On the party bus to DMB

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I’ve literally snoozed six times since my alarm started going off and all I can think is, “Is it possible to still be hungover from the Dave Matthews Band concert?” And I think the answer is yes.

A couple of months ago my co-workers invited me to go to the concert at PNC Music Pavilion. They were able to convince me because they spent so much time chatting about how much fun they had on a party bus that took them last year. I had flashbacks to the last time I was on a party bus from N.Y.C. to Atlantic City which ended up with me making snow angels in the middle of a casino and someone getting arrested. Yep, it was about time for a redo.

The funny thing is, I don’t know anything about Dave Matthews Band. Was it just one person? A one-man band? I’m assuming country music? While at work some of my friends would play a song saying, “You’ve definitely heard of DMB before.” Nope, not one song rang a bell, but after committing to the purchase of a $38 lawn seat, there’s no way I was missing out. Apparently, DMB doesn’t go on Groupon.


For a couple of days before the concert, we were all acting like kids who were getting ready for summer vacation. We planned our outfits and what we were going to drink and, most importantly, we talked about what a hot mess we were all going to be. Needless to say, when it was time to leave work, it was like “Recess: School’s Out” around the office.

After having to be responsible and drop off my car, a coworker and I headed straight to “The Teet” (a.k.a. Harris Teeter) for two cases of PBR and snacks. Before I even got out of the parking lot the top handle broke and beers went rolling all over the parking lot. An omen? I think so! As soon as we pulled up beside the bus, I popped my first tab and it was time to play.

We pulled up beside what looked just like a CATS bus except this one was complete with two stripper poles and neon lights. Yeah, buddy! After filling up the cooler, I sat down and noticed a Facebook icon that read “Able Bail Bond.” Designated driver? Check. Bail bondsman in case things go left? Check! And 5 o’clock traffic meant we would be pregaming on the bus from Ballantyne to University for quite a while. I just knew I would be stuck listening to DMB the entire ride. Instead, it was “Nasty” by T-Wayne, “Da Drought 3” by Lil Wayne, Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child. This I could handle.

No party bus trip is complete without playing “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC or “Roxanne” by The Police, so we played both. For those who don’t know, these are songs you drink to. The words “Thunderstruck” and “Roxanne” each are said around 30 times throughout each song. The premise is that each time you hear the word, you have to start drinking and depending on how long they hold the word for. Some unlucky people can get stuck finishing a beer and having to open another one. Sighs, a reminder of the good ol’ college days.

We ended up parking in a back lot and continuing the pregame — that would be close to the last thing we would remember. By the time we made it into the concert, everyone was pretty drunk but pumped for the show.

Personally, I was just looking for the food — even though I had vowed not to pay for food or more than one beer — and next thing I know I was scarfing down a buffalo ranch chicken sandwich that was to die for! I’m not even sure I remember hearing one song after getting back to my group but one thing I can tell you there was way more marijuana at DMB than there was at Drake v. Lil Wayne — take it how you want.

Somehow, I ended up sitting in a lawn chair with my group screaming at the top of their lungs around me. I heard someone from the stage say, “Good night!” so I prepped to leave when I was informed that DMB always does an encore. Great.

By this point I was ready to call an Uber and not take the bus back. I began thinking of my co-worker’s tattoo which is from “Tripping Billies” by DMB, “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” And at that point, I genuinely thought that was what was going to happen the following day.

After not dying, and having the bus drop us off at Montford — where I disappeared into a car to go home — we all decided a party bus was the best investment ever. If you’re looking for something different to do in the Q.C., renting a party bus for 8-10 hours to drive you around is definitely worth it. And you might want to book Able, just in case you need a bail bondsman too.

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