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Chasing The American Dream

July 17, 2005


Posted by Picasa Photos courtesy of Thomas Cordy - Palm Beach Post

“Yes,” of course, if your friend offered you a free Dave Matthews Band concert ticket. I can’t put my finger on it, but for some reason, I’ve never been a big fan. I loved his breakout his, “What Would You Say,” and some hit in between, but he’s never grabbed me. I dunno, I think he got too popular, too fast. Such is not the case for my friend, JDN. He’s seen the DMB 10 times and said he’d clue me in on all the songs.

Hmm. It’s been quite a number of years since I’ve been in that environment. The outdoor concert where you sit on beach chairs high on a hill in a laid back atmosphere. I don’t think I’ve seen so much beer and pot consumed since I saw The Allman Brothers Band in an outdoor concert back in 1988. This occasion was at the Sound Advice Amphitheater in West Palm Beach. The set-up was pretty basic. There was a huge stage with four large video screens. Marc Broussard opened, and his jazzy, bluesy set was pretty much ignored. I’d seen Marc open for Gavin DeGraw last August. My only disappointment was that he failed to play is hit, “Where You Are.” Dave came on stage around 8:20 p.m. He showed up in a pair of jeans, a white button-down shirt, and a smile on his face.

Before I knew it, I was in the middle of 20,000 screaming, dancing, song-singing DMB fans. Dave opened with “One Sweet World” and “Crash.” He sang many new songs off his new CD “Stand Up.” He sang staples such as “Don’t Drink the Water, Warehouse, Where Are You Going, and Two Step” (thanks JDN for the assist). I felt a bit like a tourist in a foreign country. They knew all the songs and all the words. I think I recognized one or two songs at most. I hadn’t realized what a loyal following the DMB had, and they were all loving it. Happy couples danced, kissed, and hugged to the music. Shirtless guys in backwards hats, girls in low-rider jeans showing off their g-strings and thongs, and middle-aged pot-smoking David Crosby look-alikes dominated the crowd. The people watching was priceless.

As for the music, I guess the non-fan like me would say the songs sounded pretty similar. I’m still not a big fan, but I certainly respect their music and the great show they put on. Amazingly, Dave played for over two-and-a-half hours. I think I could best describe it as a jam session. Some of the songs jammed on for 30 minutes. Other than, “thank you very, very much,” Dave didn’t have much else to say to the crowd. But all in all, the concert was a sensational value for a $40 ticket. Four hours of live music, a beautiful night, and plenty of entertaining people to observe. Who could ask for more? Well, I guess a date would have been nice.


  • As Harvey Pekar would say (regarding DMB and its fans): "Fucking Yuppies, man."

    That about covers MY sentiments on him. Why can't we find the next GG Allen? Why?

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 7:16 PM, July 17, 2005  

  • The first time I saw DMB I loved them. It was at a small venue and they were still relatively 'new.' Then I saw them again a few years later (funny because it was at the same Sound Advice Amphitheater in WPB)and their popularity had grown exponentially, so it was a much bigger crowd. Although I enjoyed both shows, I have to say I liked 'em best when they were 'smaller.'

    I'm still a huge DMB fan (seen 'em 4 times now), and I'm sure I always will be. Their music seeps right into me and always feels good.

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 2:14 PM, July 18, 2005  

  • I recently discovered marc Brussard and really like his sound.

    By Blogger Lyss, at 3:08 PM, July 18, 2005  

  • just checking in, pt. i haven't posted a comment for a while, and thought i should return the favor.

    so when are you going to start writing for rolling stone (or something)? i love the way you cover concerts. great writing!

    By Blogger ropedncr, at 5:10 PM, July 18, 2005  

  • Dave Matthews.


    By Blogger A, at 9:06 PM, July 18, 2005  

  • DM - Yummy. With you on this one as I have never followed the fad of DMB it grew to quick from the fraternity and sorority college crowd. But live music is live music and those guys can JAM

    By Blogger Sass, at 1:12 PM, July 19, 2005  

  • It sounds lovely! I'm not a huge fan. I like their music okay, but don't have any albums. My favorite is Crush. I'm glad you had such a nice time! :-)

    By Blogger Elle, at 5:08 PM, July 20, 2005  

  • awesome.
    i am going to see him on randall's island here in nyc next weekend. i just co-opted two co-workers into accompanying me because my two original concert companions decided they didn't want to go and sold their tickets. thanks for your review, makes me even more excited for it. i am not a huge concert goer but dave is always solid and it's always a fun relaxing experience to hear live music outdoors. keep writing, i'll be reading.

    By Blogger Amanda, at 1:54 PM, July 21, 2005  

  • Gotta say, I feel the same. They're ok. Never really understood the huge appeal they have for many people. I mean, the music has always seemed pretty pedestrian to me. Dull, really.

    By Anonymous sunny, at 12:15 AM, July 23, 2005  

  • First of all, Dave is just yummy. Yum yummy.

    I liked him way back when. I'm hard care. Step easy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:39 AM, July 25, 2005  

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