I can’t tell you how long it has been. Actually I can, it has been over 20 years since I last saw Dave Matthews Band. I stopped going to shows when the crowd and vibe started going in a direction that I was not comfortable with. The day before the show Tracy reaches out saying she has an extra ticket to see Dave Matthews at Sunlight Amphitheater the following day and if I was interested in going. I was actually just reminiscing about seeing Dave so I was in.
Never been to Ridgefield or a Dave show recently so this was a totally new experience, I didn’t know what to expect. Traffic going north at five can be a bear and the night of the show was no different. I was going to meet Tracy at the venue since I was never going to make it to her house in time to hitch a rid to the venue. While traffic did slow my progress I still made it to the venue with plenty of time before the show started.
It was funny as I was driving into the lots Tracy spotted me and yelled my name. The afternoon weather was perfect so my windows where down and I could clearly hear her yell, “Hey, Justin!” I parked and we walked to the entrance. The doors opened late so the lines where a little long. Getting through security was pretty straight forward since I didn’t have a bag.
Come to find out the venue had all sorts of delays with the show that evening. Doors opened later then expected and access to the lawn was delayed by at least an hour I heard. The common area at Ridgefield was packed with people just waiting to get to their seats and more importantly the lawn. The venue allows blankets and low back chairs so everyone was waiting in line to get a good spot on the lawn.
Tracy and I had pavilion seats so we took the opportunity to lounge. We got some food and drinks before heading to the lawn to hang out with some of her neighbors. Jason and his wife I knew so I talked with them for a while before the start of the show. Tickets said 8pm start time and no one could tell me if they are late like Phish is. Not wanting to miss anything I headed to my seat a few minutes before 8pm.
The pavilion seats we had were pretty good. It was not worth the $115 face value but then again I am not a Dave fan so for me that was a price to high. The show didn’t sell out that night but seamed close. They just finished a three day run at the Gorge Amphitheater over Labor Day Weekend so I have a feeling many fans skipped this show. Guess Dave really wanted to show some love for Portland by coming to Sunlight.
The show got started pretty close to on time and the pavilion started filling in. The fans really did take their sweet time getting to their seats. I guess because they know Dave will play for nearly three hours so missing the first few songs while standing in line for a beer is not a big deal.
Overall I thought the show as pretty good that night. It started off with a really good song That Girl Is You which was new to me. It then meandered all over the place from really fast songs to super slow love songs. You and Me is everyone’s wedding song according to the couple next to me. Cool…now pay attention you drunks and don’t fall over while trying to slow dance in the aisle. They did a cover from the Talking Heads, Sledgehammer, which was awesome to hear. Then some really rowdy tones like Too Much and Samurai Cop.
A really interesting performance that night. The performing lighting could us some work but it was decent. Looks like the stage setup hadn’t changed in many years. They have a video board that would display music videos for some songs or a traditional light show other times. New members in the band then before with a few old members leaving for various reasons. I miss Boyd Tinsley on violin but such is the way with artists.
The fans are much older now, just like me. It is funny that everyone that was a fan when I started, is now old and still into the scene. Fewer kids then I expected but generally a good crowd. With age comes wisdom and that means not being an asshole and getting drunk at the show. The venue operations could be smoother but whatever. I got free parking which was nice. Access to the lawn was a joke but lots of food and beer options. Getting out sucked balls but after over an hour I finally made it to the high way and a quick 20 minute trip home.
On balance a good show. Certainly not worth the full asking price of the ticket but worth the $60 I paid. If I do another show I think I would prefer to be on the lawn. Cheaper ticket and a better experience, especially if Tracy’s neighbors are going as a large group again. I think hanging out with everyone on the lawn while DMB is playing in the background would be a lot of fun.
Dave Matthews Band
Wednesday, September 4th 2019
Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre – Ridgefield, WA
Set 1 starts at 8:15pm
- That Girl Is You
- Anyone Seen the Bridge >
- Too Much
- Do You Remember
- Louisiana Bayou
- Come Tomorrow
- You Might Die Trying
- Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)
- Lying In the Hands of God
- Here On Out ^
- Don’t Drink the Water
- Write a Song
- You and Me
- Corn Bread
- Grey Street
Set over at 10:30pm
Encore starts at 10:38
- Everyday >
- Ants Marching
House lights at 10:57pm
^ Dave solo acoustic