Matthews band warms day
Chill slows the day’s crush of fans but thousands brave the elements
SARATOGA SPRINGS The love story of Brooklyn residents Vin and Stacy Paolozzi started and continues with the Dave Matthews Band.
Standing under one of many tents set up on the cold and rainy Saturday afternoon in the Route 50 main parking lot of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Stacy Paolozzi recounted how the relationship with her husband began with DMB. Vin blushed and fiddled with sausages he was cooking on a portable grill as intimate details of his life were shared.
“At the 2004 [SPAC] show was the first time he told me he loved me,” said Stacy.
They first met in a bar, where Vin tried to chat her up by guessing her favorite band. “Eventually, the Dave Matthews Band came out … and we got engaged two years later [in 2006] on the Dave [Matthews] and Friends cruise to the Bahamas,” she said.
Their three-way relationship with Dave Matthews Band continued on Saturday night, when the band kicked off its weekend performances at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Despite cold and rainy weather, thousands turned out for what has become a signature event of Saratoga Springs.
Sitting at Saratoga Spa State Park under a tent that had only been raised about four feet off the ground to conserve heat, 25-year-old Rachel Matthews of Clifton Park, said the weather was some of the worst she had experienced for a DMB show. “But it’s worth it,” she said, speaking with the experience of a veteran attendee.
Rachel Matthews, no relation to the singer, was with a group of friends who have come to SPAC for shows since they were students at Shenendehowa High School.
Two years ago, when DMB didn’t come to SPAC, it was difficult for the group, said 27-year-old Courtney Zitwer. “That was a hard summer,” she said.
While crowds for Saturday night’s show didn’t match the tens of thousands that typically sell out a DMB performance, the park and parking lots were still filled with thousands hours before anyone took the stage. People assembled under tents, threw discs, took cover with the help of trees in the park and cooked food.
Standing by the park’s Peerless Pool in yellow rain gear fit for a fishing expedition was 20-year-old Chip Dooley, who rode his bicycle from Wilton to the park.
“I don’t actually own any waterproof clothes, but I found this is in the basement,” he said of the coat and pants combination. “I guess it’s my dad’s or something.”
The outfit was perfect considering the dreary weather, which had people dressing much warmer than in previous years. Dooley piled on layers under the slick yellow exterior, saying, “I’m probably the warmest [and] driest person here.”
Saratoga Springs resident Ben Sequeira, 25, flew into the Capital Region from San Francisco on Saturday afternoon and barely had time to catch his breath before heading to the show. There had been the possibility of staying on the West Coast for another weekend, but that would have prevented him from seeing his 29th DMB performance.
Going to the shows started as something of a social obligation, growing up in nearby Schuylerville with most of his friends as teenagers going to the shows. Sequeira quickly became a fan of the music and the unique live performances, saying, “You can count on a different show each time.”
Despite seeing DMB all over the country, he said it has only rained at shows he has seen at SPAC. It doesn’t dampen the show, though, in his opinion.
“People embrace the rain,” Sequeira said, adding that bad weather usually prompts the band to play a rain-themed song like “Don’t Drink the Water.”
Tonight’s show is scheduled for 7 p.m., with Galactic leading off and DMB taking the stage around 8 p.m. Tickets to tonight’s show were still available Saturday evening.