I arrived a couple hours early for the show, because thats what I do and because I didn't really have anywhere else to go. The parking lot was very empty which I found rather strange until I read the No Tailgating sign. Upon parking the car I got out since I had been sitting down for twelve plus hours, what it was to actually walk around. After stretching for a few minutes I organized the car a bit and grabbed some bread and peanut butter and jelly and made myself a couple of sandwiches on my trunk. The people next to me shot me quite a look when I like the peanut butter off the knife, I just kept thinking I am the only one using it so what is the big deal. They guys in front of me seemed to be too cool for the room even though from the look of them they were more on the not so hip side in my opinion. Along came a guy trying to buy tickets so he could scalp them, but the only guy with an extra ticket wasn't willing to sell his fifty dollar ticket for the ten dollars the guy wanted to pay. Scalpers are so annoying with their, "Buying tickets? Selling tickets?" talk, just try to get off the green line at Fenway on the night of a BoSox game and you are attacked with the shouts of scalpers.
After using the internet for a minute, I locked up the car and headed into the concert, because security was cracking down on tailgaters. The many things I have come accustomed to at Dave Matthews concerts then began while getting frisked on my way into the show. A girl had a camera and the frisker told her cameras weren't allowed and she said it is only a disposable camera, as if somehow because the quality of the pictures isn't as good it would be okay. He of course said no and she tried to convince him it was okay, he didn't budge and then she asked if there was a place she could leave it, but this request was denied and it was a nice long walk to the car for her. Once inside I headed for the over priced merchandise booth, to purchase my tour t-shirt, because the 20+ DMB shirts isn't quite enough for me. I have finally learned after over 30 shows to wear a shirt that I can wear over my new shirt so I don't have to carry the damn thing around all night long. The next stop was the rest rooms where some guy walks in and yells, "Who is psyched for Dave?, to the five of us in the bathroom. Nobody responded and I quickly got out of there before he came over to ask badger be about my apparent lack of enthusiasm. Finally I went to find my seat, but not before I glanced over at the food in the concession stand and considered enjoying a four dollar slice of pizza before remembering I just ate two sandwiches in the car. My seat was in the seventh row of the center section near the stage. I planted myself down and began the fun activity of people watching at a Dave Matthews Band show.
I have come to notice there are four types of people at the shows or at least in the seats close to the stage. The first are the tapers, who get in there as quickly as they can to scope out possible taping locations and to negotiate seating locations with people as they begin to find their seats. They tend to think they are the elite of the crowd and walk with an arrogance which is matched only by the kids parked in front of me in the parking lot. It doesn't help things when tons of people come up to talk with them and exchange business cards in an effort to get a copy of the show. In my experience the tapers don't care if you exchange cards because they will never get back to you. They tend to come to the shows alone since they have to buy a seat just for their equipment. Occasionally a taper will have a girlfriend, who I would imagine has had enough of Dave Matthews Band and is only there to help protect the microphone stand from stumbling drunk people or the tapers worst nightmare, The BeachBall. Sometimes the tapers yell at people who sing out loud or talk during the show because it ruins the quality of their taping. Don't get me wrong, half of my cds are live DMB shows, but you don't have to be so serious. "Come and relax now, put your troubles down, no need to bear the weight of your worries just let them all fade away."
The next type of people are the obvious guy and girl who are obviously not a couple. You can spot these friends from a mile away. He will typically be a huge DMB fan and you can tell by his dress and his amazing seat location. She is usually very attractive and is definitely out of his league. I would have to say I probably relate best to this group and they may be my favorite because it goes to show the amazing power of Dave Matthews Band tickets. When would this guy ever have a shot at going out in public with such a beautiful girl? The answer never. However, I don't really see a problem with it since they are both probably happy, he is because of the girl and she is because of the free concert and some amazing seats.
Let's see the next type of people I see at shows would have to be the Boyd loving heavy set girls. They tend to go to the shows in pairs and for some reason or other are obsessed with the violinist Boyd Tinsley. I don't really mind them because they are generally quiet and thankfully don't go around wearing belly shirts, though there was one at the last show who was constantly revealing her thong every time she sat down, GROSS!! They are the true girl fans, while you might see a teeny bopper who claims she is a fan, don't believe her. The teeny bopper's favorite song is probably "Crash Into Me" and her oldest album is probably Crash. The true girl fans know the obscure stuff and go as far as creating fan books for the band members. I have actually seen one of these books and it is kind of scary, they write letters, draw pictures, make their own lyrics up and tons of other weird stuff. I have even seen some of the girls buy Boyd a shirt, because he is always wearing weird see-through or leather shirts.
The final major group are the under dressed 18-24 year old girls, who like the prior type of girls usually go to the shows in pairs. Obviously this is by far my favorite group to look at, but that is wear my love for them ends. They tend to dress in as little as possible with no regard for the weather outside. I am by no means complaining the spaghetti strap tank tops and hip huggers are great, super even. They also tend to be a little intoxicated and sometimes even pass out and are removed from the show by security. The problem with these girls is they have not concept of what is rude, they are the girls who call their friends in the middle of a quiet song, for what reason I don't know. Luckily nobody has called me from a show, I mean does this actually work? Can the people on the other end hear the concert at even a negligible quality? Hopefully I will never have to find out for myself. My favorite quote from the concert the other day was from two girls who sat in front of me. As one would expect they sat down and of course their thongs immediately became visible due to the nature of hip huggers. They both noticed this and then one of them said,"Did you see when we were walking in here that guy who walked by and just kept like staring at me? God at least be discreet about it." Question: Why the hell should he be discreet you certainly aren't. Gotta love this group.
Of course I left out a couple including the college guys who just want to hear Dave make a reference to getting high or the true couples who don't leave each others sides even for a moment. You also can't forget the old timers like the woman sitting next to me who had to be fifty five years old and was at the show by herself. On top of that there are the people who leave the row every two minutes no matter where the band is in the song. After the final song of the encore we all exited in an orderly fashion. Well except for the one guy who was pulling his girlfriend along at a crazy pace through the wet grass. I just kept thinking dude relax, because once you get to the car their will be a lot of waiting anyway. I made it back to the car and quickly made my way through the traffic and was glad to be back in my car and away from the crazy people I just spent four hours with. However, it is all of these people that make my concert going experience what it is and keep me coming back for more. In the end it is only the music that matters and all of the groups seem to get along relatively well, because they all are there for one thing to see some great music. Which is exactly what we all saw on Tuesday night.
Wow what an entry. I hope you all read my story, I think you may find it quite amusing. It has been by far the longest entry I have every had. Enjoy and have a super weekend!!!
K. Willis Sands