August 20th, 2007
By Robert Herrington
While Friday evening’s opener was a musical thrill ride which took the audience through tempo peaks and valleys, much of Saturday evening’s Dave Matthews Band show at Verizon Wireless Music Center proved more even keeled and predictable.
Some of the predictability came from DMB concert constants – the show was sold out and the audience was hanging on Matthews’ every guitar strum and vocal projection. The crowd was also treated to an old-fashion concert performance based on impeccable musicianship and not laser light shows and pyrotechnics.
Also, every musician on stage – including all five DMB members and guests Butch Taylor, keyboards, and Rashawn Ross, trumpet – had ample soloing time during the concert.
With DMB, one of the best aspects of its live shows are the different set lists each night – with no two concerts ever the same. While the energy was there on stage, the crowd seemed hit-and-miss with the song selection Saturday. In contrast to Friday’s musical rollercoaster, Saturday was steady and mellow. The band lacked the highs and lows that usually come in its live shows.
Despite playing the fan favorites “Ants Marching” as the set closer and “Two Step” as the encore closer, the crowd seemed too unemotional – with many in the lawn deciding to sit on the ground rather than dance on the hill – to really appreciate the attempt to salvage the show’s energy level.
While Friday night’s concert proved a steady mix of old, new and fan-favorites, Saturday’s show seemed to be the live version of the group’s greatest hits compilation – The Best of What’s Around Vol. 1. Radio singles played during Saturday included: “Crash Into Me,” “Rapunzel,” “Where Are You Going,” “Crush,” “What Would You Say,” and “Everyday”.
One of the drawbacks with Saturday’s set list was the selection of “jam” songs. Five different songs were performed for more than 10 minutes each – “Jimi Thing,” “Bartender,” “No. 41,” “American Baby Intro” and “Two Step.”
“Cornbread,” a new song, and the unreleased “The Idea of You” were also played Saturday.
The highlight from Saturday’s concert was “Eh Hee,” which was the first time the entire band performed the song. Before Noblesville’s stop it had only been played a hand full of times by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds acoustically or by Dave Matthews and Friends. Standing alone at center stage, Matthews performed “So Damn Lucky,” a song from his debut solo album, as the encore opener.
DMB will perform tonight at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
photo by Robert Herrington/ firstname.lastname@example.org