As the last leaves fall of the trees and fall turns into winter, many people find themselves feeling uncharacteristically blue. For some, this condition, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), can be almost debilitating. Dave fans know this all too well, except that for us (SAD) stands for Severely Absent Dave. Every year, at the conclusion of the summer tour we're forced into involuntary Dave withdrawal for far too long. Luckily, my friends, 2009 will be different, as we have a Spring tour to look forward to, which kicks off April 14th at Madison Square Garden. So, what is it about being at a Dave Matthews Band show that can put a spring in our steps and shake up our bones and feet?
Let's start on the highway. Isn't it amazing that despite the traffic and “people in every direction,” no one is developing road rage? In fact, strangers are happily waving to each other, admiring DMB license plates and bumper stickers, and listening to the cornucopia of songs being blasted from car radios. We don't care how long it takes to get there or where we have to park, we just want to immerse ourselves in the experience that is DMB. Walking into the venue on the night of a concert always reminds me of how the little bumblebee girl in the Blind Melon video must have felt when she ultimately discovered other bees to dance with, as if she had finally found her home. Outside the world is cold, but with fellow fans there is togetherness, peace, and harmony. Well, except when that one “radio fan” behind you complains that she doesn't recognize any of the songs being played, and (gasp), sits down for every song besides “Satellite.” But hey, at least she's in the right place. Maybe she'll learn.
And then there's the moment when you hear the song you've been waiting for, possibly for years! Maybe it's “The Last Stop,” “Halloween,” “Joyride” or another crowd pleaser. You remember that moment when Carter hit the first beat, Dave gave a smirk, and you knew right there, that this was your lucky day? And then Dave starts his little dance and you feel that all is right in the world. Singing and celebrating with your friends until your troubles and your voice disappear into the magical night, you realize that there is no other band like this on Earth, and you thank God that they exist. You might even wonder if exposing the leaders of warring nations to some of this music could possibly open the door to peace. Sure, that may sound like a bit of a stretch, but undoubtedly the door of your own heart opens a little further every time you see these guys play. And incredibly, the opening of just one heart paves the way for all others to do the same. So, not only is the upcoming tour the cure for the winter blues, it may also be a step towards greater good in the world. Amazing what a band can do.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.
Author of Serendipity and The Search for True Self