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I have some major league catching up to do on my blog. I’ve been a busy girl this past week and have built up a stack of things to talk about, so let’s get started.

Last Wednesday, Erik and I officially erased some bad concert karma. We went to see Dave Matthews Band (DMB) at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. This was our second time seeing the band live; the first time was at the Target Center in Minneapolis on November 26, 2005 (soooo glad I keep a daily journal!). The Target Center concert was horrible, not because of the band, but because we couldn’t hear the band. A young woman two rows above us screamed through every song until she lost her voice toward the end of the concert. Ever since, I’ve been both scared and eager to attend another DMB concert.

Last Wednesday’s concert made up for the previous one. The venue was a little smaller and the concert attendees around us were polite and kept their cheering to between the songs. Woohoo! (Although I’m not sure why a guy to my left kept periodically shouting, “Go Vikes!” as though it was part of the band’s repertoire.)

The band itself was fantastic. The guys played many older songs, to the delight of the audience. They appeared happy to be performing. Carter Beauford, the band’s drummer, made complicated drumming look effortless. He wore a smile while periodically blowing chewing gum bubbles throughout the concert. He also threw a shitload of drumsticks into the audience at the end.

Dave did his signature shuffle dance, plus he performed some scat that blew my mind. (I wonder if he ever speaks in scat to his young son? If so, do they understand each other?)

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears opened for DMB. Toward the end of the DMB portion of the concert, DMB invited the horn players from Black Joe Lewis to play with them. It was a fabulous opportunity for the Honeybears to show their skill, which wasn’t completely evident during the opening performance because Black Joe’s guitar was the featured instrument.

As I watched the concert, I noticed that all but two of the guys on stage during the DMB portion (including the Honeybears) were sporting mustaches.  It was a little difficult to tell if Boyd Tinsley, the violin player for DMB, had one because he kept whipping his hair in front of his face, but eventually he sang straight into a microphone and I could see his thin ‘stache. The two guys without mustaches were Tim Reynolds, who was completely clean-shaven, and Jeff Coffin, who compensated for the lack of ‘stache with a longish beard. Normally Dave and Steffan go without facial hair, so I’m not sure if this is a new trend or whether the guys are tired of shaving while on tour.

I took a few pics at the concert … very few because we were pretty far from the stage. (I only took 13 pics at the DMB concert. In comparison, I took 138 at the Nine Inch Nails concert in 2008.)

The Xcel Energy Center has a confusing camera policy. When you get your tickets, they very clearly say “No cameras or video.” Fine, I can live with that. I’ll leave the camera home. Except that two days before the concert I got an email from the Xcel Energy Center spelling out the camera policy:

Camera Policy: Cameras with a detachable lens or lens of more than three (3) inches in length are prohibited.  Standard point-and-click and disposable cameras are acceptable. Video / Audio recording is prohibited.”

Okay. I can bring my little point-and-click camera. Until I get to the venue and see a big sign on the door that says, “No cameras or video.” And now the camera is in my pocket and we’re waiting to get in and I feel like a criminal because everyone is being patted down for contraband. Shit. I got past the pat-down, but continued to feel dodgy until I saw the flashes of a multitude of point-and-click cameras coming from the audience. That’s when I decided I could risk taking a few of my own shots.

Audience filing into Xcel Energy Center for Dave Matthews Band concert, Sept. 15, 2010.

Audience filing into Xcel Energy Center for Dave Matthews Band concert, Sept. 15, 2010.

Dave Matthews Band in concert at the Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN, Sept. 15, 2010.

Dave Matthews Band in concert at the Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN, Sept. 15, 2010.

The pic of Dave’s big head on the screen is my favorite of the band because it is the clearest of my photos.

All in all, the concert made for a great night out – except for that criminal feeling. If only the Xcel Energy Center would make their camera policy clear on tickets and at the door ….