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Matthews in top form as season kicks off

By Jeff Miers NEWS POP MUSIC CRITIC

The Dave Matthews Band performed double duty on Wednesday evening before what appeared to be a full house at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Not only did Matthews and his cohorts kick off their 2009 “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King” tour, but the band did so while simultaneously ringing the bell for the summer concert season in the Buffalo area.

The evening was electric from the get-go. Following an opening set from Robert Randolph and the Family Band — that group plays the

Thursday at the Square series in June — Matthews walked onto the stage just as the lights dimmed, to a mighty roar of applause. Just as he made it to the microphone, a torrential downpour commenced.

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2009, concert reviewsdbtp
Dave Matthews Band's farewell to a fallen brother

August 20th, 2008

The Orange County Register

Even if it had been a merely half-hearted performance – which it wasn't, not even close, though who'd have blamed 'em if it were? – Tuesday's inspired show at Staples Center would still linger long in Dave Matthews Band lore.

For this, sadly, was the night the group played a nearly three-hour elegy for its fallen brother, LeRoi Moore.

You could tell something was different – something wasn't quite right – from the way Matthews approached the microphone after opening with a tremendous roar through "Bartender." Clearly striving for some sort of grieving catharsis during that track's dozen-minute running time, eventually achieving a high-pitched, hollered fervency like I haven't felt shake my soul since Bono was in his prime, he suddenly looked sullen, sad-eyed, kinda lost – yet at the same time all business, as if out to impress.

"We got some bad news today," he told the quickly quieted crowd. It was a heavy blow: Saxophonist and founding member Moore – DMB's own Clarence Clemons – who had suffered health complications ever since sustaining serious injuries from an ATV crash on his Virginia farm in late June, had died earlier that afternoon at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, not far from where the band would play hours later. He was 46.

"(He) gave up his ghost today," Matthews said matter-of-factly, "and we will miss him forever."

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2008, concert reviewsdbtp
Matthews and Reynolds put on meaningful, lively show in honor of Dalai Lama's visit

April 12th, 2008

By Gene Stout

Dave Matthews and longtime collaborator Tim Reynolds capped a day of enlightenment, inspiration and compassion with an electrifying performance at KeyArena.

Coinciding with the Dalai Lama's historic visit to Seattle, Friday's concert was a benefit for Seeds of Compassion, the campaign to raise worldwide awareness for "the importance of nurturing kindness and compassion."

Matthews and Reynolds' concert covered a wide range of songs, from the harrowing "Gravedigger" to the funky, countrified "Cornbread." The sound was surprisingly good for a semi-acoustic show at KeyArena, and overhead video screens assured that everyone in the packed arena could see close-ups of the two musicians' masterful guitar-playing.

Reynolds' playing, in fact, was nothing short of brilliant. And the interplay between the two guitarists was lively and often riveting.

"I'm lucky I get to share the stage with Tim," Matthews said. "He's one of my heroes."

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2008, concert reviewsdbtp
Matthews battles to get it right on the stage and in life

concertreviewicon.jpgSeptember 28th, 2007

UNION-TRIBUNE POP MUSIC CRITIC

 
a092807.jpgThere are two good reasons why Dave Matthews, one of the most consistently uncompromising artists in or out of rock, rarely submits to interviews. He doesn't need to and doesn't like to, so why bother?

“Generally, it's along the lines of 'What's your favorite color?' or 'What brings you to Boston?' ” he said from a tour stop last week in North Carolina with his group, the Dave Matthews Band (or DMB for short).

“Because of what it is, 'rock journalism,' like much of the other mainstream media, is an attempt to sell an oversimplified, nicely packaged vision of the world that will be palatable and easy to travel, when the truth is far more confusing. I can assure anyone that gets their news from the mainstream media that there's a far more inspirational, complex and breathtaking world out there than the one portrayed to us in general by the purveyors of information.”

The inspiration and confusion of everyday life make Matthews thrive, on and off stage. His success as the leader of one of the few bands anywhere that can consistently fill stadiums and large outdoor venues like Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, where they perform tonight, has made it even less necessary for him to speak to the press.

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Dave Matthews Band delivers too much, too much

concertreviewicon.jpgSeptember 27th, 2007

The Orange County Register
 

dmb2.jpgA lot of the Dave Matthews Band goes a long way – three hours long if you were at Irvine's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater for an almost-sold out show on Wednesday night.

And from the ecstatic reactions of the fans, that's a good thing. Maybe not even enough of a good thing, judging by the two young women standing nearby who shouted in vain all night for Dave to play "Two Step."

So the tricky thing to figure becomes this: If 15,000 fans are having such a great time, why didn't this show move me as much as it seemed to be moving so many others?

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Dave Matthews Band delivers crowd-pleasing show

concertreviewicon.jpgSeptember 25th, 2007

John Schreiber

 
crowdpleaser.jpgIf you weren't in Fort Worth Saturday night watching a certain football game, chances are you were at the Dave Matthews Band concert at the Smirnoff Music Centre in Fair Park.

In front of a sold-out crowd of over 20,000, Matthews and his band played a crowd-pleasing, three-hour set filled with a mix of old favorites, a few new, unreleased songs and a whole lot of energetic jams.

With a crowd ranging from teenagers to mothers of teenagers, the Dave Matthews Band had the unique challenge of appeasing its wide scope of fans. The band, which has been touring almost every year since its formation in the early '90s, undertakes this task masterfully.

The band started things off slowly with the new tune "A Dream So Real," a darker song characteristic of the band's older albums. Although a decent song, it failed to start off the concert with enough energy. However, the tempo picked up a bit as the band jammed out to a 20-minute version of "Seek Up," complete with lively solos from violinist Boyd Tinsley and trumpet player Rashawn Ross (of Robert Randolph & the Family Band).

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Green Concert Lives Up To Name

concertreviewicon.jpgSeptember 9th, 2007

Reported by: Duffie Dixon

greenconcert.jpgDave Matthews Band was the headline act for The Green Concert at Piedmont Park on Saturday, September 8, 2007. The event helped raise more than $1 million for the park's expansion, which is set to begin later this fall.

The special guest who joined Dave Matthews Band was Georgia's own The Allman Brothers Band, who last played in the Park more than 30 years ago with the Grateful Dead and Delaney & Bonnie. The sold out concert drew more than 50,000 fans and with absolutely no parking on-site or in surrounding neighborhoods, concert organizers urged everyone to take MARTA, walk or bike to get to the park.

The Green Concert for Piedmont Park was the latest in a series of special concerts Dave Matthews Band has played to benefit some of the United States' most treasured parks, including New York City's Central Park and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

"As a band, we've always found playing in an historic park to be a remarkable experience," said Dave Matthews. "Given Piedmont Park's rich legacy of outdoor concerts, we're particularly honored to be chosen along with The Allman Brothers Band to help the Conservancy expand the park."

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Virginia Tech concert was more than music

concertreviewicon.jpgSeptember 7th, 2007

By Anna L. Mallory and Greg Esposito
 
The Roanoke Times

BLACKSBURG -- Making "good memories."

vt1.jpgDave Matthews had that goal in mind for the more than 50,000 people packed into Lane Stadium on Thursday night, and with the strumming of a guitar, a steady stadium "wave" and a few "Let's Go, Hokies" chants, it seemed he got his wish.

Matthews brought his band and joined John Mayer, Nas and Lynchburg native Phil Vassar in Blacksburg for "A Concert for Virginia Tech," a show aimed at bringing together the university community and helping it heal after the April 16 shootings.

"I figure memories are always good to have, and good ones are always the best," Matthews told the crowd at the opening of the show.

About 45,000 students, faculty, staff and first responders to the shootings received free tickets, as did 2007 graduates and victims' families. Late last week, the public was offered $65 tickets.

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Rockers provide much-needed escape

concertreviewicon.jpgSeptember 7th, 2007

By Ralph Berrier Jr.

dmb3.jpgBLACKSBURG -- So why was Bill O'Reilly so upset with Phil Vassar? He seems like a nice guy, so I don't get all the fuss over his lyrics.

What's that? Oh, it was Nas who was supposed to be the controversial guy? Well, Vassar, Nassar, whatever. Nobody was going to ruin this night for the Hokie Nation. Nobody was going to spoil this Concert for Virginia Tech.

Spearheaded by longtime Charlottesville resident and jam-band demigod Dave Matthews, the concert was about as chilled-out an affair as you could have with 50,000 of your closest orange and maroon clad buddies at Lane Stadium. From Vassar's just-happy-to-be-here kickoff to Nas and his defiant raps, from John Mayer's astounding blues-soaked set to the Dave Matthews Band's arena-sized singalongs, the concert provided just what a grieving campus needs -- a sense of peace and community.

"The world should be like this all the time," Mayer said during his 50-minute set.

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
DMB plays steady and mellow Saturday night at Verizon

concertreviewicon.jpgAugust 20th, 2007

By Robert Herrington

c082007.jpgWhile 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.

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
DMB and friends rock sold-out SPAC

concertreviewicon.jpgAugust 15th, 2007

By CE SKIDMORE

spac2007.jpgSARATOGA 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.

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Dave Matthews teases, delivers

concertreviewicon.jpgAugust 6th, 2007

By DONNIE MOORHOUSE
Music writer

HARTFORD - It happens every summer, like traffic on the Cape, and still they come in droves.

The Dave Matthews Band played the Dodge Music Center in Hartford on Saturday night, the first of two sold-out shows at the venue.

Since 1994, when Matthews and his band earned critical and commercial success with their sophomore release "Under the Table and Dreaming," the Dave Matthews Band traveling show has been a staple at summer sheds like the Dodge.

It seems that the audience has eerily remained perpetually young, forever poised in that "last summer before (insert life-changing benchmark here)" of youth.

A nonchalant Matthews opened the show by easing the band into "Best of What's Around," then instantly picked up the pace with "When the World Ends."

He referred to the first several songs as "little love songs." They included "One Sweet World" and "Hunger for the Great Light."

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Favorite Tunes, Freshly Done

concertreviewicon.jpgAugust 5th, 2007


dave1555.jpgTuesday night's Police show in East Hartford may have been this summer's local buzz event, but multi-night stands by the Dave Matthews Band in front of full houses at the Dodge Music Center in Hartford are the reliable centerpiece of the outdoor concert season in these parts.

Saturday night, the steadily appealing act that has been anchoring the season annually since the 1990s opened this year's stop in town with a fluid program stacked with favorite tunes, and took enough turns and liberties with the material to keep it fresh for an adoring sellout crowd.

The seven-piece band's manner is that of a jam band for listeners with relatively short attentions spans, as it dips and swerves through tunes while avoiding lengthy detours. An opener of "Best of What's Around" was typical of the method, a generally compact delivery of a song in which Matthews' rhythm acoustic guitar-playing and the crisp drum presence of Carter Beauford gave the song's eclectic bob a backbone.

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Matthews for non-believers

concertreviewicon.jpgAugust 2nd, 2007

By Christopher John Treacy

dave2.jpgTrust me: Even if you can’t stand Dave Matthews, going to see his live show will make you a believer.

 
Getting back into gear after a short break in their summer tour, Matthews and his band sounded inspired last night for the first of two gigs at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield.
 
Matthews took the stage - to mass hysteria - looking a bit pensive. Scratching his chin, arching his brow and pacing the stage, he carefully assessed the crowd before launching into a set of dark songs performed with purpose and feeling.
 
An unlikely opener, the dreamlike romanticism of “Crush” set the evening’s tone. The Dave Matthews Band made it work by dramatically stretching the mysterious, jazz-tinged melody, adding solos from electric violinist Boyd Tinsley and sax man LeRoi Moore straight away.
 
The brooding rocker “You Might Die Trying” was tempered by Butch Taylor’s delicate keyboard tinkling, and the old fan fave “Dancing Nancies” made for an excellent showcase of the DMB’s strengths. And “When the World Ends” benefited from Matthews’ unusually charged vocal delivery - in fact, his singing sounded as if he’s been taking greater care of himself.

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp
Dave Matthews Band strikes up the jam

concertreviewicon.jpgAugust 2nd, 2007

By Stu Woo
Journal Staff Writer

dmbgroup.jpgMANSFIELD, Mass. — It is 2007, eight years after its last breakthrough album, four years after its lead singer released a disappointing solo album and two years after its last studio album, but the Dave Matthews Band — and especially its fans — don’t seem to care.

When the popular jam band opened its three-hour set at the Tweeter Center last night with “Crush,” it appeared as if the band was trying to relive its glory days in the latter half of the 1990s, when it released the hit albums Crash and Before These Crowded Streets. But despite their lack of success in the new millennium, their fans remain loyal.

That’s because Dave Matthews Band fans do not come to watch the band play their songs, many of which are now staples on soft-rock radio. They come to see them jam. That was clear during “Crush,” the first song, which was extended into a 10-minute jam session. While it’s not something that everyone would enjoy, fans thrived on the extended, improvised jams of the seven-man ensemble — especially that of violinist Boyd Tinsley. Several times throughout the night, Tinsley used his violin to banter with fans, flashing them a blissful grin through the dreadlocks that flew around his face as he bounced onstage.

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2007, concert reviewsdbtp