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DMB Song Evolution: Warehouse

January, 22nd, 2008 

"That's my blood down there..." 

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“Warehouse” is one of Dave Matthews Band’s oldest and most popular songs. Every since Dave Matthews wrote and performed the song for the first time in 1991, it has become one of their staple songs. “Warehouse” has been played on every tour since its very first live performance, over 600 live performances and counting. Also known as “The Bourbon Song” and “Anytime We Can Stop”, the name that stuck was “Warehouse”

“Warehouse” has been a very enjoyable song to listen to over the years, because of Dave Matthews Band ability of improvisation. While some of their songs have had a very straight forward approach, “Warehouse” is one of many songs that have had some variations during their live performances, keeping it new and fresh.

Before the song was officially released on their first studio album “Under the Table and Dreaming”, the lyrics in the song were varied from time to time. The lyrics became more consistent after that point, but has been played with many interpolations, intros, improv jams, time changes, and a little crowd participation. After the summer of 1994, and the official release of "Warehouse", the last verse evolved beyond the mere repetition of "That's my blood down there".

Most of the time closing with these lyrics:

That's my blood down there.
Seems poured from the hands of angels.
And trickle into the ground.
Leave the Warehouse so bare and empty.
And my heart's numbered beat,
will echo in this empty room.
And the fear wells in me.
Til nothing seems big enough to stay
So, I'm going away.
I'm going away.
Lucky, lucky day.

Lyrics can be interpreted many ways. Everyone who listens to any of DMB’s songs may interpret them in a different ways, but every song has its story and there are some themes in the song “Warehouse" that many can agree on.

Superstition is a common theme that is apparent in the song…with lyrics like:

"The black cat changing colors
I can walk under ladders
And swim as the tides choose to turn me"

Overall, the song is about your mind. The Warehouse being a metaphor for your mind and memories that you hold.  

Steve aka ToothPicVic wrote a very detailed interpretation of "Warehouse" on an online message board in November of 2002.

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Click Here to read Steve's Warehouse interpretation.

Some have questioned Dave Matthew’s inspiration for the lyrics. There is a “Pink Warehouse” located in Charlottesville, Virginia where Dave worked and lived for some time. Dave was known for visiting that Warehouse from time to time and the roof of the pink warehouse was where Dave Matthews Band performed one of their very first shows.

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Whether inspired by the song or not, the one and only official Dave Matthew Band Fan Association was named "Warehouse". Founded on December 4th, 1998, Warehouse gives fan early access to concert tickets, exclusive CDS and merchandise to its members. The current fee for membership is $35 per year, up from the original price of $30.

"Warehouse" has been placed all over the setlists through the years. It has frequently opened shows and closed them as well. By 1996, "Warehouse" was frequently followed by Dancing Nancies. This one-two combo was very common through 90's and still occasionally get's played in that fashion at least a few times each tour. Dave Matthews Band are consistently changing thier setlists, but the Nancies - Warehouse combo has always been a favorite for them and the fans alike.

One thing that is clear about this particular song is that it is not going anywhere. "Warehouse" will never be one of those songs that come and go, like other songs have in the past. The only thing that is unknown is how the band will continue to play the song in future tours.

The Beginning

"Warehouse" found it's way on some demo tapes in the early 90's, but September 1st, 1991, was the first known performance, or really the first known live recording of "Warehouse". This show is commonly mislabeled as the 05.11.91 show from South Street (Pink) Warehouse. However, it is impossible for this show to be 05.11.91 since Peter Greisar (who is prominent on the keys) did not join the band until August 1991. The date is an estimate. Many of the early performaces were very different from each other. The stucture of the song was consistant, but the lyrics and the jams included during the songs changed on a regular basis.

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Click Herefor an example of these interpolations

Louie, Louie

On February 13, 1992, "Warehouse" was featured with one it's first interpolations, "Louie Louie". This interpolation has been a common feature since 1992, but made a very prominent return in 2006, being played on nearly every live performance that year. During the jam portion of the song Dave chants "Louie, Louie, oh, oh, me gotta go" and the crowd will always join in. The original "Louie Louie" song was written by Richard Berry in 1954 and a very popular song in American rock 'n' roll history. However, "Louie, Louie" is best known by The Kingsmen version of the song, recorded in 1963.

Wild Thing

On September 29th, 1992, "Warehouse" featured another interpolation called "Wild Thing". That particular performance also include "Louie, Louie", but has been played by itself as well. "Wild Thing" was only featured in "Warehouse" a few times, and all those performances came during the early 90's. The song title alone is very well known and was originally written by Chip Taylor, but recorded by The Wild Ones in 1965.

Shortnin' Bread

"Shortnin' Bread" which came as an outro to the song was primarily featured during many of the live performances in 1993. The first time it was include in the song was in December of 1992.

Passion Intro

This intro into "Warehouse" where Dave interpolates the vocal chords from Peter Gabriel's Passion has become a very popular and recognizable part of this song. This intro can be heard very commonly in many Dave Matthews & Tim  Reynolds performances, however has been featured in some full band performances as well. The first "Passion Intro" comes from a performance on July 28th, 1994. The Passion Intro was slightly revisited again during the 2007 Summer tour, although was not played exactly as it had been during Dave & Tim shows. It has more of an Under the Table and Dreaming feel to it, which comes from the intro on the studio recorded release.

Stop-Time Intro

This intro was first heard during a performance of "Warehouse" in August of 1995. It was not until 1996 that nearly every performance started with the stop-time intro. Pretty much every performance of "Warehouse" since then has had the stop-time intro incorporated into the song. By 1999-2000 the stop-time intro influenced fans to chant "Woo!" 

"Woo!"

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It was not until July 31st, 1999 that the "Woo" chant by fans became very prominent during the stop-time intro of "Warehouse". Since then, the crowds never fail to chant "Woo!" during the intro of every Warehouse performance. In recent years, bassist, Stefan Lessard has joined in on the crowd participation raising his fist every time the crowd chants "Woo!". Yet another dynamic that has become a staple for the song and the fans.  

Salsa Jam Outro

Around September 2003, the salsa Jam was incorporated as an outro to "Warehouse". The jam itself has a salsa like vibe to it and has been played on nearly every performance since that tour. At the start of the 2006 summer tour, DMB continued playing the salsa jam, but changed it up a bit with a 7/8 time signature. The 7/8 time signature is commonly heard in double jigs, fast waltzes and marches. This 7/8 Salsa Jam has been played through most Warehouse performances during 2006 and 2007 and will likely carry on until the boys try something new. However long they decide to play this outro, it will consistently be fun upbeat jam to listen to.

Other Interpolations and Improv Jams

Dave Matthews Band has always explored their creative side as artist and never fail to throw a curve ball with an improv jam or a interpolation of some sort. Through the years there have been other less common interpolations and improv jams play within the song "Warehouse".

Other interpolations include:

12.12.93 - "Take Me To The River" Outro

08.23.95 - "Rhythm of the Rain" - by Leroi

09.24.03 - "Everyday People" - by Leroi

07.13.04 - "I Dream of Jeannie" tease - by Butch

08.16.05 - "Low Rider" - by Butch

08.21.05 - "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" - by Leroi

09.09.05 - "Low Rider" & "Linus & Lucy" - By Butch and "Wedding March" - by Leroi

12.06.05 - "Linus & Lucy" - By Butch

06.17.06 - "Harlem Shuffle" - by Butch

07.02.06 - brief "Buffalo Solider"

08.08.07 - "La Bamba" - by Rashawn

10.02.07 - "Grazing in the Grass"

11.13.07 - "Linus & Lucy and "Grazing in the Grass"

Various Improv Jams include

07.14.94 - Improv Jam Intro

01.10.94 - brief Dave/Leroi Intro

06.23.96 - Rain Intro

06.27.99 - Truncated version

04.04.02 - Meandering Intro

10.02.04 - Quiet Prelude by Dave & Butch

and a couple unexpected varitations... 

04.04.03 - First verse missing

03.24.05 - Off-key stop-time Intro 

Fakes

Like other DMB songs, "Warehouse" has been featured as a fake-out. This has only been done a total of 7 times and they all occurred in 1995 and 1999. The Warehouse intro is played several times before the band goes directly into "Ants Marching". The fake was always followed by "Ants Marching", which many times closed the show.

Alternate Lyrics

Many of the early versions of "Warehouse" had varied lyrics, but still held many similarities to the official lyrics released in 1994.  Most of the 91-93 performances have had varied lyrics and jams.

One example is10.22.91

Solo Performances

May 2nd, 1992 is the first known solo performance of "Warehouse". Dave Matthews has only played Warehouse solo a handful of times and has not been played solo since April 8th, 1996.

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds Performances

Of the many Dave & Tim shows over the years, "Warehouse" was played for the first time with Tim Reynolds on April 22nd, 1993. Since then, Dave & Tim have performed "Warehouse" together numerous times over the years. Many of these performances coming from their tours in 1996, 1997 and 1999. Many of the performances in 1997 and 1999 included the Passion Intro and "Warehouse" almost always closed the shows in 1997. While the Passion Intro remained very common in Dave & Tim performances, "Louie, Louie" was thrown into the mix as well, especially in the earlier years. Dave & Tim gave this song an even more intimate feel to an already powerful song.

Guests

Live Performances of "Warehouse" have features a handfull of guests over the years. All adding thier own flavor to the song. Guests include: Greg Howard, Tim Reynolds, Butch Taylor, Leon Mobley, Tim Wicks, Jeff Coffin, Rashawn Ross, Richard Hardey, ?uestlove, Toots Hibbert and Kristen Asbury.

Click Here for various audio downloads featuring many different guests.

Official Releases

"Warehouse" has managed to find itself on a number of official releases by the Dave Matthews Band. With the number of live show that are released every year, this song along with many others have provided fans with many quality soundboard releases.

02.21.94 - Selected for the "Recently EP" released on June 24th, 1997.

09.27.94 - Release of Studio Album "Under The Table and Dreaming".

08.15.95 - Included on live release "Live at Red Rocks 08.15.95" released on October 28th, 1997.

08.23.95 - Included on live release "Live Trax: Volume 5" released on May 12th, 2006. 

02.06.96 - Included on live release "Live at Luther College" released on January 11th, 1999. 

12.31.96 - Included on live release "Live Trax: Volume 7" released on December 8th, 2006.

12.03.98 - Selected for "Warehouse 5"  

09.11.99 - Included on live release "Listener Supported" released on November 3rd, 1999.

10.28.00 - Selected for "The Bridge Collection" released on itune only.

07.11.01 - Included on live release "Live at Folsom Field" released on November 5th, 2002. 

09.07.02 - Selected for "The Gorge" official highlights cd release and included on "The Gorge" Box Set released on July 29th, 2004.   

09.24.03 - Included on live release "The Central Park Concert" released on November 18th, 2003. 

08.07.04 - Included on live release "Live Trax: Volume 8" released on March 20th, 2007.

09.12.04 - Included on live release "Live Trax: Volume 2" released on December 17th, 2004. 

09.09.05 - Included on live release "The Complete Weekend on the Rocks" Box Set released on November 29th, 2005.

07.08.06 - Included on live release "Live Trax: Volume 6" released on September 26th, 2006. 

09.08.07 - Included on live release "Live at Piedmont Park" released on December 11th, 2007.

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Click Herefor full list of Warehouse Audio Downloads.

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Click Here for videos of Live Warehouse performances.