April Fools’ Issue: A Forum on the State of Dave Matthews

Reader’s note: This story is satirical in nature and published in a spoof issue.

The GW Buzzkill interviewed a slew of fraternities, ultimate Frisbee teams and classic rock enthusiasts (i.e., young people who say things like “Journey is so good live,” or “My dad was right, Tom Petty rules!”) to find experts on legendary troubadour and fixture of American guitar rock, Dave Matthews.

Performing for the past 20 years, Matthews – or the Prophet Dave, as Hatchet Arts fondly refers to him – has been called the performer of our time, and rightly so. With such incendiary tracks as “Where Are You Going,” which Matthews wrote for “Mr. Deeds,” the wildly successful Adam Sandler film, or “Crash Into Me,” which was unofficially named Best Song To Play To Get Your Insecure High School Girlfriend To Sleep With You, Matthews has proven himself an influential lyricist and vocalist.

The sheer populist energy of Matthews’ live shows establish the performer as a force to be reckoned with and as an individual who is constantly reimagining and reworking his art.

The following is a series of interviews with experts assessing Matthews’ impact on the artistic landscape. The experts will speak in a panel discussion, “Forum on the State of Dave Matthews,” on Thursday, April 2 at 7 p.m. Guests are asked to bring a can of Natty Light for charitable donation.

Jake (“The Man”) – Beta Rho Omega Fraternity President

Qualify your expertise in the field of Dave Matthews.

I live in Connecticut – right outside of New York – and because of this, I’ve managed to get to the city for three Dave shows at Madison Square Garden, the sweetest place to see Dave perform. That’s not to say I haven’t seen Dave live more than three times […laughing]; I have. I’ve probably seen Dave, like, at least 10 times. Also, I may add, I was in the fourth row at one of the Madison Square shows.

Everyone in the world agrees that Dave Matthews is the greatest artist of our time, or arguably, ever. Can you qualify this? We as listeners rarely question Dave Matthews, since he is so valuable to music, so could you expand on his value, specifically as a live performer?

I think anyone who owns the Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds live album wouldn’t need to qualify Dave’s value. Still, for those that haven’t seen Dave live as many times as I have, you have to understand: The songs he plays are, like, hard. I play guitar, and I got the tabs online for “Crash Into Me,” and, like, they weren’t easy. Let’s just say they were no Guster song; [.laughing] that shit’s so simple. Dave’s songs are probably equal to a John Mayer song or a Phish song in terms of difficulty level. They’re possibly even harder.

So the difficulty of Dave’s acoustic arrangements account for his quality? Is that what separates him from less evolved performers?

That’s part of it. The thing is, it’s more than that; it’s visceral. You can’t get fully at anything because Dave won’t let you. But when you watch him with that guitar. Wow. Shit’s so good. When you’re standing with your bros watching a legend together, you can’t explain that shit, man, just like you can’t explain Dave. He just is, and he’s just good.

Alex (“The Icebox”) – Captain, GW Ultimate Frisbee

Qualify your expertise in the field of Dave Matthews.

Actually, I didn’t want to say this because I didn’t want people to flip, but whatever. So what if it gets around: My parents are friends with Dave’s bodyguard, so I’ve been backstage at two of the six Dave shows I’ve been at. [The bodyguard] actually told my parents, “Listen, I know what some people say about celebrity going to people’s heads, but Dave’s the nicest man I’ve ever worked for.” He said something like that about Dave, and obviously that speaks volumes.

As an athlete, are you inspired by Dave at all?

Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I always try to channel a slow, acoustic jam while I’m playing ultimate [Frisbee] because it keeps me focused and in good form. “The Space Between” or “Crash Into Me” are perfect for that. My boys and I have to travel for away games sometimes, and one of the bros always pops in the Dave live album with Tim Reynolds at Luther College if we drive anywhere, and we all sit back and take it in. That shit’s gold.

That specific album is pretty influential among Dave Matthews enthusiasts.

Absolutely. First of all, it’s two full discs of Dave, which is awesome, especially for my bros when we’re traveling for ultimate [Frisbee]. We don’t even need to switch to another artist while we’re driving, which is sweet. Another thing, that album was the first recorded of Dave and Tim Reynolds together before the Radio City recording [in 2007], and it includes some rare songs. I checked Wikipedia awhile ago, so I’m positive on that.

As a Dave Matthews expert, what would you consider the most valuable Dave song?

“What Would You Say.” That song’s the best. There’s, like, a harmonica and shit. Or “Crash Into Me,” maybe. I put that on a mix for my girlfriend in high school and she did me. The song’s so heartfelt, and she was really hot, so it worked out.

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