A couple of months ago I heard the announcement from the Dave Matthews Band that they weren't going to be touring in 2011. The news disappointed me, to say the least. I've seen them on tour multiple times a year since 1996. I'm up to over 80 concerts at this point. I'd seen them play over the summer at the Susquehanna Center in Camden (seriously one of the best shows I'd seen in a long time. They played so many old songs it was like 1997 again!), but I wanted to see them one last time before their hiatus. I felt like had I known that when I saw them in July I wouldn't see them again until sometime well over a year later I might have done something differently. What that "thing" was, I had no idea but I felt like the show would have been that much more significant to me.
A brief history on my love affair with Dave and the boys. I first heard "Crash" when I was in college. I liked a few of his other songs, "Satellite" and "Ants Marching", but "Crash" caused me to obsess in ways I thought I reserved only for boys that didn't like me back. If I still had my college notebooks you'd be surprised that I managed to graduate; rather than taking notes, I sat in class writing the words to "Crash" over and over and over again. As I listened to more of his music, I realized that many of the songs weren't just good, they were amazing. I love how he can take an ordinary situation and write about it in a way most people would never think to do. I also love that many of his songs are about enjoying life now, because we're only here for a short time so we may as well "eat, drink, and be merry" - words I try to live by. Anyway, since that fateful beginning I have been a loyal Dave fan - even if I don't love everything he comes out with.
Having said that, you can imagine my joy when I heard that more tour dates were announced for 2010. A quick look confirmed that he would be coming through Philly, and I jumped on the fan club site, The Warehouse, to put in my request for tickets as soon the request period opened. A few weeks later I was rewarded with tickets for what would be my last show until he comes back around in 2012.
Last night was the show. It was great - very energetic, including an absolutely incredible "Two Step" to finish off the night. They also played "Christmas Song", which, while I'm a tad annoyed with the fact that I'm already seeing Christmas tree displays and Christmas cards, was exactly what I wanted to hear to get the season kicked off right.
Just as good, in my mind, was how the night started. A Ballast Point Dorado (so rare!) and some Cigar City Rye Porter (excellent!). It's only available at the brewery but some good friends brought some back after a recent trip to Florida.
So while I'll miss Dave and the gang next year, I look forward to the excitement and anticipation news of the 2012 tour is sure to bring. And I know that I'll have some good beers over the next many months to help get me through.