I spent the holiday weekend camping out in the rain at The Gorge to catch Dave Matthews Band, guitar legend Tim Reynolds, banjomeister Danny Barnes, and openers G. Love and Special Sauce and Yonder Mountain String Band.
As I made my way down to the floor to find my seats on Sunday night, I passed the media check in and had one of those Homer Simpson "Doh!" moments complete with an open palm slap to the forehead. Why hadn't I thought to get a media pass, damnit?!
So then I spent the duration of the after-show party at my campsite mentally composing hypothetical questions should I remember to get a media pass next year.
Here's my ridiculous list of questions, which I'll admit, I composed under the influence. And since I'm no music writer, I like to call my list the "Dummies Guide to Rock Stardom."
1. The fans spend three days in the campground hopping themselves up on booze and illegal drugs before your shows. Presumably, you aren't doing the same (after all, you Twittered that you hadn't smoked in three years), but what do you and the band do all day? Especially in George, Washington?
2. You people smile a lot when you're on stage. Are you really that happy to be up there?
3. What happens if nature calls three measures into the "Tripping Billies" jam?
4. Did you have any idea there are people in the audience counting and wagering on everything from the number of sticks Carter will throw out to the number of songs you'll play from the big three albums to the number of repeat songs they'll hear over the three-day show? Can you name "the big three"?
5. Do you ever look out on the crowd of 20,000+ as you're singing "Ants Go Marching" and think to yourself, "oh the irony ..."?
6. Aren't you tired of playing "Crash"?
7. Who does the laundry when you're out on tour?
8. And while we're talking about the inane, everyday kind of stuff, what do you eat when you're out on tour? Do you have a cook on that bus of yours, too? Do you ever just pull into Burger King for some hangover food? And since the bus won't make it through the drive thru, who do you send in to fetch your Whopper for you? (P.S. My Whopper fetching skills are far better than my music writing skills. I'm just sayin' ...)
9. So, not all of us are musicians. I get the whole counting thing to keep the beat, but come on, dish: How do all seven musicians on stage get the buh-buh-buh exactly right every time, especially after like a 25-count silence? Is there a guy in your ear mike saying "ready ... ready ... in three, two ... bang"?
10. What's the dumbest question a journalist has asked you? (For inspiration, see numbers one through nine above.)
And now for my visually disappointing video. (It's all about the music, kids.) "Seven," DMB, Sat. Sept. 5, The Gorge.