We looked forward to the Gorge all year, really. Last year we saw 1 of the 3 shows (Sunday) from the lawn. Sunday is a great vibe, and my favorite crowd. A lot of the out of towners start home to make it back to work. It’s also a really good crowd because travel, camping, partying, and carousing for a few days and nights prior, really does a lot to mellow everyone out. a.k.a.–the fratty and crazy people act less douchi because they’re tired and hungover. The downside to Sunday is the venue runs out of everything! Which, they know DMB is all three days of the weekend, and they’ve been doing this for over ten years so you’d think they could have some numbers expectations and a little pre-planning, but noooo. It was especially a problem for beer (in the past, when we drank) because all the good kraft beers were long gone by Sunday, and I hate fratty, cheap piss-water, and refuse to drink it. And that makes sitting back in the grass with all the obnoxious weirdos difficult. You have to have a buzz on to tolerate it at all. SO this year we wanted to do it right and get seats.
But seats are expensive. And tickets went on sale during my last week of work, when I had already quit my job, but before I had any new work (income) prospects. And my hair gets too greasy to camp for multiple nights in a row without showers. And with little sleep (camping conditions) I get crabby and Cool is completely non-functional. So we planned to take Saturday (peak fratty audience day, peak attendance) off to relax. And my parents bought me an early, early birthday present of one of the four tickets–meaning I could get closer seats, because I was only paying for half of the pair. YAY!!! And employed Cool got the others pair, which were slightly further back. But let’s face it, even the farthest back seat in the venue is still a SEAT and still better than lawn. So things worked out perfectly (for finances and sleep and showers). More on this later.
Sitting in SEATS is better for a number of reasons:
-weirdos are on the grass (I mean, they are insane: bras and no shirt, hard-core making out, drunk, screaming, smoking, generally being super-annoying)
-it’s colder and more windy on the grass
-the grass is far, far away–even the jumbo-trons look small. The (cell phone) pictures are teeny or with editing look pixelated and crummy.
-you do not have an assigned location of the grass = people get in your grill or sit/stand/dance immediately in front of you obscuring what little view you had.
-Since the bathrooms are in no way gated off, they’re inconvenient to get to, and get a lot more use a.k.a dirty–er.
What Went into SEATS at The Gorge:
We planned to have incentive/reward for no alcohol with actual seats at the Gorge in November
We saved our money to buy tickets since Christmas
We purchased our tickets in Feb
We planned our visit/shower/bed with Cool’s friend almost immediately after the tickets were purchased
We planned our food and bev all summer
We planned and made our poster all of August
We prepped everything for 2 weeks in advance
We got car chalk to feel cool during the drive and painted slogans on the windows–“Labor DAVE weekend!!!” “DMB or BUST” and “Brandi Carlile <3”
This is the first semester at Riverpoint I’ve ever had class on Friday. They used to only have courses Mon-Thurs, but last year the main campus in Pullman had issues with drinking and debauchery, so the WSU system put classes every day to break those party days up.
Which is irrelevant for our branch campus for many reasons:
-we are a medical campus (hello, hard-science students have to actually STUDY)
-being a branch campus, there are substantially less of us
-mainly older students attend Riverpoint (Juniors and up) so we’re generally not as adventurous/stupid
-there are no dorms/frats here
-the economy is $hitty = less restaurants/bars/clubs to be naughty
But they don’t care, it’s a WSU-wide thing, so I have to attend class (Neuroanatomy, unfortunately) Friday from 11-noon (late!). It’s very inconvenient for me, and in the past would NEVER have worked with my Forster-fire Fridays. Which was one of the 3 full days I worked consistently my whole duration of employment (Monday and Saturdays were the others). It would have been awful if this had started ANY sooner then it did, I would have been forced to quit Cat’s Meow sooner, because getting rid of Fridays was not an option and leaving in the middle = impossible. This year, I just had the concert to contend with, not work (thank God!). As such, I skipped class for the first time in the 6 semesters I’ve been attending school here. And normally, I would have felt guilty, worried about what I’d missed, and stress out more then it was worth–but I’m the new, relaxed version of me now. So I skipped and had fun and tailgated as planned.
Speaking of Drinking–We Weren’t/Aren’t
I was a little concerned about not drinking. At a concert(S). That’s historically been a big part of the whole tradition, as well as a means to survive all the crowds, the dirty SaniHuts, and fratty D-Bags. BUT we got the seats, and we found awesome machtail recipes and spent a week making them and froze them in water bottles so they would even be cold for tailgating. And really, I didn’t miss drinking during tailgating or the concert at all. Inside the venue, the Gorge must have contracted with Bud Light because that was the only beer we saw, and believe me I was not jealous or tempted by that. Also, I had never previously realized that 99% of people at concerts are DRUNK. Like acting obnoxious, smelling strongly of alcohol, slurring, staggering, some falling. That was weird. But being sober around it didn’t ruin my time at all. And I didn’t feel inhibited about dancing or anything, because no one around us A) mattered B) was aware enough to notice us C) was going to remember it. Sobriety at concerts was just fine–a non-issue. But only from SEATS. I would have hated the shenanigans in the grass without something on board.
I was going to have a big master post, but changed my mind. I know you guys wouldn’t read an entire looooong thing. And also since I’m getting into the groove of school, work, and studying, posting multiple parts will help me give more (real) posts.
Standby for the story of Friday, coming next.