The first full week of the tour is coming to a close and the members of the HeadCount DMB team have had their share of ups and downs. The “downs” were literally, physical downs. Ashton slid down a hill at Deer Creek and got Poison Ivy; Brenda fell down while practicing her ninja skills and hurt her wrist.
The “ups” we experienced over the last week were emotional. They were the kind of experiences that brought tears of joy to more than one person. In Camden, NJ, I saw an act of kindness that exemplifies the sense of community and friendship that develops among Dave Matthews Band fans.
All of you DMB fans know that a drumstick from Carter Beauford is a coveted prize. And you can understand why my friend was brought to tears when a stranger handed her a stick he caught as a thank you for letting him in front of her in the pit at a previous show.
Canvassing through the lots gives us an even better sense of the Dave Matthews Band community. Everywhere you go, you can hear Dave Matthews Band music blaring from cars and you can see the fans getting excited for the show.
The second event that led to tears of joy was another chance encounter with Dave. As we pulled the VW Routan into the parking lot of Bethel Woods (the site of the original Woodstock festival), we saw Dave getting off his bike. We politely said hello and, as graciously as ever, Dave said hello and introduced himself to each member of our group. We told him how much we appreciate his music and he told us how much he appreciates what we do for HeadCount and voter registration. After posing with us for a picture, we parted ways. I turned around and saw my touring teammates wiping the tears from their eyes. After listening to the Dave Matthews Band for years, their first encounter with Dave was everything they’d hope it would be. At Bethel Woods, we were excited to hear the “Grace is Gone” opener and “Grey Street” closer.
Charged with the excitement of our meeting, and with the help of Albany Team Leader, Jeff Simonds and the incredible Shuman family, we registered more fans to vote that night than we did on any other night of the tour thus far. And to top it off, we were treated to yet another amazing night of music from the Dave Matthews Band.
We’ve had different reactions from fans when we ask them if they’re registered to vote. Most people are friendly and appreciate what we’re doing, even if they’re registered to vote. Others are uninterested. Overall, the fans are accepting of our efforts. We’ve met some really cool people and had a lot of interesting conversations.
This week, our Great American Road Trip continues with a visit to Niagara Falls, the Fourth of July, a day off in Chicago, and three more shows!