Dave Matthews Band - 8/29/02 & 8/31/02 @ the Tweeter Center & Alpine Valley

So does this following the Dave Matthews Band for 2 shows make me a mini-groupie? Well I did just that...I did something that I never even done with any of my ultimate favorite bands...I saw two shows of the same day with a day break in between.

Was it worth it?...Yes...I have seen several DMB shows...I believe 2 and each time it takes a getting used to. DMB shows are not like any other show that I have bee too...where the lawn is the cool place to be and we pity the pavilion.

The first night was at the echo and occasional speak-go-out Tweeter Center. DMB's set was strong with the 2 previous albums, "Busted Stuff," "Everyday"...opening with the recent single "grey street" and hitting some fan fav's and the commercial radio listener's with "crush," "so much to say," "too much," "where are you going"...ending his one encore with "two step."

I saw for the first time how DMB is another band to be put into the cult fan status. Like Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos, DMB can come every year, with or without a new album and people will sell it out! Everyone at the shows know 80 to 95% of the songs and every other person who may not know some sing will soon grow to love it within that same night.

By show #2 I had had my DMB fix, listening to all the albums and even the internet only "Lilly White Sessions." It may have been the venue, one of Dave's "favorite", Alpine Valley, or the environment, or simply the set list it's self, but it was one of the best DMB shows I have ever seen...to the point where I never want to see him again and ruin this memory in my head of a great show.

Opening with "Tripping Billy's," and playing anything and all...even the extremely rare cover of Bob Marley's "stir it up." Other tracks performed were my personal favorite "don't drink the water," "what would you say," & "all along the watchtower" (yet another double cover - written by Bob Dylan and performed famously by Jimi Hendrix). The rest of the night was again filled with fan tracks and some repeats of the previous night such as "grey street," "grace is gone," "crush," & the theme (for me) for 2002 "where are you going."

So where is DMB going? Most likely back in town in the fall with a live album. Most likely never going to take time off and start works on yet another album and tour tour tour. That isn't a bad thing...yet good things do die out fast and at times young. DMB has gotten past the youngness but soon may fear the creative originality may get old and either the true fans start to leave do to be forced out by new fans that aren't into "old" DMB or the exact opposite. My advice...DMB needs to take a looong time off and come back just as they did in 1994 with "Under the Table and Dreaming" and reinvent themselves to be exactly how they are today...making the world wonder, where are they going?

--Todd, Chicago - iownu2@yahoo.com

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