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Dave Matthews Band: The Gorge, Washington

October 12, 2011
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This past Labor Day I experienced the true, ultimate pilgrimage of every serious Dave Matthews Band fan: 3 nights at The Gorge in Washington State. It was also my first time to Seattle, a city I now dearly love, but the reason for this trip was to fulfill one of my most vivid dreams. It’s no secret I’m bias when it comes to Dave Matthews (the fire dancer tattoo on my back is a dead giveaway) as I whole-heartedly believe he is the greatest musician. Ever. And this year the stars aligned and allowed me to experience what I have been fantasizing about for years.

The Gorge- Venue

The DMB Caravan tour landed at The Gorge in Washington State from September 2-4.  Situated 2½ hours southeast of Seattle, the Gorge is a stunning outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Columbia River. Placed far enough of civilization, neighboring cow fields and vineyards, this venue beings together an array of ages, backgrounds and soul searchers. My boyfriend and I, visiting from Los Angeles, camped for 3 nights under a sky so clear the stars lit up the night. This excursion was more than a music festival- it was an invigorating, yet relaxing, spiritual-like retreat. I sometimes have a hard time expressing my passion for Dave. Hearing his music, especially live, sends this almost electric vibration through my blood.  It brings me to a place of complete bliss and total understanding- and at the same time it feels like nothing else exists- except for that moment.

DMB played 3 full sets each night, ranging from 2 1/2 -3 hours. Dave & Tim also played an hour solo set (incredible). The daytime were spent relaxing near the camp, checking out artsy vendors that set up shop outside the venue, hanging with new found festival friends and discovering new Caravan bands, my favorite being The Belle Brigade and Blind Pilot. I’m also a huge Brett Dennen fan, who is fantastic as well, but unfortunately missed his performance this time around.

If plan on traveling to the Gorge from out-of-town, here are some tips:

  •  Fly into Seattle or Portland and rent a car. We were lucky enough to reserve the most affordable rental car available and upgraded (for free) to an SUV- perfect for car camping.
  •  If you need camping equipment and you are flying- rent it from REI. We rented a camping stove and it was perfect for making coffee in the morning and pasta in the evening.  It’s a great deal and doesn’t break the bank.
  • We needed a shower but didn’t want to wait in the long line at the campsite. We explored the surrounding area one morning and, from a tip from a local, discovered a beautiful state park/campground with a shower. Priceless.
  • Go with an open mind and accept everyone you meet for who they are. From frat boys to families- the Gorge has it all and everyone is there for one reason- to have an amazing time. And that’s a beautiful thing.

A few of my favorite songs from the weekend include Everyday, Bartender, Stay or Leave, Little Red Bird, Time Bomb, Eh Hee, So Damn Lucky, Save Me…who am I kidding, I could go on forever. Whether  you’re a Dave fan or not, make it to the The Gorge for a festival. It might open your mind and give you a different perspective- even if it’s just for a few short days.

On that note, here is a lyric from Dancing Nancies that summed up the weekend:

“Look up at the sky,
My mouth is open wide, lick and taste,
What’s the use in worrying, what’s the use in hurrying …” ❤

Me & Chris at our campsite!

Seattle & Friends

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