Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sweet for Certain

"Celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain." - Dave Matthews

The thing about Dave Matthews, is that everyone thinks they know him. And sure, everyone does to a certain degree. But really, only a particular breed of fans really know, love and pay attention to the intricate and overflowing two-decade long discography of this North-American (South-African born) musical prophet.

Up until about four years ago I really thought I knew Dave Matthews too. Yeah, yeah – the guy who sings “Crash Into Me” and “Don’t Drink the Water”, I thought. I figured he was an Average Joe family man who sang a lot of bayou-lounging songs that sounded the same. Man, was I wrong.

On my second day of university, my new buddy (and now life-long friend) began raving about her long-running obsession with Dave Matthews. It took a long and complex education of his more hidden tracks, live performances and hardly-mainstream gems before I realized that there is so much more to Dave. He is absolutely a natural-born performer, anything but average, uncontrollably romantic, and slightly genius. He, like many greats before him, really IS music.

After my tutorial, I slowly stretched the Dave movement to my close friends and family, and another clump of people who couldn’t hear what was so special were immediately converted. If you feel you’re in the same boat, I dare you to watch 10 minutes of Live at Piedmont Park or Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds (his loyal guitar-playing counterpart) Live at Radio City, and not believe that Dave is an instrument in himself. He sweats and twitches across stage, dances wildly to his own tune, and tells intimate tales in his sarcastic southern drawl – all with the roar of his infatuated fans humming behind him.

An example of a few songs that will let you in on the Dave Matthews secret society are “So Right”, a banging, instrumentally-packed jam with the boys about being crazy in love. “The Idea of You”, a ballad best heard in its live form. His lengthy, boiling cover of “All Along the Watchtower” is intense and notoriously a concert staple. We can’t forget about “You and Me” – a cozy one to pack away and take out on a rainy day.

And finally, for the good of everyone, make sure to listen to “Stay or Leave” with Tim Reynolds, as played live at Radio City Music Hall. Between Dave’s passionate vocals, Tim’s creative acoustic improvisation, and the ecstatic reaction from the seated crowd, this one gives me chills every time – every single time! The guitar and lyrical blend of the bridge – “Remember we used to dance, and everyone wanted to be you and me, I want to be too” – is just about one of the most beautiful pieces of writing you’ll ever hear in a song.

1 comment:

  1. oh Jessssss. Love it. Love Dave. and most of all, Love You!