Remembering Boone 2003
By Matthew Reininger
April 9, 2012
On or about the summer of 2000, a pact was made between men (or men in the making, more aptly). If Dave and Tim ever toured again, we were going. Period. We had no idea of the adventure that pact would set in motion three years later.
Sitting in the university library, surrounded by future doctors and engineers hard at work, I found myself on a computer checking for any Dave Matthews related news. That day I hit mother lode. A D&T tour! I let out a far from masculine cry of victory, shoved back my chair, and proceeded to strip my shirt off and run screaming out of the library like I had just scored the winning goal in the World Cup Final.
My excitement ebbed a bit when I got home, actually looked at the dates, and got my first bitter taste of that infamous East Coast Bias. They weren't coming within 1,000 miles of Texas. A pact had been struck though. We were going. Seeing as how we were 20, and broke college students, the notion of getting online and looking for flights never even occurred to us. It was time for a road trip. Given that parameter, we were going to need a Saturday show, so we'd only have to miss Friday class. We discovered there were but two Saturday shows on this tour; New York City (which was out due to distance and expense) and what? Boone, NC? What the hell is Boone, Nc? Like Lewis and Clark before us, we decided we would find out. Fast forward a month or two and it's time to buy tickets. I know, we'll join the fan club. That'll make it easy to get tickets, right? Wrong. Declined. Okay, time for the public on sale. At 9 a.m. I woke up, picked up a phone (that's like a laptop without the screen or keyboard) and was greeted by the first of a couple thousand busy signals. Four hours later, I had someone on the line, a very nice young man who informed me that despite having three in my party, there was a two ticket limit. After promising him my first born son, my right arm, and 62 Texas virgins, he agreed to do two transactions for me and get us three seats together. There was nothing left to it, but to do it.
Over the next few weeks, I spent hours in the library studying maps and atlases instead of my textbooks, meticulously plotting our journey from Austin to Boone. Fast forward to the Friday before the show, at 3am, and we're off. Being from Texas, we were somewhat acclimated to long drives, so before we knew it we found ourselves in Shreveport, La, searching for I-20. This marvelous highway was the passage to the east and it took us through such wonderful towns as Jackson, MS (where we found it's apparently illegal to play hacky sack in a parking lot) and Brimingham, AL (where we found it's apparently a local custom for the employee of a deli to throw a sandwich at people from out of town). Somewhere on that long and lonesome highway we lost the light. We'd now driven sunup to sundown and then some. We were fading. Fast. Then we saw a light upon the horizon. In our less than lucid state, we thought the sun was already coming back up, but that just couldn't be. As we crested a hill, we came upon the magnificent and glowing skyline of Atlanta, GA. It was quite the site for sore eyes, and it gave us the energy we needed to power through the remaining seven hours to Boone. Somewhere around 1 a.m., we stumbled into your quiet little hotel in sleepy little Boone. 21 hours of driving under our belt, we had no energy to party. We collapsed on the beds and slept a solid 12 hours. After exploring Boone a bit, which turned out to actually be a cool little college town, we headed to the venue. First thing I noticed up entering was how large the venue was. Our seats were dead center, but up in the upper decks. Stage seemed really far away, especially for a show consisting of two guys with acoustic guitars. Now, I'd never been to a D&T show, but I always pictured really small coffee shop type venues. This was a basketball arena, albeit a small one. Dave even mentioned the size upon first taking the stage. From the first notes of Bartender on though, the size faded away and it was like we were all sitting around in Dave's living room. The crowd was respectful and attentive during a lovely Pay For What You Get and other quiet ones like The Maker. Then it happened. Blue Water. Surely, we thought, it'll just be a tease, but no. Dave went through all the lyrics and the crowd sat stupefied as D&T flowed seamlessly into Lie In Our Graves. Other highlights of the night, for me personally at least, include a phenomenal Crush and the greatest Nancies intro I've ever heard.
As a bit of foreshadowing, during some Dave speak, Dave mentioned something about it snowing that night. Snow? What the hell is snow? We had to have heard wrong. We get back to our hotel, have a few beers with some people in our hotel, then lay down in preparation of another 21 hour drive.
We awoke, checked out, and walked outside to find the ground and cars covered in some sort of white powder. Was this some sort of prank? Who would cover our cars in white powder, and why was it so damn cold? Oh. This must be that "snow" that Dave spoke of. Being from Texas, where it was 90 degrees in March, we did not pack for snow. So picture three young kids from Texas, in shorts, t-shirts, in flip flops, scraping snow off their windshield with their driver's license (because we don't know what an ice scraper is) while standing in six inches of snow in 30 degree weather. The East coast natives looked at us like were freaking aliens from another solar system, which we kind of were.
21 rather uneventful hours later, we arrive back in Austin, at 6am on Monday morning. Not having class until 9am, I decide I'll sleep for an hour then get up for class. Sometime around Thursday, I woke up feeling like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, wondering if it was all a dream, but knowing deep down inside that it wasn't, and that'd I'd just done something I'd remember for the rest of my life.
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