DMB rocks NYC

Nancy Provod

If you were in New York City on Sept., 24, you were likely to notice the 17-block long lines of mostly college students along East and West Central Park. The reason: AOL’s Concert for the Schools featuring the Dave Matthews Band.

The three hour event drew in an estimated 75,000 fans to the Great Lawn and raised more than $1 million for New York City’s public schools. Tickets were free, but many fans donated money online to the cause.

Gates opened at 3 p.m. and by 7:30 p.m., when the band started, the lawn was already filled and another 10,000 fans were still piling in. The concert was also able to be seen by AOL subscribers over the internet.

For those towards the back of the crowd who were unable to see the stage, four large television screens were strategically placed around the park. As the band played favorites such as “Two-Step,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and “Stay (Wasting Time),” a light show filled the sky and trees around the enthusiastic crowd. The mass was in for a surprise when Matthews announced his special guest, Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Hayes. Hayes accompanied the band for “Cortez the Killer,” “Jimi Thing” and “What Would You Say.”

It may have taken three hours to finally get to the concert grounds, but the wait and walk were well worth it. The sound was much better in the park than in any stadium around the country that the band has played. Over the sound of the roaring fans, Dave Matthews could be heard proclaiming “I love playing in the greatest city in the world: New York City!”

To the surprise of many, Matthews did not play any songs from his new solo album. Fans will have to wait for his solo tour to hear them live. The Central Park concert was a success and a great end to the Dave Matthews Band summer tour.