Monday, November 22, 2010

Dave Matthews Band Charlottesville, VA 11/19 and 11/20 2010

The Last Stop after twenty years on the road for the Dave Matthews Band was in their hometown of Charlottesville, VA on the University of Virginia campus.  After these two shows, my wife and I have seen a total of 10 shows this year, her 30 and me 27 overall.  What was sad about these shows was the fact that this part of our lives is ending for at least a year.  I first kissed my wife and became serious with her after my first DMB show and in the years to come we went to 2 DMB shows the day after we got engaged, we got engaged up at SPAC park, we also saw DMB on our honeymoon, we were also first introduced at our wedding to "Two Step" a Dave Matthews Band song.  This band has been a part of our relationship in so many ways as you can see from reading this blog we have gone to a show every week for the past few weeks traveling some distances to be a part of those events.  We rarely do much else as we save our money for these kinds of things as this band is important to both of us, not only for fun, but as a release of energy.  These are moments with each other that cannot be taken away and they mean so much because they are filled with excitement, love, and energy without the distractions of everyday life.  For 3 hours we can sing, dance, make out and have a good time loving each other in a way that we don't do as much anymore do to work, school, stresses, and the little every day things that go into all of that process.  Live music has a way of hitting all of my senses that nothing else in a long time has been able to do.  What will we do now?

The shows were easily the two best I ever saw.  Night one featured alot of favorites and guests which is always exciting to see the improvisation.  This night also was the tightest I ever heard this band play.  Not alot of time between songs, no mistakes at all, and solos that just killed it--like they were playing these songs for the last time.  Highlights for me was definitely Tim and Joe trading guitar licks on "#41" and "Spoon" was out of this world so good.  The jams that they added to everyone of these songs we all knew and fresh.  Trombone Shorty is also the mofuckin man!  I would easily say this is the best show I had ever been to as far as music, set list, people around us, energy and surprises.  When they killed "Watchtower" and went right into "Halloween" that was it for me.  People leaving that night kept saying "how can you make night 2 better".  Night 1 let out at 11:45pm making it by at least a half hour the longest DMB show I had ever seen.
Night 2 could be better and would be.  We had seats right on the side of the stage so we could see all the behind the scenes stuff that we had never seen, like what Dave says to Carter and what the sound guys do and of course what guests are on their way out.  This show again was musically the best I have ever seen, they really stepped it up.  The show really took off after "Rhyme and Reason" with Joe on guitar.  After that it was the best versions of songs I have ever heard with a ton of energy that just kept going and going and going.  Trombone Shorty killed "Cornbread" and by the time he played "Long Black Veil" I was in need of a break and in complete shock as he hadn't played that in years.  There were many speeched throughout the night that have my wife emotional that we weren't going to be able to enjoy this experience for a time.  These concerts have been so intimate with the fans from the Gorge where he didn't repeat one song for the first time ever to Philly were he said goodbye's and NYC were he said goodbye to being in C-Ville dedicating songs to his wife and mother who were both in attendance for these shows.  There was a real connection between the fans and the band that was evident when we sang for him in NYC and when they came out for a double encore on this last night to the singing of "three little birds" at the end of "Last Stop".  The show just kept going with tributes to Leroi Moore and amazing solos by every member and by far the craziest Carter has ever played the drums, breaking stick after stick and never missing a lick.  The band left the stage at 12:15am that night and the fans left satisfied and gassed as they played almost 3.5 hours which is the longest they ever have.  This was the most unbelievable two nights of music I have ever been a part of, I have never heard them better on any recording or on any album.  The new jams they were busting out including new "What You Are" intros let me know that this band will play together again and hopefully someday soon as this is what we do.  Some people fight, some people eat, some people drink, my wife and I go to DMB shows, its what we do and will do as long as we can.  We are already saving and will be at the first concert they have in 2012 no matter where it is!

Friday Nov 19 2010

John Paul Jones Arena

Squirm *
Big Eyed Fish *
Still Water
Don’t Drink the Water *
Seven *
Grey Street *
Spaceman *
Everyday *
#41 *+
Shake Me Like a Monkey *
Spoon *
Warehouse *~
Jimi Thing *~Ä
Black Jack *
Christmas Song 5
Lie In Our Graves *
Time Bomb *
You and Me *
Stay (Wasting Time) *
Sister 6
All Along The Watchtower *
Halloween *

Show Notes:
* Jeff Coffin
+ Joe Lawlor
~ John D Earth
Ä Trombone Shorty
5Dave, Carter and Tim
6Dave, Carter, Rashawn and Tim

Saturday Nov 20 2010

John Paul Jones Arena

You Might Die Trying *
Proudest Monkey *
Satellite *
Say Goodbye *
Funny The Way It Is *
Rhyme And Reason *+
Eh Hee *
Crush *
Cant Stop *
Corn Bread *~
Digging a Ditch *
Lying In the Hands of God *
The Song That Jane Likes *
Write A Song *
Why I Am *
Dancing Nancies *
Long Black Veil
New Intro *
What You Are *
Two Step *
Some Devil Ä
Last Stop *
Anyone Seen The Bridge *
Ants Marching *

Show Notes:
* Jeff Coffin
+ Joe Lawlor
~ Trombone Shorty
Ä Dave Solo

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dave Matthews Band New York City 11/13/2010

Usually every year we go up to NYC for our winter Christmas trip and as this year we actually both have jobs our schedules were a little different.  We decided that this weekend in November would be a good time to go as we were off for Veteran's day and could make it a long weekend, it also just so happened that the Dave Matthews Band was in town and that my wife had never been to Madison Square Garden....I got her tickets for her B-day.  Our first day in our favorite city was spent in the park walking around enjoying the foliage as most of the trees down here are just starting to change but in NYC they were a little past peak season, the park was beautiful.  That evening keeping with the new and winter christmas trip, we went to see the Rockette's at Radio City as my wife had never been there either and it had to do with Christmas.  What can you say about the Rockette's...the history, precision, dedication and amazement of the whole production a true NYC favorite.  The next day we met with my wife's family and spent the day at Battery Park, the WTC site, and had lunch at the South Street Seaport on a beautiful 65 degree day in NYC in November.  This was all building up to the big evening at MSG. 
The opener was the John Butler Trio and if you dont know them, they are well worth checking out, some of the most amazing acoustic guitar you can hear.  Before DMB ever came out the crowd was rocking, NYC was loud and rauchous unlike any concert I have ever been too including SPAC in 2009.  For the first few songs it was apparent that Dave's voice was suffering and he asked the crowd to sing for him.  Unbelievable energy and sound ripped through the crowd as fans sang and shouted all the words to "Funny the Way it Is", "Pig", "Dancing Nancies", and "Don't Drink the Water" with the band mixing up the solos and riffs in between and Carter leading some vocals...true improvistation and just great to be a part and so freaking loud.  Somewhere at the end of "Don't Drink the Water" Dave got real hyper and animated and all of a sudden his voice was back.  He did a histerical improv on "Christmas Song" as he started and said "this just got too religious" and went into a full freestyle over gays and straights and seriousness and judegement and then right back into "Christmas Song", crazy and again improvisational.  The energy was through the roof for the next few and then Vusi came out.  I had seen Vusi in 2006 at SPAC and was immediately thrilled that he was coming out again.  He freaking rocked MSG, they danced and had fun, there is a video below of the great performance.  Keeping the energy through the roof with the next few it felt that this concert just kept going.  They played both my wife and ours songs back to back in "Crush" and "Best of What's Around" which was just the cherry on the top.  Best "Two Step" I have ever heard which led to the encore at 11:40pm.  Then "Sister" for his sister who was there and a killer "Last Stop" to close the night a little after 12pm.  Amazing night of music and easily one of my favorite shows I have seen or heard of all time, in the greatest city in the whole wide world.  After two great shows on this tour, I cannot imagine what waits for us next weekend in Charlottesville for the last two shows until 2012 but it cannot be more amazing than this.

Saturday  Nov 13 2010
Madison Square Garden

#41 *
Say Goodbye *
Funny The Way It Is *
Pig *
Write A Song *
Dancing Nancies *
Still Water 
Don’t Drink the Water *
(Christmas Song) +
Improv +
Christmas Song +
The Song That Jane Likes *
Crush *
Best of Whats Around *
Rhyme And Reason *
Black Jack *
Everyday *~
Time Bomb *
You and Me *
Two Step *


Sister Ä
Last Stop *

Show Notes:
* Jeff Coffin
+ Dave, Carter and Tim
~ Vusi Mahlasela
Ä Dave, Carter, Rashawn and Tim

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veterans Day

 Thursday is Veterans Day which to me is a very important and well deserved day of recognition for our soldiers that allow us to live the lives that we do and worry about the stupid things that we all do when they are out there risking their lives.  In my lifetime there have been several wars most of which have been in the middle east and have been brutally nasty in the way that they are fought.  Having never served I will never know the depth of what it takes to be a soldier.  To go into someplace knowing that this could be it for you.  What I do see alot of is the way that our Veterans are treated after they come home.  Many seem to be forgotten and not treated with the respect that they deserve.  VA hospitals are few and far between and the services that are offered and covered seem to be on that same level.  In North Carolina there are 3 VA hospitals in a state with 8 military bases.  Too often in my travels I have seen homeless veterans who cannot find work or cannot function in society with their current disabilities.  Most people look the other way with that sort of stuff on a daily basis.  I believe that this country should help our troops and soldiers more than any other population in our country but this is not the way that it is.  Most often these are poor kids from poor neighborhoods who then come home and get lost in the cracks because these VA centers and hospitals are so far that they are unable to travel just to get the services that they need.  Post traumatic stress disorder is not a new and rising occurance it is just that people are talking about it now.  Think of what it would be like to be in those situations and seeing the things that they have seen and your response is that I cannot imagine that and thats their reality.  Veterans are in my family just as they are probably in yours and I am thankful for them serving as well as the millions of others who humbly serve their country so that I can write a blog and go to concerts.  There is something much deeper there and this shouldnt be a one day a year occurance, thank a Vet whenever you can.  Don't take freedom for granted...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dave Matthews Band Philadelphia, PA 11/6/10

Kicking off our own fall tour for 2010, the first show we were able to catch was last night in the lovely city of brotherly love, Flip, Flip, Flipadelphia!  Having never seen DMB in Philly or at an arena this size we were excited by what the energy would be and have to say that this is a great venue.  Have seen some 76ers games and other concerts there (Billy Joel) we knew that Philly fans have an energy that isn't duplicated in many places.  As dirty jersey is right across the river, we were able to see our first snooki poof impersonators which has to be one of the funniest things I have seen in awhile. 
The opening band the "Punch Brothers" were a very musically talented bluegrass band from Brooklyn, NY.  They played a solid opening set that was strong on mandolin riffs and banjo jams.  Dave called them "the most proficient musicians they have ever played with".  Crowd was ready to go and when DMB busted out the "Stone" opener the place went crazy with loud echoes throughout the building.  The crowd stayed loud and energetic but when the band kicked out "Best of What's Around" the roof was about to come off the building.  As that was one of our songs when we first started dating with the line "its not where but who you are with that really matters", and we hadn't heard it since 2006, we had kool aid smiles and then every song after that, the place got louder and louder and the band flew off that energy playing one of the crispest sounding shows I have heard in awhile.  Band members were stepping out for solos and extending jams that only seemed to improvise and grow deeper.  A mid set "Last Stop" that was absolutely epic as Dave's voice was on fire after their month off culminated in one of the best versions of the song I have ever heard, which was the same for the version of "Rapunzel" and "Billies".  Having the hometown Roots horn section come out only seemed to drive Coffin and Rashawn to greater heights as the horns on the final three songs, especially "Jimi Thing" were absolutely insane.  We weren't expecting too much from this show given that our last three were at The Gorge, but man, this band can deliver anywhere and only seems to get better each time we see them.  Can't wait for next weekend at Madison Square were hopefully we can levitate the stage for Dave!!!!

Dave Matthews Band
Wells Fargo Center
Philadelphia, PA

The Stone *
Big Eyed Fish *
Bartender *
Funny The Way It Is *
Why I Am *
Gravedigger *
Best of Whats Around *
Digging a Ditch *
Cant Stop *
Tripping Billies *
Last Stop *
Spaceman *
Seven *
Pantala Naga Pampa *
Rapunzel *
You and Me *
Corn Bread *+
Jimi Thing *+
Shake Me Like a Monkey *+

Christmas Song ~
Time Bomb *
Two Step *

Special Guests:
* Jeff Coffin
+ Matt Cappy and Lamont Caldwell. The Roots Horns
~ Dave, Carter and Tim

Friday, November 5, 2010

Eastbound and Down

Eastbound and Down has fast become one of the few tv shows that I watch on TV and absolutely love and look foward to.  When I had first heard about the show I figured it would be funny as it is created by Will Ferrel, but unfortunately at the time we did not have HBO or the ability to watch it.  Thanks to a sweet deal on HBO that they were running down here we have been able to enjoy some of our favorite TV shows not only of all time but currently with Curb Your Enthusiasm, True Blood, Bored to Death, Boardwalk Empire, and In Treatment.  Eastbound and Down by far is the craziest and funniest to me of them all.  It takes a few of my favorite topics like baseball, drugs, and women and Danny McBride kicks some major ass in this role.  He is so good in this that there are reports that the office is pretty much begging him to come when Steve Carell leaves.  I hope he doesnt.  The things he gets to say and how he says them are the perfect pair in the show.  Kenny Powers in a lightening rod of anger and machoism.  As a washed up ball player he struggles with what everyday people struggle with but with a much more egocentric view as he has tasted the major leagues and feels that he is better than others.  The show would make certain people uncomfortable with the amount of profanity and downright distrubing behavior but to, just as with Always Sunny in Philly, that is why I love it.  I love people that dont hold back, that go all out and leave it on the line, they walk the line and say screw that line and step out of order completely.  Kenny Powers is one of my all time favorite characters on TV because of these reasons.  As with all other HBO shows there are many big stars that make cameo's as the way Danny McBride can run with his dialogue is unbelievable.  No role has done him justice compared to what he can do here.  Baseball, Drugs, and Women.....that is a great combination...

Monday, November 1, 2010


I was thinking about Halloween and all the dark stuff that comes with it and why some people get scared and others have fun while others feel the need to dress up, especially the girls, like something that they are not.  It got me thinking about the Day of the Dead celebrations and how one thing can mean so many different things to so many people.  We can all be at an event, a concert, a sporting event, or a movie and see the same thing and experience it in a billion different ways.  I could leave the event with many different thoughts, feelings, and impressions of what I just saw.  When the Yanks lost this year I was crushed while other fans go about like whatever.  All of these things are outside events that effect my inside feelings.  They have an impact but they are not overall states of being.  They pass very quickly.  I was upset and down for a day or so but life is too much fun to sit with those feelings for too long.  Happiness or unhappiness are not contained in the event alone.  To people in New England that harassed me when the Yankees finally lost they were happy about the same event that I was sad about it.  Same event, two different outcomes.  People get very lost in the idea that there are no differences in this.  In the media it is all black or white, this way or that way, us or them.  I think what is important is the happiness that is within you that cannot be changed by external events.  Sure they can impact them for awhile but what lasts more days than not is how you actually may feel.  Some people are afraid to feel as I was for such a long time.  Alot of people I am in contact with take substances on a daily basis in some form or another as in America we are all junkies for something, especially caffeine and alcohol.  When you ask people why it is this way it is a response of I cannot function without it or I have to have it to wake me up which are not even close to true statements.  I don't know anybody that would die without any substance other than alcohol, cause that one can kill you from withdrawal, but this is the typical response.  But those statements are beliefs not facts.  Those beliefs prevent people from being healthier, or finding happiness, or changing their own lives for the better.  Many people hide behind the impossible or the can't statement.  Those are inside issues.  I am a believer that anybody can do anything.  That has been my experience and I am privileged enough to witness people overcoming odds everyday.  For every action there is a reaction that is in accord with the action.  If you think you cannot do something you wont even try.  If you change the thinking you would be surprised what you can do.  These are inside things.  Feelings that you cant find or wont find happiness because of how life "treats" you.  Action.  Words mean nothing without the action behind them.