Steve is a Writer, a Writer of Fictions - A Very Sasquatch Memorial Day.

Damn this infernal phone. If the sound quality in the earpiece doesn't drastically improve, I may be going phoneless for a spell. I can't be frittering away hundreds of dollars on a new phone because I wasted all of my prior insurance on urinated ones.

I have a lot to say, but let's just start here:

An Epic Experience

Those of us who remained into the cold night - part of a once mighty 20,000 collective - took a sense of pride in accomplishment. Through the tumult of an angry God, we'd survived, drenched, shivering, and completely out of our minds. Should the pneumonia not take us out, the hypothermia would at least ensure not all parts of us would be returning to camp.

To set the stage, various hands helped in erecting a (fill-in-the-blank) feet by (equal-fill-in-the-blank-amount-of) feet screen with which to show off corresponding video accompanying the songs. Rabid fans were given a choice, "Santa or alien, make your choice well my son." The orchestral version of One by Metallica played on as the likes of Superman and Wayne Coyne milled about, shooting streamers into the crowd and blowing smoke about the construction area.

Finally, the instruments assembled and the sound checked, it was time for the dozen Santas and the dozen Aliens to take their opposing places stage right and stage left respectively. The giant inflatable, pressurized ball was engorged by the empowering and thoroughly impressive lead singer, who used it to mingle amongst the frenzied crowd without actually having to touch them literally.

The Flaming Lips weren't supposed to go on last, but the elements saw to change much of what we were to see that chilly Saturday evening. With the time required to set up and take down the stage accessories, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals were forced into relinquishing their headliner role and play second banana to the obviously superior Lips.

Not that Ben Harper disappointed. Not saying that at all. For someone such as myself who'd yet to see him live, it was well worth the price of the day's ticket.

Which is more than I can say for the rest of the day's bands. I don't really remember Iron & Wine, The Tragically Hip blew in 1994 and they blow in 2006 (I figure any band with its own self-titled theme song has just got to suck major dick), Neko Case was thrown off stage by the intense hail storm, the Shins were the Shins which ultimately leads me to believe they're a poor man's version of Death Cab. Let's just say this: there's a reason why Ben Harper got to go on for 2 hours and Beck, the next day's closer, only had 90 minutes allotted. Better crop of bands going on Sunday; however, the Flaming Lips and they alone made Saturday the day to remember.


I woke my ass up at 6:30 Saturday morning (the rest of my body followed suit five minutes later). The packing was all finished, the I-Pod was well fed, but I just wanted to ensure a smooth morning transition from bed to 3-hour drive in a Suburban. I showered, I checked e-mail, I ate a sensible breakfast of iced tea.

Arrived at the house on 8th Ave at a quarter to 8am. Threw my sleeping bag in the back, along with my bag of snacks by where my head would be, and away we went.

Driver: Joe Piscopo, Shotgun: Sarah Bo Bear-ah
Back Leftseat: Kari Spice; Back Middleseat: Cait F. Tompkins; Back Rightseat: Amanda Hugginkiss
Wayback Leftseat: Gretchen Q. Boobsmuggler; Wayback Rightseat: Steven A. Taylor, esq.

There was pot smokeage in the car ride there; there was the eating of peanut butter Oreos and extra spicey Doritos; there was the picking up of Maddie S. Sousedalot in Ellensburg; there was setting up camp at the Wild Horse Campgrounds.

And by "setting up camp," I mean drinking half a bottle of Jack Daniels, smoking some cigars, making lewd gestures with my hands and genitals, peeing quite a bit inside those Honeybucket urinals, eating two big barbecued wieners, and figuring out a way to sneak alcohol into the Gorge.

They were telling me they make the boys lift their shirts and jump up and down. My initial thought was to put on my boxer-briefs and put the small bottle of Malibu rum down my pants. Crotch bottle theory didn't go over too well with people who were considering partaking in my future bounty once inside the concourse. I had this in mind in the morning, which is why I packed masking tape.

Taped it to my left leg, just above the shoe, where my sock could hold most of the damage covered. I went a bunch of times around my calf, jumped up and down, and no one was the wiser.

Man, they didn't even MAKE us jump at all! All we had to do was lift our arms and walk on in. So, I pulled enough hair off my leg to make my testicles retract into my body and, bam, cheap alcohol in the concert.

So, I paid my six dollars for a large drink, told them LOW ICE, and poured half my alcohol bounty in there once I lost some of that nasty regular coke. I drank half of that, then proceeded to spill the rest of it all over Amanda and Gretchen. Fuck man, that's like $3 worth of Coke and about $2.50 worth of alcohol (seriously, what's wrong with that picture? Next time I'm taping soda all OVER my body! Fuck that shit!).

We decided to go to a lower hill to see Neko Case (and to ready ourselves for seeing the Shins inside the lower level). One and a half songs into her set, the rain started, followed almost immediately by hail. Big ass fucking hail. I thought I could just weather the storm, but as my entire body was being pelted, I knew I wasn't gonna make it. So, Joe, Sarah, Gretchen, Amanda, and myself all huddled under this little fleece blanket. It soaked through, and my ass was raw from all the ice bullets striking me, but I lived.

We lost most of our party after that. The line for hot chocolate took about an hour as they were drying off the stage. Then, finally, we were just in time for The Tragically Hip. They suck. Which is part of the reason why Sarah and Joe left. Actually, they were just freezing their nuts off and, besides that, they had a waterlogged tent to get to and dry out.

That left just Gretchen and I as Amanda went to go find her ride back home. Gretchen stuck around for The Shins and Ben Harper, but couldn't take anymore of the wet ass for the Flaming Lips.

By myself, I didn't even care. The Flaming Lips were so amazing, I'm kinda glad I was alone, because I surely would've felt embarassed by how much I was jumping up and down and singing along to every fucking song.

To be honest, that has to be in the top five of all time greatest consecutive periods of 90 minutes or more in my life. I was sober after drinking all day, I was clear headed because it was so cold, but the weather had stopped raining, I had a full belly, the Flaming Lips were on top of their game playing every song I wanted to hear less one (including the best of all their new material on this year's album), and the message from Wayne Coyne was just so fucking positive and uplifting . . . I'm telling you, if he was actually the leader of a cult, I would've joined in a heartbeat. Because you know that a world ruled by the Flaming Lips' lead singer would be one of unstoppable cool.

That's all I can say now; the marijuana is calling my name. I'll have Sunday for you tomorrow (and hopefully a working phone . . . sorry to anyone trying to call me at the moment)