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DMB 2007: A Year in Review

December 28th, 2007

By Chris Urzi

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Dave Matthews Band provided fans with another memorable year in 2007. There was no stone left unturned as the band kept busy as always and gave fans some surprises along the way. They traveled the country and made their way to Europe and Australia. The year would never be complete with out a few charity events, some contests, a few live releases, a couple DVDs, and how about a few new songs to boot.

Dave Matthews started off the 2007 year in Europe with a short 14 show run, visiting cities like, Dublin, Oxford, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Amsterdam. He spent a little time performing solo shows in 2006, but for 2007, long-time friend Tim Reynolds joined Dave for the Europe tour. Tim has joined Dave for many shows in the past, but came as a little surprise, only being announced a few days prior to the first show.

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Not wasting any time, Dave Matthews was eager to debut new song “Cornbread”. This song continued to be played by Dave and Tim a few more times, but took on a life of it’s own during the 2007 US Summer tour, being the most played song of the tour.

"Can’t Stop"**, new song from 2006 was played for the first time solo and only once by Dave & Tim. The song has yet to be played again by the band since the 2006 summer tour.  

In addition, there was a short improv intro** played before Gravedigger, with some lyrics, only played two times and while Gravedigger was played many times this year, this intro has yet to be heard since the Dave & Tim tour.

Anticipation of a new tour and a possible studio album was on the horizon and even talk of shows at Wrigley’s Field, but rumors fly and plans change. Various interviews with Dave Matthews and Stefan Lessard clued fans that a new album would not be happening anytime soon despite their studio efforts in the winter 06 & spring 07. While shows at Wrigley seemed to be a possibility for the summer tour, news of Dave Matthews wife being pregnant with their third child, put a fork in that. This pushed a shortened US tour back until the start of August, yet still proved to be a tour not to be forgotten anytime soon.

Dave Matthews and wife Ashley welcomed, son, August Oliver Matthews on June 19th.

Dave Matthews Band had plans of another Australian tour as well as a few dates in Europe during March, but had to be cancelled due to personal reasons. These shows would soon be rescheduled for May.

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Before their tour in Europe, they made a stop in Las Vegas, Nevada for two shows at the MGM Grand Arena. These shows were the first time they played together since October of 2006 and provided a number of highlights, including Halloween, which was the one and only time it would be played in 2007. Many of the songs sound checked were played in the shows, except for a new song “Run While We Can” which still has yet to be played in a show. The Vegas shows were later released as Live Trax: Volume 9 only months later and one of the quickest turnarounds from show to Live Trax.

After Vegas, Dave Matthews joined up with Tim Reynolds for a couple more shows in Boston and New York City.

The first show was an exclusive concert for Citi card holders as part of the “Traveling through Life/Bama Works Youth Initiative benefit” concert series which Dave & Tim also took part in Los Angeles, CA in October 2006. They made their way to Amherst College and finally to Radio City Music Hall, where they recorded the show for an official live CD/DVD release.

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The Radio City show included new song, Cornbread, Eh Hee (formally known as Ahyee) played for the first time since 05.12.06. Dave Matthews played the piano for the first time ever at any show performing “Out of my Hands”** and a little Improv Intro before the start of some Some Devil which Dave described as “pretty”. “Old Dirt Hill”** also took a new direction during the Dave & Tim shows, with a new outro with alternative lyrics.

The official DVD offered many great extras as well as some classic davespeak, where Dave told a story of Jon Town, a discharged soldier from the army with no benefits.

In Europe, DMB joined the Pink Pop festival in May and their show in Lisbon, Portugal was released as Live Trax: Volume 10. This is their first international release which included guest Tom Morello who joined DMB for a couple songs. The show also included a very rare double encore. While in Europe they also did a cover of Billy Preston’s “Nothing from Nothing”**.

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After a short period of time off, Dave Matthew Band hit up the Live Earth: Climate in Crisis concert in East Rutherford, NJ on 07.07.07. Al Gore’s campaign to save the plant with a series of concerts around the world, very similar to the concerts that took place in 2005 with Live 8.

The very next day DMB stopped of in Bridgeview, IL for a single show before the start of the US Summer tour. They played a new song “Falling of the Roof” for the first time ever which has yet to played again. Dave also gave a little more insight to what “The Idea of You” is about. He explained that he wrote the song about his babysitter when he was a kid. (davespeak clip)

On July 9th, 2007, DMB performed a private concert in St. Paul, MN. A private show for Best Buy corporate employees and vendors and is a benefit for the Best Buy Children's Foundation.

On July 28th, 2007, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds performed another semi-private show in East Hampton, NY. This “very expensive” show was part of a concert series in July and August that raised money for the Ross School. Tickets to this show cost $3000 each. Other artists involved with this concert series were, Tom Petty, Billy Joel, James Taylor and Prince. The Warehouse did offer a very small amount of tickets to fan club members for $250 each. Quite a difference from the original price tag and some of the proceeds from those ticket sales went to Dave Matthews' Horton Foundation.  

This show marked the first time that new song, #27 was played. This song continued to be played with the band during the summer tour and got its name due to the order of songs in the last studio session while the band was working on a new album. This was revealed by a recent interview with Stefan Lessard on Sirius Jam on 17. #27 was the second most played song during the summer tour.

In other interviews with Dave Matthews, he briefly mentions that they band as a whole were not feeling what was going on in the studio and took a break. They are likely to get back to work in the studio in the winter/spring 2008. Stefan also mentioned in the Sirius interview that they do not have any producer named for a future studio recorded album.

2007 was full of contests. Official contests this year included a chance to meet Dave Matthews and a trip to see DMB in West Palm by pre-ordering the Live at Radio City CD. In another contest you had to put DMB in your top friends on your MySpace page to win a chance at front row tickets to a concert or a trip to see them at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. To finish off the year DMB played two free shows to the College that sent them the most invitations to there school. There were some outstanding contests and great opportunities for fans to see and meet the band. 

Before the start of the 2007 summer tour, fans were called upon to participate in a contest to design the tickets that Warehouse Fan Club members would receive when ordering tickets for the tour. Four winners were selected and distributed this past summer.

The summer tour was full of surprises with a few new songs, plenty of guests and 1 song that fans thought they might never see performed by the band again.

The guests of 2007 included some amazing performances by Xavier Rudd, Sam Kininger, ?uestlove, Toots Hilbert, Vusi Mahlasela, Trey Anastasio, Joe Lawlor (long time DMB road crew member), Black Thought, Robert Randolph, David Ryan Harris, John Mayer, Warren Haynes, Gregg Allman, Danny Barnes and Stephen Marley…

(You can find audio downloads for many of these performances on our 2007 DMB Highlights page.)

They took a camera on the road with them and throughout the tour released short videos of their lives behind the scenes of touring. A total of 4 videos were released and posted on myspace videos.

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DMB did not waist any time in their very first show of the tour playing news songs, #27 (first time full band) and Cornbread (Dave solo). DMB continued on the next night playing the new songs again along with a partial cover of Black Water, a song by the Doobie Brothers.

Dave Matthews seemed to follow a pattern for more than half of the tour with a solo song in the 1st Encore spot. In 2006, this spot was claimed many times by new song, Sister. This year this spot was frequently claimed by a song off of Dave Matthew’s solo album Some Devil. Up to this point “Gravedigger” was the only Some Devil song played in a full band setting. This year Dave brought out “Some Devil” and “So Damn Lucky” as well.

On 08.07.07 in Camden, NJ, DMB played “Sweet Up and Down” for the first time since 07.25.00. It came a quite a surprise since this particular song was part of the 2000 Lillywhite Sessions, and after not making the cut for the Busted Stuff album the song seemed to disappear. It was played a few times during the Dave & Friends tour in 2003-04, but only played 14 times full band since 2000.

It may be speculated that the change of heart to play the song again was slightly influenced by a poll take by Stefan Lessard on the IZStyle.com forums. He posted a thread entitled “dmb song you miss the most”. Other songs requested were, Blue Water, Sugar Will, Good Good Time… and on and on..

Some of the new songs that were in rotation in 2006 made it’s way back on to the set lists again in 2007. The Idea of You, Sister and Shotgun were played many times throughout the tour, but since being played in 2006, Break Free, Kill the King and Can’t Stop were never heard from.

On August 14, 2007, DMB did something that has never been done before. “Some Devil” was played full band. Even though Some Devil songs were played in a full band setting, they were always performed Dave Solo. This marked the first time that any of the songs off of Dave’s solo album were played with the rest of the band. This was quite a unique and exciting moment in the tour and in DMBs touring history.

A couple days later, DMB played new song “Eh Hee” for the first time. This song had been played before, but never with the band. This song which had been played only a handful of times since 2006, took on a new life in 2007, being played almost every other show.

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This song which was inspired by a trip that Dave took to Africa with his wife and children was officially released via itunes in the beginning of September. In a short Rolling Stone interview, Dave explained that he was working on a video for the song and played all instruments while recording. The video was also released on itunes, with the first week of downloads being free!

On August 26th, 2007 Dave Matthews Band showed their softer side with a new song “A Dream So Real”. Dave later explains that the band was in the studio and really took a liking to this song. The lyrics were first heard in a Two Step intro days prior to it actually being played for the first time. DMB liked the song so much that they opened with it 9 times during the tour making it the unlikely most played opener of the tour.

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What would be a DMB tour with out a charity concert or two? On September 6th, DMB played a concert for the students, faculty and family of Virginia Tech. The benefit concert was put together as a way to help students, family and faculty move forward in the aftermath of the events of April 14th. Phil Vassar, John Mayer and Nas also joined DMB for the event.

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The Green Concert, just days later in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA was held to raise funds for the 53-acre expansion of the Park. This concert drew thousands of fans making it one of the biggest shows DMB has ever done, next to the Central Park Concert in 2003 and the Golden Gate Concert in 2004.

Piedmont Park became the next official live release by DMB with a CD and DVD, which hit stores on December 11th. The Allman Brothers Band joined DMB for the event and Gregg Allman joined DMB on stage for a rendition of classic Allman Bros song “Mellisa”.

The very next day Dave hit Randalls Island for the 22nd Annual Farm Aid with fellow chairmen Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young. Dave Matthews invited Tim Reynolds to sit in during his set and they performed “The Dreaming Tree”** for the first time ever together.

As the tour carried on there were stellar shows with plenty of debuts and highlights. As Dave Matthews Band has done many times in the past, they continue to mix up the set lists, but continue to change up their songs as well. Some prime examples being:

Lie in Our Graves (reprise) – For years, LIOG was always played though with the reprise at the end. On August 22nd, they decided to switch it up a bit and played Lie in Our Graves during the show and then reprised LIOG during the encore. They continued to do this through the remainder of the tour, but would never play the reprise in the same spot. During the gorge shows, they played the reprise in a different show than the actual song. Download Lie In Our Graves**

Typical Situation (partial) – Played this way for the first time ever on September 18th. They started the song off with 7/8 section jam and played it to the end. Basically cutting the first half of the song off, but even without the other half the song, quite enjoyable to see and hear and what a way to throw the fans for a loop. Download Typical Situation**

Anyone Seen the Bridge - Too Much – This combo dates back to 1996, but the way it is played has changed almost on a yearly basis. The bridge is commonly followed but "So Much to Say", but did not follow that pattern as much this year and even opened a show once. The biggest change to the bridge this year was how it played up more for the crowds at the show. The band does a quick stop beat intro with a long pause while Dave stands perfectly still trying not to laugh. Too Much took a shift in 2004 when they would slow down the breakdown in the middle of the song. This year they slow it down so much it sounded like it was in slow motion to the point that practically stopped the song. Maybe this was fun for them, they seem to be enjoying themselves and the crowd ate it up. Download ASTB -> Too Much**

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Butterfly (The ? song) – This song was played on August 28th, but wasn’t actually on the set list. Even though DMB has been known to change up the set list adding and cutting songs during a show, this is the first time the road crew ever remembers there being a question mark placed on the set list. There may be many different reasons for this, but it was the one and only time it was physically printed on the set list. That question mark ended up being Butterfly, played just by Dave. Download Butterfly**

Here is the quote from the road crew:

“Tonight was the first time we can remember having a question mark printed on the set list. Dave filled that spot with an impromptu, intimate rendition of Butterfly.”

Other songs poked their way through a couple times during the tour. The Stone, Pig, Granny, Say Goodbye, just to name a few, were played a couple times. You Never Know and Fool to Think were played after being dormant for some time. #34** was played only one time during the tour and came at the very last show as a dedication to Dave Matthew’s wife, Ashley, who just had her 34th birthday. 

To finish off the touring year, DMB hit the IZOD center in East Rutherford, NJ for their final public show and West Point, NY for 2 free shows as part of the AT&T Worlds Loudest Pep Rally contest. Army cadets worked together to send DMB the most invitations to their school.

Dave Matthews also stopped by the Rolling Stone magazine headquarters that week and played a new song called “Round and Round” Dave played the song again at the IZOD center on November 13th. He explains that he has a new baby boy and he likes the song and he could play it over and over again.

There were plenty of “projects” for members of the Dave Matthews Band throughout 2007. Dave Matthews continues to pursue a career as an actor. He made his television debut on the hit show House MD in the episode “Half-Wit” which originally aired in March. He also had a small cameo in “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” where he plays a gay woman’s clothes clerk. Dave Matthews continues his work in movies with ongoing projects “Lake City”, “The Other Side” and “Itw”.

In addition to acting, in the “The Other Side” which is currently in pre-production, Dave Matthews will provide some original music for the movie. Dave Matthews has also offered “The Fly”, a solo song by Dave Matthews, for the movie “Joshua”.

Joshua was released in theaters in July and will soon be available on DVD January 2008. This movie produced by ATO pictures, won awards at the Sundance film festival. The song “The Fly” comes at the closing credits of the movie.

Dave Matthews was also seen on some UK television as well. He was on “Live at Abbey Road” in March where he performed a few songs in the Abbey Road studios and an interview with Dave Fanning which was shown on VOOM HD television in November.

Boyd Tinsley performed in a few John Edwards fund raisers in North Carolina back in March. In May, he was the keynote speaker at the University of Virginia graduation ceremonies.

Leroi Moore offered his smooth saxophone style in a Honda Ridgeline commercial.

Stefan Lessard has plans for a snowboarding movie, which begins filming in January 2008 and will work on an original score for an upcoming documentary “Grand Canon Adventure” with Steve Wood. DMB will also be offering 6 of their songs to the film.

Needless to say they have kept themselves busy while they are not on the road or in the studio.

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In November, ATO Records (founded by Dave Matthews and Coran Capshaw) signed artist Radiohead after months of speculation while they were looking to break away from EMI. They had been looking for a new record label for a while and even released their latest album “In Rainbows” online. Fans were given the option to name their own price for a download of the album. ATO Records will release “In Rainbows on CD, January 1st, 2008.

While DMB had some great times this year, tragedy struck bassist Stefan Lessard on November 29th. His home in Virginia caught fire and was destroyed. The fire began early that morning and he was able to get out of the house with his son, unharmed. Though officials have not determined the cause of the fire; they suspect no foul play or arson. Six fire companies fought the blaze and while some items were able to be salvaged, the house was very damaged and considered a “total loss”. Family and Fans alike are very happy that the Lessard family is safe.

Other notable DMB related events in 2007:

Starbucks released a “Live Trax” compilation cd which was released and sold exclusively in Starbucks stores.

A compilation album of DMB influences was released on a new series called "Spotlight Influences" and sold exclusively in Target retail stores.

Dave Matthews Band attempts to go mobile providing Warehouse Members a text messaging service for dmb news and much more. In addition DMB teamed up with AT&T and are now offering DMB ring tones to purchase.

Dave Matthews was featured on the song “Sower of Words” on the latest album by Vusi Mahlasela. Vusi has worked with DMB in the past offering his vocals on the track “Everyday” and guested on stage with DMB this year on the same song.

DMB jumped on the bandwagon and joined Facebook.

2007 was a very good year for the Dave Matthews Band and for the fans. The potential for 2008 is endless. Thank you DMB for everything that you do.

dontburnthepig.org would not exist without DMB and the fans. See you next year…

Watch Video Highlights from 2007... 

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Willie Nelson's new album with "Gravedigger" in stores Jan 29th, 2008