Story and Photos by Terry MayerJam band favorites The Dave Matthews band made their perennial visit to the rolling hills of Alpine Valley Music Theater last Saturday night. They sellout stadiums wherever they go and keep the record store cash registers ringing throughout the world. They seemed to have found a formula for success.
Dave came out to the jubilant cheers of the audience and spent some 5 minutes just waving back and soaking up the loving adulation. Matthews, sporting a dark sweater and faded blue jeans, started the show with the roots inspired "Grey Street." Before the song was finished Dave was bathing in sweat from the heat. "When The World Ends" gave Boyd Tinsley some extended solos with his uniquely prickly violin stylings as Dave played it subtle in the background. A lot of the show was structured around Boyd's mastery of his instrument. Every note hammered away at it's technical ceiling and let the player's soul spring free. "Loving Wings" was a nice segue into the raspy guitar duelings of "Where Are You Going" "Ants Marching" was a new stretch of something a little heavier for the band that helped put some rock n' roll meat back into their usually bland casserole. "Satellite" played out it's otherworldliness in creamy and ethereal fashion. The band is capable of unifying itself and play as a well oiled unit, while forgoing the self indulgent solos that usually break apart the music's core.
As expected "If I Had It All" was a crowd favorite that had Matthews and the band solidify their jam band status with their meandering and redundant chord changes and floundering chorus.
Ending the evening with "The Maker" and "Rapunzel" found the Dave Matthews Band on time but out of fashion and taking the fans on a roller coaster that never went up or down. At times stunning, but usually plodding, the band has chosen it's course and isn't about to make any apologies now.
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