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16 September 2013

My Dave Weekends {And Lots of Pictures of Brad}

I had very good intentions to write about my first solo trip since becoming a mom {that happened waaayyy back in December} and revolved around a couple Dave Matthews shows {are you surprised?} and my very dear friend, Brad.  Well, that clearly didn't happen.  And, since that time, David and I have taken another trip involving Brad and Dave Matthews and are you seeing a theme? Anywho, you are going to get some pictures and stories from both of those trips.  Right here, right now.  {Different band altogether.}

So, yeah, back to December.  My friend Brad threw out the idea a few months earlier for me to fly out to see the first two nights of the winter tour in New Jersey.  He promised the show was only "like an hour away" from his house in Philly.  I got the okay from the husband and the grandparents and just did it.  

As much as I missed my babies {and my husband}, it was really nice having a little break from our regular day-to-day grind and it was fabulous getting to spend time with Brad.  He is a laugh a minute, that one.

The above picture was from our first night out at his favorite Mexican restaurant, El Vez.  I had half a glass of wine before we left and a glass of sangria while we were out.  The next morning, my head hurt so bad I didn't think I was going to be able to enjoy the show.  Jimmy John's, 3 Advil and a large diet coke later, I was a completely different person.  Speaking of different people...when you see what Brad looks like now, you will wonder how only 9 months have passed since that picture was taken.

The concert in New Jersey was definitely not an hour from Brad's house, as he promised.  The first night we went with another couple and after taking 3 different trains, we finally met them for two more rounds of trains and a shuttle bus.  That concert was great and it was the first concert where they played every single song off of the same album {their newest one}, so that was pretty cool.  We had seats on the floor, but I was the only one who wanted to be super up close.  I made Brad promise that we could get up close the second night.  {I mean, the shows are ultimately better when you can make eye contact with Dave and Stefan.}  And, since I'm on the subject of Stefan, let me just show you what I woke up to on my second morning.  

3% battery FTW!  And, I totally think I'm cool because Stefan Lessard follows me on Twitter.
{Not really, but it made my morning.}
{Fine, it sort of makes me feel a little bit cool.}

Back to the shows...So, the second night, we rented a zip car and drove it to a train station, took a train and then the shuttle bus again.  Seriously, this venue was out in the middle of Nowhere, New Joisey.  Planes, trains and automobiles for my favorite boys.  And, standing out in the freezing weather before the doors opened so we could get our spots down front.  I'm crazy like that.  We ended up being about 3 rows back, front and center.  And once we got there, we never left.  Sometimes you just have to be hardcore.

I'm pretty sure it was right after I got home from that trip that Brad started planting the seed about going to see the Boys at The Gorge for Labor Day weekend.  I mean, that has sort of been on mine and Brad's "list" for awhile, but there were always things like weddings, babies, breastfeeding, babies, and more breastfeeding standing in our way.  So, after some grandparent persuading, we decided to get tickets, book hotels, and start searching for airline tickets.

And, then nine months later, it was time to go.  We did have a little snafu with our itinerary...we thought we booked a 10:30 AM ticket, arriving in Seattle around 1:45 PM when in actuality, we flipped the AMs and PMs.  Oops.  So, Brad got to Seattle 12 hours ahead of us and instead of heading to our hotel in Ephrata, he checked into one near the airport.  Planes, trains and automobiles.

The next morning was rough.  My body was thrown off and I had another headache {damn you wine on the plane}, but fortunately some Denny's white toast and a large diet coke cured my ailments.  We had a beautiful drive into The Gorge and actually ended up heading straight to the amphitheater instead of checking into our hotel room.  I literally changed clothes in the backseat in the middle of everyone tailgating and put my makeup on using a 2inx2in mirror.  I'm sure I was looking rough considering I was barely able to stand up in the shower that morning.  

It didn't really matter though because even at my most beautiful, I would have been nothing compared to the views we saw as soon as we got inside the venue.  These cell phone pictures do not do it justice.  It was breathtaking.  And, no joke, Brad teared up.

My boys!

We stayed up on the top of the lawn for the first opener, Lord Huron.  I had been listening to them for a few weeks upon the recommendation of a couple friends and was so excited to see that they were opening for Dave and the boys this weekend.  They were amazing.  I cannot recommend them enough.

We sort of snuck into the VIP section the first night and it was amazing.  They had real bathrooms! And the above view!  And food that wasn't chicken fingers and fries!  We hung out there during the second opener.

It was great to be at the show and especially to be there with Brad.  {Not that I don't love having my husband ask me all sorts of questions about the band during the show. :/ How old is Dave?  What's the name of the guy on the trumpet? Is Carter wearing those golf gloves?}  Brad and I have been friends for about 12 years now.  And, I realized that 10 years prior to this Labor Day weekend {on the same dates no less}, Brad had flown out to move me from my parents' house in Columbus to my first apartment in Indianapolis.  He then dragged me kicking and screaming to the Stripped/Justified tour with Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.  {Which, was fantastic by the way...especially Xtina!}  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful friend in Brad and I felt really blessed to be able to share this experience with him.  {Sounds so cheesy, I know.}

We decided to leave the show during the encore because we didn't know how far away our hotel was and we didn't know how hard it would be to get out of the parking lot.  On our way out, I saw two guys standing to the side of the folding chairs with giant tags on lanyards around their neck.  I joked to Brad that they were from Lord Huron and he did a 180 to go ask them.  Sure enough, it was Karl Kerfoot {a guitarist/vocalist} and the tour manager.  We talked with them for awhile and put in a song request for the next night and promised to be down front supporting their set the next two nights.  And, then we posed for pictures.  Because, duh.

Worst picture ever, probably.  But, what it is what it is, as my dad would say.

We slept in the next morning and then went into the town of Ephrata to eat breakfast at a place called Wanda's.  It was one of those hometown diners that you just knew was going to be delicious.  It did not disappoint.  In fact, we went back the next morning for more.  While our stomachs settled, we walked around the town a bit and then drove through some of the most beautiful scenery...I wish I had taken some pictures, but seriously, it wouldn't have done it justice.  We also had to make a pit stop for some ice cream.  Completely stuffed, we went back to the hotel, rested and then got ready for round 2.

Brad recommends the banana tasted like Not Yo Mama's Banana pudding!

We kept true to our word and went down to our seats to watch Lord Huron open.  They are seriously so good.  We had fun yelling for Karl {poor thing, being the object of our affection is not always easy}, but man it was hot in the sun.  Once they were over, we walked around and got some of those chicken fingers and fries.  {David and I got into VIP for a quick bathroom break, but Brad was too scared to try again.}

Just call me Casper.

Day/Night 3 was pretty much the same as night 2.  It was great hearing Lord Huron again {and we saw Karl and chatted with him a little bit more} and the DMB setlists were great.  I wore a pair of pig earrings I found at Target before we left in the hopes of hearing them play that song and it worked, so I was pleased.  

Brad and I had a short list of songs we wanted and we got almost all of them, so we were really happy.  We did hear a few we could have done without.  {See picture below} But, overall we were ecstatic.  And again, that venue.  It's just breathtaking.  

So glad he doesn't read my blog.  There's a picture of me on his phone rubbing his feet because I lost a bet that would make the rounds on the interwebs if he knew I was posting this.  {But, seriously, why does McDonald's have a double quarter pounder?  Wouldn't that be a half pounder?!}

We had to get up extra early on Monday morning to drive back to Seattle for our morning flights and it was super fun listening to Brad sing every Sheryl Crow song known to man.  {Insert sarcastic face here.}  But, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

If It Makes You Happy....

Don't tell the grandparents just yet, but Brad is already planning Labor Day weekend at The Gorge 2014.


Poppy said...

Great pics Sis. Glad you all had a blast and Brad was able to join you all.


Doug Johnson said...

So Brad does not read your blog? :)