What could be more fun than a night of good music, good drinks, mud and of course the Dave Matthews Band? Simple answer. Nothing.
Amanda and I made our annual trek to Alpine Valley yesterday for the Dave Matthews Band concert. Except this year, the venue should have changed its name to Mud Valley due to the muddiness of the venue, which can only be expected after getting doused with more than a foot of rain in the last week. Let's just say we got stuck pulling into our parking spot. And the hillside? Yeah, that turned into one giant mud slide, which thankfully I avoided taking a trip down.
Pre-show activities included our mini-tailgate in the parking lot. Instead of grilling we opted for sandwiches from Jimmy John's. Although the smell of all the other grills surrounding us made me curse my little grill that I left sitting in my garage because it doesn't work. And the Slim 1 just didn't taste as good as a juicy burger would have. So I drank and consumed margarita flavored Jell-o shots that Amanda had laced with vodka.
Before we knew it, it was time to head in to secure some seats on the hill. We walked in, successfully made it down the hill without falling and secured a spot of straw a few feet up from the concrete moat dividing the pavilion seats from the lawn. Then we got to people watch. And lo and behold, but who walked by? Krista's sister. Out of all those people, what were the odds?
The opening band, The Roots, they were OK, but nothing I would write home about. Although they did play this one spiffy tune that involved the melodies of "The Star Spangled Banner" and a few other patriotic songs.
The Roots finished up, the roadie took his sweet time vacuuming the stage and finally, after about 45 minutes, the lights dimmed and the boys took the stage. Let the fun begin.
It was a sweet set list. Take a look for yourself:
Dreaming Tree (tease)
You Might Die Trying
The Song That Jane Likes
When the World Ends
Crash into Me
Stay (Wasting Time)
I liked the new stuff I heard, particularly #27, which totally reminded me of that song from the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" And Boyd? He was on fire last night. I swear, every time that man takes center stage for a violin solo, I worry that he's going to break that poor electric violin. And wishing that I could play like he could. Last night, no different. I was envious. And mesmerized as he dueled it out with Dave during the jams in "Tripping Billies" and "Two Step." The man may not be attractive, but he's amazing to watch. And in Saturday's cool move of the night, they brought out one of their roadies to play electric guitar during "#41." And that roadie? He was amazing. He was so into it. It was cool. In the "awe" moment of the night, I had to stop and smile as I thought of Krista's wedding and her sister when Dave took to the stage and opened the encore with "Sister," the song Krista's sister sang to her during her wedding.
Now getting out of Mud Valley was tricky. Since we couldn't just all turn around after the lights came up and start walking up the hill, there was a major traffic jam. It felt like we were a herd of cattle, moving towards our certain death at the slaughterhouse. Elbow to elbow. Shoulder to shoulder. We were jam packed. There was no sudden moving, not for the little high school girls complaining about being claustrophobic, not for the drunk guy next to me who momentarily passed out standing up and then looked like he was going to barf. Nope. We were stayin' put. And the folks behind us? They were starting to get a little rowdy, so I was glad when we finally starting to kind of move. But that didn't stop a brawl from breaking out two people away from me. Punches were thrown, one guy was choking the other guy, a girl who I can only assume was the girlfriend of one of the fighters was trying to get involved. Yeah, this would be an ideal time for the security folks to get involved before a large brawl breaks out and we all go sliding down the hill in the mud.
But luckily, Amanda and I eventually got out of the venue and back to our car. Sadly, my flip flops were caked in mud and beyond salvageable, so I made the decision to leave them in the parking lot and slipped on the extra pair I brought along. If anyone finds a comfy pair of orange Nike flip flops, enjoy!
Instead of lounging around, and putting our feet up while we waited for the parking lot to clear a bit, we decided to try to head out right away. We got about 20 feet from our original parking spot when we stopped in traffic. And this 6-foot, 7-inch paramedic from Peoria, Ill. came up to our car and started chatting with us. And he was cute. And funny. And there might have been some flirting and I may or may not have passed along my phone number.
We eventually got out of the parking lot and made it back to Amanda's house in 'the burg around 4 a.m. And instead of driving the last 45 minute leg to my house, I crashed at her apartment and caught 5 hours of sleep before getting up and heading home.
Since I was working on 5 hours of sleep, I wasn't so productive today. I didn't clean my apartment. I only did one load of laundry that absolutely had to be done. And I didn't get my 8-mile run in this weekend.
But I saw DMB. And they played some of my favorites, including "Grey Street" and "Two Step" and "Dancing Nancies." And Amanda and I? Yes, we ate, drank and were merry, for tomorrow we may die.
Can't wait for Alpine 2008.