See what I did there?
First thing in the morning I went for my run down River Road. I however, did not repeat Saturday’s mistake. I started my mile going up hill so that I could finish on a downhill and things worked out much better! Also, it was beautiful running near a (un-poisoned) river, surrounded by forest and orchards. Central Washington is very beautiful. Too bad there’s no jobs.
We hung out with Cool’s friend awhile longer before getting ready to go back to the Gorge. I tried to fix my hair as I had planned and practiced, but traveling always makes my hair icky. Maybe my travel shampoo is crummy. . . My hair was very fly-away and I could tell I was going to have to stand there fighting with it for 40 minutes to get it to do what I wanted. Instead, I took the easy way out and asked Cool’s friend (who owns her own hairdressing business) to do 2 french braids. She asked if I wanted 4, and not wanting to take advantage or suck up her time, I said I thought 2 would keep my hair out of my face alright.
The wind was Kra-zzzy! It was reminiscent of Nevada. I wished I had asked for 2 more french braids because my hair would not stay out of my face for 0.2 seconds. I hate that!
Our tailgating was fun–Cool beat me in 3 straight rounds of Go Fish and even let me draw an eyeliner Firedancer on her forearm. I looked at the sticker on her car window for proportions, but it’s hard–and you can’t (easily) erase errant marks when working with skin and eyeliner. I did the best I could, and Cool looked a little skeptical of the results and said she might remove it.
We continued to eat and drink our snacks, having plenty left over for the ride home, and the next week even. It was fun and everyone was on their best behavior and getting along. Soon, random people parked in our vicinity came over to ask about Cool’s home-made arm tat. They exclaimed at how awesome it looked! I was like, “Thanks for coming over–she didn’t like it!” And the gal said she’d tried to draw one too, but it proved very difficult–even though the Firedancer looks simplistic. The guy agreed it was a good rendition, and they walked back to their car. After that Cool seemed proud of it.
I had to change out of my super-cute flip flops. Because my feet were still boneless, skinless chicken from the plastic damage Friday. And they matched my outfit and necklace PERFECTLY! But alas, I had to put on my sensible running sneaks, and thankfully they were orange and matched my outfit. Though They were certainly not as cool or cute.
We went into the venue early again to check out that night’s poster and merch. Before we went in I should mention that I checked, confirmed, and double checked with Cool whether we should bring the poster along. It was very, VERY windy and gusting terribly, and if she wasn’t going to hold it, I didn’t want to bother around with it. As a matter of fact, had we actually held it Friday, I wouldn’t have taken it around again, because the wind was so severe. She said she wanted it, so I carried it around, in the wind, again. That night’s special collector’s edition poster was a dinosaur! So we bought it to commemorate the occasion, as well as a shirt for whoever would win the setlist game(I knew I would!) that night.
We went looking for our seats knowing these would be further back (row 22 vs 13 on Friday) and realized that our section was much closer! We were actually front and center, rather than skewed to stage right, and 22 rows counted the pit!!! We were actually 7 chairs back 😀 These were amazing tickets (thanks Mom and Dad!) and this was going to be a good, good time.
They also have a (new?) viewing area we had never noticed before. It was immediately adjacent to the stage and overlooked the gorge canyon and Columbia River. It was a beautiful view except for 3 things: They made you wear an alcohol arm band to get in, after checking IDs (apparently kids are not allowed to look at nice scenery), the wind was crazy on an edge, with no wind barriers, and there was so, so, so much TRASH. People from the venue had tossed or lost their empties. Or the wind caught it and the staff didn’t bother to pick it up. It really marred the vibe and made me disappointed in humanity. Such a nice spot ruined by beer cans. . .
Dave always does this really cool thing and comes out to personally introduce the opener. It makes the audience feel like Dave likes them so we should give them more of a chance–which is neat. Because usually, the crowd is a little disgruntled and unaccepting of whoever is keeping them from the headliner. Dave came out (per the usual) to warm us up to Brandi. But I was unimpressed by what he said about her, “She’s hot.” Instead of saying how talented she is, or how nice, he decided to objectify her. Which I’m sure he did for the testosterone-fueled fratty staple fans, to get on to her. After all, the dude knows his audience–but I didn’t like it all the same. And he did this both nights we attended, adding in Sunday the twins were also hot and he’d follow the band around to look at them *gag*.
Brandi played almost the same setlist all 3 nights. Which was good, but she has a large enough catalogue that she didn’t have to. And even if she wanted to stick with covers instead of all her own material I think Johnny Cash would have gone over well. And John Denver. But no complaints here–she is always a treat to watch. I just wondered about the rationale. But the crowd caught on big-time to her (they always do) and filled in much earlier then they had Friday. I was glad to see Brandi had made so many new fans. Though also unhappy because the more fans she gets, the harder it will be to meet her–and the more crowded and expensive her concerts. She’s no longer our little secret.
Cool and I did some swaying together during her set, but the wind was outrageous, and kept blowing my hair in my face. Which I can’t stand. And Cool wanted to hold the poster instead of propping it under a chair as we had Friday, so she really had to work to hold it. But we had fun together anyway. We were out to have an exceptional time on Sunday.
We held our “Raise Hell Brandi” sign up high and since we were close and center, she actually saw it and pointed at it, acknowledging us!!! What a moment! I gave her a thumbs up, not knowing what the procedure is supposed to be when a famous person points at the sign you worked so hard on, carried through gusting wind for an afternoon, and held up with a death grip to keep from blowing away. After that, I got cold and wanted to put on my sweatshirt–but just in case Brandi saw us later or wanted to meet these fans who made HER a sign at a DMB concert, I wanted to be sure I was wearing the same, recognizable bright tank I’d been wearing when she pointed at our poster.
I needn’t have worried, because I did not see Brandi after she left the stage. Of course. But the DMB fans were filtering in, and I was really hoping the crowd around us would not be pushing and smoking this night. Dudes sat next to us. One was asking me all kinds of questions, and I couldn’t tell if he was a friendly sort or getting his flirt on. But then he asked me who I came with (Cool was in the bathroom at the time) and I said my mate. Nobody understands what the Fu(k that means, but I like it. And I absolutely HATE “partner” or worse, “lover.” And “girlfriend” doesn’t really do us justice anymore, so “mate” it is–confusing or not. Another drunk dude stumbled slowly down our row, and my neighbor said he was surprised when that dude passed us, as he thought it was my mate. I had to explain that oh no, my mate is a short gal. And my neighbor immediately turned to his friends–I’m pretty sure to say how unlucky he was that the chick he’s trying to scam on is gay. But I couldn’t hear the, so maybe not. When Cool came back, he of course made some suggestive jokes about a threesome–as ALL dudes do when confronted with lesbians. But he was more funny than disgusting or offensive so we took it light-heartedly, and continued joking around with him throughout the night. He didn’t come off as an aggressive creeper, and we were determined to have a better night. And none of the people around us smoked! Thank goodness.
I forgot to mention in the first writing that I got up to get water between acts. The Gorge water is in some kind of milk carton. It’s recyclable, and they can ship it flat for efficiency, and it was a huge hit in our seating area. Everyone first wanted to know if I was drinking milk at a concert, then wanted me to read the carton’s benefits off the side for them. When I came back to my seat, I thought somewhere along the line I might have stepped in $hit?! I even checked the bottom of my sneakers (thank goodness no flops), but they were clean. I looked about, thinking there must be poo about because it smelled. I never did find it. Maybe it was always there but the wind had been so wild it carried away the odor. With all the people surrounding us the wind wasn’t so drastic, and I think it was settling down toward the evening. But the smell–was awful! Some super-drunk dude went down our row, talking as he stumbled. When he was passed, one of our new seat buddies said his breath smelled of vomit. He puked on the ground behind us apparently, and the venue did their best to clean it up amongst all the people, but could only do so much without chemicals and a hose. I wondered what you have to eat for vomit to smell that bad. It smelled like he ate $hit and vomited back out. And that sort of lingered throughout the concert, lucky us.
Right before the show, of course, a tall, broad shouldered man stood immediately in front of us. I’ve come to expect that, but this dude was like 6’5″ or taller, and his wife was an amazon too. It pretty much obscured our view unless we craned around them one way or another. Still, we were going to have fun, and going to see the stage since we got such stellar seats!
Dave came out and we held our sign up several times. We played the setlist game and the people around us offered their inside knowledge of Saturday’s setlist and suggestions for what would get played this night. Also, the people around us were quite excited about our sign, wanting to know what it said, encouraging us to hold it up, spotlighting it with a flashlight, and offering to get us Carter’s drumsticks if he threw one toward our poster. It was a great vibe.
Ugh–the Lovely Ladies showed up. I can’t stand the way they change the sound of DMB, and they were a huge factor when I wasn’t an earlier fan of the band. Crash was amongst my 1st 12 CDs ever, but I hated Lovely Ladies and thought they were permanently part of the band’s sound, so strayed away from their music. I could ignore them on 2 songs, but they absolutely ruined “You and Me” which is normally one of my faves, and Cool and I were swaying to it–having a moment.
Cool and I danced, sang, and got along famously throughout the whole show. At one point we laughed and laughed because as Dave was singing “Squirm” the lyrics went “open your mouth and $hit comes out” which reminded us of the vomit. And it was much better then Friday. I had a really nice time at the show, and with her.
They ended the encore with “Shake me like a monkey” or as we like to call it–kick in the dick. Sorry Dave, you just can’t force a closer. If a song isn’t encore material, no amount of playing it last will make it so. Next time–“2 step.” Or just stop at “The Stone” because that would have been different and awesome.
I had to clean Cat’s Meow one last time, and thought I might try to get it done Monday. And I thought I should do some studying the next day. The concert ended at 11:35 PM (I just checked my FitBit step time to confirm this). So instead of camping again (though it’s lovely) I decided to be a big-girl and drive us home that night. What I didn’t anticipate was all the (drunk) traffic. It took us a literal 20 minutes just to get out of our parking spot. Then, it took another half hour to slowly wind through the dark, unmarked roads to I-90. With normal traffic it takes about 15-20 minutes total. So we didn’t really get going until 12:40AM (I know this because we stopped at the first rest stop to get snacks within reach and pee–and my FitBit recorded those steps). It’s a 2.5 hour drive, but I can never fall asleep in a non-bed situation. Cool stayed awake and talked to me the whole time, which is unusual and awesome. Having company without nagging for it worked out a lot better! I started getting really tired around 2:30AM, but we were IN Spokane, so we didn’t have far to go at all. And I have to say, that drive was much better in the dark. Between Mosis Lake and Cheney, there is nothing but dirt, so I actually felt like the time passed faster. Maybe we’ll drive in the dark again next time we have to go through there. . .
I wasn’t as productive as I had hoped Monday, and of course I couldn’t clean work because the book-keeper was already there when I showed up. But it was nice to be home and have a whole day to rest before school and work resumed.
So there it is–the whole Labor Dave Weekend + Brandi Carlile story of 2014. Cool has been to the Gorge to see DMB 24 times–and saw him in CA an additional 3 times) so she’s a big fan. And these were my 3rd and 4th shows. I wish it could be an annual thing, but I’m afraid this might be our last year. Next year, we’re (barring school rejections) moving to Utah, and it’ll be too far, and too expensive to go during the school year. Maybe DMB or Brandi or both (are you guys reading this???!!!!! Hint, hint.) will play Red Rocks and we’ll get to go there instead. . .