August 9, 2004

More about the Dave Matthews concert.

The previous post is the main thing I wanted to say about the Dave Matthews Band concert, and this post is a bunch of miscellaneous items based on the big show last night:

1. Dave's harping on peeing in his "register to vote" pitch--see previous post--was quite appropriate for this crowd, because a shocking amount of beer was being drunk by the 40,000 fans crammed onto the big hill that overlooks the stage.

2. When you're sitting on the hill, in the crowd, there are no pathways out to aisles, and the slope is very steep, so getting out to where you can take care of your liquid-related physical needs is quite a challenge.

3. You'd think, in light of the difficulty, that one would buy just one drink and then try to make it through the whole concert, but many of the young men in attendance seemed to see the main problem to be getting back to the concession stands to buy more beer. Now, the beer cups were huge, maybe 32 ounces, so even one was a lot. But, these young men were buying two cups, approximately half a gallon, and carrying them down the steep hill, balancing them on the lawn.

4. What did these men, having drunk so much, do when they had to pee? How did they get up through the crowd, up the steep incline to the bathrooms?

5. Alarming thing I overheard said to the man next to me: "Hey, I don't know you, man, but I'm just trying to look out for you. The people behind you are trying to pee on you."

6. And I don't even want to talk about vomit. I only saw one large pool of vomit.

7. I'll talk about soda. I just bought a Diet Coke. It's a long drive back home after the concert. An hour and a half, not counting the possibly very long time it takes to get out of the parking lot. I want to make the 20 ounce soda last a long time, so I'm dismayed that the young woman who took my $4 also twists off the top and throws it right into the trash. Can't I have my cap? I ask like the Alpine Valley neophyte that I am. No! It's a rule. Why? Because people put stuff in the caps and throw them at the stage. What do they put in the caps? What's the worst thing you might put in a soda cap?

8. I say "parking lot," but it is really fields of grass, where people with flags wave you in and assign you to your spot. There are many, many cars, and lots of people tailgating, with circles of lawn chairs and barbecues and shockingly large piles of empty beer cans. And empty beer bottles, which you can enjoy driving you car tires over as you try to get out later that night, driving around stumbling drunks and cars and trucks driven by those stumbling drunks.

9. And how about the concert? The band put on a good show. I'm not a big fan like Tonya, but I liked the music. However, the physical discomforts far overshadowed the pleasures of the music.

10. Any annoying fans in the crowd worth mentioning?

There was the tall man standing right in front of me in the early part of the evening, who was dressed like a three-year-old (baseball cap, striped polo shirt, shorts, sneakers) and whose ass, which I was forced to look at, twitched, one buttock at a time: his minimal but grotesque way of dancing.

There was the extremely drunk, extremely rubbery young man who danced wildly right in front of us later on in the evening. He groped several women, asked scores of people if they had any pot, and tried to befriend everyone around him by imploring them to dance and party. A favorite move was to turn his back on the stage, stretch out his arms and shout, with a strange, unintended reference to The Who: "Wasted! You're all wasted!" And later: "40,000 people--all wasted!"

There was the young woman who suddenly moved from somewhere out in the crowd to a spot right in front of us and began sobbing uncontrollably. Was she having a bad drug experience? Did she just break up with her boyfriend? Asked "Are you all right?" She said yes and returned to her sobbing. Since she understood the question and responded, I was inclined to think she broke up with her boyfriend.

Then there was the pretty young blond woman who, late in the Dave Matthews set, leaned over to me and said, "You know, you can dance." She went on quite a bit about dancing, noting that Tonya was dancing, and then she grabbed our hands and tried very hard to start a group dance with us. She really wanted to hold hands and dance.
11. Anything else? Back in the stands there was a makeshift "oxygen bar." For $2, you could sit on the floor and lie back against a beanbag cushion with one of those oxygen hoses strapped under your nose and breath some oxygen, like a hospital patient, for one minute.

12. And speaking of beanbag, out in the parking lot, a favorite activity of the tailgating fans, for some reason, was playing beanbag.

13. Cameras were banned, but my new cell phone is a camera. If I can figure out how to get the photos from the camera to the computer and if anything is any good, I'll have some photos later. Tonya sneaked her whole regular camera in--even though the bags were searched and squeezed--so she'll have some photos later along with her own descriptions of things and I'll link to that here when I can. [ADDED: Here's that link.] And a couple of photos in her camera were taken by me, and, when she sends them to me, I'll put one up here, and you'll see, it will be my second Who reference of the post, an homage to this classic album cover.

AND: The anticipated photo did not work out right. There were four young men lined up facing this chain link fence, all peeing through the fence. I tried to catch the display quickly and some people walked by:



Here's Tonya's picture of the parking field debris:



This wasn't the worst of it at all. Here's the parking field by daylight, showing the tailgating. I particularly like this picture of Tonya's because of the American flag and the luscious display of manly, freckled flesh:



And this shows I wasn't lying about DMB fans playing beanbag:

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