A short break from Every Day
September 14, 2005
You’d think three, four nights in a row with the Dave Matthews Band would be quite enough. But my wife and I, well, we’re a little depressed tonight. No doubt that’s a sure sign of DMB syndrome.
You haven’t heard of it? Ask the folks who fly or drive from all over the country just to see these guys play, sing along, feel kinship with complete stranges who you know you really know because they have the same touchstone in the band. Oh yeah, it’s more than the music.
The music is a little … different. I’m puzzled sometimes reading characerizations of the songs as “easy listening” or “soft rock.” Huh? Sure, some songs are mellow. But Dave also screams, and well. How “easy listening” is that.
Oh, got it. America has forgotten jazz. Too many don’t know what it even sounds like anymore. And eclectic is too many syllables, never mind chords for our punk and rap age. No one grabs a crotch to talk about “bitches.” Actual musicians take the stage during Dave concerts. Imagine that. Easy listening, my *. (Look up “Breakfast of Champions” for the meaning of the astrick if the sentence doesn’t lead you there.)
Maybe there’s an insider quality, like longtime locals of Vail, to this too. Dummy critics, like the goof from the Denver Post who was out of his water writing about DMB on Sunday, Not. A. Clue.
It takes me five or six listens to each CD to become absorbed. And when I am, there’s none better. The band is properly labled “rock,” I suppose, but it’s really a jazz group. If you understand that, well, you start to get it.
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I’m not exactly a Rocky Horror Picture Show kind of guy, and the Dead frankly bored the hell out of me, every song tinkling forever just like the last. But there’s a vibe about DMB concerts that has this quality. A concert of Dave freaks, essentially Friday through Sunday nights, means lots of singing and shouting along. Monday night’s show had less of that. That was because it was a late addition ” no doubt the flying fans had to go home ” and a fundraiser for those hit square on by the lovely and wicked Katrina.
Everyone, from the ushers to the bands, gave everything from that night to hurricane relief. Last I checked, this generosity exceeded $1.25 MILLION. Pretty powerful.
I just called our county housing authority today to list our downstairs studio as a place for a Katrina refugee to stay. Long ways from New Orleans, and like our upstairs extremely humble, but hey, it’s still got a roof.
Tonight, though, is the first in a string of nights that we’re not looking straight up to the heavens at the open air and aptly named Red Rocks, thanking the Big Guy for the moment, then nudging a neighbor, a new friend, and shouting out lyrics with our favorite song of the moment or moving to the jam that fills the space between.