F*ck You, I Like Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band announced yesterday that they'll be dropping their new album, Away From the World, on September 11. Their highly anticipated follow-up to Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King will feature 11 new tracks.

People aren't shy about hating on DMB, but the band's music isn't just for frat boys and hippies. It's for normal people, too, and it's about more than just mellow vibes and hacky sacks. As a longtime fan, I own multiple t-shirts that I wear proudly. Yes, I get funny looks when I wear them in Arizona, and I don't care. (I don't get those funny looks in my home state.) I've seen the band live on multiple occasions, including their headlining set at Bonnaroo in 2010, and every time I saw them I drove at least two hours (and as much as 16).

Bring it on, readers. I am ready to defend your ridiculously negative quips about why you think DMB sucks.

1. Sheer talent

Dave Matthews Band consistently displays exquisite musicianship. Dave's voice is a big draw for a lot of people, but all of Dave's talent aside, let's examine the rest of the band's flair. Have you ever heard a man shred on an electric violin like Boyd Tinsley? Of course you haven't. Wait, is that even debatable? Plus, he makes playing the violin really cool. Stefan Lessard is a beastly bassist, slappin' that thang left and right. Carter Beauford is one of the best drummers out there right now. How is a drummer as good as him even able to concentrate on chewing gum and blowing bubbles while he holds down those beats? Such an ability speaks volumes of his skills. As for LeRoi Moore, may he rest in peace. He could wail on his saxophone like nobody's business, and he did so with flava. Together they've been going strong for over 20 years, and they just keep getting better and better.

2. Epic live jams

DMB is one of those bands that, don't get me wrong, sounds great on their records, but gives the listener a completely different experience when they perform live. They have an immeasurably fantastic live presence. Dave Matthews Band isn't really a jam band, so let's not classify them as that, but at their concerts they truly are collectively a jamming gem. There's a good reason why they're one of the top-grossing bands of our day, and they don't get invited to headline major festivals and events every year for nothing. In fact, DMB grossed $72.9 million on tour in North America in 2010, according to Pollstar. Bands that suck don't make that much money. Alright, maybe Nickelback, but that's it. Just kidding...but seriously.

3. Disappointments are rare

It's probably clear by now that I've spent a lot of time listening to Dave Matthews for a few years...eight or nine years to be exact, ever since my stepdad brought home a copy of Before These Crowded Streets and blasted it throughout the house. There has only been one DMB album that has disappointed me, and that's Busted Stuff. At least that wasn't a sophomore slump record. Every artist has gotta have that one record that just isn't as good as the others...looking back on The Black Keys in a few years from now, that record is probably going to be El Camino, unless they make something crappier in the future. In any case, a good fan has to be able to be able to objectively admit when one of their favorite artists misses the mark once in a while (I love Jack Johnson but I never thought Sleep Through the Static was anything too special). But for an artist to have only one in seven studio albums be just "eh," that's impressive.

Sound off in the comments section if you think I still have more to argue about my point. Remember, just like Kanye West the rapper needs be viewed separately from Kanye West the person, DMB and their music need to be viewed separately from their occasionally easy-to-make-fun-of fan base.

But first, for your viewing pleasure, I give you The Mellow Show, in which Dave Matthews makes fun of himself.

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