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The start of something new?

I’m back..ish. We’ll see for how long. I went to a dmb show last month which was a pretty big letdown for numerous reasons. But the band was awesome as usual.

The opening act (Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave) was fantastic. Easily the best opening act I’ve ever seen at a dmb show. I heard one song I had never heard before live (Still Water), but otherwise the set was mind-blowing like West Palm Shows. But it was still really good.

Highlights
I was excited to hear Best of What’s Around. That was a nice surprise.
Stefan’s intro to Crush was awesome!
Two Step was amazing as always.
Dave teased Spoon twice and I thought I was gonna hear it played live (finally), but he stopped after one verse. I was pretty bummed because it would have completed “Before These Crowded Streets” for me.

November 17, 2010
North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, SC
Squirm
Proudest Monkey »
Satellite
Funny the Way It Is
Spaceman
Still Water
Don’t Drink the Water
I’ll Back You Up
Lie in Our Graves (Wonderful Tonight Interpolation by Dave)
Eh Hee
Spoon [tease] – Dave played the first few notes
Corn Bread feat. Trombone Shorty (Carter Intro, Down by the Riverside Interpolation by Rashawn & Jeff)
Digging a Ditch
Lying in the Hands of God
Shake Me Like a Monkey
Crush (Stefan Solo Intro with “Super Freak” interpolation)
The Best of What’s Around
What You Are (slow intro) »
You & Me
Two Step (Time Bomb Intro)
———————————–
Dive In (Dave Solo)
Spoon [tease] – Dave played one verse
Grey Street
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This is the last stop

I had an amazing time in Florida this past weekend.

Thursday was spent at Universal Studios. I had never been there so I was excited to check it out. I’m not a huge ride guy, so I wasn’t sure how much I would actually enjoy it, but I had a really good time. I didn’t really do any crazy rides but checked out some shows and less scary parts of the park.

Friday and Saturday were easily the best part of the trip. Both days were spent in West Palm Beach for my final two dmb shows of the year. The band is taking next year off from touring so the shows were a little sadder than usual. I have seen the band before every year since 1998 and these were my 25th and 26th shows. It’s crazy to think these shows won’t be part of my summer next year.

As usual the band did NOT disappoint. Even though I’ve seen the band perform so many times, I still saw some songs I’d never seen played live before (5 to be exact).

The first night was a better set for the casual fan as they played a lot of favorites, but night two brought out some rarities. I’ll detail some highlights and the full sets below…

After night one, we went to Roxy’s in West Palm Beach to see Tim Reynolds play with his band, TR3. Tim is a frequent contributed to dmb, but has essentially been a full-time member since 2008. I thought it was amazing that he plays with dmb and then drives straight from the venue to a small club to play another show.

The show was fun (completely different from a dmb show, but fun). KTB and I had met this guy and girl in the parking lot after dmb and they went with us to this show so we spent the night rocking out and getting a little tipsy. During TR3’s set, Jeff Coffin (the current saxophone player for dmb) walked up onto stage and started playing for a few songs. It was freakin great. Tim and Jeff are such amazing muscians and it was nice to see them in such a small venue.

After Jeff finished he walked around the club and we were able to meet him (very briefly) and take a picture with him. I always wanted to meet a member of my favorite band so this was pretty special for me….even if I was a bit too drunk to remember all the details haha.

After night two, we went to the PGA Resort and Hotel for an after-party being thrown by AntsMarching.org. There was an acoustic duo playing some songs, drinks, and lots of happy drunks.

Both nights we stayed at a really nice DoubleTree Hotel which included some steak and lobster for dinner on night two!

Sunday – Got up nice and early and went to Tampa Bay (well, St. Pete) to see the Yankees play the Devil Rays. The game was terrible as the Yankees got blanked, but I still had fun with KTB, My hero and My Hero’s Wife who met us there.

Dave Matthews Band
July 30, 2010
Cruzan Amphitheatre (Palm Beach County Fairgrounds), West Palm Beach, FL
Minarets

//

Don’t Drink the Water
What Would You Say
Seven (featuring Lasim Richards on Trombone)
The Best of What’s Around
#41 (featuring Lasim Richards on Trombone and Warren Hayes on guitar)
Shake Me Like a Monkey (featuring Lasim Richards on Trombone)
Pantala Naga Pampa »
Rapunzel
Digging a Ditch
Black Jack
You & Me
Dancing Nancies »
Grey Street
Crash Into Me (Dixie Chicken Outro)
Why I Am
Ants Marching
———————————–
Little Red Bird (Dave Solo)
Good Good Time
Tripping Billies
Highlights
– #41 was really awesome with Warren Hayes and Lasim Richards guesting. Warren can really shred.
-Best of What’s Around made its tour debut
-First time I’ve heard Little Red Bird, Good Good Time, and Black Jack live
-First time Good Good Time was played since 2/5/06
Dave Matthews Band
July 31, 2010
Cruzan Amphitheatre (Palm Beach County Fairgrounds), West Palm Beach, FL

//

The Stone (Can’t Help Falling in Love interpolation by Jeff with crowd singing)
Warehouse (UTTAD style-intro, salsa jam)
Funny the Way It Is (short solo intro by Stefan)
Stay or Leave
Spaceman
Lying in the Hands of God
Shake Me Like a Monkey
The Last Stop » (reprise outro)
Proudest Monkey »
Satellite
Cortez the Killer (featuring Warren Hayes on vocals and guitar)
Lie in Our Graves (no reprise)
Corn Bread (Carter Intro, Down by the Riverside Interpolation, featuring Lasim Richards on trombone)
Black Jack
Stay (featuring Lasim Richards on trombone)
Jimi Thing (Sexy MF outro, featuring Lasim Richards on trombone)
———————————–
The Needle and the Damage Done (Dave solo)
Two Step (Time Bomb intro, Overflow outro)
Highlights
-First time The Last Stop has been played since 9/12/06. It was the first time I had seen the song live since my very first show (7/31/08)
-First time Cortez the Killer has been played since 12/16/06
-Cortez featured Warren and Dave switching off vocals and Warren melting everyone’s face several times
-First time I heard Cortez the Killer, and The Needle and the Damage Done live
-Jimi Thing had some really good solos by RaShawn, Jeff, and Lasim
-The Two Step overflow outro is always fantastic. Dave stopped playing and was walking off when everyone else kicked back in. Dave decided to just dance around and then leapt in the air as the outro finished. Carter tossed his sticks in the air at the same time. It was a really cool moment.
Dave’s dancing on Corn Bread (the audio is terrible on this video, just mute it and enjoy Dave being a nutball)

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Show Two-Four

I had a blast in Charlotte earlier this week. I had been anxiously awaiting the Dave Matthews Band show in the Other Carolina for MONTHS. And it certainly did not disappoint. We got to Charlotte with plenty of time to spare, met up with various friends, was able to hook said friends up with ticket upgrades for free, got many tasty adult beverages in my belly, and made it into the pit (!!!) with time to spare.

The pit was surprisingly awesome. I was afraid of pushing, shoving, and general douche-iness, but was pleasantly surprised by how great everyone was. The crowd was great, the band kicked ass, and setlist was a nice mix of new and old tunes. Despite being my 24th show (going to at least one show every year since ’98), I still heard two songs I had never heard live before.

The only low-light of the night was the encore. Just wasn’t very strong, but not something I really would complain too much about.

Highlights
1. Boyd’s Solo on Lie In Our Graves
2. Minarets being played for the first time since 12/13/05
3. My first time hearing Minarets and Some Devil live

Dave Matthews Band
July 21, 2010
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

Minarets »
The Stone (Can’t Help Falling in Love interpolation by Jeff)
One Sweet World
Satellite
Shake Me Like a Monkey
Lying in the Hands of God
Pig
Spaceman
Seven
Lover Lay Down*
What Would You Say*
Some Devil
Why I Am
Don’t Drink the Water (included prelude)
Lie in Our Graves
You & Me »
Jimi Thing (Sexy MF Outro)*
———————————–
Sister
Corn Bread (Carter Solo Intro and Down By the Riverside interpolation by Rashawn and Jeff)

* = featured Branford Marsalis on saxophone

West Palm Beach shows are next up!!!

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Ants Marching Into Florida : Part II

I promise this will be my last dmb-related post in a while as I do not have any more concerts I plan on attending. You are almost free of my fanboyness!

We spent most of the day on Saturday just relaxing in the hotel. We got Moe’s for lunch, explored a little and then went to the Cruzan Ampitheatre. It was a little rainy, so we tailgated in the car. We made it to our seats just as the band was taking their places behind the curtain.

Our seats ended up being next to a guy who appeared to be sitting by himself. Periodically, he would talk to me about the show and before long we found out he was one of the fans staying at the same hotel as us. At one point he handed us these little monkey figurines that he had a bunch of. He said some girl staying at the hotel was handing them out to people. Although odd, I thanked him. The figurines turned out to be super awesome, but that’s neither here nor there.

We were in the fourth row, but way off to the left so part of view was blocked by security and stage stuff. Despite this, we could still see pretty well and had a blast. The show was incredible and the exclamation point was the set closer and encore.

I’ve wanted to hear “Halloween” live for as long as I can remember, but the band rarely plays it. PiC heard it earlier this year and I was super jealous. My dream was shot down about mid-set when our new friend showed me a text message on his phone. It was from someone else at the show who said the person who runs AntsMarching.org saw the setlist and “Halloween” was not on it. I was a little bummed out, but the show was going so well that I didn’t really care.

However, during the encore, Carter began to play a drum solo to start the final song. It sounded somewhat familiar, but I told myself it was too good to be true. The guy next to me and I joked that the band was playing “Cornbread” again.

Finally, we both decided to ignore the possible jinx and said “Are they going to play Halloween?” at about the same time. Moments later those distinctive first notes began and I yelled in excitement. The Ex got a kick out of the concert buddy and my sheer joy.

Once the show ended, we tried to snag some drumsticks, but Carter wasn’t looking our way. Slightly defeated we went back to the hotel and this time remained awake for the after party. There was a small band playing and tons of people hanging out. We got some food and mojitos and relaxed in the lobby. When the bar cleared out, we went out to walk around the pool, which some drunken fans had already jumped in.

Before long it was off to sleep and my incredible weekend was over. I had so much fun at all the concerts this year. I went to four different states to see five shows with numerous people. Each show was special for different reasons and were definitely highlights of my year.

Dave Matthews Band
August 15, 2009
Cruzan Amphitheatre (Palm Beach County Fairgrounds), West Palm Beach, FL
Bartender (If I Only Had a Brain Interpolation)
Stay or Leave
Shake Me Like a Monkey
Lying in the Hands of God »
Warehouse (Passion Intro -> Stop/Time Intro)
So Much to Say »
Ants Marching
Spaceman »
Corn Bread (Down by the Riverside Interpolation)
Seven
Crush (Stefan solo intro)
Why I Am
Shotgun – Dave dedicated this to Ashley (his wife)
Funny the Way It Is
Lie in Our Graves (no reprise) »
You & Me »
Two Step (extended outro)
———————————–
Rye Whiskey (Dave Solo)
Halloween (Carter solo intro)

Highlights

-TWO STEP. MY GOD, TWO STEP. This song has been blowing my mind all year since the Fenway show. It keeps getting better and better. Carter has an insane solo and the band goes NUTS at the end. The new outro they added this year is incredible. It’s such a perfect addition. What made this version even more special was some improv. At the normal ending point of the song, Dave did his standard “Thank you’s” and “Good nights!” but Carter and Stefan kept going. Surprised, Dave grabbed a new pick, spun  around and joined in. The rest of the band soon followed suit..it was awesome. You must watch.
0:00-1:43: Standard awesome ending.
1:43-4:06: New ending
4:06 – end: Dave says, “Good night” and the Improv starts.
-I was really excited to hear Warehouse because it’s been so long since I heard it live. Dave did the “Under The Table & Dreaming style intro, which was a nice change. Once the regular part of the song started, the crowd did the “Wooooo’s” and it was deafening. Really kicks in at the 0:27 mark
-Dave’s family was at the show and we could keep seeing him make funny faces towards his daughters who were on the side of the stage, it was pretty funny.
-Intro featured the curtain again, which dropped at the 2:15  mark.
Halloween!!!
-It started to rain during “Ants Marching,” and despite being under the pavilion, my whole left side got wet. There was so wind that blew the rain in just enough. I didn’t really mind though, it added to the fun of the night.
-I heard four songs I had never heard live before
-Boyd rocked out so hard. There were a view songs (Ants, LIOG) that he just ripped up when he had a solo. He rocked so hard his sunglasses when flying off.

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Ants Marching Into Florida : Part I

HUGE FANBOY ALERT. AFTER A BRIEF ABSENCE, MY GROUPIE SIDE HAS RETURNED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

The day after seeing Darius Rucker was an exciting one for me. It was day # 2 of my vacation and time to head to West Palm Beach, Florida for a weekend of Dave Matthews Band!

Yes, yes I went to see them AGAIN. Get over it. These were my fourth and fifth shows of the year, which easily trumps my previous high of three.

After the weekend, I’ve now seen the band 23 TIMES since 1998. I’ve seen them play at 7 different venues in six different states (CT, MA, NY, NC, SC, FL). According to AntsMarching.org, I have heard 442 total songs (123 different songs).

In any event…The band was playing Friday and Saturday night at the Cruzan Ampitheatre and the guys who run the biggest DMB-obsessive website in the world (AntsMarching.org) who once again holding a gathering in honor of the shows. They set up a discount rate at a fantastic hotel and put together an after-party for each show. I missed out on the festivities last year, so there was no way I wasn’t making the trek this time around.

Even though I knew the weekend was going to be a blast, I never imagined it panning out the way it did. Thankfully, I had a good partner to go with me.

The Ex has become what I’ll call a medium-core fan of the band. She hasn’t reached the obsessive heights that myself or PiC have (which is probably a good thing for her), but she has really gotten into it. I knew there was no one else I could go with and still have as much fun as possible, so I was happy she could go too.

I know, I know…We’re weird. Despite being broken up for almost a year, we are still best friends. She may not tell me EVERYTHING about her life, but I’m sure it’s pretty close. I don’t care if it’s weird, because we had a damn good time.

In any event…we got up super early and made the long drive south. We took turns driving and napping (sometimes at the same time) and finally got to the hotel around 3 pm. Despite being over-tired still, we become as excited as kids on Christmas after seeing the beautiful PGA Resort & Spa. Easily the nicest place I’ve stayed at.

It was even more exciting to see all the dmb fans gathered and preparing for the concert. Some drank in their rooms, others hung at the pool, while the rest relaxed in the lobby bar. Every was amped for a fun weekend.

The Ex and I settled into our beds for a quick nap and then it was time to head to the venue! We arrived an hour or so before the band went out and cracked open some Bud Light Limes in the parking lot. This was easily the quickest I’ve ever gotten into a venue. There was very little traffic and zero hassle. I wish every concert venue was like this one.

The venue itself was pretty standard for a summer, concert amphitheater. It had pavilion seating and a lawn. It also had really lax security. Taking pictures/videos was no problem at all. Great place.

After picking up some $10 beers (one downside to venue), we went to our upper pavilion seats just as dmb was coming out. Despite being towards the lawn, our seats were pretty good.

The first night’s set was really, really good. Nothing mind-blowing, but solid overall. Every song was played well, but no real surprises. The only surprise was the band bringing out a trumpeter named Lasim Richards. I had never heard of him, but he was awesome. He added a nice change of pace to the four songs he guested on.

With the show over, the crowd was abuzz. Everyone enjoyed it, but they definitely left wanting more. Everyone hoped for an incredible second night…

…but first it was time to head back to the resort was the after party!

I was really excited to hang with the other fans, but it never happened. We got back to the hotel, saw the party in the lobby, and rushed back to the room for a quick bathroom stop. Sadly, we had a few too many concert beers and passed out. I came out of the bathroom to see the Ex sprawled out in a bed. I figured laying down for a second wouldn’t be a problem…next thing I knew it was Saturday…damnit.

Dave Matthews Band
August 14, 2009
Cruzan Amphitheatre (Palm Beach County Fairgrounds), West Palm Beach, FL
Funny the Way It Is
So Damn Lucky
Why I Am
You Might Die Trying
Crash Into Me (Dixie Chicken Outro)
Typical Situation
Spaceman
Burning Down the House
Seven*
Squirm* (Mr. Okra Outro)
Jimi Thing* (“Sexy MF” Outro)
Shake Me Like a Monkey*
Alligator Pie
#41 »
Dancing Nancies
You & Me
Time Bomb
———————————–
Sister
Little Thing [tease]
Grey Street
* = featuring Lasim Richards on trumpet

Highlights
-They are still using the sweet curtain to open their shows. You can see the band’s silhouettes behind this white canvas
curtain as they start the first song. The curtain the flies out the way. It’s hard to explain, so just watch it here. Go to the 1 min mark
and then watch for about 30 seconds. And yes, the crowd was that loud.
-Great to hear “Burning Down the House” again. One of the best covers the band has ever done.
-New songs are getting tighter and tighter every show.
-I will never get tired of the “Sexy MF” outro to Jimi Thing
-# 41 was over 20 mins long and was the longest performance by the band this summer (so far)
-Dave was pretty funny all night too. He made reference to the strong smell of weed in the venue, teased Tim about
his show later in the night, etc.
-“You & Me” was the only song I had never heard live before
-Boyd put on a preview for what he was going to do the next night as he jammed out with Fonz.

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