This was my fourth time heading to the Gorge to see Dave Matthews Band with Aaron over Labor Day weekend. My last visit was in 2015 because in 2016 I had blood clots and then the band took a break in 2017. All that to say, I was super ready to go.
Yeah, we are still super fans. In fact earlier in the week Aaron took Isaac + Elliot over to Bend to see him play on Tuesday night before heading home Wednesday and then we left on Thursday.
This particular adventure is one of the ways I close out the summer. It signals a transition to fall and back to school and all the other stuff that goes along with moving into September (it often happens right before or right after December Daily® goes on sale too).
This year I made the decision to take fewer photos and play more with video as a way to stretch my storytelling muscles and to invite some creative play into our trip. A week before we went I purchased a GoPro 6 and decided to bring that and my Canon G7X (the small camera I've been using for most of my vlogs) and shoot with both cameras to see which one I like better. The Canon G7X is an awesome small camera that takes fantastic photos and is great when you might not want to carry a larger DSLR camera.
I totally enjoyed playing with the GoPro 6 and can definitely see myself using it for this kind of adventure in the future as I get the hang of it and all the things it can do. I especially loved the image stabilization feature of the GoPro 6 and could tell the difference between the video taken with the Canon (more shaky). The GoPro 6 is also waterproof and I can't wait to play with that at some point in the future.
As you'll see in the video below, I didn't do a lot of talking so it's really more about capturing the view of this amazing location. In the video you'll see the beauty of the 6+ hour drive, where we camp, the venue, the show, and the walking back to camp each evening. Songs in the video are from Soundstripe.
“Dave” is a single word reference in our house. If you say “Dave” more like than not you are talking about Dave Matthews vs. any other Dave.
The newness of venturing to the Gorge is gone, but the beauty of the 6+ hour drive is there as is the sheer amazing scenery of the Gorge itself. I’m not sure there is really another venue that even compares (I’ve heard a lot about Red Rocks but haven’t been there yet in terms of another outdoor venue to compare).
On these weekends we drive over on Thursday and stay until Monday. It’s always Labor Day Weekend (or Labor "Dave" Weekend as many like to call it). For Aaron and l we basically hang out in our campsite during the day - maybe venture over to a food truck area for lunch in the middle of thousands of campers.
But mostly we just chill out. I often read (this time I finished The Arrangement and Sweet Little Lies) and he listens to music or a football game. And then around 4pm we take a shuttle from our camp area over to the concert space (super short drive - we walk back).
This year we played some iPhone scrabble one night.
The view. It's ridiculous.
We have fun.
Some of the songs Dave plays are long - like 20 minutes long - where all the musicians get a chance to show their stuff and just jam around with each other. I’ve loved developing an appreciation for that over the years - it's definitely Aaron's favorite thing. The talent is amazing and they way they work together on stage is phenomenal.
Most years we opt for designated tickets or the pit (we were in the pit the first night this year) vs. sitting in the lawn. We like to be in the middle of the action. So many of the people who come to these shows have been SO MANY TIMES and know all the songs. Over the three nights he almost never repeats a song and I almost always get to hear my favorites.
It's definitely one of my favorite places to visit and we are so lucky to be able to adventure there.
Also, just a heads up that I was recently interviewed for the Today's Mama podcast. On it Rachel and talked about our mutual love of Dave among other things in my life experience like divorce + remarriage. You can have a listen here. We even put together our essential Dave playlist that you can read here.