Posts Tagged ‘Dave Matthews’

“Tripping Billies” by Dave Matthews Band. Getting into DMB was a weird process. When I lived in Lake Louise, one of my roommates bought Under the Table and Dreaming and played it … a LOT. Like, multiple times a day. And it’s not as though I heard it and felt “Oh my God, this is the music my soul has been waiting for!” But when I left LL … it’s like there was a Dave Matthews shaped hole in my life. I bought the album for myself, bought the next one, and the next one – finally saw them live – and an obsession was born.

It’s a conundrum; people who dislike their radio singles I always want to tell “See them live, you’ll be a convert!” But concert tickets being the main way bands make money these days, tickets are expensive, and it’s tough to get your head around shelling out $70+ for a show you’re not sure you’ll enjoy. But still. See them live, you’ll be a convert. I’ve seen ’em 12 times, and I don’t regret a single one. I’ve missed the last two times they were in Toronto, and it feels like I’ve missed out on the cool kids’ party.

Anyway – “Tripping Billies.” For whatever reason, I think this is my favourite of their songs. It’s off their second album; like a lot of their songs, the lyrics make virtually no sense, but it’s got a kickass Boyd Tinsley violin solo and is generally one of the most joyful songs I’ve ever heard. See them live, you’ll be a convert:


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So, last Wednesday was my ninth Dave Matthews Band concert, if I’m not mistaken. I have actually lost track of the number of times I’ve seen them, but I think I’m right that it’s nine. All in Toronto, too. My sister and I met a friendly fella from Saginaw, MI (home of The Spirit and Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle!) who had also been to nine shows and who asked how far we’d had to travel to see him. We were like, “Um, an hour by train for her, 10 minutes on the streetcar for me, dude.” Sometimes there are real advantages to living in this city.

But on to the show. Keyboardist Butch Taylor has left the band “for personal reasons” which is sad. He contributed a lot to their live shows, from singing harmony to his always excellent solos that could go for ages but never spiralled into wanker territory.

Someone who has, on occasion, ventured into that territory with DMB, Tim Reynolds, joined them for this show and will be for most of the tour, I understand. I’ve never seen him in person before. He is minute. He is wee. He looks like the love child of Iggy Pop and William Sanderson with a little George Carlin and Tim Conway thrown in. He is not a tall and handsome man, is what I’m saying. But he kept his guitar wanking to a minimum this time around and his solo on the encore of “Into The Black” was awesome.

Not awesome? The people next to us, who had apparently spent $80 each on tickets to take pictures of each other, dance with their backs to the stage, live blog and generally not pay much attention to the show at all as the night went on. I don’t get that, I really don’t. I mean, if you’re on the lawn, and Dave is the size of your pinky fingernail and you can’t see shit, fine. But one of the greatest things about seeing a live band is actually, you know, seeing them – watching the interactions, trying to figure out what’s been rehearsed and what’s spur of the moment, noticing how they signal and react to each other. You know? 

If these guys had just confined themselves to enjoying the show in their own way, I’d have been fine with it, but one of them decided to make it his mission to get my sis and me caught up in their business. I finally had to tell him “Dude, when I pay top dollar I come to watch the band, not you.” They left us alone after that.

Notable: LeRoi played the whole show without his sunglasses. So weird. Carter played the whole show wearing what looked like golf gloves, and I’m wondering if he needs to callus up his hands after a hiatus, or if he’s trying to keep that from happening. Boyd wasn’t wearing anything too outlandish but looked awesome, as usual. Stefan had a kind of disco thing going on with a few chains around his neck. Rashawn Ross, who seems to be a permanent fixture with them these days, seriously looked like he might have an aneurysm on stage. During one of his solos, his eyes went all red and I thought “My God, he’s going to die right there in front of us.”

Dave was a lot chattier than he often is when he comes here. Apparently they’d been held up at the border in Buffalo, so he spun this long tale about the hot border guard who had him “under her authority.” He also said that Canada is his preferred vacation spot (I bet he says that to all the countries!) and that the moon looks better here. (It was a gorgeous, harvest moon kind of night, appropriately enough for the Neil Young encore.)

Oh yes, the set-list: not one of the better ones I’ve seen, but completely worth it for the encores:

You Might Die Trying 
Old Dirt Hill 
Grey Street 
Corn Bread 
So Damn Lucky 
Dreaming Tree 
Eh Hee  
Dancing Nancies 
Stolen Away On 55th & 3rd 
One Sweet World 
Jimi Thing 
The Idea Of You –> So Much To Say 
Anyone Seen The Bridge 
Too Much 
Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) 
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) 

Yes, you are reading that last one correctly. And in case you were wondering? It. Was. A. Mazing. I looked at my sister afterwards and was like “Did that actually happen?”

Because Dave wasn’t just chatty. He was DANCE-Y! The video quality’s not the best, but click below to see him spaz the fuck out, with some of the worst white-boy dancing you have ever witnessed. Sis said “I hope all the black guys beat him up for dancing like that.” Hee!

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