Irvine Meadows, Irvine, California
Tripping Billies *
The Last Stop (Reprise outro) *
Lie In Our Graves *
Don't Drink The Water *
Pantala Naga Pampa ** -->
* with Bela Fleck
** with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and Jeff Coffin
Great show, but then again, is Dave never a great show? Highlights... Dancing Nancies, the almost 20 minute long song #41, and guest Bella Fleck and the Flecktones. They all got out on stage for the last two songs, and they were awesome. That is why #41 was just short of 20 sweet minutes. Dave spoke to the crowd before #41 and said "instead of us doing the traditional encore, we will just stay on stage and play until 11, because that is when this place wants us out." I really appreciated that from Dave and the band. Bella Fleck was a great guest. His solo on Lie in our Graves was incredible. The only dissapointment I had was the intro to Tripping Billies was I could swear to have been Granny. I totally thought that was the song, and then they broke into Tripping Billies. Well, I guess it was good enought to hear it at Shoreline. In departing, Jeff and I agree that this show was definitely "orgasmic."
Greetings and good cheer to all from Southern California...Bittersweet is the word flashing through my mind at this late hour...ah, and what a bittersweet night it was...excellent show...the band was in good spirits...played tight and had a great time...unfortunately, my concert experience was a little hectic and distracting due to the inconsiderate doings of many people around me, but all in all, if those annoying elements were taken away, this just might have been the best all around show i've seen (out of three shows). The sound mix was perfect. Missed Taj Mahal and i was kinda bummed(a direct result of attending a show with six other people who just want to see DMB, not some opening act)...the show was started a half hour early(?!) so they could be done by 11pm sharp(?!?!?!?) so they played right through without doing an encore exit...opened with TWO STEP (same opener last year at Irvine) and got groovin'I love Stefan's twisted bass line at the end...JIMI THING followed and got the crowd into a frenzy...everybody was on their feet and dancing throughout much of the show...SATELLITE came next, then CRUSH...this was around the time when the people around me began to poison the evening with their rudeness...a near fight broke out right in front of me and a yelling match ensued for the next song, THE STONE...it was a good suspenseful tune for the situation, but it really distracted my attention from watching the guys play...Carter drummed up a storm on that one...DANCING NANCIES was next and practically brought the house down with the end jam (anybody who's curious, listen to it on Live at Red Rocks and you'll know what I'm saying) Boyd always goes absolutely bonkers during that tune, i love it...STAY sounded great without those gospel backup singers (the only unpleasant part of Before These Crowded Streets)...Dave then brought out the mighty Bela Fleck on banjo for TRIPPING BILLIES...Dave messed up the middle part where it stops and he sings, "We're Tripping Billies..." Instead, he played into the instrumental section that comes a verse later...the whole band was totally still waiting for him to sing that little part before launching back into it, but he danced around thinking he was into the next part (GUESS YOU HAD TO BE THERE)...anyway, a decent version of the song...i've seen it done with much more intensity and power...THE LAST STOP followed and was ABSOLUTELY HAUNTED with darkness...that's a great song, they got really into it (Bela stayed out and jammed for the rest of the show)...LIE IN OUR GRAVES was next...how can you not LOVE this song? DON'T DRINK THE WATER followed and sounded epic compared to the record...great f-ing SONG!!!!!! Then, Dave called out the rest of the Flecktones to jam for the remainder of the show. They went right into #41 and took it to places (and lengths) that I never knew exsisted...PANTALA NAGA PAMPA came next and (of course) RAPUNZEL followed to close the show...INTENSE JAM on Rapunzel!!!! There were 9 musicians on stage and they all traded licks on bass, sax, and banjo for what seemed like forever (but not nearly long enough) and it all came to a quick end when they left the stage...earlier, Dave mentoned that they would not be doing an encore, they would just play through to 11pm (i don't know why and nobody else did either) so it seemed shorter than normal, but great anyway...the sax player in the Flecktones sure gave Leroi a run for his money...AMAZING PIPES...great setlist, a powerful show all around So all in all, it was quite bittersweet...Sweet for the wonderful show those guys put on for us (AT THE BEST VENUE FOR SHOWS!) yet bitter for all that pulled me away from it (like my good friend puking her guts out beside me during GRAVES, and the constant booming voice of mr. friendly security guard next to us screaming for people to clear the aisles, "GO BACK TO YOUR SEATS, NOOOOW!!!!!" Thanks Dave, Leroi, Boyd, Carter, Stefan, and Bela and the boys...can't wait till you COME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!
The Show was my fourth but not best to date.The guest spot by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones was amazing.The Venue was good and Dave came with alot of energy,his voice was not as good as Shoreline but was in full force.Boyd came in strong with some of the most innovational solos to date. Two Step-Unbelieveable,Nice Jam at the beginning with new lyrics Jimi Thing-I can die a happy man after hearing this,was praying for it.Boyd was off the hook on this one Sattelite-What can I say,album version Crush-Beautiful nice new jam at the end Stone-Definitely a favorite,sounds good live Nancies-Another one I was praying for,nice long jam at the end-Boyd once again pulling out all the stops Billies-Amazing with Bela playing probably the most insane solo I've ever heard on a banjo Last Stop-Dave Royally fucked the words he looked a little embarrassed with Bela watching him Lie In Our Graves-best version to date with Bela and Boyd dueling Don't Drink the Water-Very Emotional Dave really gets into this one #41-Sickest most wicked close to 20 minutes with two bassists,two sax players,and a futuristic drum machine PNP-Rapunzel-Definitely better than Shoreline No Encore Dave said city ordinances were in effect meaning they had to stop at 11 All in All a great show the guests added alot to it.Boyd is really start to take center stage he was getting up on the end the stage jamming.
All in all a great show. I almost skipped it, since I have this nagging cold, but realized this is probably my only chance to see them this year. I would have been very pissed off this morning if I did'nt go. I suspected Bela Fleck might sit in since he was at the Tonight Show appearence, and I wasnt dissapointed. Even better was that the rest of the Flecktones sat in too. Two Step - My favorite opener which i was hoping for. Jimi Thing- Kicked ass, maybe not as good as last year's Shoreline version but I was totally happy. New Songs, not in order (general impressions)- All came off well and the addition of Bela really made things sweet. Stay is much better sans backup singers. DDTW came off really nice, I like Dave's darker songs like this. Crush was also really good. Last Stop had a cool intro. Dancing Nancies- Another all time favorite, Boyd shredded it up. Dave needs to pair it up with Warehouse again. (Like at the Greek Theatre in '95) LIOG- this song is hit and miss with me. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't. I am sure it was a fine version, but it seemed a little long. For some reason, Leroi didnt take a sax solo, leaving most of it to Bela #41!!! - I wasnt expecting it, since they had played it at Shoreline and it seems to be played at every other show, so I was kind of bummed (It being my favorite song). But they did, and what a version! the best I will probably ever hear and I can now die happy. Words cant totally describe how happy I was to hear this and how great a version it was. All in all, I am glad I went although I am paying for it now with this really sore throat. Also, to that chick sitting behind who would randomly scream at the top of her lungs during the show: I know you are excited, but its not appreciated. I want to hear Dave, not your screamming.
It was great! Tailgate party prevented me from enjoying the musical stylings of Taj Mahol and The Phantom Blues Band, but Dave and Co. left me fulfilled. Two Step - Solid Opener. Twice in a row it has been used in that fashion at Irvine Meadows. Jimi Thing- Very strong and very, very long. Satellite - They really hit this song. Everyone was in perfect sync. The only troubling site was Dave shaking off his hand several times throughout the song. Crush - Extensive work by Stefan in the intro. Dave seemed to be relaxing but everyone joined in the final jams. The Stone - The initial intro work was done by Dave and Carter. Boyd soon joined in. It wasn’t as good live as I had anticipated but still was fun to follow. Dancing Nancies - A pleasant surprise! Each chorus brought the house down. Stay - Got the crowd going more than most songs from the new album. I just cant understand how BTCS is supposed to be considered dark and angry in light of songs like Stay and Rapunzel! Bela Fleck was warmly welcomed at this point. He looked much sharper than last night on Leno. Tripping Billies - I went crazy at the beginning of the semi-long intro, which was amazingly tight. Things just kept getting better. The choruses brought the same response as Dancing Nancies, total jubilation! Bela softly took one of the violin jams instead of Boyd. Was that a "come on Bela!" instead of Dave's usual "come on Boyd!"? Boyd made up for it with an amazing jam from the edge of the stage. He left the entire crowd and most of the band in amazement. The Last Stop- Predictable considering the recent arrival of Bela....this song just wouldn’t be the same without the banjo. Dave teased the crowd for several minutes as he tuned up for this. Lie In Our Graves- When they introduced Bela I thought it would have been appropriate to have a banjo-jam in the middle of LIOG, they didn’t disappoint. Bela took control halfway through the instrumental jam. He tapered off and Dave soloed a little before the end. Dont Drink The Water - Quite decent with Bela. No bathroom break taken here. Here The Fleckstones, who Dave introduced as "one of the best bands on the planet", joined the group. #41 - A very welcome surprise! Dave seemed to get a little lazy with the lyrics. The extensive jams from all 9 men were amazing. PNP, Rapunzel- I was so relieved at the opening notes of Pantala Naga Pampa. I can now die happy having heard this song live. The band was in great shape (Roi seemed to have slimed down) and the guests were very welcome. This show would easily have beaten last year's Irvine performance if it hadnt been cut short by an 11 PM curfew. I'll have to call it a tie for now.