Aug. 23, 1996 — The fifth annual H.O.R.D.E. tour is out on the road right now, starring Blues Traveler, Rusted Root, Lenny Kravitz, and 311, with occasional appearances by the Dave Matthews Band, Nil Lara, and the not- especially-rootsy Natalie Merchant. For some insight into this year’s outing, we gave Blues Traveler’s John Popper a High-8 video camera and all the film he could shoot. Here’s what he sent by return post.
JOHN POPPER: This is John Popper from Blues Traveler here at the H.O.R.D.E. festival. We’re at The Gorge. I think they named it The Gorge, because it is in fact, The Gorge. Look who it is! It’s Dave Mathews! He was goosing me! But I’m such a professional that I don’t let things like that faze me.
DAVE MATHEWS: He didn’t flinch.
POPPER: This is for MTV.
MATHEWS: This is for MTV? Why don’t you hang it around your neck?
POPPER: See, they’re too cheap to actually send a crew out. So, they gave me this. They don’t really care enough.
Here’s a little view of the people there… Now, look at that! Oh yeah!…. Oh no! An earthquake! (the camera shakes) AHHH! (Camera pans in on port-a-john) Wow! Someone coming out of the port-a-john. And if you look very closely, you can see… Oh, never mind! Now, this is what it all comes down to… buses and trucks. So far, all we’ve seen are a lot of outhouses, but they’re the best par of the outhouses I’ve ever seen…. That guy’s selling all kinds of stuff there….we’ve got the hip group.
MAN #1: This is Greenpeace and we’re helping to stop the transportation of high-level nuclear waste.
POPPER: We’re at the very back of the crowd here. (Camera pans in on stage, where Lenny Kravitz is performing “Let Love Rule”). You know, “Letting Love Rule” is really what the whole H.O.R.D.E. thing’s about. You do what you can, you can what you do, and hopefully, it will come back to you.