The shows in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday were really special. It was difficult to see the videos of Dave, Carter, Stefan, Boyd, Rashawn, and Tim from Tuesday night, especially. "Bartender" as the opener was definitely one of the most emotionally charged versions I have ever heard. While it was performed (by all band members) under duress, the intensity in that place was palpable. It was like you could actually hear the energy in the air...perhaps that was LeRoi.
Are you a Bela Fleck and the Flecktones fan, as well? Jeff has been the best possible temporary replacement for LeRoi during his time of recovery. With the addition of Tim Reynolds on this tour, the band has seemed to have renewed energy like I have not seen from them for years. That being said, I am torn as to how I feel about Jeff now. I kind of resent him, even though it wasn't his fault that LeRoi is gone. I guess it's just that the stage left solidarity will never be the same.
In less than one week I am flying out to The Gorge outside of Seattle, WA for the three shows over Labor Day weekend. I am both giddy and apprehensive about my trip. Until two days ago I was over the moon with anticipation. I think it may be the fact that even though I am enjoying Jeff on this tour, it's under extremely unfortunate circumstances and that were never meant to be permanent. I have now seen Jeff play three shows with the band this summer and only one with LeRoi, prior to his accident, of course. I'll be seeing the first show that is not truly the Dave Matthews Band.
This year has been wrought with changes in regards to this band. Stefan and his son were at home in Charlottesville when his house charred to almost nothing, Dave welcomed the birth of his first son, Tim Reynolds is on tour with the band for the first time since the late 1990's, Nancies.org shut down, LeRoi got into the (fatal) ATV accident, and the fanbase has begun to turn on one another like rabid dogs, and then the unfathomable...LeRoi passes away. This much change could, and probably will, change the course of this band forever. There is a part of me that hopes they take a hiatus after this tour ends in a few weeks. I think it just needs to happen. I have felt this way for a long time.
I love the Dave Matthews Band more than any other band that has ever existed. The feeling I have when I am at shows I chase like a drug. From city to city, and campground to campground...I live for those three hours of bliss. For me, it has always been like going to church. When I am at a Dave Matthews Band show, I am at my very best. I am with chosen family who accept me for who I am. I laugh until I cry. I am reminded that everything is right now. I sing and dance and love like there is going to be no tomorrow. To be cliche, I eat, drink, and be merry.
For tomorrow we die.