11 August 2007

Still my favorite summertime show

It is never officially summer to me unless there's been a Dave Matthews Band concert. I've gone to see them every single summer since around 1995. See, there ARE things that I'm a fangirl about other than Supernatural and Jensen. Really.

I love the band, and it started with the first show I went to. I liked their music before then, but a live show with DMB is an experience not to be missed. The energy at the shows is amazing. The band's musicianship is fantastic. It is clear that they love what they do.

Usually I go with a friend from college, and it is about the only time the whole year that we actually see one another. In more recent years, friends from high school have met up at the shows, and DH tags along from time to time.

Last night DH and I took a road trip and saw the the show in Pittsburgh. The complete set list is posted on the band's website and can be seen here, so I'm only going to talk about a couple of the songs they played.

When I was writing yesterday about albums that I like every track on the album, I didn't list a Dave Matthews Band CD because there are, believe it or not, Dave tracks that I don't like. Only a couple, the vast majority of them I love. I'd be hard pressed to choose one and only one Dave Matthews Band song that is my favorite. But among them would be "Die Trying," "One Sweet World," and "Grey Street."

They opened with "Seek Up" and then immediately went into "Die Trying." The first time I heard "Die Trying" was at a live show a few years ago. The song has a very heavy bass line, solid drumming, a distinctive guitar hook. The next day, I looked up the set list and realized that the song was from the new album at the time, Stand Up. The song is on my iPod's list of top 25 most played tracks. I haven't seen them do the song live since that summer of 2005, so I was thrilled to see it performed again.

Higher up in the list of most played songs, though, is "Grey Street." The song is about a suicide attempt, following the theme of death that many Dave Matthews songs have. Dave himself seems a bit preoccupied with the idea of death and dying, his solo album was full of songs that made reference to death-related things. "Gravedigger," and "Save Me" being the prime examples of that theme. "Grey Street" resonates with me. Not necessarily because of the suicidal theme, although I do like the lyrics a great deal. I never get tired of watching the band perform the song.

Dave sang "Sister" with Carter, Butch, and guest trumpet player Rashawn on backing vocals and no instrumentation other than his own guitar. The song brought me to tears. I've seen it done live before (hardly a surprise, since at my own count I've been to more than 20 shows) but last night it was particularly poignant. He introduced the song by saying, "Me and my sister were kinda tight, growing up. We're still kinda tight."

My love of the band is shared by both of my sisters; I took my youngest sister to her first live show when she was 14, it was of course DMB. The band opened with "Don't Drink the Water" that night, and I'll never forget her gripping my arm (squeezing so hard that she nearly broke it) and shrieking as the band took the state.

The year I got married, the Dave show was a few weeks before my wedding. It was at Three Rivers Stadium, which has since been demolished. The three of us went together, had 9th row seats on the stadium floor. That night the band played "Long Black Veil" and their version of Jimi Hendrix's "Watchtower," a fan favorite.

The three of us have been to other shows together. So it is only natural that I should think of them at the shows. I sent a text message to both of them last night which said, "@ DMB show tonight. Wish you were here. <3 you." I miss them both so terribly much.

DH and I left before the show was over, trying to avoid the insanity of 30,000 of our closest friends leaving at the same time. I was ready to head home, but unfortunately we missed the band playing "Watchtower" as part of the encore. That's OK, I have tickets to another show in a few weeks, another chance to see it again. I'm hoping that they play "One Sweet World" as well.

Sister, I hear you laugh
My heart fills full up
Keep me please
Sister, when you cry
I feel your tears
Running down my face
Sister, sister, you keep me

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