Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dave Matthews at the Gorge (weeks ago)

A few weeks ago we drove up to Moses Lake, WA so I could attend a Dave Matthews concert at The Gorge Amphitheater along with a group of friends from Frost's old school. It was a few weeks ago but I so rarely attend anything of this scale that I could not resist posting some pictures.

Firstly, I had no idea what a huge deal The Gorge is. It is situated on the banks of the Columbia River Gorge and has a fabulous view down cliffs and sharply falling rocky hills to the river swelling in the distance. It is scenic in scale - the kind of thing you that you see in Chinese Landscape Paintings - haunting and vast.

The evening started wetly with a huge downpour which tested the limits of my new gortex raincoat. Thankfully we had VIP passes to a 'party' yurt which had a bar which had beer and rum and some mixers. I loathe beer so I had various permutations of rum and juice to wash down chips, cookies and veggies with dip. The party tent was hot and steamy with wet people squeezed into a happy intimacy but I met a few interesting folks and waited for the rain to rain and for various opening acts to open.

Watching Dave perform was eye opening. I know he is a cult performer but it was interesting to see him in front of a vast crowd (they said almost 28 000). There was tremendous energy and while his music is obviously fabulous - particularly his haunting lyrics - I found the celebrity machine the most interesting part of being there. The fans in the row behind me knew his entire repertoire and could predict what song he was about to perform based on instrument, setup and who was on-stage. They gave a running commentary about what the mix said, meant, felt like, reminded them of. It was eerie.

I won't go into my reflections on celebrity right now but it was a strange experience both great fun, exciting and vaguely disturbing. What is it in humans that elevates some among us to god status?

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