Upon the invitation of my best friend (in town from California), I recently attended my first Dave Matthews Band concert since Woodstock ’99. Sadly, the general admission ticket purchased for me came to $150 (roughly $110 over face for a concert that didn’t even sell out), but my West Coast BFF gladly picked up the tab.
It’s funny how the Internet has augmented the concert-going experience. Want to know the attendance or the set list? Visit AntsMarching.org. Curious how the set list has compared at the venue over the years? Visit DMB Almanac. In particular, I was impressed with the discussion on the Ants Marching forum that ran through and after the concert (Hersheypark may not be Red Rocks, but I don’t understand all the hate. The 3+ hour concert was excellent, particularly with the best performance of #41 I’ve ever heard).
Now, I’m not a DMB groupie. I believe my last DMB concert at Hershey was 1998, and while I’ve always enjoyed the band’s jazz-infused jam sessions, I wrote myself off as more of a Steve Lillywhite fan after their “Everyday” album.
I have made it a point over the years to score recordings of the concerts I attend, though, and I wasn’t going to make this an exception. In the past, I was lucky enough to have known an art director that always hooked me up, but this time around, I was on my own. So, after scouring the Ants Marching forum I came across DreamingTree.org, installed uTorrent, and was off to the races with my first ever BitTorrent experience (thanks to Rockinman for creating the recording).
I ended up downloading a bunch of lossless FLAC files, which, not-surprisingly, aren’t interpreted by iTunes (sadly, it really opened my eyes to how corporations ignore free, non-proprietary formats). VLC Player does support FLAC playback, but I wanted this album on a disc.
With my Toast license beyond expired, I went the free route and downloaded Burn for Mac–a handy little CD-burning tool. As for the file conversion to MP3/WAV/AIFF, I found xAct, a free toolkit that will encode SHN, FLAC, and APE files.
Lastly, I needed to design a CD cover for sharing:
Jam music? Check.