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  • Eric Rice

DAVE MATHEWS BAND

Updated: Feb 24, 2019

Venue: Gorge Amphitheater

City: George, WA

Date: September 4th 2016






What would you say?


Bless me audiophiles for I have sinned. It has been 0 days since my last concert confession.


For someone with discernible taste in music, you might not think it wise to start a music blog with anything related to Dave Mathews Band; but in this case...you would think wrong. But hey, you have to start somewhere, and this was the earliest concert I had on my phone (from 3 years ago).


Just as this blog represents a pivotal moment where I decided to put my passion of concert-going to use, this particular concert represents a pivotal moment in my life where I decided it was a necessary time for change.


I'm not a fan of Dave Mathews Band. No, not even in college. I don't dislike him personally, I don't dislike the other musicians in his band (aside from the asshole in his band who was accused of sexual misconduct) and I don't particularly dislike his wine. The music just doesn't do anything for me. Then why the hell did I go? The beautiful setting of the concert (The Gorge in Washington state)? As nice as it was; no. I went because my girlfriend of four years wanted to share a live experience of her favorite band with me. I went, because when you love someone there are times when you need to put your tastes and preferences aside for the sake of their happiness. In hindsight, this reflection/realization/idea is a rather serendipitous one... because it is, in a way, exactly why she is now my ex-girlfriend.


It's important to me that you know this isn't THE reason we're no longer together. It's just one part of an extremely complex puzzle and one that happens to relate to a music blog. So uh..fucking TA-DA! That's why it's on my music blog. Over the course of four years, I found myself compromising my own tastes and preferences a lot. A lot, a lot. So much so that I lost myself somewhere along the way. Not an easy thing to come to grips with, but an important thing. I was making decisions for myself and my life only for the sake of maintaining some sort of sanctimonious harmony in my relationship. I was buying clothes at the same place as she did (Banana Republic/Gap...not Lane Bryant or Victoria's Secret...I see you smirking.), listening to some of the same music she did (pop country...Dave Mathews obviously), surrendering myself to mostly eating foods she liked (I should own stock in poultry and all generally Tex-Mex related foods), etc. and even considering buying a house and having kids...You get my point. I hope. My identity was not what or who I identified with. Let that sink in. I didn't like or identify what I had let myself become. That's a hard motherfucking reality to sit with...but a very important realization I'm fortunate to have come to. And this concert was a trigger of that realization. As beautiful as the sun setting over the Columbia River Valley behind the stage was, as good a buzz off the edibles I may have been riding and as nice of company as my friends Shane and Adam might have been; I wasn't where I was supposed to be. That was inherently clear.


Have you ever heard that stupid saying, 'When God closes a door, he opens a window'? Well, that happened, although I'm pretty sure I'm the one who did the closing and opening. The last year we were together, I had the opportunity to make a Super Bowl commercial with my ad agency in Seattle. If you're in advertising, you know what kind of windows that opens for you. If you're not in advertising, you're just going to have to go with me on this one. After it aired, I started getting emails from recruiters who represented some pretty good agencies; one of which I'd wanted to work for ever since I got into the game. I had to make a tough but important decision to pursue this agency. I knew it would mean the end of our relationship as my now ex-girlfriend told me she wouldn't relocate again for my job (again, if you're in advertising...you see the writing on the wall). I told her they got in touch with me because we told each other everything. I loved her. That's what you do, even if it's hard. And then I told her I was going to talk to them...just to see what they had to say, because maybe it would help me get a raise at my current agency. Maybe I'll entertain an offer. In the back of my mind, I knew there was no maybe about this. I was taking the offer and this was the end. When she asked me if I was going to take the offer...my veins went cold and voice went soft. Almost silent. "Yes," I said. I can still remember the look on her face. I watched her disintegrate into tears. That look on her face is tattooed into my memory. The pain we both felt...that was on me. It was on me for losing sight of myself, my identity, sacrificing my passions and letting her think that person was who I identified with. It represents a seminal turning point in my life where I decided to never sacrifice or settle for things, people and ways of life I wasn't passionate about. It's why I'm writing this. It's why you're reading this. And it's why I'm happier now than I have been in the last 5 years. Thank you for reading this. I hope it inspires you to read my next entry or maybe at the very least cause you to examine your own relationships and how/if they align with your identity.







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“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.”

- James Baldwin

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