The Return of the Dave Matthews Band
As mentioned in yesterday’s podcast, the Dave Matthews Band has confirmed what fans had been expecting to hear for quite some time. The band would, in fact, be reuniting for a full-length summer tour in 2018. They also announced that they would be releasing a brand new studio album at some point during the summer. As a longtime fan of the group, I was ecstatic to hear the news. While it wasn’t a well-kept secret that the band would be hitting the road again, it was nevertheless a moment filled with intense nostalgia upon opening my email to find the announcement from DMB. It had me reflecting upon my 19 years worth of Dave Matthews Band-related experiences. And so, today’s blog post will countdown my Top 5 DMB Memories of All Time. Enjoy!
While the actual show was nothing spectacular, this evening was significant for a sentimental reason. After 12 years of attending over 100 DMB related events, I was finally able to convince my father to attend a show with me. While I do think there was a part of him extremely curious in seeing the band that became a huge part of my life, I know another big factor was the fact that the performance was at one of his favorite places to frequent – the casino! Hey, I’ll take it!
My father is an extremely difficult man to read. It was hard at times to gauge whether or not he was enjoying the show or lamenting the fact I’d spent so much time, money, and energy into the band on stage. However, I do believe I caught some toe-tapping and head-nodding during the stretch of “Don’t Drink the Water,” “Typical Situation,” “Shake Me Like a Monkey,” and “Jimi Thing.”
As I said, the show itself was nothing to write home about. However, finally getting to take in a show with my dad was an experience that’ll always stay with me.
4. DMB at SPAC
I’m of the opinion that the Saratoga Performing Arts Center is THE top place to catch a DMB show. Before all you Gorge people jump down my throat, let it be known that I’ve never witnessed a show at “Heaven’s Amphitheater.”
I’ve enjoyed many tremendous DMB gigs at SPAC in the past. Some of my favorite performances from the venerable venue include: 07/29/02 (The “Two Step Chant” show), 06/21/08 (Dreaming Tree, Shotgun, #40), and 06/13/09 (Typical Situation, The Stone, and a great encore).
Aside from the shows, the entire town of Saratoga Springs, New York is just an amazing place to visit in the summer. From the architecture of the downtown area to the mom and pop stores lining the streets, it’s a great location to relax for a few days. I highly recommend taking the journey to SPAC this July!
As they say, you never forget your first time. The same can be said for concerts (wink).
I remember so vividly attending the show at Foxboro Stadium. My friends and I took the train from South Station to the stadium, and it was such a great vibe. We were quite young and most definitely DMB “newbs.” I’m pretty sure we yelled, “Play Crash,” at one point, not realizing they had played the tune the prior evening.
The music enveloped me that night. I found myself mesmerized many times during the night – Boyd’s solo in “Lie In Our Graves”, LeRoi’s work on “Say Goodbye”, and the energy of the raucous crowd during the band’s rocking cover of “All Along the Watchtower.”
July 9, 2000 was the night I became a lifelong fan of the Dave Matthews Band.
2. The Ultimate Christmas Gift
The Holy Grail of DMB memorabilia is their best-selling album, Before These Crowded Streets, on vinyl.
I had been searching for this highly coveted item for quite a while. I would’ve certainly purchased the record on eBay, but it was always out of my price range. In 2009, I was about ready to give up the search…at least for a bit.
Out of the blue, my then-girlfriend (now wife), sister, and brother-in-law made my 2009 Christmas experience unforgettable. The three of them decided to chip in and surprise me with an unopened, vinyl copy of BTCS. To this day, I don’t think they have seen me as shocked as I was in that moment. Between the complete surprise and the fact that they got me a gift that they knew I’d keep forever, it was a moment that’ll hopefully never fade away.
1. Meeting Dave Matthews
I know placing this interaction at the top of the list is fanboying at its finest, but it’s easily my favorite DMB-related memory. Here’s why:
We all hold certain athletes, musicians, entertainers, etc. in the highest regard. There’s just something about that person that resonates with us. We look up to that human being. We think of them as being someone worthy of our money, attention, etc. As a result, it would be downright devastating to meet that idol and discover they’re not the person you imagined.
However, I’m pleased to report (as many of you who have met the man himself can attest to) that Dave Matthews is exactly the hilariously awkward, kind human being you’ve seen on stage, in movies, and on television.
I met Dave while walking to pick up my tickets to their first ever show at Boston’s Fenway Park. While walking past a hotel near Boston Common, I noticed a group of kids hanging around the front entrance. Upon further examination, it was clear they were looking to meet member of the Dave Matthews Band.
After about an hour or so hanging out on a gorgeous spring day, Dave emerged from the hotel lobby. He strolled right on over to the group of about 12 of us. He was in a fantastic mood as he signed autographs, posed for pictures, and even sang “Happy Birthday” to a young fan. The positive interaction with Mr. Matthews helped me rationalize continuing to attend show after show.
After all, if I’m going to help pay for someone else’s kids’ college tuition, they damn well better be a good human being!
Here’s to an amazing 2018!
Until next time,
The Pondering Father