Remembering Manchester 2010
By Michael Fisch
April 18, 2012
It was October 19th 2009. This was the day that I received an email that Dave Matthews Band was playing a spring tour in Europe. At this point I had seen a lot of shows in the United States and thought it would be fun to try to do a show in Europe.
Looking at the dates I had a buddy who lived in Germany and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to visit him and see a show however the idea of going to London and Manchester sounded fun as well. I talked to my buddy in Germany and he said he would meet us in London.
I remember waking up at about 3AM in the morning to get the tickets for both the London show at the O2 and the show in Manchester. 5 short months later it was time to head across the pond. It was my first trip to Europe and only my second time that I had ever left the country and really had no idea what to expect.
Before the show in London my girlfriend (fiancé now) and I met up with my buddy from Germany as well as some other ants that I had never met before at a bar in London. We then went to the show at the O2 and had a great time. It was nothing that special though as it just felt like any indoor show in the United States. The next night was something completely different.
We traveled by train the next morning up to Manchester England. It was about 3PM when we arrived and after checking into the hotel we figured why not head over to the venue. We took a quick cab and there it was. It was a general admission venue and we thought there would be a lot of people lined up but when we got there only about 10 people were in line. There was a bar really close but we decided to just stand in the line. We knew we would end up with an amazing spot and unlike the USA we did not have to sleep outside overnight to get it.
4 Hours went by and luckily it was the only semi warm day that we were in Europe but as the sun went down and it started to get cold we were ready to go! Somehow of course some randoms got in front of us before the doors opened but we were excited and to get inside and grab a spot. The doors opened and we headed in. Once we got in the front middle rail was quickly grabbed and we were a little to the right on Stefan’s side and railed. Being in the front and looking back it was amazing just how small the venue was. I could not imagine seeing them in a place so small in the USA. Dave came out to introduce Alberta Cross and it just seemed insane how close he was from where I was standing.
Finally Alberta Cross was done and it was time for the boys to hit the stage. When they finally came out it seemed crazy to see them so close up. I have had decent seats before at shows but seeing them this close was unreal. Just watching the interaction between all of them throughout the show was incredible.
They opened with Proudest Monkey and Satellite which was a nice slow way to start the show up; watching them from so close was a different kind of experience.
The highlight of the show for me was an amazing performance of Sugar Will a song that I actually could not stand when it first came around in 2004. There was a little hook that was added in the chorus and after hearing it the previous night in London I was really happy to hear it again. As of now that was the last time it had been played and I think it needs to come back especially if it stays in its seven and half minute length instead of the way too long versions in 2004. Other highlights were #41 and a great So Much To Say>Anyone Seen The Bridge>Too Much Fake>Ants to end the set.
As the set ended I was ready for a drum stick. In the past I had my hands on one before but it got away. Ants ended and Carter was walking to the front of the stage. I was waving my hands like a mad man. He looked right at me and underhanded it right to me. Luckily I was able to catch it and did not have one of those horrible drops. The Drum stick had all of the evidence of Carter just going nuts during Ants. At this point I could not be any happier.
The encore starts and after a nice quiet Baby Blue they play Two Step. During the show I had taken so many pictures that my camera was now dead which was a blessing so I could just watch Carter going crazy and not worry about taking pictures. The song finally ended and the band headed off the stage. Everyone started heading out and as the crew started to clear stuff from the stage I asked one of the guys on stage if he had a set list. He did and tossed it my way. I could not believe it, my first stick from Carter and my first set list all in one amazing night where I was front row for the first time.
Overall it was an amazing experience and I definitely recommend a trip across the pond if they play another Europe tour in the future!
The views and comments expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of antsmarching.org.