We had been waiting for the big Jack Johnson concert all summer and the day finally arrived! Tyla arrived at the house bright and early on Friday morning. We hopped on the motorcycle and took off up 203 to 2 and headed east through Stevens Pass. After a quick (and frigid) stop at Stevens Pass Ski Area, we continued south to Leavenworth. We had lunch, perused a few shops and then headed down 97 to Ellensburg to meet Tim and Chelsea for the final few miles to The Gorge.
None of us had been there before and didn't really know what to expect. We got there early enough to set up camp in a big field/parking lot and then walked about 15 minutes over to the amphitheater. The area is ginormous. We found a grassy spot center stage about 3/4ths of the way up the hill. If you want to sit closer, you should get there more than 1.5 hours before the show starts. I'm not complaining though. The whole night was awesome.
The show started with the Culver City Dub Collective. I'd never heard of them before but they were decent. Rogue Wave played next. I'm not a fan of their stuff so Tyla and I went in search of food and drinks while the lines were shorter. Jack Johnson finally came on and played a great set including my favorite (Flake) and Tyla's favorite (Bubbly Toes.) After a five song encore, the show was over.
It was really nice to walk back to the campsite instead of driving home, but the party was just beginning for most of the 20,000 concert goers. I'd say at least half of them were camping with us and 97% of them were drunk, high, or both. Thankfully we weren't very close to any of the loudest parties and we headed for the tents. The girls both said they slept but Tim and I were up pretty much all night. Oh well, it was a good experience.
Here are some tips if you're going to The Gorge:
- Don't go the day before you have to take a drug test for work. The weed is unavoidable. I started counting the number of times I smelled it, but after Jack Johnson came on, it was non-stop until later in the night.
- Bring earplugs if are camping.
- Don't forget to use the ear plugs. I didn't realize until the morning that I had earplugs in my motorcycle bags, but I forgot to use them. I'm a moron.
- The earlier you get there, the better. We arrived at the campsite around 4:30 and got to the hill around 5:30. We were probably mid pack for both arrivals.
All in all, I'm really glad that we got a chance to experience a concert there. It's not a great place to actually see the band and hear the music, but I'll always remember the trip! (More about the rest of my weekend tomorrow.)