For 30 days, I will be sharing random stories from each year of my life as the big three-oh looms. Consider it my way of coping.
Picture courtesy of FromTheNorth
I like Dave Matthews Band.
I have seen them live eleven times and, in a week's time, I'll make it an even dozen when my wife and I see them at DTE Energy Music Theatre.
At one point, my casual enjoyment threatened to morph into downright obsession, but I'm happy to say that my cravings are under control and I can now go long periods of time without listening to their music.
(Side story: On the way home from a golf trip Up North last week, my cousin, who brought along his iPod for the ride, apologized that there were only a handful of Dave Matthews Band songs in his playlist. Obviously, I have a reputation. For the record, I do like other bands.)
But there was a point where one of their CDs would stay in perpetual rotation in my car stereo. If you were riding shotgun and tried to turn it off, well, I couldn't promise you would still be in possession of all five of your fingers. Something clicked in my brain when I began listening to their music, and I did everything in my power to devour anything and everything they produced.
I will now pause while you silently mock me.
*Bad elevator music*
Done? Good. Let's proceed.
Out of every album they've released, my favorite is the Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds show at Luther College. I've listened to it so many times that the album has been scratched and sliced, practically beyond repair. In addition to the actual playing of music at the "Dave & Tim" shows, Matthews likes to share zany stories with the audience, which means the concert time usually exceeds three hours. On this double CD, it's no exception. If you have a spare $22 lying around, spend it on this album. If you don't like it, I'll refund your money.*
Thus, seeing the duo live is on my bucket list, but it can prove difficult since, unlike the full band, they do not tour every year. In fact, it's closer to every three years, and the tours are small, usually playing to intimate crowds closer to 5,000 than 50,000. It's rare that a mega-star routinely plays for small crowds, but Matthews is that rare mega-star.
Anyway, one morning in 2003, my friend called while I was driving home from a bachelor party and said the spare ticket to their show at Rose Arena on Central Michigan University's campus was mine, if I wanted it.
I said "no, thanks."
I was dating a girl at the time who was a huge fan of the band, and, in my infinite wisdom, I didn't think it would be right to see them without her.
If there's any piece of advice I want you to take away from this blog post, it's that you shouldn't alter your plans — especially potential once-in-a-lifetime plans — for members of the opposite sex, unless you're married.
Needless to say, I regret the decision to this day, however, my friend did call me when they played one of my favorite songs, so that's gotta count for something, right?
Yeah. I didn't think so, either.