Saturday, June 01, 2013

Dave Matthews Band (5-31-13) - Niagara Pavilion concert review

Gigi and I hit the DMB show at Starlake last night.  As is often the case, we didn't have any tickets.  And to top it off, I didn't even feel like making the traditional "I WANT A FREE TICKET" sign.  I had the cardboard.  I had the requisite sharpie.  I just couldn't muster the effort.  It being a Friday night w/ perfect weather, I just thought there would be too much competition.  Too big of a walk-up crowd.  And I personally don't enjoy challenging the pseudo-hipster, DMB-BMW driving, miracle seeking hippies.

We weren't having much luck near the main entrance.  So we decided to hit up the corner VIP lot.  Not really much action of any kind.  There were a couple scalpers.  But like I said, the scene was devoid of action.

We encountered a woman who looked like a "stumpier" version of this...

That's Dana Perino (George W. Bush's former press secretary).  There are more flattering pictures of her on the net, but this one seemed to capture the essence of her attitude.

At first she seemed like she was going to just hand over the tickets.  She looked at us and said, "Ohh, how many do you need?  I have some tickets in the car.  I'll go get 'em and be right back."  We figured, "Hot Damn!  That was easy enough."  But when she came back she demanded $30 a ticket.  Ouch.

Her husband tried to reason with her, "If we were just going to eat them, why not just give 'em away?"  But the woman remained steadfast.  She seemed like one of those Catholic school nuns.  The husband seemed a bit taken aback.  The couple actually started arguing about the pros and cons.  I chimed in from the peanut gallery, "Think about the karma here.  Think about how this seemingly trivial decision could impact future events.  This is a moment in time.  Everything is interconnected.  Things are not always what they appear to be."  I started getting a little preachy/philosophical.  Gigi flashed me this weird glance of trepidation - "Oh no, please don't start yapping about stampedes."

Whatever the case, we were quickly knocked down to reality.  No big deal.  So we jumped in a golf cart and this guy dropped us off at the side entrance.  We hopped out and ran into Chuck M. from Wheeling.  He inquired, "Saf, where's your sign?"  He knew what time it was.  But there was no sign to be had.  We were gonna just wing it.

So we ventured back to ground zero (top of the steps).  Cop cars rolled in with flashing lights.  They were escorting a woman out... and she was definitely resisting.  They had to take her down on a couple of occasions.  She looked like a super-haggard version of this...

Older and vastly more seasoned than this pic of roller girl from Boogie Nights.  She may have been a prostitute, but likely hailed from the greater Weirton/Steubenville area.  She was a belligerent ho.  Her veins coursing with Citron, her arteries running rich with gazpacho.  The phrase "ridden hard, put away wet" came to mind.

Gigi made a somewhat feeble attempt to secure her ticket from the police.  I sensed that she was trying to replicate the Amandasar Overmars ticket acquisition method from a Poison concert about a decade ago.  But this effort, although noble and steeped in Starlake tradition, simply failed to get off the ground.

In the meantime, I started talking to a guy who looked like this...

He mentioned that he had 2 extra lawn tix but was going to try and sell them.  We made some general chit-chat (mostly about the woman getting arrested and how you've just got to know when it's time to call it quits).  Gigi momentarily disappeared.  The Jon Favreau look-a-like started walking down the steps.  He looked back at me, just like Mean Joe Greene throwing that kid his towel in the famous Coca Cola Superbowl commercial.

He tilted his head back and said, "Hey man, you still need those tickets?"
I responded, "Fuck yeah!"
He handed me the tickets and said "Here you go.  You guys have a good time."
I thanked him heartily.

Reflecting back on it, I probably should have said... "Thanks, Mean Joe!"


So we celebrated for a bit and then zipped back to the car.
We laughed about the unusual nature of securing the tickets and ate our dinner - grilled pork salad w/ radishes, cucumbers, olives, cauliflower, cheese, flax seed, carrots with a subtle hint of Good Seasons salad dressing.  We also consumed a slew of fresh cherries.
We wound up heading into the show about 4 songs in.  Dave Matthews is always a quality show, but it was a subdued performance.  The set list was fairly unremarkable.  I had higher expectations since it was a one-night stand as opposed to his usual back to back shows.

The amphitheater looked fairly packed.  I'd say about 19,000 or so. 

Highlights for me were a Warehouse, When the World Ends and Recently (second song in the encore).  Gigi scrounged up some Section 3 tickets lying on the ground and we eventually made our way to the 20th row.  It was a little too congested in the pit and I'm an old man (as my Penguins 2013 playoff beard will attest).  Seriously, if Salt from Salt'n'Peppa was in the hizzouse for a thumpin' dinner party, she would have surely said, "Sup, biatch.  Can you pass the beard?"

Speaking of the Penguins, we were at the Detroit Tigers game on Thursday night and saw Matt Cooke jump out of a Range Rover and pick up some tickets at will-call.  He looked like this...

... except he had a full beard.  Not to the extent of mine, but I won't hold it against him.

Pirates ended up winning in the bottom of the 11th.  Who knows, maybe the Buccos will make the post-season this year.  Then again, maybe the Obama administration will address the issue of artificially generated stampedes.  I'd say the latter is less plausible.  Sucked.


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