With three-hour ambient-rock jams and never-the-same set lists, the Dave Matthews Band attracts a rabid, Dead-like following. But caravans of minibuses can’t outpace the nonstop Dave devotion online, where you’ll find the details of every show, downloads of those you missed, and even a virtual concert. ”The live Dave Matthews Band is the Dave Matthews Band,” says Christine Baginski, who helps run DMB megasite Nancies.org. ”What they do in the studio doesn’t compare.” This explains the sites’ focus on live minutiae: For instance, in 1991, where was the band’s first concert? (An Earth Day celebration in Charlottesville, Va.) With a 38-city tour in progress, not to mention a new album, Everyday, having gone double platinum, we join the horde on the Net.
— NANCIES.ORG If set lists from every show (May 23, 1998, Salt Lake City, opened with ”Pantala Naga Pampa”) aren’t enough, this tie-dyed fansite offers a database of how often songs are performed (”Tripping Billies”? Eleven times on the 1998 European tour). Webmaster Baginski also keeps track of improvised lyrics: ”Dave doesn’t always remember the words to what he’s singing.” Details, details. A
— DAVEMATTHEWSBAND.COM The official site has glossy goodies for both new fans and experts, including a historical timeline and diaries posted by the band’s road crew. There’s also info on members’ equipment (a diagram of drummer Carter Beauford’s 30-piece kit) and side projects, such as fiddler Boyd Tinsley’s stint with the Getaway People. But the site feels overly packaged, a studio album in a sea of live jams. B
— DAVE MATTHEWS BAND GRAPHICS RESOURCE The thing to do, if you’re a Dave fan, is (a) go to every show you can, (b) own recordings of the rest, (c) grab cover art for your concert CDs here. Trading — and now downloading — shows is a time-honored tradition and, declares site designer Casey Meyer, ”Dave’s pretty cool about it.” Meyer creates and posts covers for the passed-around classics, capturing the vibe of individual shows. He would know — he’s got 400 of them recorded. A-
— THE OFFICIAL RELEASE LILLYWHITE RECORDINGS CAMPAIGN Last year the band recorded — and scrapped — an album with longtime producer Steve Lillywhite, which remains shelved, forsaken for the poppier Everyday. People who lose sleep if they’re lacking the recording of a good concert took news of an entire missing album hard. Thus was launched this site, a campaign for officially releasing the music as a CD. Sub-CD-quality tracks have made their way onto Napster, but crusade mastermind Pankaj Arora of Rochester, Minn., still claims there’s momentum for a Dave-sanctioned disc. B