I'm not quite sure why, but I haven't been terribly motivated to write an article since I saw DMB a couple of weeks ago in Charlotte. It wasn't that it was a bad show; as usual, they boys were amazing, and I even got "Bartender," and "#41," which are two of my all time favorite songs. But something in me seems to have shifted since that night, and since it doesn't seem to be shifting back into place on it's own, I figure I better write about it.
The first thing that comes to mind is that this year, at least where I was, it seemed like there were many more people who came to drink, drug, and party than really be a part of the music. In the small space where I was standing, I saw one guy disappear leaving his wife to wonder where he was, one man pass out, and a girl pass out, which then left her boyfriend free to make out with her friend. Maybe I have just been really lucky in the past, but I have never experienced this before. Yeah, I have seen the odd idiot who couldn't contain his liquor, but this year it seemed more the norm than the exception. Could it be that going to DMB shows has become another victim of our culture? Has the point become to get wasted instead of connecting to something larger than ourselves?
Don't get me wrong. My husband and I still had a great time, and we danced our little toes off. But, I have to admit, that when you are paying a babysitter, driving two hours each way, and getting just a tiny bit older, going to shows does require a lot of effort. And when the crowd doesn't seem to be in the same place that you are, well, it is a little disheartening. I know, I know, I could just ignore them. But it's hard. Especially when you are person who soaks up the energy in your environment so easily, as most people in the helping professions do.
But on the other hand, going to at least a couple of shows each summer has been a staple for me for the past zillion years. So, I certainly don't want to give it up because of one off night. So, I'm not going to panic. And I'm not going to say anything rash, like I'm done. Instead I'm going to celebrate the other ways that DMB fills my heart. And my ears.
Maybe nothing can mimic the feeling that you get in the midst of a great crowd on a starry night when everything and everyone feels in sync. And yet, when "Granny" flows through my earpiece or "Pig" streams out of my car stereo it feels as if the band is performing for an audience of one. Just me. And when the notes of "#41" leave my fingertips, making the ebony and ivory keys of my piano sing, again, it's just for me. So maybe this year that's what it's about. Me. Just me. And maybe, just for this year, that's enough.
Hayley Bauman, Psy.D.