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Jam Central Station 12.14.13: From the Archive - Dave Matthews Band - Live Trax Vol. 8 - 8.7.2004
Posted by Jeff Modzelewski on 12.14.2013

It's amazing how quickly you can fall back into an old favorite. I probably haven't seriously listened to the Dave Matthews Band in a good 2 years, at least since my disappointing trip to the DMB Caravan in Chicago followed by what I considered a sub-par studio album. 2010 and 2011 were not great years for DMB for me, and I moved on deeper into the jam band scene. Well, over the past couple of weeks my band has been discussing potential cover songs, and I went back and looked for some of my favorite songs that I think would be interesting. Of course there were probably a handful of DMB songs that I was interested in, so I went into my extensive live collection to find some good versions. That's turned into a journey that so far has lasted over a week and has brought me back to some of my all-time favorite songs, and has given me a reason to listen to some live shows that I maybe only listened to once (or not at all). I've also wanted to figure out a way to dive into DMB for this column but I haven't had the desire to do a band profile. So I've decided to jump into a few of their live releases from different eras of the band to look at. I'm not going to be going in chronological order, so I'll be touching on some band history in different columns that I may get deeper into in subsequent reviews. The first one I chose is a huge fan favorite. It's the concert from August 7, 2004 at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin, released by the band as Live Trax 8.

2004 was a transition year for the band. They had gone through a tumultuous process over the previous few years, with the aborted Lillywhite sessions, the Matthews/Ballard penned Everyday album that saw massive commercial appeal but less of a hardcore fan appeal, and the subsequent release of Busted Stuff where the songs didn't quite live up to the previously released versions. This tour saw the band avoid the stadiums that they had hit over previous years, focusing on some of their favorite outdoor venues. Their 2 night stand at Alpine came about 3/4 of the way through the tour. By this time, the band had settled into their tour well, they had a solid rotation of songs they were playing, and they had debuted 4 new songs. At this show, the band played what would be considered a rather typical 2004 set list, but, for a live release it turned out to be a great show.

The band opens with a brand new 2004 song, "Hello Again." The band had been fiddling with the length of the song throughout the tour, and this version comes out pretty exceptional, including one of the first times with the haunting guitar/vocal intro. It doesn't include the excellent drum solo that you can find on other versions, but it's a tight 7 minute song with a Leroi just nailing the horns at the end. Granny followed, making it the second unreleased song of the night, but one that the band obviously has been playing their entire career. It's a great uplifting song after the dark opener. They followed it up with an early set "#41" that went directly into "The Stone." 9 years after the fact I still think this is one of the best opening runs that the band has ever done. Both "#41" and "The Stone" were relatively short versions compared to other jams I've heard on the songs, but they're both such powerful songs that hit their mark extremely well here.

"Crazy Easy" was another new 2004 song. There's not much space on this song, just a straightforward version of a song that they were still working out the kinks to. Some great horns on this one, and it was nice to see that the band brought it back a bit in 2013 after putting it away after this tour. A pair of singles from Crash come next, the ever popular "So Much To Say" into "Too Much" combo, with a piece of Rick James' "Superfreak" in between. The Rick James tribute wasn't great musically but it was a fun jam that popped the audience, and both "So Much To Say" and "Too Much" are well known crowd favorites. The biggest jam of the night came with "Bartender," which built up nicely for the first half of the song and then dove back down for the piano and pennywhistle solo. I've never been a huge fan of Butch guesting with the band, but he was on for this show, particularly with this rather sparse piano bit. Leroi on the pennywhistle also brought back memories of how great he was and what he could do.

The second half of the set is just as strong as the first. "When The World Ends" works as a nice break after such a powerful "Bartender," and a great "Help Myself" kept the band in a tight groove. They followed that up with a surprising mid-set "I'll Back You Up," highlighted by the harmonies on this very quiet song. It's one of the few times I've heard the song outside of an encore, and it's a beautiful tune. Another 2004 new song followed with a short but high energy "Joyride" followed by the well-loved "Grey Street." A nearly 14 minute "Sugar Will" followed. This was the new song that the band always had a lot of room to improvise on, and this one starts out with a bass solo intro into the song. Lyrically the song never really came together for Dave, as the verses were often improved, but the song itself was a great slower jam that left the band with many options to jam over. Leroi takes another great extended solo near the end, this time on his sax. He and Butch really worked well together at times during this incarnation of DMB, trading riffs and solos.

Leroi leads off the final part of the set with a great intro solo for "Ants Marching." Boyd takes over the end jam on one of his few solos for the night with a decent run, similar to what he typically does on the song. "Everyday" closes the main set and includes an extended "#36" outro. The song itself isn't great but it's another one of those songs that appeals both to casual and hardcore fans of the band. The encore includes a 13 minute "Typical Situation" followed by "Warehouse." The "Typical Situation" is absolutely stellar, starting with another sax solo before getting into the song. The sax also leads the solo near the end of the song as well, with Leroi just going off and showing what he can do. "Warehouse" closes out the show with a nice jam again with the sax and piano and then with everyone rocking out for a bit.

This is a great show, and an excellent representation of one of the best years of the band on the road. The set list is excellent, the performances are spot-on, the jams are great, and Leroi especially owns this show. The 2004 new songs are well represented and solid. The rest of the set highlights some of the band's best songs from their catalog. The sound on the recording is pretty solid as well, nothing being drowned out or taking over. Overall this would absolutely be considered a top 10 live DMB release, maybe higher, and maybe one of the best of the Live Trax series.

Summer Camp announces lineup
Summer Camp announced their initial 2014 lineup, and it includes the return of some heavy hitters to the festival. Included on the initial lineup (along with Umphrey's and moe.) are Trey Anastasio Band, Bassnectar, Primus, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, EOTO, Keller williams, Lettuce, Beats Antique, and many others. This is just the first announcement, so we could certainly see some other big names included.

Tortuga announces lineup
The lineup for the Tortuga music Festival was announced this week. It includes Sheryl Crow, Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Brett dennan, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists, Delta Rae, and many others. The festival will take place April 12 & 13 in Fort Lauderdale.

Crosby, Stills, & Nash to tour
Crosby, Stills & Nash will be returning to the road starting in march. The trio will perform a 3 week run of dates. It's limited to the eastern half of the country, no word if they'll be adding to the tour in the future.

March 4 Richmond, VA Carpenter Center
March 5 Newport News, VA Christopher Newport University-Ferguson Center
March 7 Charleston, WV Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences
March 8 Louisville, KY Palace Theatre
March 11 Des Moines, IA Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
March 12 Peoria, IL Peoria Civic Center
March 14 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theatre
March 15 Battle Creek, MI Firekeepers Casino Event Center
March 18 Columbus, OH Palace Theatre
March 19 Ft. Wayne, IN Embassy Theater
March 21 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
March 22 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
March 24 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center

Mike Gordon announces album, tour
Mike Gordon announced that he will be releasing a new solo album in 2014. Overstep will be released on 2/25, and will be followed by a run of dates.

February 28 Syracuse, NY Westcott Theatre
March 1 New York, NY Webster Hall
March 2 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
March 4 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
March 6 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
March 7 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
March 8 Chicago, IL Park West
March 9 Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
March 11 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theatre
March 14 Boulder, CO Boulder Theatre
March 15 Park City, UT Park City Live
March 17 Los Angeles, CA The El Rey Theatre
March 18 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
March 19 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
March 21 Seattle, WA The Neptune
March 22 Vancouver, BC Rio Theatre
March 28 Boston, MA House of Blues
April 5 North Adams, MA MassMOCA
April 6 Burlington, VT Higher Ground

The Devil Makes 3 announce tour
Bluegrass trio The Devil Makes Three announced a run of winter tour dates. They'll be on the road from the end of December through mid February, primarily enjoying the western half of the country.

December 27 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
December 28 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
December 30 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
December 31 Santa Cruz, CA The Catalyst
January 22 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
January 23 Bozeman, MT Emerson Cultural Center
January 24 Boise, ID Knitting Factory Concert Hall
January 25 Missoula, MT Wilma Theatre
January 26 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
January 28 Eugene, OR The McDonald Theatre
January 29 Ashland, OR Historic Ashland Armory
January 30 Bend, OR Midtown Ballroom
January 31 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
February 2 Seattle, WA Showbox SODO
February 4 Redway, CA Mateel Community Center
February 5 Arcata, CA Van Duzer Theatre
February 6 Chico, CA Senator Theatre
February 7 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
February 8 Stateline, NV MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa
February 12 San Luis Obispo, CA SLO Brewing Co
February 13 San Luis Obispo, CA SLO Brewing Co
February 14 West Hollywood, CA House of Blues
February 15 San Diego, CA House of Blues
February 16 Phoenix, AZ The Crescent Ballroom

Strings & Sol
December 11-15, 2013
Puerto Morales, Mexico
Performers include: Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Keller & The McCoury's, and Greensky Bluegrass

Warren Haynes' Christmas Jam
December 13-14, 2013
US Cellular Center
Asheville, NC
Performers include: Gov't Mule, Phil Lesh Quintet, Widespread Panic, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Michael Franti, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Keb Mo, OAR, and The John Scofield Uberjam Band.

Mayan Holidaze
December 16-20, 2013
Puerto Morales, Mexico
The event will feature three shows each from Umphrey's McGee, The Disco Biscuits, and STS9, and will also feature Big Gigantic, Papadosio, Cherub, Orchard Lounge, and DrFameus.

Earth Night
December 20-21, 2013
Papadosio will headline both nights. Other artists include: Ott & The All Seeing I, Hundred Waters, Shigeto, and The Main Squeeze.

Jam Cruise
January 4-9, 2014
Miami, FL
Performers include: Les Claypool's Duo de Twang, Bootsy Collins, Galactic, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Keller Williams, Galactic, and many others.

One Big Holiday
January 26-30, 2014
Riviera Maya, Mexico
My Morning Jacket will be performing 4 nights at this event.

Aura Music & Arts Festival
February 14-16, 2014
Spirit of the Suwanne Music Park
Live Oak, FL
Performers include: Papadosio, Lotus, Conspirator, Zoogma, The Werks, The Revivaalists, Particle, Marco Benevento, Dopapod, and many others.

International Incident
February 19-23 2014
Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Performers include: Multiple shows from the String Cheese Incident, EOTO< Kyle Holingsworth Band, The Motet, and Prophet Massive.

Winter Wondergrass
February 21-23, 2014
Nottingham Park
Avon, CO
Performers include: Greensky Bluegrass featuring Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Fruition, and many others.

Jam in the Sand
February 28-March 4, 2014
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra will host the event. Other performers to be announced.

Panic en la Playa tres
March 17-21, 2014
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Widespread Panic will perform four shows during the event.

Suwannee Springfest
March 20-23, 2014
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Avett Brothers, Punch Brothers, Sam Bush Band, Southern Soul Assembly, Donna the Buffalo, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others

Hoopla in the Hills
March 27-30
Poston Lake Music Park
Athens, OH
Performers include: Papadosio, Keller Williams, EOTO, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, Cosby Sweater, Rumpke Mountain Boys, and many others.

Wanee Festival
April 10-12, 2014
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL

Tortuga Music Festival
April 12-13, 2014
Beach Park
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Performers include: Sheryl Crow, Train, Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Brett dennen, Delta Rae, Moon Taxi, The Revivalists, and many others.

Summer Camp
May 22-25, 2014
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include: moe., Umphrey's McGee, Trey Anastasio Band, Bassnectar, Primus, Yonder Mountain String Band, Lotus, EOTO, and many others

Dark Star Jubilee
May 23-26, 2014
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH

Nelsonville Festival
May 29-June 1
Nelsonville, OH
Performers include: The Avett Brothers

June 12-15, 2014
Manchester, TN

July 23-27, 2014
Floyd, VA
Performers include: Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Ms. Lauryn Hill, ray LaMontagne, Thievery Corporation, Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and many others

Gathering of the Vibes
July 31-August 1, 2014
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT

Lockin' Music Festival
September 4-7, 2014
Arrington, VA

Catskill Chill
September 5-7, 2014
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Thanks again for stopping by. I'll be back next week with more jam. Until then, check me out on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute concert announcements. Until next week, Jam On!


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