August 15th, 2007
By CE SKIDMORE
SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Dave Matthews and his namesake band open a show as if they were playing an encore. It’s high-energy and the kids love it.
The air was palpable, heavy with the scent of bug spray and body odor. When Matthews and company took the stage, the crowd moved as a single organism, larger than life and ebbing like the tide.
They loved him. He barely had to speak, as all his words were met with a shrill squeal of approval.
The Dave Matthews Band played to a sold-out crowd Tuesday night at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Its music is a folky, jazzy, funky sort with an inexplicable pop star appeal.
Matthews’ hairline is receding. You can see the stubble darken his face as he sings.
His mates are in the same boat.
But the ladies love him and shout about his sex appeal to anyone who’s listening.
DMB played several of its lesser known songs, like "#27," "The Maker" and "You Might Die Trying." But the set didn’t truly heat up until Matthews invited the opening band’s leader, Toots of Toots and the Maytals, for an invigorating version of "Warehouse."
The two belted back and forth, vamping over one another, during the song’s "Louie Louie"-style bridge.
Sometimes when you go to a concert, the rush of live music is enough to keep you entertained. Other times, you hit the mother lode.
In his first recent public appearance in New York state completely unrelated to the justice system, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio joined DMB for a rousing version of "Lie in our Graves."
It took Trey a while to get back into the swing of things. He spent the first few minutes of the song’s solo awkwardly pawing at the neck of his guitar and clenching his face into an expression that was equal parts "I’m not sure I know this one" and "I have gas."
Not that it mattered at all.
If the prospect of Dave could sell out SPAC, the bonus of Trey was surely enough to make the kids drool.
It was a little like you might imagine Christmas on a commune ... only with cell phones. Dozens of them, glowing blue in the night sky, each with its own jam fan on the earpiece shouting "Dude ... you’re not going to believe this."
Dave Matthews, his band and its gypsyesque guest stars were flat-out stellar.
Here’s hoping the two-show tradition returns next season. He knows we’re worth it.