Soundgarden w/ QOTSA, Mastodon & Meat Puppets 07/30/11
The Gorge – George, WA
Words/Photos by PhishBeard
Ok folks, I first must once again apologize for the severe tardiness of my reviews. I have had a very eventful summer to say the least and my lazy ass never got motivated enough to post my reviews. I did however post 95% of all the videos I recorded this summer on Youtube.com. Now it is time to kick back and enjoy the hellride of a summer that I experienced this year. All reviews will be written in the order that I attended them, except for the Sasquatch Festival, Oregon Country Fair and the Northwest String Summit, which will be written last due to the fact that they will be long in length. Let the hellride begin with Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and the Meat Puppets coming to the Gorge at George, WA on July 30, 2011.
Located in the middle of nowhere in Washington state, there exists a beast of a venue. One of the best outdoor venues in the U.S., hands down. The Gorge Amphitheater, which is nestled up against the mighty Columbia River, held one stellar rock show that was headlined by the 90’s iconic band, Soundgarden. The day started out great with awesome weather and plenty of beers devoured during the prefunk process. By the time my crew made our way to the venue, we had to split up because I had purchased my tickets from the fan club and had to get into a different line to be wristbanded. After going through a pretty laid back security check, our group reformed inside the venue. By the time we got to the stage where the Meat Puppets played, they were just starting to put away all the band’s gear. Unfortunately, they opened the day and only played a 30 minute set. I was pretty pissed to find that out, since I was mostly there to see the Meat Puppets.
My first dose of music for the day was Mastodon. These guys are heavy and know how to play. My best description of them would have to be death metal hippies. They raged hard and were very loud. I was able to get “Blood & Thunder” video taped and posted. I was also able to get a bitchin’ “Colony of Birchmen” as well. These guys are well worth checking out if you like good metal music. This was my first Mastodon experience and I can promise you all that it will not be my last.
The next band we saw was Queens of the Stone Age. I wasn’t sure what to expect of these guys. I knew some of their music, but not enough to pass judgment on them. I would have to say that I heard a lot of good things about them and those rumors were true. These guys rocked! I was able to get 4 of their videos posted, such as “A Song for the Deaf” and “Make it Wit Chu“. Their show was very energetic as can be seen in the “Go with the Flow” and “Burn the Witch” videos. Overall, their stage setup was sweet, the band played great and tons of people were digging the tunes. By the end of the Queens set, the floor was jammed packed full of people getting ready for Soundgarden to play.
It took a bit in between the Queens of the Stone Age set and the Soundgarden set to start. During that time I ran into 2 friends from 2 different crews and we rejoiced with beers and doobies. After chatting up a storm, we made our way back to one of my friend’s spot, where he was set up. The spot was perfect and it was a blessing to find such a sweet place to record video. Unfortunately, my friends were very hammered and didn’t care about talking over my video as I was recording. Most the songs I recorded are fine, but you can hear my drunk friends in the background. Lesson learned, don’t video tape next to loud drunkards lol.
Soundgarden came out rocking and left rocking. These dudes totally lived up to the hype. This was my first Soundgarden show and I was ecstatic to see a band that I have loved so much for years now. They busted out all the big hitters like “Black Hole Sun”, “4th of July”, and “The Day I tried To Live.” This show overall rocked my face to a new dimension. The band sounded freaking great. Chris Cornell sang like a beast and even gave the Super Sonics some love and talked about how he is pissed that they are no long in Seattle.
The Gorge definitely received a treat that night when Soundgarden finished the show with a triple encore. The band let the reverb go at the end of their last song and walked off stage. The sound went on for a long time, then eventually the house lights came on. What seemed like a long day of rock music ended with a long ass walk back to the campgrounds in a very slow fashion for most people. My crew on the other hand had a short walk to the bus for a ride back to the Wild Horse, the best private campground by the Gorge. What a great day and awesome night!