August 15th, 2005
San Francisco Chronicle - Joel Selvin, Chronicle Senior Pop Music Critic
When Dave Matthews sings, he gets so worked up, veins bulge on his neck. His songs start slowly, but invariably end with his band crashing huge waves of sound behind him, while he pours on the passion.
What exactly he's so worked up about is not all that easy to divine, but there was no doubting the connection he made with the more than 55,000 fans that thronged both his appearances this weekend at SBC Park, not sold out, but still easily the biggest shows of the lackluster summer season.
Blending some of the world beat explorations of Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel with the elasticity of the Grateful Dead, the Matthews band has become the only major new rock act to emerge in the past 10 years that can sell out stadiums. All this has been accomplished almost entirely on the band's own terms, without great support from radio or many concessions to the so-called conventional wisdom of the record industry.