Dave Matthews Band at Montreal’s Parc Jean Drapeau
June 10, 2009
The first chord rang out as the curtains flew up to reveal the beloved Dave Matthews smile – a shining smile that makes all the girls swoon and all the men wish they were him; a feature almost as distinct as his vocal style.
The band came out boldly with Bartender, from the album Busted Stuff. They jammed it out to about a 10min first song (featuring a red hot recorder solo I might add) before speaking a warm welcome to the Montreal crowd. While the band continued energetically into Daddy, When Are You Gonna Put Me in a Song? And then swiftly into a brand new track, Funny the Way It Is, a dedicated DMB fan tells me that Carter Anthony Beauford is among his top 3 all time favourite drummers. There is no doubt Beauford’s complex yet solid skills at the kit contribute immeasurable to the dynamic, ever-evolving sound of Dave Matthew’s Band. The white drumming gloves are also a nice touch.
Of course, DMB is not a band that is short on talent; jamming out every song – save those on the new album – gave the audience a chance to enjoy the talents of the whole group. Even Dave treated the crowd to his own version of scat. Seasoned guitarist, Tim Reynolds, kept cool as a cucumber in his leather jacket & dark shades as he wowed the crowd with his nimble fingers. With solid riffs and a steady smile, bassist Stefan Lessard looked like he was having a blast. Charismatic violinist, Boyd Tinsley, was a huge winner with the crowd, bringing a little ho-down to this camp fire. Touring member Jeff Coffin was by far impressive with the multiplicity of instruments he had laid out in front of him including an alto sax, soprano sax, flute, and recorder; he played each with pizzazz, adding a fullness of sound worthy of a small ensemble in himself. His beard, Dave emphasized, was styled by his sax play, “it is not just fashion ... it is good lookin' too. Gives me one of them country boners;” with a player like that spicing up every song one almost forgets that this might be folk rock.
DMB treated their long-term fans to hits that span the length of their near 20 year career together, including Stand Up (For It), You Might Die Trying, Crush, So Much to Say and Satellite; they saved the bulk of the new material for those who stuck it out to the encore.
Beyond putting on a great stage show, the band is also concerned with the global impact of putting such a show on the road. The Bama Green Project is an ongoing partnership between DMB, Reverb and IZSTYLE. Beyond securing local organic food for artists, fuelling tour buses with bio-diesel, and training artists and crew to use reusable water containers; they also set up booths to disseminate information to concert-goers on how they can reduce their own carbon footprint. For more information about what you can do, and what Dave Matthews Band and other major recording artists have done, go to BamaGreenProject.org.
It’s hard not to like a band that comes so highly recommended. A band that stays well rounded by making good music and being good people, by engaging with their audience and their world, by taking initiative and leading by example on the front of socially conscious artistry. Just because you’re a big rock band, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about recycling. Definitely check out Dave Matthews Band on their North American tour to promote their latest release, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. http://www.davematthewsband.com