Dave Matthews gets into his notes.
Review and Photos by Jason SquiresWhat started as a cold, damp evening in Mountain View, California was quickly transformed by a very unlikely group of musicians. On May 18, this diverse quintet rolled through the San Francisco area for the first of a two night stand at Shoreline Amphitheatre. From kids to elders, and teens to wanna-be hippies, the 22,000+ fans jumped to their feet as their unassuming hero took the stage. The Dave Matthews Band front man approached the stage slowly, with his cohorts and, without even speaking a word, opened with a slow yet powerful crescendo into "Everyday," the title track from their 2001 album. The melody of the night's first tune was intermixed with that of an older tune from DMB's catalog. Once only known to the likes of Mystikal and P Diddy Diddy Daddy Diggity Doggy Dogg, DMB and fans were engaged in a very peaceful call and response session. DMB had awakened every audience member with this opening song, clocking in at well over 6 minutes.
With the crowd cheering, the band went into a seemingly mellow song, "Granny," a longtime favorite of hardcore fans. The song quickly dropped its quiet undertone and became an upbeat powerhouse. Not only was everyone on their feet and cheering but a vast majority were dancing. Dancing? Dave Matthews Band had everyone dancing? These so called "rock-stars" were working the crowd, without even trying.
Later in the set, bassist Stefan Lessard began a choppy intro into crowd favorite "Crush" from their 1998 album release. Friends and lovers alike embraced each other as Matthews sang of lusting for the woman of his dreams. As the emotional climax of the song hit, violinist Boyd Tinsley spoke as passionately with his bow as Matthews did with his mouth.
As the concert drew to a close, Matthews took the stage solo to cover the Daniel Lanois song, "Beauty of Wynona," a slow song--quiet yet full of incredible feeling. The crowd stood in almost complete silence, captivated by the lone figure on stage. And just like that, one man transformed the crowd of thousands into a circle of good friends sitting around a campfire, sharing an evening together.
At the conclusion of the solo act, the rest of the band made their way onto the stage to play a beautiful rendition of "Lie In Our Graves," featuring Butch Taylor on the keyboard [who is still as of yet, not a member of the band] and Boyd Tinsley on the violin. For well over 15 minutes, the band played as Matthews sung of perhaps the most common theme in their music: "Live your life to its fullest." At the flip of a switch this once drab evening was now electrified by the boys from Virginia. Carpe diem, indeed.
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