The secret to DMB's success is also the problem with DMB and is neatly encapsulated in the following anecdote relayed to us by our operatives in the jam-band community: A die-hard fan proclaimed the Dave Matthews Band to be the greatest live act in existence today -- then later in the same conversation revealed that DMB was the only live show he had ever seen, though he had seen it several times.
Therein lies the cross section of audience members that has given the group success and will continue to do so in the future. Dave Matthews is jam band for the masses. One need not put up with too many dreadlocks and patchwork pants at a DMB show. Sure, they're there, but they are a comfortable minority, lost amid the swirling masses of frat boys, vaguely alt-rockish fans, and others who fill the DMB fan niche. In addition, one's tastes need not be too eclectic. It's much easier for a corn-fed, all-American boy to get into the DMB approximation of worldbeat than it is for that same soul to dig the juju of I.K. Dairo. But if there is one shining light in the Dave Matthews experience, it is this: At least his eclectic-lite group might start a few people down a path of discovering that there is more to life than the top 40.