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25      Dave Matthews Band in Central Park

When we arrived at the 68th street subway stop, it was so packed there was a long wait just to get out of the station. Then we walked a few blocks toward the park at the appointed entrance that was the 72nd street, the whole stretch of both East side and West side along Central Park was closed, instead filled with people who were going toward the same direction — to the Dave Matthews Band concert!

At the initial entrance, there were a lot more people waiting in line to be let into the park to start walking toward the Great Lawn, at where the concert was. A huge crowd was getting in at the same time as we were. It was literally impossible to see your own toes at that point.

There was security everywhere. A girl, in front of me, who was sipping Coke from a can, was told to hand it in because cans or bottles of beverages were not allowed. No alcohol, no glass, no coolers, no backpacks.

We had to walk within a range of security steel fences. The further we walked, the more security we saw. People were having fun, talking, playing hand-games. There was even a girl standing next to me, lighted an aromatic joss stick. It was awesome. But, we had to stay in the line for so long, at least 1½ hours before we got to the main entrance.

At the entrance, we were searched thoroughly. While being searched, we saw two couples handcuffed, being brought to the police cars. Apparently they either broke the law, the rules or simply smoked the grass. I could honestly smell people smoke weed publicly. It was somewhat scary to see the law enforcement standing next to the line and think that they might be smelling the same thing too.

Right at the Lawn, we walked forward to the direction where the stage was. It was huge! There were big screens everywhere. Five minutes later, the music was on. Dave Matthews Band was ready to rock the house. The fact that there were at least 70,000 people who were at the concert, in addition to that, there were people that paid US$250 each ticket to be in the VIP treatment crowd.

From ‘Crash Into Me’, ‘Grey Street’, ‘What Would You Say’, and ‘Stay (Wasting Time)’, Dave Matthews kept us rocked all night long. Everybody was singing along, dancing along and having a great time.

Sure, we suffered back, leg, neck pain for standing for hours in line, standing on the steel bar to have a better view or just to have a little space among the crowd, but it was such an incredible experience to be in the crowd, with the fans.

The sound system was fantastic. The violinist Boyd, the bassist Stefan, the drummer Carter, the saxophonist Leroi as well as Dave Matthews gave us such a great performance for three hours straight, it was massive!

For the record, the concert benefited new york city schools, with AOL and Dave Matthews Band each donating US$1 million. Good music for a good cause, can’t beat that!

Wanna see the pictures?