Last weekend we ventured to The Gorge to enjoy some camping and a performance by 'Teh Tools' starring Maynard James Keenan. I knew to expect the unexpected when my receipt for our campsite arrived with the following misspelling in late June:
Product: August 26, Tools Come Early
Product: August 27, Event Night Tools
Hooray! We're going to the 'The Tools'!
After a pleasant car ride we arrived at our destination, the Wild Horse Campground, early Saturday afternoon. We were expecting another strong showing by the Seattle hipster elite as was the case for the Sasquatch Festival earlier this summer but it quickly became apparent that the campground, at least for the weekend, was serving as the epicenter of central washington hubris. So instead of Seattle Hipster displays of Neil Diamond sing-alongs and frisbee flinging we were subjected to beer bongs, american flags, naked girls-gone-wild on golfcarts and inter-family arguments straight from a Fox reality show.
The uncontested 'winners' of the weekend were our campsite neighbors who arrived in 3 vans all decorated with text directing young women to expose their tater tots. The flagship vehicle, a black van with a wheelchair ramp for the disabled wheelchair-bound fellow of the troupe featured the following phrases: (on the window which the wheelchair faced out of) 'I WANT 2 C BOOBS [drawing of the Tool crescent wrench]', 'IF IT FITZWELL - TOOL' (Fitzwell must be the family name, I have no idea what this phrase is supposed to mean), 'TOOL OR BUST [crude drawing of breasts]' and 'TARD CAR 2 TOOL'. Not content to leave a job half done the wheelchair itself also had a sign on the back reading 'FLASH YOUR BOOBIES!!!'.
This family really loves Tool - more specifically, they love Undertow. So great is their love for Undertow that playing the entire album over and over again is the only way they can face the world. We heard them play Undertow from start to finish more than 10 times in 24 hours, and we were asleep or away from the campground for at least 10 hours during that span. Apart from the nearby campsite playing Alice in Chains we heard nothing but Tool for the entire weekend. I suppose there are worse fates, but as we got ready to go the actual concert I found myself hoping that 'The Tools' were going to do a cover-only set so we could hear something else.
Luckily, the show was so great that I completely forgot about having heard every song in the set several times in the preceding day. Maynard was belting out the lyrics and Danny Carey was, as usual, putting every other drummer on earth to shame. Combined with the great stage aesthetic and light/laser/projector show the concert is firmly cemented as one of my favorites of all time.
The weekend concluded with a cabaret over my biscuits and gravy on Monday morning. Somehow the keys to the 'tard car 2 tool' had become locked inside of the van, igniting a drama bomb. The matriarch of the aforementioned winning family decided that she'd had enough of 'all the bullshit' and wasn't having any more of it from her 'asshole' offspring. She stated that she 'won't be around for long' for her children to 'give her shit' and that she was 'getting the fuck out of here'. Someone then noticed that one of the windows was rolled down and the crisis was averted as the mother, clothed in a denim skirt and camo tube top did indeed get the fuck out of there.