Meadows Music Theatre, Hartford, Connecticut
Seek Up -->
Pantala Naga Pampa -->
Don't Drink the Water
The Best of What's Around
Lover Lay Down
Crash Into Me (Dixie Chicken)
Stefan Solo -->
Stir It Up -->
All Along the Watchtower
This show was great. The set had a much, much better flow than the night before. Seek Up was great as usual, LeRoi played at the end instead of Boyd's usual solo. Carter and Stephan kept the rhythm of Seek Up, while Dave and Roi did the slow lead into Pantala. Very nice, again great flow. The encore was great as well. Stephan now has a nice bass solo. The guys push off to the side and leaves the spotlight to Stephan. Great solo, which improvs into the bassline from Marley's Stir It Up- at which point Carter starts to hit some cymbals and Dave all smiles and heads up to the mic and sings the chorus to Stir It Up for a minute or two and then fade into a bit more bass and then Watchtower! Roi finally plays his sax on this song since it disappeared back around '94.
The energy was insane. DMB, the crowd, it was off the wall in there. From my 10th row center seats, i had a perfect view. A lot of great davespeak. Seek Up was a kickin' way to kick it off, ran about 13-14 minutes. PNP-->Rapunzel was great again, with the new verse. #41, one of my all time favorites was a nice addition to the setlist. After screaming Granny the whole time the night before, and for the first 4-5 songs this night, they finally broke down and played it. MY ALL TIME FAVORITE SONG, IT MADE MY WEEKEND. Two step is always good, w/ boyd's plucking action. Crush, another long jam. Another great Say Goodbye. the whipped out Stone. BOWA was not suprising, and nothing special, but still good. Then they hit us w/ Lover Lay Down. Stay, again, got everyone dancing. . Billies, w/ a good jam. the Crash encore was decent, i was hoping for something different, but they went old school w/ dixie chicken. Then the most AMAZING ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER ANYONE HAS EVER HEARD. it even rivals the 10.5.94 AATW-->stairway to heaven-->AATW, and the 2.24.95 AATW w/ Popper and Trey A. The Stefan solo, and the Bob Marley song in the intro, and a little jam, were insane. then boyds solo just took you to the height of the song, and Lerio kept you up. the ending left nothing to be desired. It is hard to tell which one is better, i don't think its possible, till i get the tapes.
Of the four dmb shows I've been to, definitely the best one! It was cool that they played some songs that don't make it into the setlist often (granny, bowa, lld, #41). There was so much energy throughout the whole show.... it was unbelieveable. Nice long #41. Granny was definitely a treat, I was the only one singing along though. Love Boyd's solo in Two Step where he's plucking the violin. I was hoping to hear the song. Even though I heard it last night, I was glad to hear Say Goodbye. Carter's solo before it was awesome, and the whole crowd was into it. You could tell he was relaxed up there. In the middle of the solo, he turned around and was playing the wood blocks. Somehow, he managed to play the maxwell coffee commercial. It was awesome. He realized that he had done it, and he was laughing and looking at dave. Satellite was a crowd fav, but I had never really gotten into that song. Watchtower was definitely a great way to wrap up the night. I knew it was coming when i heard Stefan start his bass solo. He had more rhythm in his solo, and was playing notes... he went into the Marley tune Stir It Up, and he was smiling up a storm when he realized it. Carter picked up on it, and joined in. Then Dave picked up on it and joined in on the guitar. The whole crowd was singing it. Then Dave sang some of it.... it was great seeing them go into a song like that for the first time. They changed up the middle of Watchtower a bit, and it sounds much better. I think that's my fav song now. Unbelieveable!
Oh my.....that's all that cna be begun to be said in response to an encore featuring a first-time ever appearence of Bob Marley's classic hit, Stir It Up. For those of you wondering the form and length of the new inclusion, be aware it was the chorus and only one full verse, both of which came out of an amazing 5 minute Stir It Up bass sole by Stefan. Both he and Dave dueted on the Stir It Up lyrics. The rest of the show paled in comparison to the night before, although the Billies was the best of the 7 versions of it I have ever heard live, and it was just a wonderful surprise to see the reappearence of Granny. Satelite near the show's conclusion was a waste and a downer, and I still don't see the appeal of the Stone. Overall though, a solid, if too mellow, show with a couple of tremendous surprises.
Well, this wraps up my middle of the summer string. I went to 6 of the last 7 shows and I won't be going again until Raleigh, NC at the end of the month. Tonight was great. For those of you who haven't been this year, I must say that they are playing great. They have consistently changed up the shows putting in a typical situation here and a lover lay down or For the Beauty of Wynona there. The shows haven't focused too much on one era of the band--obviously. My only gripe from my 8 shows so far this summer is that they have closed 5 with Watchtower and closed the regular set with it at two others, leaving Roanoke as the sole Watchtowerless show this summer for me. I would like to get Drive In, Drive Out or some other closer from time to time. However, tonight they added in Stir It Up the Bob Marley tune before they went into it. It has been good, it would simply be better if I wasn't expecting it. I actually believed for a second or two that we were going to get #36 in the encore last night. Granny was a nice surprise and it was cool to get Say Goddbye both nights inHartford. Another great tune for the summer has been Warehouse. I was so happy to hear it at Saratoga. Anyway- Another good point has been The Last Stop. They really get the show pumping with it and they add in the bonus track from BCTS nicely at the end. I also like the anger that Dave puts out in Don't Drink The Water- I really enjoy hearing the song at each show as well as Stay- it's getting the crowd into the show like Ants used to and like Billies has been. That's my 2 cents.
One word "unbelieveable" is the only way to describe the show. How could you ask for a better setlist, with the exception of a couple of missing favorites. I was praying for a long Seek Up, and DMB opened with an unreal 19 minute (timed) version with a long intro and long slow outro. It was just unreal. PNP--> Rapunzel, definately one of the best off of BTCS got the crowd rolling. I was looking for #41 and was psyched when it followed Rapunzel. This version was flawless, I just kind of swayed back and forth on the lawn, hypnotized by the music. I was disappointed when Say Goodbye didn't follow, but they played a great version of it 5 songs later. I was shocked to hear Granny, 3/4 of the crowd sat and didn't have a clue, but oh well. Two Step rocked the house and my fav. off of BTCS, Crush, was excellent. Best of What's Around put a huge smile on my face, and so didn't the lack of backup singers during Stay. Tripping Billies was absolutely out-of-control, insane. The whole place was dancing up a storm, DMB just jammed, after that the crowd was pumped and called DMB out for the encore. Crash (Dixie Chicken) lead into one of the coolest things I've ever seen at a DMB concert, an unreal Bass solo by Stefan. Playing mostly the highest stings really low on the fret board he sounded like he was jamming an electric guitar. The crowd was awe-struck, what a surprise. Then the bass solo started sounding a little reggae and Dave busted in with a verse from Stir It Up. I was all confused, but it kicked and I knew I was experiencing something very few or maybe no other DMB fan has ever seen. What else could finish off a sick concert as good as Watchtower? Nothing. It rocked and was quite similar to the version I heard in Montreal on 5/2/98. Well that's it. This is my third concert of the tour and definately the best. A must for any bootleg collection. Now it's off to North Carolina for 2 shows Aug 29 and 30.
The Dave Matthews Band greeted an entusiastic crowd at the Meadows Sarurday night with an extremely tight and smooth Seek Up. I knew the show was going to be very kind after that. Saturday's show was strong throughout and wonderfully varied in the setlist. DMB got it going early with a slower Rapunzel(with a great sax jam) and then treated the crowd to a sweet #41. The band changed their tempos from song to song and the jams loose for the most part. Highlights included a tease of Marley's Stir it Up after Stefan's bass solo, the "new" Watchtower with the calypso middle, and the most ferocious Trippin" Billies I've ever heard. At one point Dave said that Carter Beauford was his hero. Then he began the Stone which was intense. As for surprises it doesn't get any better than Granny. As for the encore I, like every other guy, was disappointed with Crash at first but 2 minutes in I was swaying and singing along with 24,000 other people. The show was so good I didn't think for a minute about which songs I wanted to hear and what not. My mind didn't have the time to wander off in that kind of negative direction. The only time I hoped for something was during Stay as Dave's repeating the chorus, Carter's slowly building the groove up, and Leroi was wailing on the sax I was hoping it wasn't the end of the set. It wasn't as I got treated to Satellite and Tripping Billies before the encores. Keep going DMB.
I have very mixed feelings about the show. While the Rhthym Section was driving the whole night, Boyd and Leroi were lacking the energy of the rest of the band, which is something I expect from Leroi but not Boyd. The setlist was actualy pretty good, but that's not to say all the songs sounded good. Seek Up, which can be a great opener lacked some energy until the climax with Dave's vocal solo. A lot of the new songs sounded week, mainly do to the missing of Tim and the other guest players, which makes for empty gaps and an empty sound. And while there are a bunch of songs that are played every night, those are the songs that sounded the best live. Highlights were Granny, Say Goodbye and Watchtower, and Boyd did redeam himself on Tripping Billies. That's it.
Another great show!! It's hard to decide which of the two nights was better, since the second show had a more mellow vibe to it. The people in our section of the lawn were pretty lame and were sitting. The band was very strong again tonite, and a much different setlist was played. Seek Up was a great opener, always nice to hear a song thats not played too much anymore. #41 was great, the band ended up extending the ending section a lot longer than usual. Someone in the crowd made a HUGE poster reading "GRANNY" and the cameras caught it and put it on the tv screen. Luckily Dave played it, and it ROCKED. The Stone was incredible live, and was actually better than the album version, mostly because it was slowed down a bit. Say Goodbye, Lover Lay Down, and Sattelite kept the mellow vibe going on, and were great being I was yet to hear the latter two live. The encore was incredible. Stefan's little Stir It Up rendition was cool and the crowd went insane when the band kicked in and dave sang a few lines. The shows were incredible, and probably the best I've seen so far.