December 11, 2009
Theater for the Performing Arts - Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
Instead of launching right into what happened at the private show, I’m gonna give the whole story. Feel free to skip around to what you actually care about reading. I know this is RIDICULOUSLY long...no feelings lost here
So, I’ve been a huge DMB fan since UTTAD but didn’t really start following the band until 1999. As of today, I’ve been to 52 shows, most of them with my best buddy Mike (bigfatblackcat). He’s the same guy who got me into band when I was in college and someone who’s been to around 120 DMB shows. Yeah…he’s pretty crazy. I proposed to my wife at the Cave B vineyard right next to the Gorge in 2004. Since getting married, my touring has slowed down a lot. Basically, my wife Mindy and I have agreed that I can see the band when they come to Colorado (which is not nearly enough) and I can travel once a year somewhere to see them. So, Mike and I got tix to all three nights at the Gorge for this year’s trip (but was lucky enough to sneak in both nights in Vegas at the end of the spring tour too : )
Then I knocked my wife up (again). With a pregnant wife and little one at home, and our family out of town, I had to back out on the Gorge trip, (even though I had amazing seats to all three nights). Yeah…that totally sucked. I was sure that was where I was going to break the 50 show mark. Didn’t happen so I figured that was it for the year.
Then they announced the three night stand of Dave and Tim in Vegas. Mike and I really wanted to go, but after discussing it with my wife, we decided that dropping an easy grand a couple of weeks before Christmas was not a good idea for us. Mike couldn’t swing it either.
The day before Thanksgiving rolls around. I was flyfishing with Mike and our buddy Matt and pulling out Kokanee Salmon all over the place. In the middle of the day, my phone rings. It’s my friend Paige. Paige and her fiancé Kyle are good friends with my wife and I. Very cool people. We also teach at the same school together. We hang out often and have been to a number of Dave shows together (including 2nd row center to Dave and Tim at Green Sunday at Red Rocks). It turns out, the day before, Paige was driving home and listening to Alice 105.9 and they were asking for people’s most mortifying stories for a chance to be entered into a drawing for Dave and Tim in Vegas. Paige calls in and tells her story about how she was working for a catering company this last year for some extra money and had to wait on Governor Ritter. While delivering the Governor his Matzo-ball soup, she got nervous, hand quivered, and she spilled the soup right in his crotch! Then if that wasn’t enough, she tried taking a napkin to his crotch to wipe it up!!! You can imagine the reaction of the Governor and his wife. Actually, they were super cool about it but Paige was so embarrassed. Needless to say, Paige won and was entered into the drawing.
So, the day before Thanksgiving, Paige calls the radio station to find out if they have chosen a winner to the contest. They had…PAIGE WON!!! The winnings…besides airfare and hotel for her and a friend, she gets tickets to Thursday and Friday night’s Dave and Tim show, and a PRIVATE show with Dave. Her fiancé can’t go, so she asked me to go with her! Holy crap, I knew right there that we were gonna meet Dave. Lucky for me, my wife didn’t mind that I was gonna go to Vegas with another woman Yeah…my wife’s super cool (and Paige’s fiancé too!). Here’s the schedule they email us….
Friday December 11, 2009
Theatre For The Performing Arts@ The Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino
4:30 PM All winners meet @ will call
4:45 PM Escort winners to private room
5:00 PM Dave Matthews performs 4 songs
5:25 PM Group photos for winners
*Each winner & guest will also receive an autographed lithograph.
Before the private show
We go to Thursday nights show. Number 50 for me! Great show. If you want to know more, read the reviews. End of meeting some of the other radio contest winners from around the country. Some really great folks. They has us all sitting together in section 104 row Y. We wake up Friday and we’re so excited it’s all we can do to contain ourselves. We’re supposed to meet for the private show outside of will call at 4:30. We decide that we want to get something for Dave...something corny…yet Vegas. So we spend a good part of the day looking for stuff. We end up deciding on a mechanical pig we find at the mall. We dress it up with beads, sunglasses, a Vegas ornament hanging from it’s ass, a monkey riding it’s back, and an “I love you” vegas condom. Don’t ask…Paige’s idea.
We write a poem that says…
A X-mas gift for you from your two biggest fans,
Hope it doesn’t interrupt your Vegas plans,
Be sure to feed it and nurture it, so it can grow healthy and big,
Do change the batteries, give it to your kids,
But whatever you do, “Don’t Burn the Pig!”
We get ready and head down to will call. We meet up with Wendy from RCA and another guy from Red Light (I’m so sorry I’ve gotten your name!). They were both super nice and friendly. They give us each a Pre-Show sticker to put on. All in all, there were about 30 of us. Most/all were radio contest winners from all over the country. Everyone was really, really nice. Lots of Dave fans but figured that we were the most “hard-core” fans. Did meet another couple from Phoenix who I think were huge fans too. Pretty sure that he frequents the boards. Hopefully we’ll hear from him too.
Then they take us into the theatre. Paige and I walk right up to the stage and stand directly in front of Dave’s mic.
The private show
Dave walks out on stage and immediately jumps down right into the middle of all of us and starts introducing himself and shaking our hands. WOW! What a cool guy. Dave could have soooo easily just come out, said a few words, played his four songs (like the schedule said) and left. But no, Dave was doin this on his own terms. So he hangs out for a few minutes chatting with all of us, then gets up on stage. Lots of chatting…funny. Finally walks over to the piano and starts to play…
After the Goldrush – Neil Young. Maybe played for a minute or so. No lyrics. Then he gets up and wanders over to the barstool and picks up his guitar.
New Song – Only thing I remember is the word Hurricane in it. Something about writing it during Hurricane season or something. Medium paced with great lyrics. Sings a verse of it, stops, plays around with it. Messes around some more and takes us through his song writing process. Plays the bridge one way, then a bit different. He’s not sure yet how he’s gonna do it. Jokes about how’ll he’ll probably end up eventually screwing the whole thing up by the time he’s done with it. I ask him, “what are you calling it?” He says he doesn’t know yet but he’ll figure it out eventually.
Rye Whiskey – at this point I realize everyone is just snapping pics (no flash) and recording with their cameras. I bust mine out and record most of it.
Points to a guy and says “hey, we haven’t met yet.” Guess he missed him on the initial introductions. Dave says, “we’re gonna meet.” Walks over and introduces himself and shakes his hand a song later.
Squirm – DAMN…I love this song! My favorite off of the BWGGK album. I’m freaking out. Recorded the whole thing. Stops a bit, says something about the sound going in and out. Jumps back into it.
#40 (tease)-One girl said something about #40 and he strummed it a few times…can’t remember when this was. He did say something about how the words change every time and that people want him to play a specific version (reminded me of what he said in the BWGGK documentary footage).
Christmas Song – Partial. Entire first verse and then into the some of the second. Stopped at some point and then started chattin’ it up with the girl behind us. She said she didn’t like X-mas song, he was giving her a hard time about it (in a good way). Said he wouldn’t play it until N3 because his friend Eileen from LA was coming to N3 and that she really wanted to hear it. He also went off about the story of Mary as a whore and that she was actually a business woman. Totally delved into religion, a book he read, and was just genuinely nice and funny. How you would imagine Dave to be.
I’ll Back You Up- Starts by saying that the girl who he wrote this about “really destroyed me!” But he loves the song anyways. Recorded the whole thing
Road – Danny Barnes cover. Plays and sings a bit of this. Talked about how he tries not to swear much at home because of the kids. His son loves this song and sings it. Dave did an impression…funny.
Dave leaves the stage and comes down to do pictures. They tell us that we’re gonna do them in three groups of ten. People start to line up and Dave says no. We’re doing them in pairs! Yeah…Dave is flipping cool.
Paige and I get up there. We give him the pig. He says something like “that pig is all tricked out Vegas style!” We show him the ornament on its ass and where the poem is stashed so he can read it later. Paige gives him her “Save the Date.” It’s taken at Red Rocks. She says, “it’s at Red Rocks.” He says he knows it’s at Red Rocks. He puts it in his pocket. He signs another Save for Date for her and her fiancé Kyle. I say to him that he and Tim really ought to do a full show at Red Rocks. He says that they have actually thought about that before. We get a bunch of pics with him. He signs both of our tickets to Friday nights show. We say goodbye and leave. On our way out they hand us a signed “You and Me” lithograph poster.
Other notes - There was also a woman there (must have been with the band) who video recorded the whole thing and who took "professional" pics with us and Dave. Wendy (from RCA) is gonna email all of us the professional pics. I'm planning on asking her if there is any way we can get a copy of what they video taped (so cross your fingers!!!).
Thanks for reading one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll post my vids up soon and some pix to this thread. Paige took most of the pictures so it probably won’t be until tomorrow for those. Also have some of the other contest winners email addresses so we’re gonna exchange vids and pics too. I’ll keep you updated if I get anything really good.
Thank you to everyone that made this possible. Paige for thinking of me and taking me with her on this amazing experience. My wife, Mindy, for allowing me to go without her and with another woman! Lily for letting her Daddy go too. Kyle for letting me go with his fiancé (I hope Dave stops by your wedding next summer buddy). Dave for just being so damn cool, gracious, and so real and normal. Red Light and RCA for doing something like this. I hope that because this went so well that you’ll decide to give some other fans the same chance we had (maybe WH members next time?) Slacker and Steve and Alice 105.9. I can’t repay any of you enough.
Peace and love to all.