I just read your article on DMB “The once and future fan” [J. Tobias Beard, September 19, 2006]. What a sad story you feel, as do a lot of fans from that time period. It’s hard to wrap my head around your thoughts, because when I listen to this band and go see them live, I am constantly left speechless with mouth agape. I am a new fan, my first show being the Gorge [Amphitheatre, George, Washingon] in ‘04 (only 12 shows to this point, nine from the Gorge). I’m in the middle of the age group at 28 years old. My buddy was pressing them on me for years, but my quasi ADD youth blocked what I needed to be listening to. If I had seen a live show of theirs in the mid ‘90s, I’m certain, I would have been hooked back then. But I didn’t, so what’s done is done. I’ve immersed myself (as many have) in hearing as much as I can from all their phases. My long-winded questions/comments to you are:
Did you go to the JPJ arena shows?
Did you get any of “those” feelings back?
Why can’t fans from that period seem to grow with the ever expanding talents of the band and leave the old stuff to be appreciated, not fixated on?
Maybe if people stopped having expectations of what they want to hear and just let the boys do their thing… I love intimate settings and small-time musicians that you make a serious connection with. Heck, I just love live music in general.
Seeing DMB, (as I’m sure you know), you always get to see a complete show, with the best sound quality anyone can imagine, quality lighting with spontaneity and dramaticism, and five-seven guys ripping their own hearts out for you. Last but not least: the best, most original and groundbreaking complete band, maybe ever.
Yes! His voice is gravellier and deeper—He’s a man 15 years older, who’s been singing his heart out 150-200 times a year.
So, reading your article, saying that your feelings just went away! Blows my mind. I think it has a lot to do with petty pretentiousness, of losing the close connection those fans thought they had with the local band.
Art appreciators always write people off when they turn mainstream. Well, not everyone corrupts when or if they hit it big. Granted I’m totally biased in my argument; I think they should be appreciated and enjoyed through all their many phases as long as possible. What if they all died in a plane crash? Not only would they never make another song. But, we’d never see music performed at it’s highest level, with the most original band in history.
With as little pretension as possible, some disappointment and a lot of hope, I wish you well and hope to see you rocking out on the floor at the Gorge someday.