Bam! Tuesday night I took my Dad to see Dave Matthews Band with my brother. That morning I got word that I had won two tickets so Jane got to go as well which was awesome. She brought her sister. It was a cracking gig, the guys seemed to be in much better form than the last time they played here which was in May 2007. Dave especially appeared to be having mighty banter on stage, full of strange musings and geeky dances which makes us Irish laugh at him all the while glad he's in a good mood!
They opened with the superb Bartender. Starting with the haunting violin and ending with a beautiful penny whistle solo with 15 minutes of a song in between. Sometimes they can frustrate me when they drag songs out to the death, but not this one, it was a great way to start the show. The sweet little Stay or Leave came next. A great song from Dave's solo album. It works really well with the full band. Next were 4 in a row from their latest album 'Big Whiskey...'. All short, snappy and great songs. Lying the in the hands of God was an exception as it had a 5 minute instrumental section added on at the end with some nice work from Jeff Coffin and Tim Reynolds.
One of my brothers favourites Gravedigger was next. It started with a minute long drum solo echoing 'Say Goodbye'. As with Stay or Leave this is a song from Daves solo album and is usually played acoustic so it was great to hear the full band play it.
Anyone seen the bridge into a Too Much fake and Ants Marching was a highlight. Loved it. Full of energy and Carter giving it socks on his ginormous drum kit.
#27 was introduced as 'Arms of a Woman' and was another sweet song for the ladies. It's a great song and a surprise it didn't make the cut for Big Whiskey, it did however make it onto a bonus cd that came with the deluxe edition. Seven from the new album was excellent followed by another huge highlight which was 'The Stone'. I was stoked to hear that one live. It sounded great. The ladies all melted with the next three songs; 'Crush', 'Crash into Me' and 'Where are You Going?'. Crush had the usual gazillion minutes interlude in the middle. It was fun to watch though as we had good seats, not sure how much I would have enjoyed it if I was standing. They did all sound great and I enjoyed Crash more than I expected. It's normally one I'll skip on the quadrillion live albums I have of theirs.
Their Leroi Moore tribute song 'Why I Am' which is the first song I connected with on Big Whiskey, was awesome. You & Me, a song which is destined to be played at many a wedding was next, it's a better song than I initially thought, perhaps having a wife makes me appreciate his songs for the ladies! 'You Might Die Trying' a song I can take or leave again was better than I would have anticipated, perhaps I was just having such a good time enjoying one of my favourite bands playing live. It's a treat to get to see them outside of the states. They finished the main set with a thumping version of 'All Along the Watchtower', not exactly a surprise to hear it as they've played it over 600 times!
The encore in terms of what we could have gotten was pretty poor. Baby Blue is another song for the ladies, it was just Dave and sounded great. They finished with Cornbread. A song that has grown on me, still I wouldn't have picked it for the setlist, never mind to finish the show with. However, I didn't mind what they finished with as I'd enjoyed the whole show so much anyway.
There were only 2 repeats between the show in 2007 and this one. Gravedigger and Ants Marching, 3 if you include Anyone Seen The Bridge?. All in all it was a fantastic show, they played for near three hours and appeared to nearly run themselves out of an encore. I'm sure, even though the setlist was fairly predictable the show kept the seasoned Dave Matthews fan happy, and hopefully won a few converts aswell. Hopefully they'll come here again sooner rather than later. Till then we'll have to wait for the release of their 49th live album!!
Here's the setlist
Stay or Leave
Funny the Way It Is
Shake Me Like a Monkey
Lying in the Hands of God
Anyone Seen the Bridge »
Too Much [fake] »
#27 (Arms of a Woman)
Crash Into Me
Where Are You Going
Why I Am
You & Me
You Might Die Trying
Stefan solo »
All Along the Watchtower