I’m a music junkie. Have been since I was just a munchkin. I could probably write music-related posts every day, so instead of pigeon-holing myself and likely boring you all in the process, I am vowing to keep these to a once-a-week maximum. Thus, I am creating #musicmonday as my opportunity to yammer on about the impact that music has on my life. This could be about a live show I recently went to, an old favorite, a new discovery, the music industry as a whole, etc. So here is my first post under this new category:
You know how I said that I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation? Well, I pretty much got one. Less than two days after we returned from Florida, I left the family for three days for Deer Creek Davecation 2015.
I have been a fan of Dave Matthews Band since I was about 11 years old and I heard their first studio album, Under the Table and Dreaming. And in case you’re unaware, Dave fans are loyal and in this for the long haul, so I am still a hardcore and dedicated fan over twenty years later.
I don’t have many friends who share this sort of love and appreciation for the band, but I do have a couple. Falynn and Allyson have been going to Indy’s annual two day Dave concert and camping at the venue for several years. This has always been a special, if not exclusive, experience for them. But when they found out that I love Dave and the crew as much as they do, they invited me to join their little circle.
Ready to hit the road! Even Falynn’s car was Dave ready!
We left around 11 AM on Friday, July 17th after loading up Falynn’s car with our camping gear, coolers, bags and pillows. We made a pit stop at the gas station to pick up ice and some drinks/snacks before heading up to Noblesville. When we arrived, we set up our tents and canopy and chairs and relaxed until it was time to walk over to the amphitheater.
Deer Creek is Indianapolis’s primary outdoor music venue, with a large covered pavilion and an even bigger lawn. It’s changed names over the year and is now technically called Klipsch, but it will always be Deer Creek to me. It’s where I saw my first concert – Whitney Houston, back in 1990 – and I’ve been to countless shows there since. I’m a bit of a live music junkie. I can’t get enough.
Our tickets for night one were in the lawn, so we weren’t in any real hurry to get over to the venue. We hung out, chatting, drinking beer, and wandering the campgrounds looking at what the vendors had for sale. Clothes, jewelry, food, marijuana paraphernalia… you name it. We were all just glad to be escaping reality for a while.
Sitting on the lawn at a Dave Matthews Band concert is a fairly laid back experience. Lots of people dancing and singing and smoking, just enjoying the night with friends. Of course we still have expectations… we discuss which songs we want to hear, what we think will be played during the acoustic set vs. the electric set, what they will close the show with, etc. Regardless of where you sit at a Dave concert, you’re bound to get a good show.
The lawn experience… not too shabby.
Friday night’s setlist was great. The Stone (my all-time favorite) in the acoustic set, Let You Down was played for the first time in EIGHTEEN YEARS, they were joined on stage by The Lovely Ladies and played their cover of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer…we didn’t have any complaints. We also got to hear a couple of songs from the upcoming album, which is always a little different because we don’t know the songs well enough to sing along, but it’s nice to mix things up a bit.
After the show, we hiked back to the campgrounds and grabbed some fantastic tacos from a vendor on the way. We were also approached by an extremely “altered” fellow who had lost his friends and couldn’t find his way back to his campsite. His phone was dead, it was dark, etc. After numerous unsuccessful calls from Falynn’s phone to get a hold of his friends, one of them finally picked up and came to save him and guide him back to his tent. Situations like this are not uncommon. Just part of the territory on a Dave weekend.
We woke up on day two covered in sweat. A hot day ahead, but we were mentally prepared. We waited in line at the port-a-potties (which were especially ripe at that point), brushed our teeth with bottled water, showered in cold water at the tarped “stalls”, and got ourselves ready to go. We gathered our camping chairs, a big umbrella, and a few small coolers and walked to the venue. Why did we leave the campground so early? Because we were the lucky holders of Warehouse pit tickets. Having pit tickets is awesome enough on its own, but Warehouse pit? That meant that we got to enter the venue 15 minutes early and secure our spots on the rail. But to do so, we needed to be in line bright and early.
Even the pit wristbands are festive!
Sure, we waited for roughly 8 hours in the heat, but our time in line was still quite enjoyable. We met people from all over, people who were there for the same reason that we were. Music soulmates, if you will. People of all ages and all walks of life who come together each summer to enjoy whatever Dave decides to share with us that year. The time actually passed much quicker than you might expect.
When they announced that they were opening the gates for us, every bit of energy returned to me. We all calmly walked in a line down to the pit area and were released to find our spots. Us? We were just to the right of center, up against the front rail. As close to the band as you could ever hope to be. Total perfection.
Where we would all spend the rest of the evening, taking it all in.
The setlist was fantastic. Spoon and One Sweet World in the acoustic set, another visit from The Lovely Ladies during the electric set, where they played Stay and their cover of Burning Down the House, and they ended the night (and weekend) with Halloween. I was high on life after that. Oh, and did I mention that Boyd Tinsley shook my hand? Yeah, that happened. And Allyson got a copy of the setlist.
On the walk back to the campground, we reflected on the night’s performance. We also stopped at our favorite food vendor for Falafel and a Pickle, Baby! This guy looks sketchy, but the food is incredible and he puts on one hell of a show when he’s preparing it. We took our food back to the campsite, practically collapsed into our chairs, and decompressed after such an exciting night. Needless to say, we all slept well that night, despite the heat and the fact that we were in the middle of a fairly noisy campground.
Having the night of my life. Oh, and look who’s behind me! None other than Dave Matthews himself!
In the morning, we woke up refreshed and after downing some cinnamon cakes and bottled Frappuccinos, we started to break down our campsite. Air mattresses deflated, tents down and folded, coolers emptied, and car packed. It was time to head back to reality. Back to our husbands and kids and responsibilties. We can’t be wandering hippies forever. But in the meantime, we have our memories.
Until next year, when it’s time to make new ones.