Summer just wouldn’t be summer without one big outdoor rock concert, and the Gorge at George, Wash., is arguably the best place in the Northwest to take one in. An award-winning natural amphitheater carved into the cliffs overlooking the Columbia River on one of its most scenic stretches, the Gorge seats 20,000 people and draws top national acts every summer. Here’s a quick gander at what’s coming in the next few months.
Blink 182 rolls up on June 16 with the newly optimistic Bad Religion providing support. Then, on June 17 and 18, the hempen hordes and the graying ponytail posse join forces when Bob Dylan, Phil Lesh and String Cheese Incident ask the music question, “Button, button, who’s got the button?” Roger Waters takes the stage on June 30; the nostalgic old and gullible young will swoon as he trundles out all the hits (musical kind, that is) from his Pink Floyd days.
Fans of VH1’s “Behind the Music” series will no doubt place hour-and-minute bets on the half-life of a Mötley Crüe reunion, but there they are on July 3, loud, old and sober as judges, ramming the hits “Home Sweet Home” for a new generation of boys’ room smokers. The Warped Tour follows on July 4 with a couple dozen punk, rock, punk-rock and what-have-you bands yoinking the youth dollar right out of stodgy ol’ Missoula’s pockets. The KUBE Summer Jam is up next on July 14, with a wicked buttload of bodacious bling-blingin’ from the likes of Cash $, RUN DMC, Busta Rhymes and Brian McKnight.
You wanted the best, you got the best! Shout it out loud with KISS on July 22, supposedly one of their last shows before going gently into that great rock ’n’ roll night (Although we all know what a load of crap that is. Next time one of them needs to refinance some real estate, guess what? Reunion Tour!). Also playing the Scottish Castle Mortgage circuit: regenerative starfish of adult contemporary Sting, hitting the Gorge on July 30. Same week: Dave Mathews and Band preside with elfin glee over three sold-out shows on Aug. 4, 5 and 6. That’s right, sold out. Ouch.
Teens and the aging chat-room perverts who love them can still score Britney Spears tickets. The blindingly fresh-scrubbed woman-child will be at the Gorge for one night only on Aug. 11. Speaking of talking dirty, no less an ’80s glam-cheese institution than Poison will grace the stage on Aug. 13. And then there’s Jimmy Page playing with the Black Crowes on Aug. 18 to keep you grinning.
You are forgiven: The Who favor us with some windmilling and speaker-goring on Aug. 19—with three original members, no less! Ozzfest (with Ozzy Osbourne, Godsmack and many others) stenches the place out good on Aug. 24, and after that there’s nothing but silence until the Counting Crows show on Sept. 16, the last scheduled show of the season.
Tickets for Gorge events are available through Ticketmaster and many local ticket outlets. For more information about the 2000 Gorge schedule, call the venue’s concert hotline at 1-206-464-2000 ext. 7469.