As seen on DMBNews.net
The sun was beating down on my shoulders and I could feel the painful sunburn begin to form but I wasn’t going to let that slow me down. Each precious hour spent waiting for DMB is magical simply because of the special treat that will undoubtedly unfold a few hours later.
Nidhi and I were the first ones in the pit line and couldn’t be more ecstatic for the show. It had been a few months since the last time we saw each other and the band back in Charlottesville so we had a ton of catching up to do. The weekend had already provided us with many laughs and we were looking forward to this magical band to keep the good vibes rolling.
As people began to line up behind us we made friends and struck up conversations that quickly turned to laughs with those behind us. It’s a small world after all! One of the couples had a nephew whom I danced with at the University of Minnesota and they recognized my picture as well as Nidhi from Twitter. The six degrees of separation sure is right!
The hours progressed, the sun beat down harder and the nerves got more intense, Nidhi and I decided to take a stroll around the venue to stretch our legs and get some fresh breeze to take away from the humidity. We happened to find ourselves in the presence of bus driver Jerry! Excitedly I ran over, gave him a big ole’ hug and asked him if he would sign my copy of his book “Tales from the Trails of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Bus Driver.” He laughed and said of course. We chatted for a few minutes under the steamy Texas sun until he bid farewell and went on with his show day tasks.
Soon, we were set free inside the venue for the ever so nerve-racking race to the rail. Of course, security found a way to mess up the pit and warehouse lines but alas I couldn’t complain because I was home. With both hands glued to the rail, I settled in next to Nidhi for our first show of the season. The opening band Mariachi El Bronx gave the crowd a little taste of Texas/Mexican fun. They played for about an hour, dancing, singing and clapping along to a spicy mix of tunes.
Around 8 o’clock the crew came on to get the stage set up for the men of the hour. Immediately they pulled a white curtain around the entire stage reminding me of DMB shows circa 2009. Earlier in the spring Fonz had tweeted about a new stage set up so I was anxious to see what the boys had in store for Texas. Around 8:30, the lights went down, the house music stopped and I got those all-too-familiar butterflies in my stomach. After hours in the steamy Texas heat it was the moment that I and thousands of others had been waiting for. The usual questions were floating around my head; what would open the show? Was Dave scruffy or clean-shaven? What was Fonz wearing? Would all the hours of anticipation be worth it?
The crowd grew to almost a dead silence when suddenly we heard the familiar notes of ‘Big Eyed Fish’ fill the air, with the curtain still surrounding the stage the entire musical intro was played with only the silhouettes being shown through the curtain. “Look at this big eyed fish…” Dave started with the first verse and suddenly the white curtain was swept away from the stage and before stood the band we all know and love. The crowd erupted with applause while Dave gave a meek smile as he continued singing.
The boys definitely did not disappoint Dallas. Mixing in gems such as ‘Idea of You,’ ‘Granny’ and ‘So Right’ with treats from Away From the World including ‘Drunken Solider’ and a sexy ‘Rooftop’ with a mid-song jam the set list was nearly perfect for my first show of the season. With the humid air filling the venue, you could feel the excitement radiating off the band. The sweat was flying from Dave, even dripping off his guitar. Fonz was bouncing, dancing and having a blast on the stage. Carter was showing off that addictive smile while Tim, Boyd, Jeff and Rashawn showed off their charms and talents with solos that pierced the soul. A new visual backdrop for almost all the songs was a treat from last summer and winter and even the lights seemed to shine a little different, providing an extra special twinkle of the bands eyes.
The boys ended the first set, waved goodbye and started walking off the stage. I was scrambling in my bag trying to pull out my book before Stefan left. He saw me struggling and once I got the book out he ran back on stage to sign it. A truly special moment, he signed my book then waved to everyone else, stating, “I’ll be right back.” The smile was permanently glued to my face.
Dave, Carter, Boyd, Tim, Jeff and Rashawn all reappeared on the stage for the encore of ‘Sister.’ When that was finished Fonz appeared back on stage for a terrific Warehouse and Shake Me. “He’s got something in his pocket now” the guy next to me was saying. I just brushed it off, thinking it’s probably his hotel keys or something. When the show ended I blew him a kiss and clapped ecstatically. He went to stage left, signed a poster and shook some hands. Then, came center stage to where Nidhi and I were. She asked him to sign her poster so he did. I reached up and gave him the LoVE button from my dress where he then exchanged me for a folded up piece of paper. My heart skipped a beat, as I unfolded it- reviling the set list of the evening. I asked him to sign it, in which he did and handed it back. It was then that I turned the set list over and noticed the personalized drawing he had made complete with the words “Keep Shining.” My heart skipped even more beats and I started to shake uncontrollably. Could this really have just happened? It was the absolute perfect way to end the evening.
Beaming and on Cloud 9 I took a moment to reflect on the reasons for traveling across the country to see this band. It’s not about chasing a certain song, finding the perfect venue or even adding another concert to the list. To me, it has always been about the music and the experience that this band provides its fans. The way they interact with their fans is special and something that not a lot of rock bands offer. So when people question the obsessive need to travel to see the same band over and over, all I can do is smile. Because really, in the words of my favorite movie “Almost Famous”- “They don’t even know what is to be a fan ya’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music or some band so much, that it hurts.”
See you on the road!