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Top photo: No, I didn't steal this from work. It's from one of my old Beta SP tapes from college.

I think it was some time in 1994 or 1995 when I was first exposed to the Dave Matthews Band -- I believe it was during Saturday Night Live. I saw this band playing some pretty cool music, and they were jamming all over the place, really getting into it. It was catchy. I got a few of their CD's via the BMG Music Club -- started out with Under the Table and Dreaming, and Crash. But that was pretty much all I had at first.

Toward the end of my first semester of college, DMB played at the Orange Bowl, in between Smashing Pumpkins and the Rolling Stones -- quite a concert. But tickets were $75, which was a lot to a college freshman, so I didn't go -- although I had a few friends who did. In the spring, DMB played in West Palm, but I didn't have a way to get there, so I couldn't make it to that show. I definitely missed what some people consider to be their best tours. But I soon did get a glimpse of their live performances, with the Live at Red Rocks and Live at Luther College official releases. L@LC really opened my eyes to their performances -- it was so different from the studio albums. By this point I also had the other two studio releases, Remember Two Things and Before these Crowded Streets. When Listener Supported was released, I got that too. The second disc of that show probably made me more determined than ever to see them live -- I loved the performance of Two Step.

In the spring of 2000, I was determined to make it to one of their shows that summer. I soon found out I would be in DC for the summer, which conveniently, was one of their tour stops. But I didn't buy a ticket right away, because I didn't know if I'd be able to attend. As it turned out, I didn't think I would be able to. But I woke up on the morning of July 19, 2000, and heard something on the radio about tickets still being up for sale. I realized I could make it to the show after all, and headed to RFK Stadium that night. For $45 I got a ticket in the lower bowl of the stadium, exposed to the elements. It poured that night, and I was absolutely soaked, but it didn't matter. It was a great concert, and hearing Two Step (in the rain, no less), was definitely the highlight. And so it all began...

Back at college, I learned that DMB concerts were taped and traded over the internet. I tried to download them, but my computer couldn't handle it. When I finally got a new computer in February 2002, I immediately started downloading their shows and trading them. As of right now, I probably have well over 160 DMB concerts in audio form. I've made some cover art for some of the shows in my collection, when I can't find good cover art elsewhere.

But of course, this wouldn't be complete without a mention of the 12 DMB shows I've seen since that night at RFK Stadium. I have a bit on each and some of the ticket stubs in the Live Music section. After that first show in DC, my next 3 concerts were in Florida. Then I went to Atlanta, seeing them back-to-back nights of the 2002 winter tour. Then it was to NC for Dave and Tim in 2003. That summer sent me to New York for a pair of shows at SPAC. Then in 2004, I went west -- to San Diego and Phoenix (in addition to a show at SPAC, and one in Tampa). 2005? Well, a trip to the Gorge is a definite possibility...