Concert Tour #4 - Dave Matthews Band
“You’ve never been to a concert unless you’ve seen one in the rain.” At least, that was what the 14-year concert-going veteran standing next to me at the Riverbend Music Center said as the Dave Matthews Band took the stage. At first, I wasn’t so sure I agreed - it was POURING and my jacket was soaked through. But as Dave and his band sang and played their way through what I’m pretty sure was the entire “Big Whiskey” album, I realized she was right. The warm rain seemed to match the blues/acoustic rock performance perfectly and it definitely didn’t cut down on the fun factor. Even when our feet started to stick in the mud, people were still jamming away.
It must have been fate that yesterday I was thinking about seeing musical talent in person, because this band has it in spades. Long sections of the performance were wordless jam sessions that displayed the skill of the musicians and had the crowd moving to the beat. One of the encore songs contained a nearly 5-minute long drum solo that was INCREDIBLE to see and, more than that, fun to watch. As the big screens focused on drummer Carter Beauford, you could see his huge grin and knew he was having a great time playing. I think that’s a key to any great performance - if the band looks like they’re having fun, the audience will too. And this audience was having a blast. People of all types turned out for this show - cowboys, hippies, frat boys, punks, even businessmen - and not one person I saw looked upset about the pelting rain. I think that’s because though the band’s members may not have lived all their lives in the United States, the music of the Dave Matthews Band is clasically American. It blends the blues-rock of the bayou with the fiddling sounds of country music and lyrics that just about everyone can relate to.
I left that show soaked to the bone but on a high from the great experience. If you get a chance to go to a Dave Matthews Band show, I highly recommend it. And if you can, see it in the rain.