For anybody who’s ever been a collector, there are holy grail items.
A fearless skydiver might target an altitude so high that he breaks the sound barrier coming back down, for example.
Someone who collects baseball cards might look at a T206 Honus Wagner with googly eyes.
This concept – collecting things or crossing off of a list until you’ve grabbed them all – has entered our vernacular as a “bucket list,” thanks to the 2008 movie of same name.
But, specific to a particular collection or obsession, what happens when you cross everything off your list?
I never made such a list when it comes to Dave Matthews Band, but I’ve spent an excessive amount of time, money, energy and Daily Republic ink on the group.
However, I’ve reached a point in my relationship with the band that when I look at my list to see lines through most items.
It feels like I’m moving on.
It’s a place I’ve come to slowly over the last few years. Some obsessions take a long time to peter out.
I knew things had changed when the band’s eighth studio album, “Away From the World,” arrived in September and my enthusiasm was considerably quelled. There are even songs on it that I – gasp –despise.
The band has changed a little, its sound becoming less ambitious and more pop.
But I think I changed more.
I was 13 when I first heard DMB. My father encouraged me to buy the band’s debut studio album based on the radio success of “What Would You Say.” I loved the song, but, after that first spin, I remember not being impressed with the rest of “Under the Table and Dreaming.”
That didn’t last long. Within a few months, I was devouring everything DMB on which I could get my hands. That wasn’t much because Napster was still a few years off – plus it took forever to get a song on dial-up – and I was too young to be trading cassette tapes of shows through the mail with adults.
Fast forward nearly two decades and I’ve seen Dave Matthews on a stage nearly 60 times. I tracked down a coveted, rare vinyl copy of one of their records in 2010. After seeing “Minarets” in September, I’ve crossed off every one of my favorite songs.
I’ve got a drumstick and a chair I swiped from the floor of the “Live at Folsom Field” concert.
I even met the band after a fortuitous turn in Denver in 2006, something I’m not sure was ever on my DMB bucket list, but is still pretty cool.
With so many goals attained and my enthusiasm draining, I think I’m ready for something else.
That doesn’t mean I’m moving on to a different band. One unhealthy fixation on one artist per lifetime is plenty, I think.
Dave Matthews Band always will be special to me, but not in the same way.
I’m not sad about this, although if I have to say that, maybe I am a little. Nonetheless, the grace isn’t all gone.
My taste has matured. I’d like to think I’ve evolved into a connoisseur of all music rather than a fervent fan of one particular band.
That isn’t to say that I’m too good for DMB now — I don’t think any artist is beneath at least a listen to form my own opinion — but that my palette has greatly expanded beyond what my 13-year-old self could’ve imagined.
While it’s true that I don’t have the same excitement for “Mercy” or “You & Me” as I do for “Crush” or “Two Step,” DMB hasn’t changed as much as I have.
That’s perfectly fine.
We all grow, change and enjoy new things.
I can’t escape the years I spent as a DMB diehard. People will still text me when they hear a DMB song on the radio, so I know I’ll never leave them completely behind.
I’ve collected most of the experiences that I wanted to, crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on most of my DMB bucket list. For some people, it’s my defining characteristic.
I can’t escape that past, those experiences and that reputation.
And, since so much of it is so positive, I wouldn’t want to escape or forget any of it.
To read more of Nick DeCicco’s blogs, visit http://dailyrepublic.typepad.com/forthoseabouttorock. Follow him on Twitter @ndeciccodr.