ate the skin off my feet and got wet and sweaty. I also forgot a coat/sweatshirt/longsleeve Sidenote: I really cannot change plans at the last minute. I was going to wear my whole outfit in the car and had it all (including the 2 aforementioned articles) set out. Then, I decided I didn’t want to get car slur on my nice stuff so I’d wear grubbies on the 2.5 hour drive and change. Back to point. I (we both) got cold. And there was nothing to do except A) be miserable and distracted for 7 hours or B) buy expensive outerwear at the merch stand. So I shelled out $65 for a sweatshirt and Cool $65 for a zip-up. Which we will both wear, but probably wouldn’t have bought if temperature wasn’t a factor.
Brandi Carlile did an awesome job! As always she got the crowd going, and I think made a lot of new fans. They added banjo to “100 years” and it sounded outstanding-I hope I can get hold of that live version! Also, Brandi ended the 1st song, there was a pause, and it looked like Brandi saw our sign. Then she said, “Raise Hell” (our sign said– Raise Hell Brandi), there was another pause–then they played “Raise Hell.” I’m pretty sure because of our sign. So that was awesome. She also did a rockin’ cover of Fleetwood Mac and “Nothing Compares to You,” in which the band ROCKED OUT. It was amazing per the usual. Though she played as a true opening act, doing covers instead of her own extensive, and popular, catalogue. But honestly, I like anything Brandi Carlile does, so I didn’t mind at all.
There was a half hour break between sets and our section filled in.
We had seats pretty close to the front (row 13) but any seat at all is better then none. Except we got surrounded by smokers. Really?! I guess cause Friday is big for out of staters who have to start going back home on the later days? Go home now! I absolutely hate smoking, because I have to smell it and stink too. And Cool hates it because her mom (who smoked for 40 years) is on Oxygen due to severe COPD. And it was on all sides and disgusting and obnoxious. And since they were also drunk (I had never noticed before that everyone is) they had no consideration and chain-smoked puffing right on us. Gross!
Cool was seated by Mr. Obnoxious. He was a drunk smoker, he was loud and pushy, and he crowded both of us out of our space. Like far away, so that the people on the other side of me were skewed also and complaining. Cool was in front of my seat and I had to cram between my seat and the person on the other side of me.
When Dave Matthews got on stage, we held up our poster. But Cool tried to pull it down after only .4 seconds. And I was like, what’s going on–hold up our awesome poster! She refused, not wanting to hold it at all. She tried to renege on holding up our poster 😦 Which had been her idea, and we worked hard on it, and it looked amazing, and I had to carry it around in the wind pre-show. But she wouldn’t. Damper #3 was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I became infuriated and disappointed with her. I was really pissed at her and it really made my time worse then it could have been.
The setlist was great. We were at the Gorge! We had seats! Yet, things weren’t right with Cool and me, so it sucked. I almost cried when “our song” “Crush” got played. We were not in a good place, so it was really sad and sucky. And the band played every sexy and romantic song they had because Dave’s wife and kids were in the audience–so fighting with Cool was the worst!
But I was really mindful about tuning out the extraneous (anger/disappointment in Cool, SUPER-Douche crowd around us, and non-stop smoking) and look at the lighting, the band, the stage, the sky. Think about how lucky I was to be there, and in good health, and have seats, and be sober. Lucky
Still, I ended the night in crocodile tears, very disappointed in how the day was ruined.
Next installment, Saturday of Labor Dave Weekend + Brandi–away from the Gorge.