Soggy former DMB fan here

chris graham ncaaStart of the Dave Matthews Band concert at Jiffy Lube Live on Saturday, I’m already fighting in my head with the Dave Haters.

You know them. The society types who write for NYC-based blogs who hate everything, most notably your favorite restaurant, your politics and, for some reason, Dave Matthews, who got his start playing tunes while he was a bartender in Charlottesville in the early ‘90s when I was a student at UVA, hence my reflexive defense of Everything DMB.

I should interrupt myself here: I said I was fighting the Dave Haters in my head at the start of the concert, but actually, I was fighting being absolutely uncomfortably dripping wet.

The mother of all thunderstorms hit at 7:58 p.m., two minutes before the concert was to start, and just as a guy grabbed a microphone to start to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, for the safety of our patrons,” to invite those of us there who had lawn seating to take cover, but a few moments too late for any of us on the lawn to take cover.

We got the all-clear around 9 p.m., but for some reason, the show didn’t start until 9:45, so I’m already a bit flustered, just that it took that long to get started, as we were being told that there was a local curfew that would shut things down at 11:15.

Note to self: no more shows at Jiffy Lube Live, thanks to that dumb local curfew.

Show starts late. Not Dave’s fault. I get that. What I don’t get is that we still got the run of nauseatingly long instrumental riffs on several songs considering that what had promised to be a two-and-a-half-hour show was now going to be limited to at best an hour and a half.

We were at 11 and just getting to Song 10 on the set list for the night, “The Song That Jane Likes.” Nine songs in an hour-fifteen.

Now, I grant this, I’m the odd DMB fan who doesn’t partake in the finest herbs, and my guess is that those who were – all around us on the lawn – were having a great time, standing in the mud, water-logged, stoned out of their damn gourds, mellow AF.

Me, after getting pelted with a deluge on the walk in around 6:30, then dumped on again for another hour, I needed … a helluva lot more.

I mean, it was so bad that I was standing there thinking at length about how the summer picnic season is about to start, and, yay, I get to hear from an endless number of MAGAs who purportedly share DNA with me or somebody close to me about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

Which is to say, the music was not mellowing me out, and indeed was having the exact opposite effect.

After about the third or fourth time that I checked my phone to see what time it was, it was clear that it was time to go, and as the band struck the first chords on “The Song That Jane Likes,” ironically the first song that the band played all night that I actually like, my traveling party was already on its way out.

For me, a first –first time I’d ever left a concert early.

I should interject here: I didn’t know until we got home that a stormwater drain had been overloaded during the 8 p.m. deluge, and the resulting flooding damaged 20-30 cars, according to news reports.

Fortunately, ours wasn’t among them. We’d parked worrying about how hard it was to get out of the parking lot, an issue at Jiffy Lube Live after shows, and ended up getting out of Dodge with no issues, the band still banging away in the distance.

I’d started the show ready to debate the Dave Haters. I didn’t leave a Dave Hater, but it hit me that I guess I’ve sort of moved on in life.

You’re supposed to mellow out as you get older, right? DMB’s music library is the ultimate mellow. I’m older.

Whatever reason, it’s not working for me anymore.

It was a fun ride.

Column by Chris Graham

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