I have tremendous respect for drummer Skip because after Portland he drove us all through the night (and the mountains) to the huge, 4-day outdoor fest that's lovingly christened Sasquatch.
It's a vast open space called Gorge Amphitheater or "the Gorge in George" in a town called George, Washington. The venue sees four stages surrounded by mountains, valleys and a buncha insane shit you just don't see in the Midwest. So we pull into the fields around 5 a.m. and it's still quiet, the kind of heavy hush that reminds me of when I'd snowplow with my father -- 5 a.m., no one around. Eerie.
We roll into the artist campsite area and a few of us have tents to sleep in (four hours max.) until our 9 a.m. load-in time. I have a tent, but I don't pull it out. Too tired. So I call it a night on the ground.
This is where it gets all Goodfellas.
Here I am, in a sleeping bag and crashed on the grass as the right side of my face is melting in the horrible rising sun. There are faint moos from cows in the distance (still don't know what that was about), and with sleep deprivation mixed with the weirdness, I see Skip and Shades silhouetted against the sun gettin' their Tommy DeVito on.
It's Goodfellas time, and I expect to hear the Shangri-Las' "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" and am wondering who the hell they murdered and are attempting to bury.
Which band member got the beat-down, man? Wait, what? I'm losing everything . ... Where am I? C'mon, Shades, you're not that ... Skip? Really?
That horrible sun. This life. Those beers. Shades and Skip are but innocents trying to sleep. I need to sleep too. Wow.
Later, we rise to load-in and everyone (stage manager Katie!) on staff here is accommodating.
This is the morning of day 4 for them, and you better believe they are exhausted. We're tired too, but we've too much adrenaline and too much of a 'something to prove' attitude to let anything or anyone slow us down. So we play our early afternoon set to a crowd of a few ... a few including Jack Black and a gang of his people. I speak with Black afterward, thanked him for watching the entire set. It was good to know that even though the dude was tired, had a show eight hours later, and basically could hang with a bunch of other famous people, he came and heard us play. I like that, it shows character.
The rest of the day say our boys go off in all directions, regroup, wander off again, etc. A beautiful day to be alive. I didn't take pictures of the view that is the gorge. How could I? How could I take a picture of that, bring it home, and show it to people and try to explain it to them? It's something I enjoyed with a few others, and I almost want to just leave it there. You can't bring a day like that home with you.
It was a weird thing to be backstage with the other artists and connected people who got back there, and then to go out into the "civilian" area and watch the show with them. There definitely is a cool attitude backstage that is so fucking annoying. I feel out of place, I definitely look out of place, and it feels strange to me. High school was annoying as hell, and I am still in it sometimes.
I went out into the crowd and watched Feist's entire set, and it was equally as strange to be completely surrounded by girls younger than me singing along to every song. Outta place here? So I bounced around to discover something to relate to. John C. Reilly's country-tinged band was pretty good, and Spiritualized were alright. But still, there was nothing I felt I had to go hear or see.
The night ended with most (everyone except Shades) of us partying with Spiritualized. It was the last night of their U.S. tour, and we sat around and talked about all the usual stuff. It was sweet to relax and relate to others.
It was a great day for the Sights; people loved the new songs, and we spent the night again in the artist camping area. Skip was obsessed with finding a party, he found one (or two), and I finally passed out from exhaustion in my tent around 1 a.m. I woke up at 5 a.m. with that sun, and we began our trek across Montana.
All the best,
Current tour weight: I'll bring a scale for the 2nd leg.
Photos by Shades