Monday, August 18, 2014

Gorgeous George

The Gorge Amphitheatre: situated on the banks of the Columbia River this must surely be one of the most beautiful concert venues in the universe.

It's the 45th anniversary of Woodstock. You know, that hippie "Aquarian exposition of peace and music" happening thing?  Perhaps not if you are a young thing.  I wasn't there but as an impressionable teenager, 3000 miles away on a different continent I remember clearly the reporting of the event   -subsequently I schlepped from leafy Surrey to London and watched Michael Wadleigh's eponymous, rambling, cinematic record of the  event at the Odeon, Leicester Square, with rapt attention.  Somehow "Woodstock" with its peaceful but shambolic organization (not to mention some superb music) became the zeitgeist for a generation and its ramifications are still felt today. 

Since then I've attended numerous music festivals in Europe and the USA and enjoyed most of them. However none has come closer to the Woodstock vibe than The Gorge amphitheater located at George in Washington State (George, Washington, geddit?). Perched on the banks of the Columbia River, this venue must be one of the most spectacular in the World. And it was there last Friday, on a balmy late summer evening, the 45th anniversary of the-event-that-started-it-all that I found myself listening to Stevie Winwood and Tom Petty as clouds of (now legal) cannabis smoke wafted by. Magic!

The Gorge, George, Washington (state). Pfnaar! Pfnaar! I wonder who thought that one up...?

Definitely a powerful Woodstock vibe at this place  -except that this venue is much better organized than Max Yasgur's farm

At night the stage is spectacular: the colors of the stage lighting blend with the dusk...

In the video clips above, the fabulous Steve Winwood band perform Traffic's "Medicated Goo" and the Spencer Davis classic "Gimme some loving" (written by Winwood when he was just 17).

Photos and vids taken with Nikon Coolpix 510: post-shoot editing carried out with iPhoto and Pixlr-O-Matic.

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