Brandi & The Gorge

I’m way behind on updates, so I’ll start bringing you up to speed.
This trip started when my friend Kori asked me if I wanted to see one of my favorite artists, Brandi Carlile, perform at The Gorge Amphitheater in WA.

The Gorge is an epic outdoor venue, rivaling scenery at venues like Red Rocks in Colorado (so I’ve heard – I haven’t gotten to see a show there yet).

Anyhow, Kori didn’t even have to twist my arm for me to say yes. And that trip to see Brandi? Well, that was just the excuse I needed to make this trip up the West Coast. I could’ve flown, but I was looking for a bigger adventure.

Getting into Seattle: Friday, August 13

I picked up my friend Krissy and her cousin Anni (who I’m now proud to also call my friend) at the Seattle airport Thursday morning. We had a couple of hours to kill before Kori’s flight came in.

I was ready to re-stock my original Walmart run at this point, and pick up some snacks for the weekend, so the three of us headed for the store. After that, asked Yelp for 4+ star seafood restaurants nearby. I located one and off we went.

Turns out it was a restaurant abutting a mall, which was sorta disappointing. Within an hour of picking up my guests, I’d taken them to Walmart and a mall parking lot. I. like to keep it classy.

After lunch it was time to grab Kori, so the Party Van swung back through the airport, picked up our fourth and we were off to downtown Seattle.

Thanks to better recommendations from my old Fort Worth friend, Riddile (now a Seattlite), we ended up having fun and goofing off in the Queen Anne area of Seattle.

Even though I was the only common thread between the other three gals, our chemistry was great and we belly-laughed our way to bed at our hotel that night.

The Big Day: Saturday, August 14

It’s concert day!! We slept in — sorta (everyone else’s body was on Central Time, so sleeping in for them meant they were all bright-eyed by 7 am).

We grabbed breakfast at a hip spot a few blocks from our hotel. The food and coffee were great, but everything was served on disposable plates/cups/etc. We pondered how much extra trash has been generated during COVID due to everyone using more disposable items.

Ready for the show!

The Gorge: Attempt #1

We made a quick run to the store for fresh ingredients and campground dinner (I planned to make chili) and then set our headlights to The Gorge (about a 2.5 drive east of Seattle).

I trusted my Google map implicitly and no one questioned me when I asked Google for directions to The Gorge. And even as our drive became increasingly dubious (where was all the concert traffic and why were we on unpaved roads??), we had no cell service to check ourselves.

Long story short, turns out The Gorge is not the same as The Gorge Amphitheater. One is near Canada. The other is in eastern, WA.

Guess where we went first?

The Gorge Amipitheater: Attempt #2

Once we found some signs of life we figured out where we were and corrected course, but we were FOUR HOURS away from the venue with only TWO HOURS until the show started.

I was unbelievably mad at myself for the gaff, but thankfully the girls were all in good humor and the party van rambled on. When the show started, we live streamed/listened from the van to opener Amythyst Kiah. She sounded great and we wished we could’ve seen her live.

She finished her set and on came the second opener, Sheryl Crow. We arrived at the venue, checked in, and got to our campground literally as her last song echoed through the night.

Brandi never disappoints

The upside to being 2 hours late to a show is that you miss all the traffic and all the lines. We went straight through security, grabbed a sandwich from one of the vendors, and plopped our rented chairs at the very back of the lawn.

The show started.

Brandi and the Hanseroth twins played some old favorites and some new tunes off their upcoming album, including the single Right on Time.

At one point Soundgarden joined them on stage and Brandi sang where Chris Cornell once would have.

Incredible energy. Amazing performance.

Since we were last in, we were also first out, which meant getting back to our campsite in record time.

I’d brought my guitar along so we sat around the van, ate snacks and Kori and I took turns serenading everyone. It was really magical and worth every mile to get there.

Talk about making memories!!

The Remainder: Sunday, August 15

Sunday morning we made what seemed like a quick trip back to Seattle considering the ~8 hours we’d spent driving the day before.

We were tourists in Seattle, visiting Pike Place Market, eating with a view of Puget Sound, and continuing our laughter.

Great to see Riddile!
The girls!

All in all, it was an amazing weekend and definitely worth of the road trip.

Now I’m south bound back to SoCal.


  1. OH NO!!!! Sorry to hear about all the extra driving, but at least you didn’t miss the main event! Glad you all had such a good time and made it back safe and sound!

  2. What a ride/adventure!
    So good you had kindred spirits!
    Of course, I am from another era so I am going to have to look the entertainer up to see the fired-up push behind your trip!? and thanks to your Mom for inviting me on your fun and unforgettable travels.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *