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Remembering That Time Dave Matthews Band Battled Crickets in Dallas

by Rob Slater on August 13, 2014

Sixteen years ago today, the Dave Matthews Band encountered one of the most bizarre circumstances of their career. On a hot August night in Dallas, crickets invaded the stage towards the end of "Jimi Thing" and were so overwhelming that drummer Carter Beauford was forced to leave the stage. In the video below, you'll see Beauford take an angry swipe at one of the unwelcomed guests and then decide he'd had enough.

The other four members, Matthews along with Boyd Tinsley, Stefan Lessard and LeRoi Moore, braved the elements to give their drummer a break. Their answer, which makes this story even better, was to debut "Spoon" for the first time as a full band. This remains one of the most unique versions ever performed of the much sought-after tune and still remains the only Carter-less version of the song (excluding Dave and Tim shows). Matthews quelled the crickets when he asked for the house lights to be turned on after the performance and the show went on as planned.

The Before These Crowded Streets cut would only be played two more times that year before dominating Dave and Tim setlists in 1999 only to disappear in the full band setting until 2003. Watch the events unfold thanks to a smart fan at the show that evening.

Here is a full quote from a 2003 interview with Matthews where he discusses the cricket incident, per DMBAlmanac:

We were playing in Texas once, I don't think you were with us Tim but there were a lot of crickets. There were so many crickets that they were like this deep in, underneath the drum kit, underneath the drum riser and in the kick drum there. Like this deep. All crawling, It was kind of creepy, it was kind of creepy. But then they were like walking up my shirt and they were attacking the drums the most, so there was mutiny at that point. Cause admittedly, I probably would have done the same thing, but there were just too many damn bugs for Carter to continue. So that had to end for a moment but all I remember from it though I had a few in my shirts, in my shirt walking up you know trying to get through my arm pit and but I was ignoring it, because ya know I'm from Africa and I can take that kind of stuff. Yall were like "eww it's a bug!" It's a bug.. exactly! Its a frickin bug man, what the hell's it going to do to you? It's a frickin bug. Anyway this one the most interesting cricket was one that just walked up the microphone and then stood right in front of me right here and just stared at me for the song. I didn't know, you know it was kind of unnerving, you know like when someone has an elastic band, like pointed at you. Even if you know that they're not going to let it go. It still makes you like...but I had to sing and the cricket was right there, he was going "I could, I could jump right in your face, fuck up the whole gig but I'm not, but I'm just gonna, its more fun.
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