About Advertise
Culture, Music
Remember Dave Matthews

Remember Dave Matthews?

by Stanley Zive / 13.06.2013

A post-millennium Bon Jovi. A John Frusciante-less Red Hot Chili Peppers. And now Dave Matthews.

It seems despite our best efforts these bloated, obsolescent bands keep invading our shores to peddle their bloated, obsolescent wares. The Mahalaverse is full to bursting with vitriol for these “irrelevant” acts. We write and we write yet they continue to come and play to packed houses. Perhaps it’s the articles that are irrelevant? And you’re four lines into another one. If you can’t see the beauty in that kind of irony then you’re just not trying. If you can, well, then you probably own too many Smiths albums.

Is there any merit in these articles or are they just another hand in the circle jerk? I know Dave Matthews doesn’t care about this article but should you? Of course you should! Come, I’ll show you. Sit tight, kids. It’s about to get tangential up in here…

I don’t dislike Chelsea Football Club. However some of their fans leave me nauseous. A brief history lesson for those of you not into sports: Chelsea is a small west London club with little to no pedigree. Ten years ago they were bought by a Russian billionaire, they spent like mad, they won some trophies. My nephew is a Chelsea fan. My nephew is also fourteen so that makes sense. But if you meet someone past the age of majority who claims they love football and they support Chelsea then ask yourself the following questions: 1) Did they grow up a stone’s throw from Harrod’s or 2) Is there dad a Chelsea fan? If the answer isn’t “yes” to either then just walk away.

These glory supporters will tell you how much they know about the beautiful game and regale you with tales of how their blood runs Chelsea blue. Talk is cheap. If the Ruski pulls out or they flirt with relegation these fair-weather fans will bolt like rats off a sinking ship.

Why does any of this matter? Football is a mere triviality, isn’t it? Perhaps, but think about this if you’re married to a Chelsea fan. When the honeymoon phase is over and you’re struggling to lose the baby weight from your second child do you really want a man who doesn’t know who Kerry Dixon is?

People express a passion for music with a similar fervour. And, similarly, they call themselves fans without ever thinking further than their nose about music. Or anything. I don’t hate Dave Matthews. I think he’s decent enough and didn’t mind his earlier work. Then the nineties ended and I got over it. What really grinds my gears is the concert going public. I can picture it now. There I am seated at some dinner party while a well-meaning couple with too much wheatgrass in their diet strike up a conversation with me about the Dave Matthews concert. They’ve already bought their tickets. Why am I not going? Don’t I think it’ll be good? And there I am feigning interest, trying not to offend these cretins while my girlfriend kicks me under the table every time someone utters the phrase, “he’s such a talented musician”. The Cape Town Philharmonic is full of talented musicians; when last did you go see them?

If you have all of the DMB’s albums and you know all the words then go to the concert with my blessing. I’m sure you and the nine other people like you will enjoy it thoroughly. But let’s be honest, there’ll be more than a few of you just looking for a night out. A concert is an event. At least that might’ve been true twenty years ago as we crawled out of our cultural exile, but now? An international act playing in a post-’94 South Africa should be less about symbolizing our fledgling democracy and more about the music as time goes by. If South Africans have truly become worldlier then why are we still queuing round the block for Burger King? It’s only a hamburger, people! And that’s what a concert for concert’s sake is. It’s queuing for junk food for the soul. And these concert gluttons are your friends and neighbours. Think about that for a second. These same people making such poor life choices are the same people educating your children, looking after your retirement fund, and voting for your elected officials.

So that is why you’ll find writers getting peeved that Bryan Adams has been here a half dozen times but they’re unlikely to see Ryan Adams. That’s why a precious few are vexed that Cape Town has been named the 2014 Design Capital and yet we see such stiff conservatism in prevailing tastes. Pop culture is a reflection of who we are as a society. Art permeates everything. It’s what separates being alive from merely existing. If we are to push on as a people we need to live consciously. Just because Big Concerts have led us to the water we don’t have to drink it. Stop. Think. Do I feel anything for this music? Can I find a better way to spend the time and money? Do I know more than three songs? Can I name one member of the band who isn’t Dave Matthews? Where was this guy for the last twenty years when everyone else was coming, especially with his South African ties? If you can do this hopefully the rest of your life won’t be just a series of knee-jerk reactions.

And, for the record, I’m an Everton fan.

12   17
RESPONSES (20)
  1. Just breathe says:

    Yes Stanley this article is irrelevant, perhaps I shouldn’t even be commenting on it. But for Flips’s sake dude is the fact that Dave Matthews is touring SA really such a worry for you? If so then I worry for you.

    Thumb up5   Thumb down 4

  2. Andy says:

    Dave Matthews with all that South African connection is only touring RSA in 2013 in the twilight of his career. Kak!

    Thumb up4   Thumb down 1

  3. Rich says:

    Oh come now, is this sort of whinging really necessary? Yes, we get a bunch of has-been bands looking to cash in on a public who are still willing to buy their tickets out of nostalgia. If the market exists, who can blame them?
    This is only a problem if the has-been bands are the ONLY acts that come to SA. And for a long time, this certainly was the case – the 90’s and early 2000’s were littered with the likes of Deep Purple and similar senior citizens.
    But: that’s not the case anymore. Yes, we only get a tiny fraction of what a decent-sized city in Europe has on offer on any given night, but it’s a lot less dire than it used to be. In the last year or two, I’ve gotten to see acts like Little Dragon, Tallest Man on Earth, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party, Eagles of Death Metal, Band of Skulls, and a bunch more I can’t remember – all bands I love, and most of them still too early in their career to reach their peak, never mind ‘has-been’ status. And that’s not mentioning a whole lot of African (and ‘world music’ – ugh) bands that I love. And international DJ’s aplenty – Bloody Beetroots, Steve Aoki, on and on. Alt-J is about to play Rocking the Daisies – they won the Mercury Prize last year. Current enough for you?
    The point is, if you’re only going to look to Big Concerts for your cues as to what live acts are playing, then you deserve to be disappointed. Dig a little deeper, look at who the smaller promoters are bringing out, go to the festivals, and your world is a lot less bleak. Support the smaller gigs and there will be more and more of them for us to enjoy.

    Thumb up21   Thumb down 4

  4. Tomas says:

    Sometimes it just needs to be said. This is a kak piece of writing. I’m not really a Dave Matthews Band fan. That’s besides the point. How about giving this dude some credit. His musical skills are, quite frankly, insane. And how about showing some support for a fellow South African who made it in the scene? Sure, he has spent most his life in The States, but he was born in SA and came back to graduate here, only to leave again because his shitty government wanted to send him to war. Don’t you think, Stanley, that it is also worth a mention that in the last decade Dave’s band has sold more tickets than any other act in North America? Fuck you, Stanley. Eat a dick and leave writing to the fans. This is the most pointless critique I’ve ever read.

    Thumb up7   Thumb down 7

  5. Tomas says:

    Does anybody here know who Tosin Abasi is or that he was in Jo’burg on Monday for a guitar clinic? No? Animals As Leaders, anyone?

    Thumb up5   Thumb down 0

  6. why? says:

    I think people should know that they can’t always have what they want in terms of international bands. Here are some of the real industry obstacles that prohibit the relevant bands from coming here.
    1) cost (The fee in dollar for the top bands that we want right now simply cannot be justified if the promoter wants to cover costs)
    doing a simple spread sheet exercise against some of the fees bands are asking for will tell you weather its a reality or not. As a music promoter myself, personal taste and business are not the same thing.

    2) bands don’t want to come here as much as we think they do. – my friends all say to me, I’m sure x would love to come and hang out in cape town. well they don’t- not because they don’t think its pretty here, but when you are in paris and rome and london and and and all in one week – bands don’t really know or care where they are. and to top that they hate flying long distances out of their ordinary tour circuit, and promoters cant afford to keep the whole lot down here for a holoday

    3) On the topic of circuit we don’t have one. we have two cities who can host shows. Europe and the states have multiple.
    bands will not get on the road with their whole crew for two shows if they can help it. – solutions to this are possible by creating an African music circuit etc

    Perhaps this may shed some light on why we don’t get what we want.

    Thumb up5   Thumb down 1

  7. research says:

    I think people should know that they can’t always have what they want in terms of international bands. Here are some of the real industry obstacles that prohibit the relevant bands from coming here.
    1) cost (The fee in dollar for the top bands that we want right now simply cannot be justified if the promoter wants to cover costs)
    doing a simple spread sheet exercise against some of the fees bands are asking for will tell you weather its a reality or not. As a music promoter myself, personal taste and business are not the same thing.

    2) bands don’t want to come here as much as we think they do. – my friends all say to me, I’m sure x would love to come and hang out in cape town. well they don’t- not because they don’t think its pretty here, but when you are in paris and rome and london and and and all in one week – bands don’t really know or care where they are. and to top that they hate flying long distances out of their ordinary tour circuit, and promoters cant afford to keep the whole lot down here for a holoday

    3) On the topic of circuit we don’t have one. we have two cities who can host shows. Europe and the states have multiple.
    bands will not get on the road with their whole crew for two shows if they can help it. – solutions to this are possible by creating an African music circuit etc

    Perhaps this may shed some light on why we don’t get what we want.

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 0

  8. AT says:

    this article might hold some water if it wasn’t for the fact that the likes of dave matthews, bon jovi et al are selling out stadiums around the world. whether you like it (or are even aware of it) or not, they’re the touring bands of the moment around the world that charge to the maximum limits of local promoters’ pockets, and while i personally might not be queueing up to see them as i would the bands mentioned by rich above, to call them “bloated, obsolescent bands” means you haven’t researched further than your own irrelevant opinion.

    Thumb up3   Thumb down 1

  9. out of touch says:

    I was waiting for a final reason to unsubscribe from Mahala. Thanks

    Thumb up4   Thumb down 2

  10. muddebunker says:

    Props to Everton

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 0

  11. Owen says:

    I agree that it’s a bit lame for DMB to only be coming now, but it’s awesome that they are.

    I love new school, I love old school, I know who Tosin Abasi is, and Animals As Leaders. I also have mad love and respect for Dave Mathews and his band. And I can name every member. As a drummer, getting to see Carter Beauford play drums is almost enough.

    They’re coming and that’s awesome. They’re not playing at the stadium so at least you won’t have to sit in traffic. If you don’t like them, don’t listen to them.

    And I hate football.

    Thumb up5   Thumb down 1

  12. Bob says:

    Stanley you seriously need to give a thought to taking out your bottom rib so you could suck yourself off,
    and prevent that obvious raw skin on your thumb from sitting on your own hand…..
    Your article screams of the nurture you clearly didn’t receive as a child….or unless you momentarily like that chap from trainspotting where you’ve just overdosed on to much amphetamine and you rambling on giving birth to verbal diarrhea …

    Your egotistical outlook is lame…….!!!!

    What an absolute waist of time reading this….nothing constructive……

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 2

  13. Andy says:

    what a waist… ha ha

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 0

  14. Andy says:

    out of touch, you can never unsubscribe, never.

    Thumb up0   Thumb down 0

  15. fred says:

    YOUR ARTICLE IS WAY TOO LONG – BUT IF YOU’VE LISTENED TO DAVE’S DRUMMER , YOUD SHUT THE FUCK UP !

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 0

  16. Max says:

    “The Cape Town Philharmonic is full of talented musicians; when last did you go see them?” good line that.

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 0

  17. Larwood says:

    Never liked him 25 years ago . so…why now? or was it 30

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 0

  18. Babelfish says:

    Personally I find Dave Matthew’s music to be the most horrible middle of the road, insipid rubbish out there. But there are plenty of middle of the road, insipid people out there so good luck to them. But he has a great drummer! So what, Hitler made great roads.

    P.S. The article kind of gives the impression that Matthews is ONLY touring SA. Unfortunately he’s touring the rest of the world too, poor taste it ain’t just an SA thing.

    Thumb up1   Thumb down 0

  19. bebongz says:

    your article is so obscure it was hard to decipher what you meant by your scribble. there is just no angle of thought and plan yet you do have good command of the language but your mind might been overwhelmed by thoughts which never really surficed from medula. you wrote like a chelsea fan!!!!

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 0

  20. Phew says:

    Seems like this country is also plagued by mediocre, self-satisfied writers…(goes hand in hand?)
    @Why? frames this issue from a much more mature and interesting perspective.

    Resorting to insulting a sector of the concert going public is a hallmark of poor writing. Put your ego aside and focus on real issues and your writing will definitely improve (and be more worthwhile to read).

    Thumb up2   Thumb down 1

LEAVE A REPLY

Loading...