ruggy told me to be ready to leave by 5:45 last evening. destination unclear. on such occassions i am instructed only on dress and departure. we got on a subway and then a bus across the river, separated by an aisle on the second leg of our trip. i tried to tune in to the general noise of the bus, rather than a specific conversation: are you checking in?-- i hope we hear that-- i want some cornbread--. at various points, i thought we were going to 1) a college basketball game. 2) a wine expo. 3) neil diamond. but then, as we pulled up to the izod center, i heard a piercing soprano tone in the back pipe out so how many daves does this make for you?
WE'RE GOING TO SEE DAVE MATTHEWS i yelled smiling across the aisle. my knight grinned.
we watched a sixty-four year old jimmy cliff roundhouse kick and stomp and spin his way though an amazing opening set, over hot dogs and dave matthews' wine. (no, seriously. dreaming tree wines. click on the link to be whisked to an appropriately dreamy shot of dave enjoying a bottle in the backyard of the vineyard. i'd like to be in that picture, i breathed just moments ago. ruggy shook his head. yeeeeeaaaaah, i think i'd lose that battle. no, ruggy. no you would not. not for all the dave in china.) our reggae enjoyment was only marred once, as i stopped to lean back and chastise the extremely drunk couple just arriving behind us please baby PLEASE i'm begging you i love ya lemme hear the song. the smoke piled higher as dave and crew took the stage.
the thing that i love most about dave matthews: he sings like he's going to die. DIE RIGHT HERE AND NOW. he is actually going to pass out, keel over, expire from a consuming desire for whatever he is singing about. that subject is often a woman. as a member of that gender, i'm all for it. to me, there are a handful of people who sing that way: ray lamontagne, otis redding, thom yorke, john legend, bjork (though her subjects of passion are varied as the fabrics at mood). i simply cannot get enough of that kind of singing. can you call it singing? it's closer to wailing. not that riffalata wailing that drives me screaming for the eject button-- a wail that comes straight from the center of your body and shreds you and everyone lucky enough to be in earshot.
near the end of the concert, the band (who had jammed for over three hours) quieted, as he breathed one line again and again: that's not a star, that's a saaaaaatellite, a soft smile on his face. and although my lungs were pretty full up from the general exhaling of the surrounding vicinity, my heart was clear and happy.