Dave Matthews Band At Alpine Valley

Achievement: #77. See DMB at Least Twice

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).

Dave Matthews Band Week
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.

Dave Matthews Band Week
First stop on the Ohio Turnpike, where I purchased a smooshed penny reading “Ohio Truckers.”

Dave Matthews Band Week
Rolled into Toledo at 4am and got a hotel for a few hours to nap. 8am Friday morning, we were up and ready to finish the drive!

Dave Matthews Band Week
Along the road, we passed Joel Hanrahan’s tires…

Dave Matthews Band Week
…and took our Terrible Towels everywhere.

Dave Matthews Band Week
Wisconsin! If you weren’t paying total attention, you’d have no idea you entered the state!

Dave Matthews Band Week
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!

Dave Matthews Band Week
Met up with the AntsMarching kids in the lot, including another Pittsburgher traveling for the show.

Dave Matthews Band Week
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.

Dave Matthews Band Week
After the show, I made everyone hush puppies (toted my deep fryer all the way to Wisconsin!).

Dave Matthews Band Week
The next morning, we got up and went for a horseback ride at Dan Patch Stables, which was right on the resort where we were staying!

Dave Matthews Band Week
Me on my horsie 🙂

Dave Matthews Band Week
Boys will be boys. They see a tractor, and they have to ride it haha.

Dave Matthews Band Week
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).

Dave Matthews Band Week
We also explored the gorgeous lakefront area. It was waaaay too hot that weekend (103 on Friday, 96 on Saturday!), but the scenery was lovely.

Dave Matthews Band Week
This was one of our landmarks while driving around Lake Geneva, and we decided it was pretty accurate for what we were seeing at the concert (we declare that bros gettin drunk = brunk).

Dave Matthews Band Week
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.

Dave Matthews Band Week
That’s my fence. I thought this fence would save me from bros. Instead, it just trapped me in with them, like little cows in a pen. A sweaty, smelly, beer-spilling pen.

Dave Matthews Band Week
The weekend closed with “Thank You,” in which Dave stole Tim’s sunglasses (never fear, Tim had an extra pair on hand).

Dave Matthews Band Week
Got stuck in traffic on the drive home, but it allowed us to take this awesome picture of a place called Fangboner Road.

Dave Matthews Band Week
And at a rest stop in Indiana, I purchased this elegant bear-shaped wine bottle holder, who we lovingly named Bear Tinsley. You know, because I’m nothing if not classy…

Dave Matthews Band Week
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!

Dave Matthews Band Week
Got to hear the beautiful “Mercy” once again. To say I’m pumped for the album release in September would be an understatement.

Dave Matthews Band Week
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.

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Filed under #77, #77-12, concert, dave matthews band, music, road trip, travel, wine, wine tasting

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