Every June, in Darien, New York, as Dave Matthews fans gather, so do rain clouds.
For the past few years, it's been a consistent drag to check the weather forecasts and learn that one of the best nights of the year will be somewhat ruined by torrential downpours.
This year was no different. It held off for The Felice Brothers' set and the first few songs, and even Dave remembered the previous years' storms and commented,
"It's not even raining yet. Hopefully it'll pick up later, it's like a tradition here."
They played "JTR," which goes, "rain, rain, rain down on me," and the sky must have heard. During "Everyday," the crowd got soaked.
But when people ask me, "How was the show?" I answer with "awesome," only to quickly add, "Well, it poured, but it was awesome."
It's quite possible that the rain itself makes those concerts even better. I've been to dryer shows, and had a great time dancing... but there's something incredible about being completely soaked and uncomfortable, and finding joy and reason to dance and celebrate anyway.
That's exactly what many Dave songs are about. As I danced on the lawn and watched it quickly turn to mud, I heard the lyrics:
Jump in the mud, aw,
get your hands dirty,
love it up, everyday.
So there we were, in a bad situation, and making the best of what was around. Because you can wait forever for the prime weather conditions to enjoy a concert; OR, you can take whatever you get and love it anyway.
Dave Matthews Band has announced they are not touring in 2011, which has broken many of our hearts and began rumors that they are done forever (I do not believe it). So I'll see you in June, 2012, Dave, at Darien Lake.* I'm sure rainclouds will be there as well. I'll pack sneakers, ponchos and zip-lock bags for cell phones; you supply the jams and it'll be a great time. Bring it.
*Well, after I see you at CMAC July 6th, 2010!