Last year’s Edgefield summer concert series was pretty epic. I ended up only taking advantage of the Prairie Home Companion Show with Aoife O’Donovan (and it was gorgeous and blissful in every way) but they also had MGMT, One Republic with Sara Bareilles, The National, Death Cab, Fun., the Flaming Lips…. a really epic summer lineup. This year looks to be starting off well, if with more of an eye toward the middle-aged than younger indie lovers.
Edgefield’s Concerts on the Lawn setting for a summer concert in the PNW really couldn’t be better. You’re on the property of the old McMenamins winery, with the historic bed and breakfast behind you, surrounded by evergreens and overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. I’m sure the Gorge Amphitheater itself is a little more stunning, but to be only 15 minutes away from Portland, it’s an extremely beautiful and NW-appropriate venue. Witnessing Garrison Keillor call an intermission, meander through the audience and lead old American hymns and national folk standbys while folks waited in for ice cream, played with their kids on picnic blankets, and happily sang along in the gloaming of a late July Saturday night at Edgefield was something I’ll never forget.
So this year at the very least it’s Sarah McLachlan, Joan Baez with the Indigo Girls, Steve Winwood, Ray LaMontagne, and, (for something completely different), Panic! at the Disco.
So if, for example, a person were to get tickets to the June 26th and August 31st shows, she could find herself communally singing “We Shall Overcome” and “San Francisco Mabel Joy” while two months later belting out the timeless and enduring “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” Hrm.
Booking aberrations aside, Baez would certainly be interesting and worth the money, and Ray LaMontagne would deliver excellence but may be overpriced. Winwood would definitely top my list of these dates. I’m sure there’s more good ones to come.