April 22nd, 2007
By Lauren Carter
Blame it on the date.
On Friday night, which just happened to read 4/20 on the calendar, Dave Matthews showed up at the Citi Performing Arts Center’s Wang Theatre with a “fever” that put his mind state into question.
Luckily, Matthews’ condition didn’t affect his performance skills, and fans who are in college, recently graduated or wished they were still there got a three-hour dose of acoustic Matthews backed only by longtime collaborator Tim Reynolds.
There was little randomness during the long set. Reynolds would pluck and thrash masterfully on the guitar, Matthews would strum and look pained while singing, the music would generally sound good, and the audience would stand and roar at key points.
In between songs, Matthews would thank Reynolds profusely, apologize for his “fever” and tell stories about smashing pus-filled sacs with a Bible.
“Just try not to understand everything I’m saying and it’ll all make sense,” Matthews advised.
The crowd - possibly the least diverse assembly of fans in recent memory - seemed to love it.
Matthews had plenty of time to work in songs off his 2003 solo release, “Some Devil,” including “Gravedigger,” “So Damn Lucky” and crowd favorite “Stay or Leave.”
Even better were selections from the band’s catalog, such as “Satellite,” “Lie in Our Graves,” “Dancing Nancies” and “Jimi Thing.”
Despite the fact that Matthews was on his game and Reynolds put in the work of about three musicians, the set did lag; with no opening act, no intermission and just two instruments, it was easy for things to get monotonous.
The last time Matthews came to Boston with the band, he rocked a sold-out Fenway Park [map]. Hopefully when he returns to the Boston area this summer with the band in tow, he’ll be fully recovered.