Once upon a time in a place not so far from here, 6 men made their way to a small stage at a hole in the wall bar. That place was Charlottesville, Virginia, and the time was just over a decade ago. Leroi Moore, Peter Griesar, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, Boyd Tinsley, and some guy by the name of David Matthews played to the local crowd an eclectic mix of folk/jam rock with little hint of any ballad-driven pop in the future. They were able to take their songs and extend them, little by little and mount together a furious performance of unparalleled musical standards.
Travel down ten years down the road of time and you will find this Dave Matthews Band (minus Griesar) filling up amphitheaters, arenas, and stadiums, with college age boys and girls (the guys trying to get down the girls pants, using the music as a clever medium) and playing some of the more well-known pop songs of the last decade.
“Crash Into Me” is easily one of the most learned songs by frat boys who decide that an acoustic guitar is the best way to break down the door leading into some easy girl’s box of love. So, with the guitar in hand, they go through the stretch of playing the chords and whispering the lyrics of stalking a girl from afar, hoping to one day have her, as in some sort of a boy’s dream.
“The Space Between”, the song which catapulted the band into the stratosphere in 2001, received tremendous radio airplay, and with this excessive airplay came a tidal wave of prepubescent little girls, giggling over what might Dave play next. Ooh ooh ooh. What’s he going to play???!!! OMG, liek, he said he’d haev my babies, liek, OMG! Dave, the space between the wicked lie of “Everyday” and what should have been the band’s best album, but only came out as the 2000 “Summer So Far” hijack, was the massive decline in your ability to write lyrics that require some degree of thought and the startling turn to writing pop song ballads, like “The Space Between”.
So I’m going to see the Dave Matthews Band play at Blossom Music Center on June 29, for the third, and maybe final, time. My faith in the band that got my attention with “Ants Marching” a decade ago is now being weathered by “The Space Between”. Yes, Dave Matthews, you “Did It”. Guilty as charged.