It’s the Dave Matthews Band 25th anniversary and this tour is going to be something special for die hard fans and casual fans alike. To really get a feel for the band and what they have been and currently are about, this article will be a 5 part series throughout the tour. To start it off I attended the final show of the first leg of the tour over Memorial Day Weekend in Saint Louis. They played the previous 2 nights in Charlotte and Atlanta. They are focusing the shows to a one set format, which is a change from the previous 2 tours where they played 2 sets with the first set being acoustic and the 2nd being electric. Overall fans have been very pleased with the band going back to the single set format. Another aspect of this tour up to now that fans have been excited about is the fact that the band has been varying the sets a bit more this year with a decent amount of songs being liberated as well as giving fans the chance to be surprised about what the band is bringing on stage each night. With all of that, fans were eager leading up to Sunday evening’s show.
Dave and the rest of the band arrived on stage around 8:20pm to a roaring crowd. Dave in his typical quirky fashion goofed around onstage with his signature off the wall dancing and facial expressions before beginning the concert. Fans seem to always eat it up since it is one of the many ways that he connects with them on a more intimate level. The show began with one of their songs from the album “Everyday”, “When The World Ends”. Fans in the GA Pit immediately began singing and dancing against the rail wildly while being completely focused on every movement that Dave Matthews would make. From there the set moved in and out of solid songs like the fan favorite “Seven”, the tour debut of “Where Are You Going”, and one of the massive favorites of fans, “#41.” From there they moved on to playing one of their brand new songs “Samurai Cop”, which when you really listen to the song you are confused, because the lyrics don’t even come close to the name of the song. It seems to be a working title, but I hope it sticks just because of the odd choice of its name. The song lyrically from what I have taken away, reflects life being brought into this world by a mother and the early days of the child’s life. It’s a beautiful song that has a chance to really grow into something bigger. The band moves on to “Belly Belly Nice” to get the crowd grooving again and moves on to the longest song of the night “Seek Up”, which fans were the most blown away by after the show from how hard the band jammed during it. My personal favorite of the night was “Death On The High Seas.” It is one of the couple times that Dave shows off his skills on the piano. It’s a slower song compared to much of the night, but it is one that grabs you lyrically and instrumentally. One of the songs that fans yearn for and hope to hear live, “So Right”, was played next and the crowd rejoiced. It’s one that has been shelved a few times over the years and each time it’s brought back, the fans go nuts. “Stay or Leave” comes next and it’s a song that had been played during the acoustic sets over the past couple of years so fans were able to see and hear it in a different way, which was a nice change.
The highlight of the night was when they played one of the huge crowd favorites, “Dancing Nancies”. The main reason was when Dave started off the song in typical fashion of wondering if things could have been different, he ended up catching fans off guard by singing, “could I have been lost somewhere in Kansas City?” It totally threw him off causing the band to dive into the song and leaving him behind for a moment, but in a great way. It made for a great memory with the band having fun with it and making the best of the situation. Dave followed up the minuscule error by saying, “I probably would have if I knew I was in St. Louis.”
For the encore fans were treated to “The Space Between”, which fans love to sing along to and DMB ended the night with a live favorite, “Tripping Billies”. Fans expected to see a longer version of Billies with the fact that the band over the years loves to jam out on that song. Overall Sunday night Dave Matthews Band performed a solid and entertaining show. For the many who traveled a couple hundred miles to see them play as well as all of the locals in attendance, it was well worth the trip to Hollywood Casino Amphitheater.
Here is the photo set from Sunday’s show: