Although I know Dave Matthews’ body of work pretty well (I have every album since “Before These Crowded Streets”), and I recognized pretty much every tune the band played, only a few stand out in my memory. Was it the contact buzz from all the Mary Jane wafting about us? Probably not, because we were upwind from the source(s).
I think it might be because of what happened outside of the Pavilion.
By the time the show had gotten into its first hour, the lines for the bathrooms had gotten ridiculously long. So what does a person blessed with the proper plumbing do? That’s right, he heads for the woods. So after wandering far enough away from the crowds to avoid any indecent exposure charge, I found a sufficiently secluded spot to take care of business. Then I heard a stirring in the thorny bushes about 30 feet away. There was still enough light to see somebody on the ground, apparently tangled in the bushes. “Can I get a little help?” a male voice said, or something to that effect. “I’ll be right over,” I said.
After apparently tumbling down the hill and rolling into the thicket, he lay there in a helpless tangle, obviously inebriated. I reached into the bushes, told him to grab my hand, and pulled him out of the bushes to his feet.
Once freed from the thicket, he scampered — well, staggered — up the hill toward freedom and the amphitheater and, who knows, maybe another beer.
We were leaving the show, having had our fill of Dave Matthews and adult beverages, walking on the road toward our parking spot when we came upon a young woman passed out in the middle of the road. People were walking around her as if she were just another groundhog roadkill. For some reason, I decided to stop and try to help her. Maybe the previous rescue op had gotten into my blood.
A couple of us helped her to her feet and led her to a nearby picnic table and tried talking to her, find out if her friends knew where she was, etc. She was pretty groggy. Wasted. FUBAR.
Well, along comes a young woman offering to help. Turns out she’s a social worker. Knew all the right questions to ask. The girl had been at the show with her boyfriend who, it turns out, had bailed on her when she got too drunk to take care of herself. What a tool. Yeah, I can understand being annoyed when your date gets falling-down drunk, etc., but to just abandon her on the road? Jeez. What a tool.
The social worker managed to find the boyfriend’s number on the girl’s cell and called him. He came back, though it appeared he did so reluctantly. What a tool.
Again, the social worker asked all the right questions and gently goaded him into taking care of his girlfriend. I just wanted to smack the guy. What a tool.
I told the social worker what an awesome thing she had done, and we all went our separate ways.
I’ve seen social workers in action before, particularly when my dad was ailing and being shuttled between hospitals and rest homes and points in between. They’re the ones who deal with the nitty-gritty details everyone else is “too busy” to deal with or who don’t know where to begin in dealing with the labyrinth known as the health-care system. They are angels.
In the meantime, if I might make a suggestion to Blossom and touring bands everywhere: Make sure somebody takes a look around the place from time to time, to make sure everyone gets out of there alive. Who knows how long that guy would have remained tangled in the brush if I hadn’t answered nature’s call?