This is ∞TheHappySpaceman
Hello, this is Dan with an important message...
Yesterday I was gone for most of the afternoon and evening, because I went to see the Dave Matthews Band at Jiffy Lube Live (formerly the Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge) in Bristow, northern Virginia. I took off to see it with Ben, the former bassist from Dark Matter (he was in the music video for "The Narcissist"), at around 2:30. We arrived at the venue at 6:30, and waited for the band to start. Finally, the curtain rose at around 7:30! The band did two sets: an acoustic set, and an electric set, plus a two-song encore. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures since no photography or filming was allowed. I thought I remember reading somewhere that Dave usually let his fans film his concerts, I don't know. Acoustic Set:1.
"Stay or Leave" (At first, it was only Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, the band's touring lead guitarist. This song was originally a Dave Matthews solo track.)2.
"Old Dirt Hill" (They were joined by drummer Carter Beauford, the new saxophone player Jeff Coffin, and touring trumpet player Rashawn Ross. Before they started this song, Dave mentioned that this venue was kind of bittersweet for him since Jiffy Lube Live was the last place they played live with the late former saxophone player, LeRoi Moore.)3.
"Two Step" (Bassist Stefan Lessard and violinist Boyd Tinsley joined in for this one. During this set, Stefan alternated between an acoustic bass guitar and a stand-up bass. It was interesting to see them attempt this song in acoustic form, since it's usually done electrically. They still kept all the energy, though.)4.
"So Damn Lucky" (Another Dave Matthews solo track, originally.)5.
"Sweet" (I hadn't actually heard this one, since it's from the band's newest album, Away from the World
(2012), which I haven't gotten around to listening all the way through yet.)6.
"Stolen Away on 55th
"Satellite" (This is a personal favorite of mine, so I was glad to see them play it live. For the beginning, they kept teasing little bits of the intro for about a minute before they finally started playing.)8.
"Ants Marching" (Probably my favorite part of the show. This was another electric song that they did acoustically, so it was nice to see how they executed it. This song had an extended intro, as well as an approximately two-minute violin solo by Boyd. A fantastic closing song for the acoustic set.)
During the break, Ben and I went off to see what the vendors were selling. As it turned out, we never bought any official Dave Matthews Band merchandise, because it was all ridiculously priced, and we could have bought a lot of that for a much cheaper price online. Ben bought some nachos and I bought a glass of lemonade, which, to put in perspective how expensive everything was, was $6. Then again, it was a large cup and was fresh-squeezed, and it tasted really good, so I shouldn't complain too much.
Next was the electric set. Tim switched between playing a Fender Telecaster, a Fender Stratocaster, a Gibson Flying V, and a Gibson Les Paul.Electric Set:9.
Improv. Intro + "Minarets" (Another curtain remained in front of the band for the intro, and some neat-looking visuals reflected on the curtains from an LED screen behind the band. I hadn't actually heard this song before, since it wasn't on any of their studio albums, but rather their first release, Remember Two Things
(1993), an independent live album.)10.
"Shake Me Like a Monkey"11.
"The Best of What's Around" (I had my doubts about Jeff, and I didn't think he could ever do a proper sendoff to LeRoi. But then I heard Jeff play the sax solo on this one, and you know what? He frikkin' nailed it. Amazing job, Jeff. LeRoi would be proud.)12.
"The Song That Jane Likes" (Another one from Remember Two Things
"You Never Know"16.
"Sledgehammer" (This was the only cover they played in the show! It was their take on the Peter Gabriel hit, Sledgehammer, and I think they did a great sendoff to that song.)17.
"Mercy" (Another one from Away from the World
, but this is one I actually have heard before, and while it's not one I'm really into, they did a great job at it in this performance. Also, it had an extended outro, and Dave switched from acoustic guitar to piano, which surprised me since I didn't know he even plays piano! Huh.)18.
"Don't Drink the Water" (One of my favorite songs from the electric set.)19.
"Rhyme & Reason" (Another touring member, Joe Lawlor, joined in on this one. Ben recognized Joe since he met him before, and we both agree that he's a really good lead guitarist. He made that Stratocaster wail!)20.
"So Much to Say" + "Anyone Seen the Bridge?" + "Too Much (Fake)" + "Halloween" (I was happy to hear So Much to Say, and the Anyone Seen the Bridge jam, especially since I knew they usually go into Too Much afterwards. There was some singing in Anyone Seen the Bridge, much to my surprise, because it's an instrumental jam. However, when they began Too Much, they only teased the beginning of it before going into Halloween. So I guess I now know how it feels to be trolled by Dave Matthews.
Also, I feel it should be mentioned that for several minutes after the set, literally all that happened was Carter walking around the stage tossing his drumsticks out to the audience. And it wasn't even the sticks he was playing with! It's like he was carrying around several extra sets of drumsticks, just for the purpose of throwing them out to the audience and making people happy. It's a nice sentiment, but it seems a little counterproductive.
Another thing: Ben and I noticed that, except for when he is singing background vocals or holding a drumstick in his mouth, Carter is almost always smiling! A big, genuine smile, like he just loves playing music.Encore:21.
"Drunken Soldier" (Another one from Away from the World
. Starting around five minutes in, I swear they stopped playing the song and started playing "Breathe" by Pink Floyd from Dark Side of the Moon
(1973). Yeah, if anyone else has heard the song and agrees that it sounds a lot like Breathe, please let me know. I can't be the only one who thinks this.)22.
"Why I Am" (The grand finale for the show! It was nice because Dave dedicated this one to LeRoi, since it was written and recorded before his death for their album Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King
Also, a funny anecdote: Ben kept commenting the entire day how he's never seen Dave play an electric guitar, but on this one Dave played one!
It's like karma was listening to Ben!)
After that, we spent over an hour trying to leave the parking lot. I got firsthand experience that leaving a rock show has very little to do with actual driving, and more to do with just waiting for hours. I actually decided to take a nap after a while, but as soon as I shut my eyes, traffic started moving.
Somewhere out there, some moron is laughing and eating popcorn.
So what's my final diagnosis on this concert? Well, they didn't play a lot of my favorites, like "Funny the Way It Is," "Crash Into Me," "What Would You Say," "The Space Between," "You and Me," "Warehouse," or "Gravedigger." Since I haven't listened to every album, I didn't know a lot of the songs that he played, but they did put on an amazing live show, and probably the second best I've seen thus far in my life, right behind Paul McCartney last summer. What I'm saying is, I wouldn't go out of town to see the Dave Matthews Band again (especially since I got back at 3 AM and it did a toll on me this morning), but if they ever come to Charlottesville, which is likely considering that many of the members are from Charlottesville, I'd love to see them. Overall, a good experience. Can't wait to see how they hold up in comparison to the next show I'll see, Soundgarden & Nine Inch Nails!
This is ∞TheHappySpaceman