'06 Tour Stuff
By Jake Vigliotti
May 25, 2006
Blame it on the Fonz. When Stefan said the band was reviewing songs from earlier studio sessions, the collective DMB audience gave a shocked sigh. Of course, the M-bomb was dropped (and was it – that’d be MacHead for those of you in Yorba Linda). I Was thinking another way; someone get them Doobie Thing.
Remember Doobie Thing? It was the band’s first full jam song without words. Yes, Drive In Drive Out was a jam first, and Warehouse barely had words for a year, but Doobie Thing was a jam. No lyrics, just music. And a great catchy tune at that. Doobie Thing came from the time before studio time, when the band would put together stuff in soundcheck (or right there on stage live) and make a song out of it. Doobie Thing, as great as it is/was, never got lyrics to match it. Doobie Thing made only an 8-run stand (ending on 11.2.93), but oh what a glorious run it was. If the band’s going to be bringing any beat(s) back to me, and you, again, it aught to be Doobie Thing.
The fact that an old piece of music reappeared in a later session shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. In fact, EVERY DMB album has contained a ‘previous piece’ of music. To save you the trouble –skipping the obvious on the first 3 albums – BTCS had Pantala Naga Pampa (What Would Become Of Me), Rapunzel (old Jam), Halloween (duh..), Pig (Don’t Burn The Pig), the Lillywhite sessions brought Captain (old Crazy/Captain), JTR (John The Revelator), Raven (old intro to Typical Situation), and Bartender and Digging A Ditch were played on the 99 D+T tour. Busted Stuff of course had practically the entire album already out, and Everyday had Everyday (#36), Dreams Of Our Fathers (Little Thing), and Angel (old intro to Jimi Thing), and even Stand Up brought back Hello Again (04 tour), Dreamgirl (old rift from 97), and used parts of Build You A House (in Everybody Wake Up). So there is a track record for the return of Doobie Thing.
Not happy with Doobie Thing? How about an upbeat song to fit the funky bass lines of Mark Baston (did I just say that?) Anyone remember Get In Line? Dave sure does, he mentioned it in a 2002 Relix magazine interview. It has some harmonizing off the top (like Dreamgirl), a great back beat, and it’s catchy. There’s two pieces of music just begging to be reworked.
But first we get a summer tour. So what can we expect? JTR was a nice return in New Orleans, but that doesn’t make it a lock for the entire summer (or the new album), but it sure would be nice to hear it more often. I’d say we get at least 5 new songs, and they will radically change. If you hear a new song live in June, it’ll by lyrically (and probably a bit structurally) different come August. That’s the beauty of the band. Of course, we’ll hear the usual suspects appearing – or rearing their ugly heads – depending on the tune. Lets face it: there are a lot of songs that fans seem to clamor toward, and others run away from like knights from a fluffy rabbit. There are some songs we the fans love, and some we abhor.
And the band knows it. “(I’m) gonna play it anyway.” Dave Matthews, 10.28.05. That’s how Dave introduced “Where Are You Going.” He knows we don’t like it. Sure, fans will cheer for it, but some fans just yell for everything.
SIDEBAR: I remember being at a show in Hartford, ’97 or 98, and these two chatterboxes were yapping away the ENTIRE show, except when a song would begin. They would both scream in unison as soon as the first chords were struck, and then continue their conversation (it was about Steve, and how he cheated on the blonde, and smoked dope, but she loved him anyway, even though he wrecked her car… in case you were wondering).
After the Angel incident (that’s a nice way of saying debacle), the word is out that some songs are more greatly desired than others. The band’s illuminati know that we like Raven, Big Eyed Fish, Drive In Drive Out, Proudest Monkey, and Minarets more than they thought. The band is aware of that too (or at least now they are), but it ultimately comes down to the 5 +1 (+Ross).
“We’re gonna play what we want to.” Dave Matthews – 9.12.05. Yep, he said it. It even made it onto the 8 disc release from the Red Rocks shows. I hear that and part of me says “Hell yea! Take that Two Step chant!” And another part of me says, “Oh yea, let me tell you about another band that plays what they want, they’re called Hootie And The Blowfish. They’ll be at the Ramada in the Cabana room on Tuesday in Peoria.”
So there is a fine line between making the band happy, playing what the fans want, and not pissing off either side. It’s kinda like being Jack Tripper – keep the Chrissy and Janet happy, fool Mr. Rooper, try and bed Chrissy (sorry Janet), keep away from Mrs. Rooper, pick up girls at the Reagle Beagle, figure out Larry’s last name (I know, it’s Dallas). You get the picture.
So if the band will play what they want to play, can we scream “Halloween” instead of “Everyday” in the outro of #41 and it go unnoticed? Does a SPAC Two Step chant go unanswered? On the other hand, does the band have to play “Halloween” on 6.6.06, just because it’s a ‘scary’ number? Somewhere in the middle there has to be a happy medium. It’s kinda like random 1970’s TV references in items where they don’t belong. One man’s Family Guy is another man’s South Park.
If it were up to me, I’d say we ‘grandfather’ in chants. And signs for that matter. SPAC can have Two Step, but no one else. Wisconsin can bring all the #40 signs they want. Each venue has it’s own little unique thing about it. At the Florida shows, there’s a girl that brings a “Little Thing” sign. That’s OK too. Anything new has to be original... no carrying over chants or signs from one venue to another. Just a thought.
I guess, ultimately the band can play what they want (and should be allowed to), and we, as fans, have the right to feel the need for a song, and yell for it. The boys have been at this for a long time, and they know when it’s right to play the desired song.
Just don’t chant “Machead!”
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