Preston & Steve®

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Dave Matthews Band
The Gorge Amphitheatre
Labor Dave Weekend 2023
(Or, as some people call it,
Labor DAY Weekend)

Is talking about DMB at The Gorge annoying to everyone except the people who have been able to see DMB at The Gorge?

It’s a fair question. I get the sense that I get a two or three day grace period following Labor Day / Labor Dave Weekend in which I am allowed to talk about it. Beyond that, people start to roll their eyes, begin to ask fewer questions, and I can see in their faces the expression, “Oh God, here we go again.“

I once heard Dave Matthews Band‘s fans described as “lemmings.” It wasn’t a compliment. And I suppose there’s some truth in that. But if we are, indeed, lemmings, we are having one hell of a time jumping off that cliff together! Some people find their sense of community in a church or a spiritual gathering or maybe at yoga. Sometimes it’s with family. Sometimes it’s at a movie theater. I think that for all of the people who were at The Gorge for that weekend, this IS their church. This is a religion. And it’s 100% spiritual. I honestly wish more people could have experiences like this. I know how lucky I am. But with that luck comes sincere gratitude as well.

I share these thoughts because I know this post isn’t for everyone. However, if you ARE a Dave Matthews Band fan, or you’ve been to The Gorge, or both, you probably understand my points. The basic intent here is to share something that makes US incredibly happy with the hope that, even if this band, or this event, isn’t for you, that you are able to find something that might bring you happiness, too.

If you need a bit of a history of the venue and the band’s association with it, check out this piece I wrote last month:
Dave Matthews Band And The History Behind ‘Labor Dave Weekend’.

A few photos from my visit in 2023:

The Gorge

A view of the stage with the Columbia River in the background


Gorge Stage

The Gorge Stage with the band on stage at night


The Gorge Main Stage

The Gorge Stage at sunset


One of the best moments of the entire weekend (at least for me) was a COMPLETE SURPRISE! On Night 2, Dave Matthews came out and performed a solo acoustic cover of Pearl Jam’s beautiful song, “Just Breathe”. My two favorite bands combined – worlds are colliding!

Dave Matthews – Just Breathe (Pearl Jam) – Gorge Amphitheater – 9/2/2023 (Night 2)


I posted a few pictures and videos on my Instagram account and added quite a bit to my stories, too.


A little snippet from a song DMB fans LOVE to chase, called “Pig”. This song includes some of my favorite lyrics in any Dave Matthews song:
Love (love), love (love), love (love), what more is there?‘Cause we need the light of love in hereDon’t beat your head, dry your eyesLet the love in thereThere’s bad times but that’s OKJust look for love in itAnd don’t burn the day away


In the middle of the weekend, we learned the very sad news about the passing of Jimmy Buffett. To open Night 2 of the weekend, Dave came out and performed a song he and Jimmy did together more than once, “A Pirate Looks At 40”:


Me and the boys. Thanks so much to my cousin-in-law, Erik Neandross, and his friend, Josh Phillips, for their hospitality and for being so much fun at these shows.


Our whole crew! Josh, Andy, Carolyn, Gwen, Erik and me!

Bottom line, The Gorge is incredible. They made a great documentary about this place, called “Enormous: The Gorge Story” and here’s the trailer to that movie:


And if you’ve made it this far into this post, we can also have some fun with this post because if you’re NOT into DMB, then at least you can appreciate the comedy surrounding it. For example, friend of the show and hilarious comedian, Adam Ray, posted this video to his Instagram account. It’s shockingly and hilariously accurate:


This post is written and published by Nick McIlwain, Producer for The Preston & Steve Show.

Radio Producer The Preston & Steve Show 93.3 WMMR

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