It was 1995, the first time I saw the Dave Matthews Band. I was working in Yellowstone Park, it was getting toward the end of the summer and we all longed to get out of the park to do ANYTHING… A month before we drove the 11 hours to Red Rocks to see the Allman Brothers Band and the show was just AMAZING. Full Moon with what feels like the whole world sitting in front of you– once I was there, I was hooked to going back. Little did I know that a month later the option would come up again to see a band that was just starting to come up– Dave Matthews Band. The thing that I remember most of that whole concert, which is one of the bands most famous Double CD’s and one of many live recordings that launched them to do one of the largest grossing live acts in all of rock n roll, was the encore. Dave comes out to do a solo version of Typical Situation and during that song, with a deep purple spotlight on him, he twisted and turned around the guitar as he was sitting on a barstool and it reminded me of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
Flash up 23 years in the time machine to 9.19.18, where I am invite from a good friend Rick to go to a Private event… featuring Dave Matthews.
A spotify special event, featuring Dave Matthews, at the Columbia City Theater.
I bring up the story because there was a moment in there that I noticed another silhouette during the show where his image was broadcast out against the brick wall and it reminded me of that first time I saw him 23 years ago.
Here is that image:
The show itself was intimate and special. It was particularly special because I felt as though Dave was losing a part of his live act that I had always cherished– the ability to interact with the audience, tell stories, share a little of the personal side to let you see that he wasn’t just some figurehead, but normal, like all of us.
Hopefully spotify gets all of it together and releases it because it was a special show– this coming from someone that has seen him perform 88 times now since that first time in 1995.
He told a moving story about Roi–I didn’t realize he was riding bikes with Roi on the day he had the accident, but in the story he told he said he was riding right up there with him and the next thing he noticed he was gone. It was really a moving moment and then he broke into a song off the new album– so if that song really is about LeRoi, you can still see that is weighs pretty heavy on him still to this day.
The setlist was diverse enough too where any fan would immensely enjoy how special it was– there was no Crash or #41, but there were some regulars that appeared- but it wasn’t a show where I felt like, oh I have seen this before… It was quite the opposite.
It was over sooner than I imagined it would be. We kept looking around throughout the whole show and saying repeating, what the hell is happening right now? Then it was over, the lights were on and we were standing there like it was some dream again. We stayed for a bit and got a setlist and a couple of guitar pics and then as we were heading out, we see a limo on the side of the building and a few minutes later, out comes Dave and his wife!
We stop him for a moment and say hey great show and ask him if he minds taking a picture and he looks at my Cubs jersey with #41 on the back and says, “I saw that jersey while I was on stage — that’s pretty cool.” and then he went to sign it!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING?! He signed a bunch of stuff and hung out for a couple of quick pictures and I asked him one question.
“So what’s the story with Blackjack, man? I love that song.”
(para-phrasing)”That’s not a tiny song. That’s a song we got work on but its a band song. We gotta get back to it or we don’t, I don’t know.”
Not the response I was looking for, but I said to a lot of people that if I ever saw him again I was going to ask him about that– and there you have it. With that, he sauntered into the next bar and we were tempted to follow him but we just let him go– catch and release. Take a picture of the fish and let him swim back in the water for another day. I didn’t need to tell him anything else at the moment and I feel like I will get that opportunity again someday.
You can watch all of the videos here:
Dave Matthews Live at Columbia City Theater
Ill post the spotify if they ever get around to teeing it up.