In case you didn’t know it, our whole family loves the Dave Matthews Band. Tami “introduced” me to the band on our first date over 12 years ago (she’s been a fan forever) and we’ve been following them ever since. Lucky for us this is the most touring band I have ever known of – this band pretty much tours every year during the summertime. We got our kids hooked on the band within the past 5 or 6 years. (Not like they had much of a choice since we listen to them often at home and in the car.) For Ryley’s graduation, we took Ryley and Tyler to a Dave Matthews concert in Atlanta about 4 years ago and they have truly loved them ever since.
Ally has been on board with this scene more recently. So when we heard that Dave Matthews would be coming to Orange Beach, Alabama, one night and would play Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the next night, we knew we would be going to both concerts. We wanted to take all of the kids, but with their crazy schedules we knew we could not get them all to one concert, but between the two concerts we felt we could make it happen. All of the kids agreed: Ryley would come home from Auburn to catch the Orange Beach concert with us and Ally, and we would go to Tuscaloosa and take Tyler to that concert since he lives there. So all the tickets were bought and we were ready to go! First problem we ran into is Ryley decided to take summer classes in Auburn, and since Ryley wouldn’t dare miss class, he backed out.
Problem solved! Instead, we invited our niece Taylor to join us. Finally, June 2nd came and we went to the concert with Ally and Taylor at the Wharf in Orange Beach. I was a bit shocked at first, because I didn’t know it was a 2 set concert and Dave actually opened for Dave. He came out and did an acoustic set first, then there was an intermission followed by his full band set. Both were great,don’t get me wrong, but I was not expecting it. I prefer the full band 100%, unless I was in a smaller venue, then the acoustic gig might have been better, but an amphitheater says full band to me.
The best part of night one was a guy a few rows in front of us that was experiencing complete freedom like I’ve never seen before. From the minute he got there at 7:30 until he left a few hours later, he danced like nobody I’ve ever seen before. He danced in the aisles, he danced in the walkways, he danced with the fence poles, he danced with strangers. Words don’t do it justice. It was pure entertainment for Section 202 though. Thank you, Mr. Dancer.
After a good night’s rest, Tami and I got up the next morning and drove 4 hours to Tuscaloosa. Since Tyler lived so close to the venue, we decided to walk to the concert from his apartment. On our way downtown, Tyler introduced us to a cool craft brewery called Loosa. Of course, Tami loved it.
After drinks, we had dinner at a local place called Epiphany. It had some interesting food. It’s claim is that its food is farm-to-fork. We had scallops with radishes and grilled watermelon, tuna with black curry (looked like black mud, but was delicious), pickled pork shoulder, and Orecchiette (corn, bacon and goat cheese). They were all wonderful, but different than anything we had ever had. Good choice, Tyler.
I must say the two concerts were very different although they were just two nights apart. Mainly because we did the first night stone sober, and the next night we had a “few” drinks, but in addition to that, the first night was a beach vibe and the second night was a college campus vibe. They also did two completely different sets both nights. Their encore night one was Ants Marching, which was great, but they did Watchtower in Tuscaloosa which was incredible. Tami was pumped! The songs we were upset that he didn’t play in Orange Beach, he played in Tuscaloosa. We weren’t sure he was going to change the set list, but apparently he does.
Anyway, props to the band for being so awesome both nights! Since the band played two totally different sets the two nights, it was like a different concert to us each night. The kids loved it and if Dave comes anywhere close to us again we will certainly go see him. Some of our favorite songs:
Don’t Drink the Water
Funny The Way it is
I could go on and on, but look those up and see if you like them. This is shaping up to be a great summer. We are off to San Diego next week to take Ally on her “dream” vacation to California. Hope it is everything she has been imagining. I’m sure there will be plenty of laughter regardless.