There are certain bands that are quintessential to the summer season, and the Dave Matthews Band is one of the leaders of the pack. Visiting Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH on Sunday, June 3rd, DMB, led by front man Dave Matthews, other founding members, Carter Beauford (drums, percussion, vocals), Stefan Lessard (bass), and Boyd Tinsley (violin, vocals), along with band regulars Tim Reynolds (guitar), Rashawn Ross (trumpet), and Jeff Coffin (sax), eased into summer at this year’s show. After taking most of last year off from touring, the band did thoroughly seem glad to be back at it with Dave thanking the crowd time and again, telling everyone it was good to see them. The crowd responded in kind.
The audience was primed, and the show had the makings of one that could potentially get out of hand, in a very good way, but instead took kind of a sleepy turn. Matthews opened with a new song, “Sweet,” and delighted concert-goers by playing the ukulele. The band then followed with three more slow tunes before finally warming into “Don’t Drink the Water.” If DDTW got fans up then “Corn Bread,” which followed, really got them moving. Unfortunately the dancing was short lived as the band then segued back into more quiet songs, including another newbie, “If Only.”
While it was great to see and hear what the band has been working on for their new and still untitled studio album, and the stage light show was spectacular, the show was a bit lack luster save for certain parts that brought a sense of old school DMB nostalgia. An example of that nostalgia came into play toward the end of “Jimi Thing” when Dave then joined by Carter and Rashawn broke into their rendition of Prince’s “Sexy MF” to the utter delight of the crowd. The band also played “Everybody Wake Up,” which hasn’t been heard out on the road in quite some time. They closed out the set with “Two Step,” and it was hard to tell which of the original band members stole center stage as they all brought their musical chops to that song. Matthews hammering his guitar, Lessard keeping everyone together with his funky bass riffs, and Tinsley and Beauford squaring off with a violin and drum showdown.
The show rounded out with a three song encore including Carter’s drum lick from Sade’s “The Sweetest Taboo” before counting off into the coveted “Halloween.” Overall the concert had a very distinct mellow vibe and the Sunday concert-goers may have been a shade disappointed at the lack of dance numbers. Yet DMB are still playing some ridiculously awesome music, jamming out from time to time, and mixing things up with new material, and for that their fans are grateful. It’s good to see our old friends back up on stage to start off the summer, and we hope to catch them again later on down the road.
Proudest Monkey (into)
Don’t Drink the Water
Funny The Way It Is
Stay of Leave
Out Of My Hands
You Might Die Trying
Everybody Wake Up
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Linda Turk | Our Vinyl Contributor