Thursday, April 30, 2009

My 2009 Dave Matthews Concert Experience

subtitled: Turn Off Your Effing Cell Phones and Just Enjoy the Show.
also subtitled: Sometimes it's OK to Flirt

As hard as I tried to have a good day on Tuesday, April 28, it just was not happening. I was overwhelmed. It's been a rough couple of months. "Life" caught up with me, and I couldn't get over it. Not even a cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate shake combo from Steak n' Shake helped (but it was tasty and I enjoyed every bite/sip). So somewhere around Knoxville on my drive to Atlanta I made the executive decision that I should just go directly to Alpharetta, scalp a ticket to the DMB show, and forget about my worries. It would mean I'd go to 2 DMB shows this week - a feat I've always wanted to attempt but never had the opportunity.

It was a challenge. First, I had to get myself into a venue parking lot, for which you technically need a pre-purchased pass that I did not have. How did I overcome this obstacle?

17-year-old parking attendant, Lot N: "Ma'am, I need your parking pass?"
Me: "No! What? Oh my gosh, I'm supposed to meet my friends here, I think they're in this lot? They have my ticket to the show! I needed a pass? I had no idea."
17-year-old PA: "Uhhhhh"
Me: **smiles really big and looks cute***
17-year-old PA: "Ok, sure, go ahead and park wherever you want in this lot."

Somehow a few minutes later, I "connected" with a scalper who said he had an orchestra section seat. 5 minutes and $100 later, I was on my way to the ticket-scanning gate. Upon arriving, I said a prayer that I just got in the arena. Even if my ticket wasn't a legitimate seat, I'd at least camp out on the lawn and it'd be worth the effort. After multiple attempts to scan my ticket and gain legal entrance, I realized quickly that I had a fake - and of course said nothing, still hoping it would work. A very nice supervisor came over to assist, and when it still wouldn't scan for him, he took the ticket, and just when I thought I was about to get booted/arrested, he ripped the appropriate end off, and instructed me to go on in and have a great time, with a big smile and pat on the back. I was elated, and think I started jumping up and down.

I had a 13th row seat! Front and center. I was stunned to be so close to the stage. Sitting there eating my hot dog and drinking my overpriced Bud Light, I knew that it wasn't right, and nearly teared up. I was so close to the stage! And didn't want to leave. But how could I, ethically, remedy this situation?

Well. First, I left my seat. I didn't want to draw attention to myself when the real owner of Orchestra 2, Row M, seat 1 came around. Turns out, all I needed was the "Orchestra" designation on my ticket to gain access to the mass chaos that was the Orchestra section. I knew that no one in that section would sit, all night. This worked to my advantage. I waited by the concession stand until the house lights went down and Dave came out on stage (opened with Rapunzel!), then I walked right back to the Orchestra section and implemented phase 2 of my plan: picked a row full of drunk boys, worked my way right in the middle of them, and proceeded to flirt/dance with them so they wouldn't want me to leave.

Surprisingly, it worked! I made friends. The guy beside me was friendly and not creepy, and a huge fan of Tim Reynolds. The guys on the other side of me had the same idea I did, apparently, but got booted when a really nice woman in a super cute Neiman Marcus dress (I asked) took over. We had a great time, the three of us, crammed into the space where only 2 adults should fit. Never fear: I have fully disclosed to my sweet fiance the nature of my actions, and he totally understood. Also, the level of flirtation needed to maintain the seat was minimal, seeing as how a drunk woman was beside me, and the guy to my right was equally as into the music as I was. Hence why I am marrying the most amazing man on the planet.

Was it worth the effort? See for yourself.


I had the most amazing seats I've had since the 1998 show in Birmingham that I attended with Lucas. My stress went away. I sang and danced the whole night. I forgot about everything that bothered me, all semester. They played my favorites! The concert experience was drastically different that close to the stage. I could see Dave's facial expressions without relying on the monitors! A beach ball got thrown over to me! That Dave had touched 5 minutes earlier! No one sat down all night! We all knew all the words! Everyone was as enthusiastic as I was, and it was magical.

Except for one little thing: no one would put down their cell phones! OMG people. Could you try not touching your iPhone for 2 hours? I think it's totally rude when students text in my class - I was ashamed to be surrounded by people who were disrespecting the band (and all of us around) by ignoring their music and texting people, Tweeting, Facebooking, etc. My fiance fell victim to this at the following night's show. It was so entirely disrespectful. I know, I follow the instant setlists on Twitter, and enjoy them - but there really is no need. How about let's start a trend, where we leave our cell phones in our cars while we're at the concert? Know how you can't text or call during the movies? I think the same rule should apply for concerts. It was so distracting to look over to my new friend and see him carrying on a text message conversation. My suggestion to future concert-goers: put down your effing cell phones and just enjoy the show.

I would tell you about the second night's show, when I had legitimate seats and went with Dave, and how we tailgated before with Mellow Mushroom and cheaper beer, and really enjoyed ourselves, but that story isn't nearly as exciting. We were so, legal.

1 comment:

Lucas said...

It really surprised me to see my name mentioned in your post! As I was reading through this post, I was thinking about how great it was to have 16th row seats all those years ago. Great memories :)