It’s no secret that we’re crazy about our Dave Matthews Band shows, and this year, we re-visited our 2010 Achievement of planning to see them at least twice. As it turned out, we got to attend 4 shows on the summer tour, two here in Pittsburgh and two in… Alpine Valley (which is in Wisconsin).
Yep, we scheduled our yearly DMB road trip this year for our farthest-away destination yet, Wisconsin. Why we thought a ten-hour drive would be a piece of cake, I have no idea, but we did have an awesome time. Across the course of the two weekends, we took well over 100 pictures, so I decided to just do a photo blog of some of the best moments of the weekends (even though not all of them are directly Dave-related).
We started the drive to Wisconsin late on Thursday night, and we rented a Toyota Yaris since Bowie needs a handful of maintenance at present. Turns out, we needed to consult the owners’ manual to find out how to use the cupholders in a Toyota Yaris.
Along the road, we passed Joel Hanrahan’s tires…
We stayed in Lake Geneva (beautiful spot, by the way) and had dinner our first night at a place called Sprecher’s. They make their own fountain sodas, like this delicious root beer!
Met up with the AntsMarching kids in the lot, including another Pittsburgher traveling for the show.
Great set on Night 1, including “Best of What’s Around,” which is one of my favorite Dave songs. Other highlights of the set were (a 19-minute-long) “Seek Up” and their new song “Mercy,” which I absolutely love right now.
After lunch, I managed to find us this cute little brand-new winery just outside our resort called Studio Winery. We weren’t sure what to expect from Wisconsin wines, but we loved their stuff! Not too sweet, and they had some great summery white wines (and some cute dogs).
Alpine Valley was truly a beautiful venue. The crowd was a little much, and the lawn scene was a little (lot) overwhelming, but the shows were excellent. N2 featured a gorgeous “Dreaming Tree” with Stanley Jordan guesting on guitar.
Weekend number 2 saw a lot of overlap between shows (guess the band didn’t think anyone would travel between Wisconsin and Pittsburgh on back-to-back weeks?), but on N1, we actually had pavilion seats and could enjoy the show without getting stomped on all night! Here’s Dave at the start of “Raven,” which was played in Alpine Valley, but I didn’t even realize it because I had spent the entire song fending off drunk people who were standing on us!
But my favorite moment of the two weekends came at the close of N1 in Pittsburgh. The band was slated to play “So Damn Lucky,” then “Don’t Drink the Water” to close the night. However, during the end of “SDL,” the crowd decided to sing the chorus of “Thank You”. Eventually, Dave joined in for the nice reprise, and the band decided instead to close with “Halloween” and “Tripping Billies.” One of the coolest moments of any DMB show I’ve ever been to, when the crowd helps the band make a setlist change, and you get that feeling of total unity with the band and everyone in the crowd. That’s why I love this band.
So, summer tour is over for us, but we’re all crossing our fingers for a fall tour to come after the release of the new album. For now, I’ll be listening to the tapes and following the setlists online for the rest of the tour.