Dave Matthews Band
China Club, New York, New York
Graph of songs performed, by album
Promotional event by 95.5FM, WPLJ. Invitation-only.

So Damn Lucky
Save Me
Everyday (#36)
Some Devil
Where Are You Going?
Happy Birthday *

* Sung by audience to Dave

Daniel R.
I had wrote a review of the show the day after it happened, but somewhere along the line, it never made it to the nancies setlist review people. So here I am, over six months later, recalling one of the best Dave Matthews experiences I have had to date. At the time, it was my tenth show. I have shook Dave’s hand. I had seen James Brown. I had been there for the Halloween encore. I had witnessed the double encore. I was 10th row at Central Park. But there is something very special about being in a club with less than two hundred other people and Dave Matthews on his birthday. Here it goes: my review of Dave Matthews on January 9th, 2004 at the China Club in New York City. In order for me to explain how special this day actually was to me, I guess I have to give you the whole story of the day. This concert was a private event thrown by a local NYC radio station – 95.5 WPLJ. I tried all conventional methods of getting tickets: calling, online contests, scalping, but was left with nothing. My father knows some people who he thought could have been of some service to me, so he asked them to get my name on the list for me plus one guest. The afternoon of the 9th arrives and my best friend and I make our way to midtown. When we got there, the line was about halfway down the block single file while there was an eight degree wind-chill. We sucked it up for over twenty minutes as they were only letting a few people in at a time. Once we got to the front of the line, we had to wait a few minutes more so that they group in front of us could make their way in. Because the show was at a club that openly served alcohol, you needed to be 21 to enter. Although I was still three weeks shy of my eighteenth birthday, I had sufficient ID (chalked), but on the car ride to the club, I learned that my best friend didn’t have a thing on him. This wouldn’t have worried me, except as we were waiting in the front of the line, a couple came out because they had been turned away due to age and the bouncer looked at us in that asshole way that bouncers do to young people (I don’t know how many people have ever snuck into bars/clubs when you were 21…but that’s the look) and said that we better have some ID to show him when the rope goes up. By the grace of god, the rope went up for us to go in and they didn’t card us. We made our way to the coach check where there was another ID check point. Miraculously, we didn’t get stopped there either. Now was the moment of truth – sign in. The whole time we were waiting, we weren’t sure if we were on the list or not. So there were three people doing the sign ins, we walked over to the closest one, told him my name and showed him my ID where he proceeded to look down the list and not find my name. My heart sunk into my stomach. I told him that I had just gotten on the list with the help of my dad’s friend and that he could ask his boss (not that I knew that would do anything). I don’t exactly know why, but he gave me the ok and let me and my best friend in. We walked into a fairly small club and just smiled. We were five people from a tiny stage that Dave was about to come play on. I was on cloud nine. After we endured over an hour of PLJ music (the best mix of the 80’s, 90’s and today…which isn’t that good), the lights went down and out came Dave. He did his hellos, took his birthday gifts from the people up front and then thanked us for coming out to celebrate his birthday with him. I guess one of the main reasons that Dave did the solo show was to promote Some Devil, so we weren’t really expecting anything other than Some Devil tunes. Sure enough, the first song he played was So Damn Lucky. It was pretty good hearing this song just Dave since I had heard it twice on the Dave and Friends tour. Next was a very nice version of Oh where Dave really seemed to be enjoying himself. After the second song, he started taking questions from the audience. First was if he made up his Two Step intros on the spot or if he had them planned out. He explained that he thinks of things during the show but he just kinda lets it flow once the time comes. After that was Save Me. Dave really got into the part at the end where he is howling – the crowd loved it. This was closely followed by a very soft and soothing version of Baby. The lights were low, it was unbelievable. Dave did another little interview thingy in which he spoke about all the bible references in his songs. Then came the best Everyday I have ever heard. The crowd was very very into it from the first note. Everybody started screaming “Honey, Honey” (or “Hani, Hani”…whatever you prefer) at the top of their lungs. Dave responded by playing a nice long intro and letting us showcase our beautiful singing talents. He played a great version of Everyday and then came the #36 outro. We thought we had been screaming loudly in the intro…boy were we wrong. We were all in perfect unison with one another and Dave just went back and forth with us for two or three minutes. He finished and we went nuts. He thanked us for sounding so nice. Next came an average version of Some Devil (I am not too big on this song, so my review cannot be anything other than it sounding average). Some Devil sounded a whole lot better than the next thing that he played, one of my personal favorites (huge amounts of sarcasm in that statement) – Where Are You Going. Although I do have very strong feelings against this song, it wasn’t as terrible as it usual is. Finally, there was Gravedigger. Although this song had also gotten a little played out, Dave played a very slow and melodic version of it and it sounded pretty damn good. Dave stops, we cheer, Dave exits stage left. Ten minutes pass and Mr. Matthews comes back out for an encore. However, before he starts to play, they bring out a cake for him and we all sing him Happy Birthday. He smiled, blew out his candles and thanked us. We were all itching for something huge during the encore. I wanted Say Goodbye, IBYU, Halloween, something rare and unbelievable, but what I got was quite alright. Dave started to strum the opening notes to Bartender and we all were loving it. He howled for a minute or two before he actually got into the song. There was so much energy in this version it was insane. At the end, Dave was also moaning and howling with tons of emotion. One of, if not the best Bartender’s I have ever heard. Now came the moment of truth – the final song. Dave took a couple of minutes to thank us again and while he was sitting there thinking, I shouted out “Say Goodbye” (no I am not a drunken frat boy, I knew that this would probably be the only chance ever for Dave to hear me, so I took it). He looked at me and said “Sorry, can’t do that one on my own.” It was awesome. He finished off with Crush. The song started off with the nice long acoustic intro that had been played on the Dave and Tim tour. Tons of power, probably the best version of the song I have ever heard. Then the mad rush to the stage for autographs. Although he did sign about fifty autographs, I was just too crammed and couldn’t get my arms out to get mine. He thanked us and walked off stage. I really wish that DMB’s people or WPLJ could let me have a copy of this show (I called the radio station and they said they didn’t have it…bullshit), so everyone could hear how great it was. Moreover, if you ever get the chance to see Dave in a small environment like that, pay any amount for it – I assure you it will be worth it. Hope this review gives you some idea about a night I will never forget.