HUGE FANBOY ALERT. AFTER A BRIEF ABSENCE, MY GROUPIE SIDE HAS RETURNED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The day after seeing Darius Rucker was an exciting one for me. It was day # 2 of my vacation and time to head to West Palm Beach, Florida for a weekend of Dave Matthews Band!
Yes, yes I went to see them AGAIN. Get over it. These were my fourth and fifth shows of the year, which easily trumps my previous high of three.
After the weekend, I’ve now seen the band 23 TIMES since 1998. I’ve seen them play at 7 different venues in six different states (CT, MA, NY, NC, SC, FL). According to AntsMarching.org, I have heard 442 total songs (123 different songs).
In any event…The band was playing Friday and Saturday night at the Cruzan Ampitheatre and the guys who run the biggest DMB-obsessive website in the world (AntsMarching.org) who once again holding a gathering in honor of the shows. They set up a discount rate at a fantastic hotel and put together an after-party for each show. I missed out on the festivities last year, so there was no way I wasn’t making the trek this time around.
Even though I knew the weekend was going to be a blast, I never imagined it panning out the way it did. Thankfully, I had a good partner to go with me.
The Ex has become what I’ll call a medium-core fan of the band. She hasn’t reached the obsessive heights that myself or PiC have (which is probably a good thing for her), but she has really gotten into it. I knew there was no one else I could go with and still have as much fun as possible, so I was happy she could go too.
I know, I know…We’re weird. Despite being broken up for almost a year, we are still best friends. She may not tell me EVERYTHING about her life, but I’m sure it’s pretty close. I don’t care if it’s weird, because we had a damn good time.
In any event…we got up super early and made the long drive south. We took turns driving and napping (sometimes at the same time) and finally got to the hotel around 3 pm. Despite being over-tired still, we become as excited as kids on Christmas after seeing the beautiful PGA Resort & Spa. Easily the nicest place I’ve stayed at.
It was even more exciting to see all the dmb fans gathered and preparing for the concert. Some drank in their rooms, others hung at the pool, while the rest relaxed in the lobby bar. Every was amped for a fun weekend.
The Ex and I settled into our beds for a quick nap and then it was time to head to the venue! We arrived an hour or so before the band went out and cracked open some Bud Light Limes in the parking lot. This was easily the quickest I’ve ever gotten into a venue. There was very little traffic and zero hassle. I wish every concert venue was like this one.
The venue itself was pretty standard for a summer, concert amphitheater. It had pavilion seating and a lawn. It also had really lax security. Taking pictures/videos was no problem at all. Great place.
After picking up some $10 beers (one downside to venue), we went to our upper pavilion seats just as dmb was coming out. Despite being towards the lawn, our seats were pretty good.
The first night’s set was really, really good. Nothing mind-blowing, but solid overall. Every song was played well, but no real surprises. The only surprise was the band bringing out a trumpeter named Lasim Richards. I had never heard of him, but he was awesome. He added a nice change of pace to the four songs he guested on.
With the show over, the crowd was abuzz. Everyone enjoyed it, but they definitely left wanting more. Everyone hoped for an incredible second night…
…but first it was time to head back to the resort was the after party!
I was really excited to hang with the other fans, but it never happened. We got back to the hotel, saw the party in the lobby, and rushed back to the room for a quick bathroom stop. Sadly, we had a few too many concert beers and passed out. I came out of the bathroom to see the Ex sprawled out in a bed. I figured laying down for a second wouldn’t be a problem…next thing I knew it was Saturday…damnit.
Dave Matthews Band
August 14, 2009
Cruzan Amphitheatre (Palm Beach County Fairgrounds), West Palm Beach, FL
Funny the Way It Is
So Damn Lucky
Why I Am
You Might Die Trying
Crash Into Me (Dixie Chicken Outro)
Burning Down the House
Squirm* (Mr. Okra Outro)
Jimi Thing* (“Sexy MF” Outro)
Shake Me Like a Monkey*
You & Me
Little Thing [tease]
* = featuring Lasim Richards on trumpet
-They are still using the sweet curtain to open their shows. You can see the band’s silhouettes behind this white canvas
curtain as they start the first song. The curtain the flies out the way. It’s hard to explain, so just watch it here. Go to the 1 min mark
and then watch for about 30 seconds. And yes, the crowd was that loud.
-Great to hear “Burning Down the House” again. One of the best covers the band has ever done.
-New songs are getting tighter and tighter every show.
-I will never get tired of the “Sexy MF” outro to Jimi Thing
-# 41 was over 20 mins long and was the longest performance by the band this summer (so far)
-Dave was pretty funny all night too. He made reference to the strong smell of weed in the venue, teased Tim about
his show later in the night, etc.
-“You & Me” was the only song I had never heard live before
-Boyd put on a preview for what he was going to do the next night as he jammed out with Fonz.