Just when you thought DMB was done touring for the year, they announce a fall tour! With the release of their new album this year – Come Tomorrow – the band decided to give their fans a few bonus shows this fall.
The fall tour kicked off on November 27th in Columbus, OH and wrapped up with a two-night stand in DMB’s home town of Charlottesville, VA on December 14th and 15th. I had the chance to see three of the shows on the tour – the Philly show and both C’ville shows.
As I mentioned in my previous posts about the summer tour, DMB has been rejuvenated this year. Would that new energy continue on through the fall tour? Keep reading to find out!
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ABOUT THE BAND
If you aren’t familiar with Dave Matthews Band, you can read more about their history in the article I did about my first leg of summer shows. Click here:
DMB is known for touring every summer (with the exception of 2017) and playing outdoor venues. However, every few years they treat their fans to a fall/winter indoor tour. While the vibe of an indoor show is much different than their outdoor shows, the music is just as good and the shows are just as fun.
DECEMBER 11TH – WELLS FARGO CENTER – PHILADELPHIA, PA
Typically, when I see a show at Wells Fargo Center, the show has a lot of “flash” to it. Fancy stage set ups. Big video screens. Special effects. But, DMB doesn’t do “flash”. Their shows are about the music.
So, the arena was set up with a stage at one end that included a large video screen behind it. The floor of the arena was divided into a small pit area and seats set up in sections. We had seats on the lower level of the arena, and had a great view of the stage.
With no opener, DMB took the stage at 8:10 p.m. They kicked the show off with “One Sweet World”, which is typically a fan favorite and a great way to kick off the show.
In general, I would characterize the Philly show as a pretty standard show. We did get a few treats. Early in the show the band played “Seven”, which doesn’t get played a lot and is one of my personal favorites live. We also got “Pantala Naga Pampa” without “Rapunzel”, which is pretty unusual.
The highlight of my show was when DMB played “Granny”. It’s one of my favorite songs, and it had been missing from the set lists during the summer tour.
Another great moment in the show was when the rest of the band left the stage and it was just Dave Matthews and his guitar playing “Here On Out”, which is off the new album. It’s such a sweet song, and I love hearing it played live.
After wrapping up the main set with “Grey Street”, I was hoping for a great encore. DMB kicked off the encore with “Christmas Song”. Then bassist Stefan Lessard started playing the telltale notes of “All Along the Watchtower”. Watchtower is a great song with lots of energy, but I have to admit that I have grown tired of it as the encore. During this particular version, DMB infused a little bit of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”, which gave it a bit of a twist from the usual.
All in all it was a good show. But, afterwards I was hoping that the two shows in Charlottesville were going to blow me away!
Set List (click on any link to purchase the song directly on Amazon): One Sweet World, Louisiana Bayou, #41, Do You Remember, Seven, Pantal Naga Pampa, Lie In Our Graves, Burning Down the House (Talking Heads cover), Can’t Stop, Granny, Say Goodbye, Everyday, Kill the Preacher, Why I Am, Again and Again, So Right, Here On Out, Don’t Drink the Water, Crash Into Me, Grey Street Encore: Christmas Song, All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover)
DECEMBER 14TH – JOHN PAUL JONES ARENA – CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – N1
Charlottesville is DMB’s hometown. Several of the guys grew up there and that’s where they all met. Charlottesville doesn’t get on the tour schedule very often because the only place big enough for them to play in town is John Paul Jones Arena, which is an indoor venue. So, when DMB comes back “home” for a show, you know it’s going to be special.
Unlike the rest of the tour, the shows in Charlottesville had an opener – Preservation Hall Jazz Band. This group of talented musicians are legends of jazz music in New Orleans. They opened for DMB at their Gorge shows this summer, which I had a chance to see, so I knew we were in for a treat.
DMB took the stage for their set shortly after 8 p.m. They opened the night with “Big Eyed Fish”. The band sometimes transitions from this song into “Bartender”, which is what my husband was desperately hoping for. As “Big Eyed Fish” wound down, you could see saxophonist Jeff Coffin grab his alto sax and boom – “Bartender”. If this was an indication of how the show was going to go, we were in for a treat.
For me, every DMB show has its own feel. N1 in Charlottesville was high energy all the way. Songs like “Sweet Emotion”, “Minarets”, “Sledgehammer” and “Why I Am” kept the crowd pumped up and dancing.
Openers Preservation Hall Jazz Band joined DMB on stage for “That Girl Is You”. While I don’t really care for the studio version of the song on the new album, it’s much better when DMB plays it live. Add in Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and it just becomes a party on stage!
By the time DMB came back on stage for the encore, I had ranked this show as one of my top shows of all time. Unfortunately, the encore was a repeat of the encore from Philly – “Christmas Song” and “All Along the Watchtower”. That was a little disappointing, but I still thought overall the show was fantastic!
Set List (click on any link to purchase the song directly on Amazon): Big Eyed Fish, Bartender, Satellite, Samurai Cop, #41, Again and Again, Everyday, Sweet Emotion (Aerosmith cover), Minarets, That Girl Is You (with Preservation Hall Jazz Band), Louisiana Bayou, Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel cover), Don’t Drink the Water, So Right, Why I Am, You & Me, Dancing Nancies, Grey Street Encore: Christmas Song, All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan cover)
DECEMBER 15TH – JOHN PAUL JONES ARENA – CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – N2
After an amazing N1, it was hard to imagine what DMB was going to do to top it on N2. They started out by opening with “Warehouse”. It was an appropriate song to open with for a Charlottesville show, as it talks about the infamous Warehouse where they played back in their early days.
The N2 set list was more of what I would characterize as an “old school DMB” set list. Classics like “The Song That Jane Likes”, “You Might Die Trying”, and “Digging A Ditch” are songs that have been in the rotation for years. We even got “Rhyme & Reason” featuring Joe Lawlor on the guitar, which was a treat.
While it was a good set, I didn’t find the show to have the same energy as N1. Musically, it was stellar. But, the set list didn’t have me dancing as much as N1.
Then, DMB brought Preservation Hall Jazz Band back out on stage. They came marching on stage to “Rock Around the Clock”, which then transitioned into “Ants Marching”. Ants is one of my favorites, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band took it to another level. Suddenly, the energy level went way up. What was going to happen for the encore? Everyone in the building was hoping it was going to be something special.
DMB came back to the stage for the encore and played…. “Christmas Song”???? A repeat from N1 and something they had been playing in the encore for several nights. They really only play this song at this time of year, so I wasn’t too upset about it. But, if they repeated “All Along the Watchtower”, I wasn’t going to be too happy.
Instead, the band went into “Two Step”, which was a rarity in 2018 and didn’t get played at all previously on the fall tour. The show honestly could have ended there and the crowd would have been happy. But, DMB wasn’t quite done with C’ville. We got “Halloween”! This song doesn’t make set lists very often, and wasn’t played at all in 2018. It takes a toll on Dave’s voice, so maybe he figured it was the last show and he might as well go for it!
Set List (click on any link to purchase the song directly on Amazon): Warehouse, The Song That Jane Likes, Do You Remember, Funny The Way It Is, Crush, Burning Down the House (Talking Heads cover), Say Goodbye, You Might Die Trying, Can’t Stop, Rhyme & Reason (with Joe Lawlor), Digging A Ditch, She, Lie In Our Graves, Where Are You Going, Jimi Thing (with John D’earth), Sexy M.F. (Prince cover with John D’earth), Here On Out, Pantala Naga Pampa, Rapunzel, Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley & His Comets cover with Preservation Hall Jazz Band), Ants Marching (with Preservation Hall Jazz Band) Encore: Christmas Song, Two Step, Halloween
So, that’s an official wrap of my DMB 2018 tour season. They have one more show on December 28th, where they will be playing the Capital One Beach Bash before the Orange Bowl. Personally, I’m already looking forward to the Europe tour, where I’ll be attending 9 shows! Stay tuned to hear about all my travels!
Are you a DMB fan? What did you think of the fall tour? How many shows did you see? Let us know what you think by commenting below or e-mailing me at tips2livebywriter @gmail.com.
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