Dave Mathews Band

We were up fairly early on Saturday and were on the road just after 9 AM. We drove to Tyson’s Corner in order to go to Macy’s to do some in-person registering for the wedding. Macy’s opened at 10 AM and we arrived 15 minutes later. They gave Kelly a “scanner” gun, and armed with that and a checklist, we spent about an hour dashing through various departments, pointing and shooting at things. Though it was only an hour, it seemed exhausting.

We headed to the food court to get something to eat. For the second time in my life, I had a Five Guys burger. Then it was back to Kelly’s, where my exhaustion had taken on physical concomitants: I crawled into bed and napped for 2 hours.

Around 3 PM, Kelly’s friend Sarah (and company) arrived and we followed them to the Nissan Pavilion for the Dave Mathews Concert. We arrived around 4:15 (for a concert that started around 8:30 PM), and parked in “Premier” parking. It costs $30 to park there, but it is not “stacked” and as I will explain, it was well worth the money. We then spent the next 3 hours under a hot sun, tailgating. There was a group next to us playing DMB music and all sorts of drinking games like flip-cup and beer pong. For a wonder, I chose this day to remain abstemious. (Eventually, I would have to drive.) We grilled hot dogs and ate potato salad and there was a lot of beer-drinking going on, to say nothing of a marathon flip-cup tournament.

Eventually, we made our way in. We had seats in the grass area, decent seats, and as it turned out, not too far from where Karl (from work) and his girlfriend were sitting.

The concert was fun. It was packed. There was a lot of drinking and, er, smoking. The unmistakable fragrance of herbal remedies seemed to surround us. Everywhere I looked (with the exception of our group, of course), people were lighting up. There was one thing that really surprised me. It seemed to me that a majority of the crowd was not there to see DMB or listen to the music (and by majority I mean 51%). I conclude this from the fact that people were constantly talking on cell phones (though I don’t know how they could hear); constantly running off to find other friends; constantly getting lost; constantly hoofing it to concessions to get more beer; and having consumed the beer, walking willy-nilly to the restrooms to get rid of said consumed beer. It was as though this massive audience was a single life form, made up of tens of thousands of cells, many of which had some form of A-D-D.

Occasionally, the crowd would perk up when a specific song came on. I recognized only 3 of the songs played, and one of them was a brilliant cover of “Sledge Hammer”. I wasn’t really familiar with DMB before the concert and I went in with no expectations. I came out appreciating his vocals, but more than anything else, I was blown away by whoever that guy is who played the fiddle. He was incredible. He makes the entire Charlie Daniel’s Band look like five year-old with rubber bands. There were at least 2 solos he did that seemed to defy the laws of musical and muscular physics.

Kelly was ready to leave by the second or third song of the encore so we said our goodbyes and made our way back to the car. This is where the $30 comes in handy. I’ve heard that in the stacked lot it can easily take more than an hour just to get out of the lot. In the “Premier” lot, there were people who made it easy to merge in with the other cars, and in fact, we were out of the lot in under 5 minutes. We were back home just before midnight.

It was a lot of fun. I hadn’t been to a concert in a long time. The venue reminded me of Blockbuster Pavilion outside L.A. We got a lot of sun and heard good music and hung out with fun people. What more can you ask for.