Dave Matthews Band Sunlight Supply Amphitheater Wednesday, September 4th 2019

I can’t tell you how long it has been. Actually I can, it has been over 20 years since I last saw Dave Matthews Band. I stopped going to shows when the crowd and vibe started going in a direction that I was not comfortable with. The day before the show Tracy reaches out saying she has an extra ticket to see Dave Matthews at Sunlight Amphitheater the following day and if I was interested in going. I was actually just reminiscing about seeing Dave so I was in.

Never been to Ridgefield or a Dave show recently so this was a totally new experience, I didn’t know what to expect. Traffic going north at five can be a bear and the night of the show was no different. I was going to meet Tracy at the venue since I was never going to make it to her house in time to hitch a rid to the venue. While traffic did slow my progress I still made it to the venue with plenty of time before the show started.

It was funny as I was driving into the lots Tracy spotted me and yelled my name. The afternoon weather was perfect so my windows where down and I could clearly hear her yell, “Hey, Justin!” I parked and we walked to the entrance. The doors opened late so the lines where a little long. Getting through security was pretty straight forward since I didn’t have a bag.

Come to find out the venue had all sorts of delays with the show that evening. Doors opened later then expected and access to the lawn was delayed by at least an hour I heard. The common area at Ridgefield was packed with people just waiting to get to their seats and more importantly the lawn. The venue allows blankets and low back chairs so everyone was waiting in line to get a good spot on the lawn.

Tracy and I had pavilion seats so we took the opportunity to lounge. We got some food and drinks before heading to the lawn to hang out with some of her neighbors. Jason and his wife I knew so I talked with them for a while before the start of the show. Tickets said 8pm start time and no one could tell me if they are late like Phish is. Not wanting to miss anything I headed to my seat a few minutes before 8pm.

The pavilion seats we had were pretty good. It was not worth the $115 face value but then again I am not a Dave fan so for me that was a price to high. The show didn’t sell out that night but seamed close. They just finished a three day run at the Gorge Amphitheater over Labor Day Weekend so I have a feeling many fans skipped this show. Guess Dave really wanted to show some love for Portland by coming to Sunlight.

The show got started pretty close to on time and the pavilion started filling in. The fans really did take their sweet time getting to their seats. I guess because they know Dave will play for nearly three hours so missing the first few songs while standing in line for a beer is not a big deal.

Overall I thought the show as pretty good that night. It started off with a really good song That Girl Is You which was new to me. It then meandered all over the place from really fast songs to super slow love songs. You and Me is everyone’s wedding song according to the couple next to me. Cool…now pay attention you drunks and don’t fall over while trying to slow dance in the aisle. They did a cover from the Talking Heads, Sledgehammer, which was awesome to hear. Then some really rowdy tones like Too Much and Samurai Cop.

A really interesting performance that night. The performing lighting could us some work but it was decent. Looks like the stage setup hadn’t changed in many years. They have a video board that would display music videos for some songs or a traditional light show other times. New members in the band then before with a few old members leaving for various reasons. I miss Boyd Tinsley on violin but such is the way with artists.

The fans are much older now, just like me. It is funny that everyone that was a fan when I started, is now old and still into the scene. Fewer kids then I expected but generally a good crowd. With age comes wisdom and that means not being an asshole and getting drunk at the show. The venue operations could be smoother but whatever. I got free parking which was nice. Access to the lawn was a joke but lots of food and beer options. Getting out sucked balls but after over an hour I finally made it to the high way and a quick 20 minute trip home.

On balance a good show. Certainly not worth the full asking price of the ticket but worth the $60 I paid. If I do another show I think I would prefer to be on the lawn. Cheaper ticket and a better experience, especially if Tracy’s neighbors are going as a large group again. I think hanging out with everyone on the lawn while DMB is playing in the background would be a lot of fun.

Dave Matthews Band
Wednesday, September 4th 2019
Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre – Ridgefield, WA

Set 1 starts at 8:15pm

  1. That Girl Is You
  2. Rooftop
  3. Anyone Seen the Bridge >
  4. Too Much
  5. Do You Remember
  6. Louisiana Bayou
  7. Come Tomorrow
  8. Minarets
  9. You Might Die Trying
  10. Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)
  11. Warehouse
  12. Lying In the Hands of God
  13. Sledgehammer
  14. Here On Out ^
  15. Don’t Drink the Water
  16. Write a Song
  17. You and Me
  18. Corn Bread
  19. Grey Street
    Set over at 10:30pm

Encore starts at 10:38

  1. Everyday >
  2. Ants Marching
    House lights at 10:57pm

^ Dave solo acoustic

July 4th Weekend in Boston

Phish summer tour is always something to look forward to after a long winter. Getting out on the road, traveling around America seeing Phish. This is the kind of thing I live for. Moving to the west cost the bands traditional summer tour does not involve coming to this coast. If they wont come to me, I will go to them.

Summer tour was announced with pretty typical venues and what I come to expect. SPAC, Alpine Valley, Bonnaroo, and Merriweather Post for example all included two or more nights. Nothing jumped out at me and for a couple of weeks I didn’t think about it but something changed. I decided summer tour was to good a tradition not to keep it going. Just being on the west coast wouldn’t stop me from my summer tradition.

For some reason I got all excited about going to Chicago. I remember the time coming across the country and having so much fun when I stopped there for a layover. I really got to enjoy some cool stuff so I was excited to go back. Then I remembered where Fenway Park was actually located and that is Boston. Still very excited to visit but some of the luster was now worn off.

As I started planning this trip out things really started to just fall into place. The show was on Friday and Saturday with the Fourth being Thursday. I ended up flying out direct from PDX to BOS early in the morning giving me plenty of time to arrive before the annual fireworks display. I was staying at the W Boston partly because of its proximity to the Charles River. I then stay through Sunday so I could just relax in the city and would fly back home on Monday.

As a first time flier to Boston Logan International I must say it is a pretty bad airport. I found it to be rather cumbersome navigating my way out of the building and finding directions to the metro. I took the longs most backwards way to get there because of poor directions. Eventually I made it to the blue line and into downtown, switching trains once before arriving at my destination. A common theme all weekend was transportation.

Having arriving at a decent hour in the afternoon I was able to check into the hotel and settle in for a few minutes before heading out. I managed to travel a lot around the city that afternoon. At first I headed north via metro but realized the place I wanted to visit was close so that sucked. Then the closest place I found was way south with no direct transit access. I still had to make it to the Charles River for the display. I ended up getting an Uber to make the trip easy and it was the best trip ever. The driver was so cool. We talked the entire drive and opined about various things. Some heady stuff.

I got turkey and brisket.

Thankfully with Michael’s help I was able to get what I needed and make it to the water with plenty of time before the show. I had it in my head to arrive by like 8pm or something but the display didn’t go off till much later then that. Not to worry. I got a good spot under some trees and watched the sunset over the river. It was also some really good people watching to the time flew. Eventually the Boston Symphony Orchestra comes out to do their traditional concert. While I couldn’t see what was going on I certainly could hear the show. All the acts that night were pretty good. I mean this is a PBS special kinda thing but still very entertaining.

Eventually the moment arrive and the fireworks display started. I don’t know why exactly but I love fireworks. I have all my life for a variety of reasons. I can’t tell you how long the display went on for but it seemed like eternity to me. At first I thought I would be to close to the barge but in the end it was a perfect spot. As people left early and I could get from under the trees the display in front of me got even better.

The entire show was timed with the BSO’s performance. At one point they played Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World and I admit it brought a tear to my eye. In time with the lyrics we saw clouds of white and skies of blue. With love we saw read hearts. It was so well done. The entire performance was top notch in my opinion and I have seen a few firework displays. They even used the bridge which was cool. At the time I couldn’t understand why they had it blocked off when I initially approached the waterfront.

It was well into the evening when things finally were over and everyone started dispersing. It was crazy as shit walking down Storrow Dr with hundreds of others as we all just tried to get out. People were everywhere charting their own escapes from the waterfront. I ended up walking down Commonwealth Avenue Mall which is a nice park. It was going against the grain of all the people but still getting me closer to the hotel. The weather all day was hot and muggy but it finally cooled off now that the sun had set for a while.

That night after getting back to the hotel I was hungry as shit. I didn’t have much food when I got into town and started hopping around. Thankfully in my neck of the woods I has several options for late night eateries. First up was New York Pizza. On that first night I really caught them at a good time. Both slices were perfect. They where hot but most importantly the crust was perfect. It was warm and crispy. When I folded the slice in half, it cracked. It held up to the sauce nicely and tasted amazing. I went another night and the pizza was not as good. The second time was also much later so I understand quality suffering late on a weekend.

Friday was day one of a two night run at Fenway but I already felt like I accomplished so much in what little time I already spent in Boston. The day started off slowly with a quick stop for some goodies. This time the line took me forever but it was worth it to stock up. By the the time this side adventure was over it was lunch time and I was hungry. I lucked out and found a BBQ joint right close which was what I was craving.

A quick walk and I was at Magnolia Smokehouse in Brookline. I gotta say the brisket was mighty impressive here. It was flavorful and fatty but not chewie. It was still tender and had some form to it but it melted in your mouth when you ate it. The smoke ring was great and the smoke flavor wasn’t overpowering which was nice. The pork was good and the turkey was…..well turkey. Sides fantastic here too. I was thoroughly impressed with the brisket and recommend stopping here if you are in the neighborhood looking for some good eats.

After such a great meal I needed something sweet to wash it all down with. A good distance from where I was I found Athan’s European Bakery with a great selection of sweets. I got some crazy chocolate mouse dipped in chocolate sauce and nuts that was excellent. I also got a good amount of baklava to take with me. It was something I have been searching for months but unable to source. Everything here was so good.

After stopping back at the hotel one last time it was getting pretty late in the afternoon. I figured it would be busy but it was a big venue with lots of entrances. They handle sellout crowds where regularly so a Phish concert should be easy. I remember arriving wit 30-45 minutes before the show would start. I thought plenty of time to get past security. Unfortunately security was a nightmare for everyone and it took forever.

Security was so bad getting in that first day I didn’t even make it into the venue by the time they band walked on stage. I don’t think it was for several songs before I was finally into the place and could relax. My ticket for Friday was in the upper section so I headed up to the top. When I got there I found a crowded second so headed down to the lower level which had plenty of open seating. Here I found a nice comfortable place to enjoy the rest of the show.

This location was by no means was an ideal one. I could barely see Mike playing. What I could see was the play of lights off the crowd and the venue. I have seen Phish so much now that actually “watching” them is kinda boring. The light show is great but there isn’t much to the band once you seen them play twice or more. What I love is getting the perspective of the band. Seeing the lights play off the crowd and how the crowd reacts to what Phish is playing in real time.

Anyway my seat was covered and pretty high in the lower section. Everyone here had plenty of space to lounge out and enjoy the show how they wanted to. Anther reason I search for remote spots like this, more chill people. We all understand the limited view, it just gives us more room to groove.

Set one started off rather strong I thought but for me it faded as the set progressed. The energy I thought was lost the longer the played. It could have just been my mood as well which has clouded my memory of this first set but I stick by my assessment.

Second set and things really start to pick up. Some really spacey and far out there jams. The song selection again wasn’t the best but I really enjoyed the far out jams during the songs. This past year I think has been highlighted by more of these space noodle jams then in recent memory. It reminds me of the late 90’s in some ways with the jams.

The the curfew the show ended rather early for a typical Phish show. While it was a nightmare getting into the venue it didn’t take nearly as long getting out. I decided to skip metro and just walk home. It was so early and again it was a blazing hot day so with it finally cooling off I wanted to take the opportunity to enjoy Boston while I was there.

Phish Friday, July 5th and Saturday, July 6th 2019 Fenway Park – Boston, MA.

Phish Friday, July 5th 2019
Fenway Park – Boston, MA

Set start at 7:00pm

  1. Free >
  2. Blaze On
  3. 555
  4. Tube
  5. Brian and Robert
  6. Halfway to the Moon
  7. Ocelot >
  8. Rift >
  9. Everything’s Right >
  10. Runaway Jim
    Set over at 8:17pm

Set 2 starts at 8:54pm

  1. Sand >
  2. Axilla
  3. Mercury >
  4. Wading in the Velvet Sea >
  5. Fuego >
  6. Say it to Me S.A.N.T.O.S. >
  7. Character Zero
    Set over at 10:00pm

Encore starts at 10:04pm

  1. Bug
  2. Squirming Coil
    House lights at 10:20pm

Saturday and it was going to be another scorcher of a day. Today there was the added worry. A storm front was moving in which was going to cool things off but it could also produce some wicked summer afternoon thunderstorms. All afternoon I kept an eye on the weather while I was out and about enjoying Boston.

I jumped right in by skipping breakfast and going straight to lunch at a brewery. Not far from the hotel was one I wanted to check out. Unfortunately when I got there the place was smashed and I had little patients to deal with crowds in the growing heat. Not far was Hopsters Brewing Company which really worked out. Here I got a variety of beers and some good food.

Old State House

Next I was on the hunt for something sweet so headed to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace for a variety of sweet shops. This market is rather large with a wide variety of stuff. They had several sweet shops so it wasn’t hard to find something good. I eventually stopped at Carol Ann Bake Shop to get my fix.

By this time it was getting close to the open of the venue. The weather wasn’t looking good either. I could see a line of storms brewing on the radar. I decided that getting to Fenway right when doors open was going to be a good idea because of the weather and my experience the night before. After eating my dessert I headed backed to the hotel for a quick stop. It was about this time I saw the email from the venue saying they where opening early and starting exactly on time because of the weather. They advised everyone to arrive early.

Despite the warning this time around there was not much bustle around the park. Security was still a pain to get through but this early there were just fewer fans and it would seem they had more staff on hand. This night I again didn’t bother with my assigned seat. I was there so early I picked a “good spot” way to the right but under the bleachers. By the time I arrived to the park they already decided to not let anyone on the field because of possible lightning strikes in the area.

The weather really had it in for the show that night. Mother nature did her best to drown out the performance but in the end the show must go on. The rain really started coming down and delayed the show by an hour and half from the scheduled start. The band eventually announced that tonight’s performance would be just one set because of the delayed start. I was saddened and excited all at the same time when I heard the news. I was happy the show would still happen but disappointed in only one set. Because of the curfew I wasn’t expecting anything super late either.

The venue eventually was packed with people all huddled tightly under the bleachers and or sheltering on the ground floor. The weather just kept getting stronger and stronger, heavier and more rain just kept coming. Eventually things passed over and there was a great roar from the crowd as the authorities declared the field open and safe for people. It was already around 8pm or something when this happened so we were all excited for them to get started with the show.

This was another great performance from Phish just like the previous night at Fenway. The song selection was a bit random at times but the one consistency was the spaciness jamming during many of the songs. They where of all energy levels but still posses this weird funkiness to them.

Finally the rain started coming down in bugets and we could see the lightning lite up the sky.

As the night wore on I kept expecting the band to end the show. I thought there were several opportunities to end the show on a great song but they would just bust out another song and keep going. They did this for about 30-40 minutes past what I thought they could. The eventually stopped playing at 10:59pm by my watch.

Myself and the other fans where blown away by the performance that was just laid out for all of us to enjoy. The night started off pretty rocky with the severe weather and extremely late start time for the show. Phish was able to turn this into a great performance and a once in a lifetime kind of event for how things worked out. In the end Phish played for 2:40 minutes was was amazing. They just kept going and playing awesome songs and jams.

By the end of the show I was exhausted from dancing and grooving. I decided to walk down Commonwealth Avenue Mall on the way back to the hotel. The weather was amazing that evening after the rain. Things really cooled off which made it tolerable to be out. I was sweaty from the show so the cool crisp weather felt good. It was crazy humid but it was so cold the humidity made the chill more pronounced.

All this left me very hungry so I stopped for some sushi at Genki Ya which I found was open late a few nights earlier. I got so much sushi and ate it all. The performance was still fresh in my mind and my body was spent from the long day and awesome show. That night I don’t remember what time I finally got back but it was well into the next day. I couldn’t wait for bed. I was completely satisfied with the day and ready to crash.

Phish Saturday, July 6th 2019
Fenway Park – Boston, MA

Set one starts at 8:30pm

  1. Carini >
  2. Possum
  3. Set Your Soul Free >
  4. Thread
  5. Wolfman’s Brother
  6. Reba [1]
  7. Back on the Train
  8. Mound
  9. About to Run
  10. Down with Disease [2] >
  11. Simple >
  12. Backwards Down the Number Line >
  13. Death Don’t Hurt Very Long >
  14. 46 Days >
  15. What’s the Use? >
  16. Mexican Cousin >
  17. 2001 >
  18. Split Open and Melt
  19. Suzzie Greenberg
    Set over at 10:59pm

Encore starts at 11:01pm

  1. Rise/Come Together >
  2. Wilson
    House lights at 11:11pm

[1] No whistling.
[2] Unfinished.
Major thunderstorms caused a huge delay because of the threat of lightning. One long set instead of two shorter ones.

I didn’t have to worry about leaving town on Sunday and took full advantage of the situation. I stayed up way late on Saturday, slept in late on Sunday and generally got a slow start to the day. I cleaned up while watching Sunday Morning and then I was off. At 11am the US Woman’s soccer team was taking on Sweden in the FIFA 2019 World Cup. I had been following coverage especially the last two weeks and was excited to see them play. I wanted to drink beer during the game and that was more difficult then I expected.

Alcohol laws are different in every state. I think here they are pretty strict like Virginia is so it was hard finding places open in time for me to watch the game and grab a bear. I found a cafe that was open so headed downtown. As I was walking there I saw Beerworks Brewing Co. was open and immediately dove in. The doors were open and the bartender said they where serving beer. Oddly enough they didn’t have any coffee.

USS Constitution

I spent several hours here at the bar drinking beer, eating food and writing letters. The game was also amazing. The entire first period I was on pins and needles things were so tight. Finally in the second period Lindsey Horan scored in the 3rd minute and I was a little more relaxed. That goal really shifted the game in the US’s favor. They started playing better and the Sweds you could tell were crushed.

It was so awesome drinking at Beerworks Brewing Co. in downtown while watching the US team win their fourth world title. As the morning went on the bar started to fill up as well so that by the second half a decent crowd was there. Hearing everyone react to the same thing was pretty cool.

I just decided to wing it all day and walk around. Being this downtown I decided to just keep going and crossed North Washington Street Bridge to Boston National Historic Park. I didn’t walk into any of the buildings or ships, just walked around. I found a good spot to sit at the Charleston Navy Shipyard Park that overlooked the rest of the park and the harbor. The weather was absolutely gorgeous that morning and afternoon.

From here I walked and trained back to Boston Common. I found a relatively high spot that over looked a large portion of the park and allowed me to watch the sunset over the park and city. I did so much writing while I was here. In fact I did so much I had to walk back to the hotel to stock up on additional supplies and go back to complete all my writing.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument

The day in the park was absolutely what I needed at that moment. The day was filled with perfect weather. Cool temperatures and clear skies with a slight cooling breeze. I spent hours in both parks and just wanted to spend all day there. Eventually as night feel I started to get hungry. Pho Pasteur was near the hotel and offered up some pretty good pho. It was a good broth with tender noodles just like it should be. It certainly hit the spot for comfort food while traveling.

After this entire experience I have a bit of a rant. Boston was a pretty amazing city and I would love to come back for another event. The train system here totally sucks. Honestly the problem is its so old, never been upgraded and no one wants to pay for it now. So the people suffer with a system that is difficult to use. The stations are not linked so often you can’t cross from one side to another. They are loud, small and cramped. The stations don’t have AC and few of the trains did so when its hot you bake. Event the train schedule just seemed wrong. I felt like I had to wait longer then I should have in a major city. It at least pasted the sniff test of having direct access to downtown from the airport via metro.

Grand Prix of Portland August 30th to September 1st 2019

Last year was the first time back to Portland International Raceway for the IndyCar Grand Prix of Portland in many years. That was a good event and I was excited to attend again this year. Just like before it was over the same Labor Day weekend which was convenient. I could enjoy the race all weekend and still have a day off on Monday. The big change for me this year was a cheaper ticket. I just didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth with last years ticket and extras. This year I still got a grandstand ticket but along the front straight right in the middle. Cheaper overall ticket and I thought a better experience for me.

Still couldn’t make it to Friday practice even thought I get off mid afternoon from work. I had a date Friday night to the Portland Art Museum which I thought was a better use of my time. Five dollars after 5pm on Friday’s, best deal in town. Anyway I headed out at a reasonable hour on Saturday morning and spent all day at the track.

First on the schedule was practice three for IndyCar. I don’t like going to my seat the first day so headed down the back straight and posted up under a tree to watch the final practice. The weather was perfect all weekend in fact. Pretty cool temps even in the sun with a slight breeze and mostly sunny skies. The hill on the back straight is nothing exciting but does offer some good views of the cars going their fastest around the track.

Indy Lights Race 1

I ended up staying under the tree for several of the support races who were racing all Saturday. One new addition that I really enjoy were the stadium trucks. I believe they generally run on dirt but making a few spot appearances across the nation at select IndyCar and NASCAR events. I really enjoy the sound. They also have a few jumps along the front straight which is cool. They will barrel down the straight at full speed and launch the trucks a good ten to fifteen feet into the air.

Mostly the same kind of atmosphere as last year. One nice addition this year was additional food vendors. More choices and shorter lines. The retail vendors I think are a joke but that’s just me. I keep comparing this even to my experiences at Circuit of the Americas and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and I shouldn’t. Fan experience and ticket prices are so very different.

Ended up not walking the full track this year. Did walk through the support race paddock for a closer look at the cars and teams. Got up close and personal with the stadium trucks, again just so cool to see run.

Race day and the track was a lot less packed than last year. Getting there was pretty easy thanks to Max. Not having an IndyCar paddock pass things just seemed more casual along the front straight vendor area. Lots of people but not really crowded. My seat was in section G and when the race started it almost completely empty. Last year at turn one every seat was taken. Section G no one seemed to care.

Decent race and again when I think of the ticket price a great value for my money. Another incident at turn one lap one this year. That took out several cars and caused a safety car to be deployed for about fifteen laps. When the race restarted another crash at turn one that caused another safety car but not nearly as long. From that point forward it was a pretty much nonstop race to the end. Things just hummed along with not a lot of strategy necessary, just pure racing. As the race neared its end another quick safety car really changed things up. Strategy finally came front and center. Will Power started second but lead the majority of the race. Most importantly across the finish line to win the race.

A good race and a way better experience this year over last. Just a better value for my money and I think next year I might just go with a GA ticket. I like being at the track but IndyCar is not something I really follow. Hard to justify spending all that money on a ticket if I don’t have to. The sound of the engines screaming down the track on a perfect late summer afternoon is what keeps me coming back. They announced during the race on Sunday that a contract for 2020 has been signed so maybe I will be back for a third straight year over Labor Day Weekend. Till next year…….

Kamasi Washington Oregon Zoo Saturday, August 17th 2019

Oregon Zoo Saturday, August 17th 2019

Several months ago the Oregon Zoo started announcing performances for their annual summer concert series. Eventually something I was interested was announced and I was excited. Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington would make a stop at the zoo during their 2019 tour. Kamasi I have heard before and seen recently. That performance blew me away so I was excited to see him again. And Herbie, I mean its Herbie Hancock so yeah I was excited to see him too.

One perk of the concert ticket is free admission to the zoo but unfortunately I was unable to partake in this added bonus. Getting to the zoo is still on my local tourist list. Arriving to the venue I highly recommend you take the Max. Either the red or blue west and get off at Washington Park. From there its an elevator rid up and then right for the zoo entrance. Can’t beat it considering the parking lot fills up quickly on the weekend and sold out concerts.

One of the elephants came out and joined us for part of Kamasi’s performance that night.

The stage is set all the way in the back by the elephant enclosure. The zoo has been doing this since 1979 so now they have a permanent stage and facilities which are nice. It is a smallish outdoor amphitheater which is perfectly proportioned I think. Up close they have a traditional reserved seating area. Most of the venue is grass. You are allowed to bring blankest and low chairs so of course do that. Get there as soon as the grounds open to secure a spot on the lawn. I arrived 45 minutes before the show start and it was already at capacity. Lots of food options around the venue which was encouraging to see.

Right on time Kamasi Washington and The Next Step took the stage for an hour long performance. The first time I saw Kamasi his performance blew me away. This time I would say it didn’t have as much energy as the Crystal Ballroom performance. I think it was just the intimacy of the crowd that made the Ballroom a better performance. Still a good crowd but not the same as being packed in with your fellow fan listening to Kamasi groove.

Still a very good performance by everyone. He even brought his father who played with the band all night. He hit some of the classics that have made him famous. Not so much talking this time around, more straight and to the point. I think it was a great opportunity to expose Kamasi to new fans who may not have heard him but wanted to see Herbie. Even one of the elephants managed to come out and see him play.

Next was Herbie Hancock and it was cool to see him play after hearing his music for so many years. He has a talented group of band members but none of them are originals or long standing. They were all good at what they do but if I had to rate the performance I would say average. Herbie was into the music but the other guys just seemed to be playing along for a gig. It was lacking energy. Even when they did Watermelon Man and Cantaloupe Island, it felt forced.

Again, it was great to see Herbie but the performance was lacking. I was here to see Kamasi to be honest and even that performance was just ok. Great venue and I look forward to coming back. I also hope to see Kamasi do another tour and hit a smaller venue in the Portland area. Let’s pack the place and have a groovy time.

Kamasi Washington
Saturday, August 17th 2019
Oregon Zoo – Portland, OR

Set starts at 7:00pm

  1. .
  2. .
  3. .
  4. .
  5. .
  6. .
  7. Fists of Fury #
    Set over at 8:02pm

# with Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock
Saturday, August 17th 2019
Oregon Zoo – Portland, OR

Show starts at 8:31pm

  1. .
  2. .
  3. .
  4. Actual Proof
  5. .
  6. .
  7. Watermelon Man
    Set over at 938pm

Encore starts at 9:39pm

  1. Cantaloupe Island #
    House lights at 9:50pm

# with Kamasi Washington and his dad

Silver Falls State Park July 2019

The weather was finally starting to turn hot during the late afternoon hours. Its weird but for me when the weather gets like this I just want to get out and do something. The early morning hours are still very cool and if you go up into the mountains, its cooler yet. I can beat the heat naturally for a while and get out side to enjoy nature at the same time. This time around I just didn’t have enough time to research a place so I went back to Silver Falls State Park which I have been to before.

This park checked all the boxes that I wanted in a hike that weekend. Its a good hour and a half drive from the city. It is also pretty deep into the boondocks so a nice quite drive down two lane roads for the most part. Not so many mountains along the drive but you do get some good driving through the forest. It was also a place I was familiar for so plenty of parking and hikes of various lengths. I could do 10 miles and see all the falls with all the crowds of people or go on a shorter hikes and avoid the crowds.

The drive down was pretty easy, its just far. Getting into the park turned into a cluster. It was a beautiful day so the entrance was smashed with people. A ranger was asking everyone what they where doing and directing them to a specific lot depending on what activity you where doing. The F lot was for hiking and a little deeper into the park.

Upper North Falls

From here I headed north to the Upper North Falls which I am pretty certain I skipped last time. When you do the loop trail you skip this place since it is an out and back. I mostly didn’t want to fight all the crowds that would be along the trail so decided on this hike which worked out. It was still a little busy till I got the North Falls and from there it died almost completely.

Once I finally got to the water falls there were only a few people hanging out. I spent probably 45 minutes at the falls and the entire time no more then 10 people where around. Most wondering over the rocks, some along the waters edge, some didn’t move much past the end of the trail.

The waterfall itself is pretty impressive. Not as good as some of the others in the park but it was serene. I sat on some rocks not far from the base of the pool. The canyon trees where tall enough to provide shade so I could enjoy the sight and sound of the waterfall without roasting alive. It also allowed me to rest and cool down. I took the time to do some writing to family. I love being in beautiful spots like this and writing letters.

The Upper North Falls hit the spot that weekend. I got a good drive in, a decent length hike an lots of natural beauty. You throw in some peace and quite and it was a perfect afternoon. Even when its warm outside, in the shade its generally comfortable. Its great weather for getting out into the mountains and hiking.