Despite the warmer nights, and abundance of green, it's hard to believe that another year has passed. After a long, and unusually snowy winter, the flowers are blooming, the pollen is flowing, and this weekend, the Dave Matthews Band kicks off their 51 date tour at the Comcast Center in Hartford, CT. Although the fairest season doesn't officially start until the solstice on June 21st, many believe that DMB's premier concert officially marks the beginning of summer in their hearts.
There's always a great deal of anticipation surrounding the commencement of a new tour. We wonder which songs the band will play and how the extended jams will sound. We hope for our personal favorites, and many of us follow the set-lists trying to guess which tracks will come next. Sometimes we are right and plenty of times we are wrong, but we are usually pleased, nonetheless. Both Dave and Stefan have made interesting comments lately that could affect what we listen to live at some point in the future. On Twitter, Stefan asked fans which four albums we would like to hear from start to finish at a show. He then suggested “Before These Crowded Streets,” “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King,” “Under the Table and Dreaming, “Crash,” and then “cult classics” like “Shotgun,” and “Crazy Easy,” for the remainder of the night. Wouldn't that be amazing? Then, in an interview with Billboard.com, Dave said, “I'm really excited about playing this year and not having a real plan other than to make the most of it and...then next year hiding behind a tree.” Does this mean that we could be treated to more rare music this year since it will have to hold us until 2012? Last year the men were promoting a new album which undoubtedly affected what was played. Could it be that without that pressure the guys could truly let loose and fire off some retro numbers that would seriously blow our minds? Or might we be lucky enough to witness some of the new “things that are in their beginnings,” that Dave alluded to in that same article.
Not only are we in the dark about what tunes we may catch, but we could also be very surprised by how the melodies affect us. While our beloved “#41” could bring back memories of sweeter times, it may also find us in a totally different place in our lives, and thus, have a completely contrasting effect than what we imagined. I'm always fascinated by the multiple layers of meaning inherent in Dave's songs, and how new perceptions continually pop forward in unexpected ways. Just today while listening to “You Never Know,” I was struck by a comparison between thinking and dreaming that I'd never noticed before.
And hey, if all of this sounds too cerebral we can just roll out the red carpet with friends, and get ready to stay up and make some memories. Celebrate we will!
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.
Author of Serendipity and the Search for True Self