I almost passed on Dave Matthews Band concerts this year. Since Ticketbastard has made it just about impossible to get good seats (with their no camping policies, inept clerks in person, and an inept website), its just not worth the money or hassle. Dave Matthews’ Warehouse fan club doesn’t help either (tickets cost even more after shipping and there’s no guarantee you’ll even get seats, let alone good ones.) My theory for this concert was I’ll roll the dice with ticketmaster and see what I could get. I lucked out and scored a couple of seats in section 203 (which turned out to be closer than I thought; bonus!) So, the plans were laid out for my 13th Dave Matthews Concert.
Phew, what a difference the weather makes. I was at Darien Lake a few weeks back for Tom Petty and it almost wasn’t worth the trouble: 97 degrees and absolutely jammed parking. Today, it was cool and rainy for most of the day. I thought the persistent drizzle was going to keep right on going through the concert, but it stopped about 4pm and the sun poked out and cleared up the skies nicely. The rain kept the park only goers away, so we were able to get parked in about 10 minutes versus the 90 minute ordeal from a few weeks ago. After a quick snack, we started the march over to the gate to the concert venue.
We made it to our seats about halfway through the opener, Ray Lamontagne. I’d heard the name before, but wasn’t familiar with his music. Kinda interesting, him on acoustic guitar, a drummer, and a standup bass. Nothing remarkable, but nothing offensive either. Have to admit Ray had a serious set of pipes; more than once it seemed that he could drown out all the instruments. Maybe I’ll check out some more of his stuff. After they wrapped up, I ducked out for some hydration (too crazy to try to duck out during the main event with all the DMB dancers.) I got back to my seat with plenty of time, even though it felt like I spent an eternity in line.
After the normal roadie tune ups and light checks, the guys walked into the back of the stage and from where we were sitting, we could see them doing their preshow pysche ups and hugs. They came ready to rock, they ran out on the stage before the house lights and music were cut; much to delight of the capacity crowd (though I haven’t heard if it was record setting, like that Tom Petty show). Here’s the play by play:
- The Stone
Holy opener, Batman! Always like this song, especially live. Amazing energy for an opener. I like the way they crank up the volume as the intro builds and Stefan lays down some serious bass work.
- When The World Ends
Nice, always good to hear the songs about getting freaky. The song has evolved a bit since the last time I heard it live; has a new section with just Dave on the guitar in the middle. Still love the ‘pull the plug’ ending, where they just stop and the whole stage goes dark immediately.
- Louisiana Bayou
Hmm, the first song from the new album. Its ok, on the album, but the super-duper jam master version they kicked out at the show was unbelievable! Carter was putt’n a serious whupp’n on his kit, smiles all the while. Dave danced his way through pretty much the whole song.
A perennial crowd please. I never get tired of it.
- American Baby Intro
Another song from the new album. Kinda strange on the album version with the machine gun sound effects, but very different life. They start it out pretty much like the album, and end it up about the same, but in the middle they sandwiched about 20 minutes of very enjoyable jamming. So, everybody is ready for American Baby
- Dream Girl
Bzzt, a detour in Dream Girl. This probably my favorite song from the new batch; their live version only makes me dig it more.
- You Might Die Trying
A little slow, but it was good have a break after jumping around for the last few songs.
- What Would You Say
Oh man, a perfectly timed classic. Everybody jumped back to their feet for this one. Another song that I could hear over and over.
- Say Goodbye
Hmm, drum solo intro, Leroi with flute in hand. Could it be? Yep, another classic! Have to wonder if the hippy couple in front of us was living out the one night stand theme of the song as they mauled each other.
Can’t go wrong with Granny. The crowd seemed to enjoy this song more than I remember.
- American Baby
I could have really done without this song; not one of my favorites. But, I have to admit seeing it live wasn’t a torturous as I thought it would be.
- Out of My Hands
Another good chill song. I’m dubbing it the official ‘pee-break’ song, as this when everybody seemed to make their pitstop.
- Hunger for the Great Light
Oh, yeah! The most rocking song from the new album, was also the most rocking song at the concert. Amazing energy. Hmm, I though the lead guitar was electric on the album, but Dave did it acoustic; still awesome, either way.
- Steady As We Go
Another chill out song, but it ramped up a bit at the end to get the crowd ready for…
- Two Step
Dave introduced the song by saying, “When we were picking the songs to play for y’all tonight, we thought you might like this one. We haven’t played it in like 10 years… Nah, it’s probably not what you think…” I was intrigued, I thought we were gonna get a super duper golden oldy. Then plink, plink, plink of Boyd’s violin and the crowd explodes! Guess they meant they hadn’t played it at Darien Lake in 10 years. None-the-less, one of their best songs. Everybody gets a solo, including an extra long piano jam from Butch!
- Encore: Tripping Billies
A quick thanks, then, “Blam!” straight into it. Hey, we’re not done yet. Awesome energy, everybody smiling the whole way through.
- Encore: Everyday
Honey, honey, come and dance with me! (according to the crowd anyway) Love Boyd’s flanger violin effect and singing.
Was hoping for song #34 to cap off the evening in perfection (as its been recently reintroduced to the lineup) but I’m fine with ending up with Everyday. While the set list seems a little low in count for a DMB show, the entire gig still ran more than two and half hours. On a ten point scale, I’d say the show was a pretty solid 9.
Looking forward to picking up a bootleg of the show for the collection. There’s a bunch of stuff I’d like to hear again. Shouldn’t be too hard to track one down, I counted about 8
mic stands in the crowd.
So, all in all I’m pretty glad I went.
Update: Here’s the Rochester Democratic and Chronicles’ review.
Update 2: After some glitches with Sprint Vision, here are a few pictures from the show:
Yeah, the quality is nothing to write home about, but I like to chuckle that my $75 cell phone has a better quality digital camera in that my first actual digital camera (the one that I paid $400 almost 10 years ago and still have! Here’s a review for it…)
Update 3: Here’s a pointer to the bit torrent boot for the show.