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Album Review: Dave Matthews Band, "Weekend on the Rocks"

December 1st, 2005

by Jim Harrington

rr05.jpg It didn't take a genius to come up with this idea: Take one of the world's best live bands, put it in one of the country's most beautiful concert settings and let the tape roll.

It shouldn't surprise anybody that "Weekend on the Rocks," the Dave Matthews Band (music)'s two-disc document of its four-night stand this past September at Colorado's gorgeous Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an absolute winner.

Having attended three of the four shows, this critic can attest that the producers did a good job in compiling a representative sample of the long "Weekend."

The set kicks off with a charged rendition of the fan-favorite "The Stone," which bleeds into a crowd-sung snippet of the Elvis Presley-chestnut "Can't Help Falling in Love," and then moves quickly into a frantic version of the new song "American Baby," which Matthews handles without kid gloves. The band then stamps "2005" on the recording by including "Time of the Season," the tie-dyed Zombies classic that the group covered regularly on its summer tour.

Although Matthews is in fine voice throughout the two discs, Carter Beauford is the single most dominating presence on "Weekend on the Rocks." He again proves to be one of the very best drummers in the business with his mesmerizing and powerful runs on such songs as "Say Goodbye" and "Halloween," a seldom-played tune (at least of late) that many fans ranked as the finest moment of the Red Rocks run.

"Weekend on the Rocks" also comes with a DVD, for those who want to hear as well as see the action. And, for the folks who simply can't get enough DMB, there's the eight-disc/one-DVD set "The Complete Weekend on the Rocks," which is available exclusively through the band's website.

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