Considering that the Dave Matthews Band will be on hiatus during 2011, I felt that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see them when they came to Dallas. I'm glad I went because it seemed like Dave went out of his way to make sure he left his North Texas fans satisfied, and ready to endure the extended absence. The energy was high, the venue was jam-packed, and the band was hitting on all cylinders. You could tell that the band was feeding off the crowd's energy, and the crowd was eating up what the guys on stage were dishing out. The Summer Tour is winding down, but Dave and his band showed no signs of fatigue.
Due to the really heavy traffic, I got into the Superpages.com Center just as the band was taking the stage. Walking to my seat I could hear them work through The Last Stop, an energetic tune from the Before These Crowded Streets album, the bands third studio effort. This was followed by Shake Me Like a Monkey, which seems to be getting a lot of play this tour and was also played during the two previous shows. For you DMB statisticians, this was the 41st time this song has made it into the playlist this tour, that’s out of 47 shows. Next up was Granny which was first played in 1992, but never appeared on any of the band's studio albums. This was followed by a new tune, Why I Am, for which Dave strapped on a Fender Stratocaster.
The pace slowed down with the song #41, a classic tune from Crash, DMB’s second studio album. This song featured spirited solos by violinist, Boyd Tinsley and saxophonist, Jeff Coffin. Coffin is a relatively new addition to the band, replacing co-founder and long time member LeRoi Moore, who passed away in August 2008 after an ATV accident. This was followed by Big-Eyed Fish, which was originally “released” on the notorious Lillywhite Sessions, but eventually appeared on Busted Stuff. A group of new songs followed: Seven, Can’t Stop and Spaceman, which segued into the fun barn-stompin’ tune, Corn Bread.
Again, Dave slowed things down a little, and performed Write a Song, which featured a great sax solo by Jeff Coffin. Next was Lie in our Graves, which is about dying without regrets after living a full life. After this extended version, more than 12 minutes, the band left Dave alone on stage. Equipped with a 12 string guitar, he played Baby Blue, from the new album, Big Whiskey. When the band returned, Dave invited a special guest on stage for the next song. For me, this was a very special guest. Dave explained that after they finish the Summer Tour next week, they’d be traveling down to Brazil for some shows, and with that, Ivette Sangalo came out on stage. For those that don’t know, Ivette is one of the most popular Brazilian performers, and she’s known for her high energy music called Axe (pronounced: a-SHAY). Having lived in Brazil recently, I knew Ivette well. I’d seen her perform at Carnaval several years ago and her music is always being played in clubs and on the radio. Dave and Ivette performed a duet, singing You and Me. Ivette sang verses in Portuguese and Dave followed in English. I’m sure Dave will share the stage again with her, when he performs in Rio and Sao Paulo in October.
The set was coming to an end, but there was still a lot of good music left. They played Everyday, and Boyd really played his heart out on this one. Standing on the edge of the stage, he wailed on his violin, bringing the crowd to a boil. Things didn’t let up with the closing tune, Jimi Thing, during which Jeff Coffin played two saxes, tenor and alto, at the same time. As the band thanked the crowd and left the stage, Carter Beauford stuck around, throwing at least 30 drumsticks into the audience. Every time it looked like he’d run out, he’d head back, pick up another handful, and continue tossing to fans in the audience. A lot of people went home with cool souvenirs.
It was a good eight minutes of cheering before Dave came back out on stage. He was alone, and he’d brought his friend, the Gryphon, with him. The Gryphon is a small 12 string acoustic guitar, tuned to a higher range than a normal guitar, sort of like a mandolin. He played Some Devil off his solo album of the same name and after the rest of the band returned, they went into the characteristic show closer, Ants Marching. Thus ended a great show, and probably the last time the Dallas area will see Dave Matthews for some time.
The venue, Superpages.com Center, has a capacity of about 20,000 people. And, tonight, the place was filled to the gills. Everyone was on their feet the entire show, and Mother Nature cooperated by not raining on us. It was hot, but not too hot by Texas standards.
See you in 2012 Dave. Have a great vacation!
Shake Me Like a Monkey
Why I Am
Big Eyed Fish
Write A Song
Lie In Our Graves
Baby Blue +
You and Me ~
Some Devil +