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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.

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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.

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“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!

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“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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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"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!

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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.

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“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.

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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!

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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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Comments

Eirual Nomis

"You have so much to say" about each concert, its awesome. Sorry to hear you started off with brisket instead of "Cornbread", you know I love that. "If I had it all" up to me, I'd say you were a winner.

Michael R

All good things must come to an end, but WOW, what an expirience you had this summer and not just for you, but also for your readers. For myself, I would say I got a renewed insight into a world that I knew years ago when I tried to get to as many concerts as I could and just enjoy the times. I'm certain you're in the running and I hope you make it to the top with Billboard.

Marian Eve

leslie,
I have certainly sseen the world of music thru your eyes and what a journey it's been. A whole new world for me and I thank you. Your reviews are amazing and I'll surely miss my late nite review readings and my blogg entries. You have made me fall in love with Dave and I'll miss imagining his sounds thru your words. I know it's countdown and I just feel your victory.
Love you,
Mama Bear

Don

Noooooooooooooooo, you can't stop now Leslie!!! What are we supposed to do without your incredible reviews? Your description of "Dancing Nancies" was absolutely perfect and gives me goosebumps as it is one of my all time favorites. Thanks again for letting us live our lives through you. I don't think you will forget this summer for awhile.

Sari

Thank you for ALL your amazing entries throughout the summer! And DMB, what a great way to end.

Chantal Pine

Thanks Leslie.. sounds amazing. We'll miss you and your reviews!

Cristina

How cool that you could finish it up with a DMB show! I am a teacher as well, and I was fortunate enough to be able to take a day off of teaching to catch Alpine weekend (I don't miss for anything)! It really did help that my boss appreciates the kick butt music of DMB as well.
I hope to be able to read more blogs next summer--any ideas how I could get a sweet gig like that on my summers off????? :)

Howard Meiner

You are too much. A music lover. A wordsmith. A photographer. You have created beautiful music all summer for this reader. I'll miss it. Billboard must declare you the sole Survivor.

Lauren

What a way to end the summer...in true Leslie fashion. What great stories and reviews to bring to your classroom. Maybe you should schedule a music related field trip with them?! :-)

Sandy Asherman

You've actually made me decide that I have to see a DMB performance! Imagine that!

This summer has been an amazing one for you,
as well as for me in learning your behind the scene talent! Keep it up.
XXXs

Celeste

I cant believe you dont like Crush! You crazy lady!!! As 27 is my new fave, Cornbread kicks some butt too. We will miss you in Cali!!!

Regina

Herez da faxx fo' me & humidity...the ONLY place/event at which I will knowingly engage in [and enjoy] the gawd-awful discomfort of fountain-like perspiring is ... at a dMb show!!! Have adapted & shown mercy to the po'folks seated/standing near me by bringing soft, absorbent, cotton "rags" to wrap 'round my head & neck, to avoid "spraying" the innocent sliding nearby. Feel like "mini-Carter" in the audience ... but c'mon ... it IS dMb, after all !!! dem boyz jus' make me MOIST !!!

Mark

Enjoyed reading your blogs

JWB

I see you haven't given up Dave!

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