Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dave in the Parking Lot

After the euphoria of the Paul McCartney concert, I felt...dazed. I wrote a very heartfelt piece that brought some nice comments, though I'm not sure people knew what to say to me. To be sure, it was deep stuff, but I thought it was time to try to turn the corner. Have I? That's still open for discussion, and I know many of you didn't know what to say to me off that post.

Oh, and enough about Macca's age. He's 67 and rocks. You don't. So there.

Good friends Mick and Gretchen (she on Facebook, him not...sigh...) invited me to come out to Lon Gisland (that's Long Island for those who don't know) to listen to the Dave Matthews Band in concert.

I said "listen." Not "attend." Not "see." Just "listen." In the parking lot at Jones Beach. To me, this sounded like a really cool idea. Think about it:

Tolls: $11
Deli sandwich of roast beef and turkey with mustard and American on a wedge: $ 6.75
Gas: price debatable and not worth calculating.
Parking: Free
Listening to the Dave Matthews Band while enjoying time with really good friends? Priceless.

There would be no contact high in this all-outdoor gathering. The vibe would be great. Little or no crowd problems. It's a total win!

So I made my way out to the Island and we headed off to Jones Beach. It's still a great place to spend a day in the water, getting sun, and people watching. A fascinating cross-section, to be sure. The theater (a fine place to see a concert) sits by the water and is open enough to the parking lot that a lot of people do the same thing.

Of course, a Dave Matthews Band show isn't exactly the Jonas Brothers. You expect the herbal atmosphere, the hacky sacks, the tailgating, and a large police presence. I even made sure to look the part - cargo shorts? Check. Nondescript red T-shirt (Greenwich baseball)? Check. Remove navy Ralph Lauren Polo shirt that I wore to WGCH? CHECK! Proper footwear? Check-a-roonie (sneakers).

The parking lot was initially nuts when we arrived. We had to work hard to find a place close to the theater and for the love of Leroi Moore, can you freaking tailgaters please get out of spots so other people can park? Take a drag on the doobie and move the grill somewhere else!

As for doobies, or whatever, there was puh-lenty of that! Again, I've never done it, so I was a little lost in that regard, but not my problem. I enjoyed my dinner, a few frosties, and some great tunes.

For the record, here's the set list:
1 Pantala Naga Pampa
2 Rapunzel
3 One Sweet World
4 Seek Up
5 Why I Am
6 Grey Street
7 Dive In
8 Dancing Nancies
9 Crash Into Me
10 Alligator Pie
11 Jimi Thing
12 Gravedigger
13 Funny The Way It Is
14 Shake Me Like a Monkey
15 You & Me
16 Time Bomb
17 Two Step

18 Sister
19 Anyone Seen the Bridge
20 Too Much (fake)
21 Tripping Billies

I've heard you don't go to a DMB show for the hits, so I wasn't bothered by the set list. I enjoyed "Crash Into Me", "Dancing Nancies", "Jimi Thing", and "Tripping Billies" (which was around the time we beat the traffic. Not a thing to complain about on this night.

The parking lot obviously calmed down once the show started but as I said, plenty of people stuck around. By that point, the number of people asking us if we had tickets had died, but the atmosphere picked up. A young man joined us for a bit waiting for his buds to show up. Nice guy - fresh out of high school, but when his friends came, they were gone, at least until they returned to try to put the moves on the girls that gathered near us to drink rum and Coke next to us.

Other highlights? Funky clothing (and attractive people everywhere); the couple who drove in on a bike, walked away and returned to find a ticket for an expired registration (the cops must be really proud of themselves for that one); radio station 101.9 RXP stopped by and asked us to pose for a picture; Mick and I snagging beverages from a nearby cooler (shame on them for leaving them exposed); and "goobags" being offered.

(Mick sent me an email with all of these highlights. I'm not sure what a "goobag" is, but he knows, and you probably do also.)

Yet the highlight of the night, arguably of my concert-going lifetime, was this:
"Are you a cop? Are you selling X? You got some E? Those guys over there told us your were dealers. F*cking a*sholes... I'll give you 60 beers for some E or X."

It was another late night, but it was so worth it. Not because of the music - which was great - and certainly not because of the show itself, but because of another fun night with great friends, under perfect weather conditions.

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