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A Decade Of Decadence: My Top 5 Les Schwab Moments 

The top shows that came to play for Bend over the past years.

1) Sitting on a pile of dirt outside the then unfinished amphitheater in 2003 during the Coldplay show with a six pack of beer and a handful of coworkers from The Bulletin while everyone waited for “that one song from the radio,” i.e. “Yellow” and speculated on Gwyneth Paltrow’s whereabouts.

2) Hearing Lynyrd Skynyrd play “Gimme Three Steps” on their 2006 tour and knowing that at least three of the roughly 10 people on stage may have had a hand in writing the song.

3) The impromptu fireworks display during the Band of Horses concert in 2010. The pyrotechnics were touched off on the “Shops” side of the river just as Ben Bridwell and company brought the power ballad “Monsters” to an epic crescendo.


4) Trying to decide whether to watch the Beck puppet show or the actual Beck while he performed to marionette choreography during his maiden LSA performance in 2006.

5) Being passed a healthy sized joint of Oregon’s finest during the 2008 Wilco show just as nightfall consumed the amphitheater crowd and Tweedy launched into “Spiders/Kidsmoke.” Hello lightshow, goodbye mind.

Top shows from the Source/Lay It Out Events staff

Lee Perry, Lay It Out Events,
Event Director

Band of Horses with She & Him (2010)

Lyle Lovett (2003)

Michael Franti (2008)

Mike Bookey, arts and culture editor emeritus

Decemberists/Death Cab for Cutie (2008)

Ween (2011)

Michael Franti and Spearhead (2010)

Aaron Switzer, publisher

Cold Play (2003)

Lyle Lovett (2003)

Beck (2006)

James Williams, staff writer/
calendar editor/dirtbag

All the shows where you could sit on the grassy knoll behind the LSA ticket booth with a bottle of wine and thus avoid paying for said show/booze


Susanne Flynn, Office/classifieds/
everything manager

Decemberists/Death Cab for Cutie (2008)

Ween (2011)

Michael Franti and Spearhead (2010)

From Around Town / What you say about your favorite
LSA memories

Bob Dylan, James Brown: Respect for the legends

Ben Harper and Jack Johnson: Huge crowd, great vibe, Ben Harper’s anti-GW Bush comments drew cheers and boos—That’s Bend!

Summer Camp, Decemberists, Death Cab, etc.: We’ve seen so many great bands before they became (somewhat) famous

Beck’s first show-puppets and my first Drew Bledsoe-in-Bend sighting!

The Shins lightning storm and Band Of Horses fireworks show were fun. Extra special effects.

— Mike Thomas, 92-9

1) First Willie Nelson show viewed from the Deschutes River. Freeloader madness on the river with swarms of flotillas surrounding the small island packed with people, a keg of Deschutes, some crazy dancing dude in red long johns on a drift boat fitted with a living room couch, bong rips and public urination in full view of the confused authorities. It was too good to be true, the last river blow out before the island "disappeared," law enforcement was stepped up, and the view of the stage blocked.

2) First Ben Harper show, "I'm Gonna Burn One Down." Bend's weed smokers came out of the closet en masse under a giant green cloud to christen the amphitheater and challenge Bend's up-tight-Christian-white identity.

3) Korn's first and only show (I didn't attend), but heard from my front deck. "Sorry grandma, put in some earplugs, don't call the cops, quit your bitchin’, and sleep well knowing your property values have skyrocketed since the Old Mill has taken off."

*Due to the politically sensitive nature of the author’s job, he asked that we not publish his name. However, we will be happy to disclose his identity for the right price. Inquire at extortion@tsweekly.com.

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