Dave Matthews Band Fans: It's Not Too Late For Something Better

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Dave Matthews, not enunciating at Busch Stadium. Photo by Todd Owyoung.
An open letter to the attendees of the Dave Matthews Band Concert (July 11, 2012):

I am sorry. On behalf of those who you would surely deem "music snobs", I am sorry that our actions or lack thereof may have contributed to you braving a scorching St. Louis summer night for yet another Dave Matthews Band concert. Please understand, I am not writing this to be mean-spirited. If I were, I would just be an accompanying voice in the loud chorus of musical blogs by writing 1,000 words about how much DMB sucks. I will not do that, nor will I point out that Dave Matthews has had more relevance as an actor than a musician over the past fifteen years. Also, I want to be fair and mention that I did not attend the concert, so I cannot comment on the patented way the band turns a four-minute song into something the length of a short film.

We've tried to see the light: Dave Matthews Band at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 7/11/12: Review and Setlist

I know you are angry with me right now, couple who made out during the entirety of "Ants Marching." I am sure you have convinced yourselves that a nine-minute Boyd Tinsley fiddle solo justified your two-hour voyage through the vortex of hell known as the Verizon Amphitheater parking lot. I know you think the self-induced vertigo you suffered while spinning around with arms akimbo is a small price to pay to hear the sweetest version of "The Song That Jane Likes" you have heard out of all twenty of the DMB shows you have attended.

Now, before you lash back, you who still watches Friends re-runs, I understand and fully embrace nostalgia. I recognize the need to re-live and romanticize our twenties, and that to many, the Dave Matthews Band was an integral part of the soundtrack of that time in their lives. I just want to convey to you that there are other ways to recall those halcyon days. You probably have a shoebox of photographs (remember those?) you could shuffle through while listening to an unearthed mixtape featuring those unforgettable songs from Eve 6, Seven Mary Three, Fastball and Sister Hazel. You could call your college roommate you haven't spoken with in years. Plan a trip to your alma mater for a fall football game (note: this suggestion does not apply to Penn State alumni). There are more efficient and less expensive ways to remember your twenties than a twenty-minute rendition of "Proudest Monkey".

Maybe I am part of the problem. Maybe when I insist that you broaden your musical horizons with an outstanding band like the Black Keys, your instinct is to rebel like a teenager against a parental order. I, or people like me, say you must check out the new Blitzen Trapper, and you instead click play on Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King as if to exact some kind of musical revenge on me (neglecting that your own ears are collateral damage). I will make you a deal, guy with closed eyes nodding along in rhythm to a meandering five-minute Tim Reynolds guitar solo: I will ease up on my admittedly-relentless "musical bullying" (as a friend recently called it), if you are willing to leave DMB in the past where he belongs and listen to an album by a band you have never heard of once a month. You may be surprised at what you hear.

Just please know there are options. I am here for you if you need me. And I am sorry.


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14 comments
gabyneal
gabyneal

Who dances spinning around with their arms akimbo? Surely, the person the writer saw fell over almost immediately, or the writer is exaggerating in an effort to use the word "akimbo." Lame article. 

HuntingtonAVE
HuntingtonAVE

This article, by far, is the dumbest thing I have ever read. I am not a DMB fan, and I find this article to be retarded. Who cares what people listen too; DMB must be a great show because they are one of, if no the best, touring acts around. If you are going to suggest bands to listen to, don't suggest Blitzen Trapper. AWFUL.   Do yourself a favor, quit writing. You suck and have wasted everyone's time. Comparing Black Keys to DMB is like comparing eggplant parm and trial mix. Youre an idiot.

Qwertyu
Qwertyu

So who gives a shit if people want to go see DMB. They are not there to serve your opinion that all that is old is bad. They are there to hear some music, smoke some weed, dance, bag a spinner from the lawn, whatever, just like the old days. Some people grow up get jobs and have lives and their cool quotient does not matter so much. What's wrong with that? I am going to bet that someday you will be going to see your precious Black Keys and someone will be writing about how you need to listen to something else. I could see someone like you probably dragging your two kids along just because you want to show your coolness and let people know that you can still rock it like you always did. You can show them that age and domestic life does not keep you from being abreast to the world of hip that you have firmly established as a writer for a piece of crap like this. Clearly there is a demand for the stuff they play. That is no reason for someone to knock it. Did you ever think that at one time DMB was something new people listened to because it was new and interesting. Would you catch me at a DMB show? No way. Maybe if you broadened your horizons you would not care so much what other people listened to.

Kgphelps
Kgphelps

DMB is the BEST! How many bands that are still touring have the number of GREAT hits that DMB does. You could make a list of top 100 DMB songs, and I would LOVE 95% of them. I can't say that for any other band! I HATE how others HATE on anything that is popular.

freedom isn't free
freedom isn't free

I listen to a wide variety of music and dMb. As for "old" music, I still listen to Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and Elton John. If I choose to spend my money on going to their (dMb, The Eagles and Elton John still tour) shows it my money and my right. I listen to lots of new music too. I don't see anything wrong with giving my money to bands I want to see.

SSSD
SSSD

I see now the anger in your first post.  Just admit three things: 1. You were offended by the shots taken at a band you like 2. You actually agree with at least one of the main points of the article--time and money are better spent pursuing music (or other activities) that is not a huge commercial act and is not performing at Verizon 3.  Your comments were mean-spirited because you are sensitive and you got your feelings hurt.

Big_oaf2
Big_oaf2

     Has the author considered that some people may listen to both DMB and the Black Keys? I prefer the former but I can respect both. Blitzen Trapper on the other hand is dull and soulless freak folk with no passion or energy and an absence of memorable hooks or melodies.

Mike B
Mike B

love this article - even though I am a long-term DMB fan (who started prior to "under the table.." when I was in college through today) - but do agree I find myself (gasp) enjoying less and less of their shows each time - because I long for the songs from my 20's.....still love those songs - just getting passed the rest of the 20 minute slow-motion jam sessions on the same 3 notes....I digress

Guest
Guest

Who are you to judge what music others listen to? If they enjoy it, then let them be.. What they listen to has no effect on you.

Dave Manville
Dave Manville

New single "Mercy" is awesome! I already pre-ordered my copy of Away From The World off of their website (davematthewsbandDOTcom)... waiting for the release, Sept. 11 seems so far away!

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