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September 17, 2007

9/14: DMB @ Sound Advice Amphitheater, WPB, Florida

It’s only fitting that my final blog be from a DMB show! What an incredible summer this has been! Once again, thank you Billboard for letting me live out my dream as a music journalist. This was the best, won’t-pay-my-bills job I ever had! And to those of you who've actually taken the time to see the music world through my eyes, even for just a night or two, I hope you enjoyed!

Not having seen DMB since exactly one month prior on August 14th (can you feel my withdrawal shakes through the computer?)at SPAC, and having to experience Alpine Valley vicariously through mid-show texts and message board posts, I was counting down the days to my Florida excursion. Shacking up at hotel de Grandma and Grandpa offered a slightly different type of pre-show prep (brisket, anyone?), but no trip to the Sunshine State would be complete without some QT with the fam, right! After picking up my seat date Reid and fellow concert buddies Casey and Kristen from their poolside pre-party, it was time for the show at Sound Advice!

Um, is this a sauna or an amphitheater?? Can someone turn up the A/C please!?!? At around 8:30 pm on a steamy Friday night, DMB strolled onto the stage and thanked their sweaty, screaming fans for coming. It wasn’t too long before Dave astutely observed that it was “a little warm in here” and was in need of a wardrobe change. But, the sticky heat didn’t slow down the band or the audience. The guys put on an awesome show, the crowd was full of energy, and I was psyched I made the trip down south to see my favorite band in a new venue.


An early set “Loving Wings” was probably the first of many highlights for me (although I’ll take a PNP>Rapunzel any show of the week). The jam at the end of this already beautifully sweet love song gets better and a little different every time I hear it. And watching Dave strum away, dancing with eyes closed and smiling, reminds us that they’re having just as much fun up there as we are down here…maybe sometimes even more.


“The Song That Jane Likes” is a favorite blast from the past that I regretfully missed after not sticking around for Camden N2. Was glad to hear it!


“Cornbread” is HOT! Definitely the best new song on this tour, in my opinion. I wish I could fully decipher Dave’s lyrics on this funky little southern-like tune…though I think it’s safe to say that he changes them a bit each night and they’re definitely not PG-rated!


This was the first time I’ve heard a whole band “Eh-Hee.” LOVED IT! The fuller, louder, more intense version rocks. It wouldn’t be the Dave Matthews Band without Carter, Boyd, Stefan, Leroi, Butch and Rashawn. No matter how many times I see them live, I’m still blown away by what comes out when all of the guys are on stage together. It’s times like this I wish I could fill a row or two with all my family and friends who have never seen the band live and “just don’t get” why I (as well as so many others) see so many shows. This is definitely a band you need to experience live, at least once! I guarantee you'll go back for more!


When Stefan starts “Crush” I always sigh, say to myself that it’s not my favorite song and then I kind of sit back and relax a bit…until the end. The extended outro jam totally makes the song worth it for me and convinces me that I really do love it, especially live. Every guy in the band gets to show off his stuff at some point during this jazzy tune, until they all completely rock out together again at the end.



It’s always interesting to hear what under played tune the guys are going to dust off for the night. “If I Had It All” is definitely not one I would have guessed had I not received a sound check spoiler about it, nor is it one I’d probably vote on if actually asked…but clearly I know nothing, because it was a great, surprisingly refreshing choice. Breathing new life into it was a beautifully harmonized tease of Simply Red’s “Holding Back The Years,” with Dave, Rashawn, Carter and perhaps Butch (though I couldn’t see him) sharing vocals on the repeated chorus line “I’ll keep holding on…” This was definitely a favorite part of the night for me.


"Sweet Up And Down” back to back with "Grey Street”…it doesn’t get much better than that folks! Despite their drenched clothes and the sweat-soaked stage, DMB turned up the heat even higher by blasting us with two of their highest energy tunes. A little more than half way through the set and these guys act like they’re just getting started. At this point, the sweatier the better!


After a passionately sung “Shotgun” that I’m sure gives many other fans chills as well, the opening guitar notes of my forever favorite “Dancing Nancies” started. I seriously NEVER get sick of this song, probably in part because it’s not a staple at every show. The song always brings me back to when I first fell in love with the band nearly 12 years ago (damn, that sounds like a long time ago!) in my college dorm. From the philosophical lyrics, “Could I have been, anyone other than me,” to the fusion of all the instruments that creates the quintessential DMB sound…it just makes me giddy. Watching Dave and Boyd duel it out with guitar and violin is absolutely hypnotizing.



“So Much To Say”>”Anyone Seen The Bridge”>”Too Much” is a song merge that keeps getting better with age. The freeze frame theatrics before they totally tear it up are hilarious. And if you’re not lucky enough to land a seat in front of fan-friendly bassist Stefan, then “ASTB” is your best chance to catch a wink or a smile from him while he jams his way across the stage.


After a solo Dave “Gravedigger,” Boyd completely brought down the house with his rock star violin jam on “Louisiana Bayou.” He puts any electric guitar god to shame…hands down! As soon as Carter pounded out the drum intro to DMB anthem “Ants Marching,” the crowd went even more nuts. I don’t care how many times you hear this song…when an entire theater or stadium is singing “People in every direction…” it’s impossible not to be overwhelmed. I can’t even imagine what that must feel like on stage!


WPB N1 was amazing (as was N2, but “technically” my blogging gig came to an end Friday night, so keeping it all fair in the Billboard blogosphere). Hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading!!

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i love dmb as much as the next person but the humidity needs to go. wondering blog and this time i was living vicariously through you.

Reid E.

What a show to have as your final blog! Had a great time in West Palm with you and everyone else!

amanda walk

I am so glad you had fun even if you were dying of heat exhaustion! sounded like a great show. love me some boyd:) can't wait to see them on 10/1 in LA! x0


sad to hear it is your final blog. thanks for all your great reviews and helping me get a sense of what you saw through your writing.


quit your day job and become a music journalist.

i agree with your iihia sentiments, wouldn't have held my breath and crossed my fingers to get it back, but i thought it sounded surprisingly stellar.


i was considering going to these shows but decided on the Gorge instead... glad you had a great time... sorry its your last blog been great reading your reviews :)


Always a good show. It's probably easy to write these!



Hello Leslie,
What a way to end, seeing DMB. It does not get any better.Another great review.Why do i feel like these guys have become my friends?

Ally K

Amazing! Great Job! You have made me a complete DMB FAN!


Great way to end the summer tour. Sad to see you go, your reviews were great and I felt I was jamming with you at every show!

jack l.

I will miss my favorite blogger. Please say you'll do this again next year!


Loved reading your blogs,

dp in ypsi

I'm glad to have followed your travels for the summer; also that you made it safely from show, to show, to show. One of these days I'll get around to seeing DMB, I'm sure I'll think of you and Jay when I do!


Great pics and once again you know how to capture the show!


Love me some DMB! Wish I was there.


Sorry to see your summer tour coming to an end. You did a great job this summer and I enjoyed reading yur blogs. Since you already have a fan base Billboard would be crazy not to hire you full time to be there concert blogger. I know I would be an avid follower. Great job!


It was great seeing you at the concert! I had a blast hanging out! See you at the next show!


I'm not a fan of Florida but I do love DMB - great blog!


Your blogs are the greastest!!!! Will miss reading them.


idnar nomis

Great pics! Once again I feel like I am right there next to you.


I love that I somewhat made your blog world with my mid-show texts at Alpine! Sounds like WPB was awesome...wish I could have been there.

Lauren Ainsworth

As a connoisseur of "won't-pay-the-bills" jobs, I would have to rank this gig as nop notch. Lucky you - and thanks for all the great blogs. I loved hearing about old faves like DMB and of course learning about new bands.


As your sidekick to MOST shows I was happy to be in the comfort of G&Gs air conditioned condo. I knew you'd still have fun regardless of the temp though. And i'll admit, I had a "pretty good" time at N2.

Wendy Wecksell

you are such a great blogger!

misty browning

this being the end of a great weekend, sadly........ i find myself wishing i could run away to california and see Dave for what would be the 35th time ( nothing compared to many!!!) but don't think i can. I found Tampa to be my favorite tampa show ever and the horrific rain only added to it!! n2 wpb was one of my favs outside of the gorge. i wish that i thought i could give up this addiction, but know i will only find a way to make my way back asap!! Leslie.......thank you for everything!!

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