What I consider to be THE BEST TOURING BAND of the last two decades finally came to our backyard. However, the bands normal following did not. I have been to approximately 25 Dave Matthews Band shows in the last three years and I have never seen such a low energy crowd which was a problem since DMB plays off of the crowd’s energy. Like always, I was on my tarp on the lawn and I was shocked at the little amount of movement and noise being made in the crowd.
Last nights show was the 44th Birthday of Saxophone player Jeff Coffin, so the expectations of the show were definitely a little higher than normal for most DMB fans, but not for the casual Bethel Woods fan. First lets get to the set list. Proudest Monkey started off the show. It is not my favorite song but this was a great way to start the show off. Satellite is always a fan favorite as it is a nice old single and the crowd seemed to love it. In the third spot was the spiritual folk song The Maker. The Maker was pretty much a normal version except for a little stutter by Dave and Carter being out of rhythm. Once they saw “the little guitar”, as Dave called it, on stage, hardcore DMB fans knew it was going to be one of three songs; the newly released Squirm, the unreleased crowd favorite Shotgun, or the unreleased crowd favorite Idea of You. Shotgun it was! Shotgun is such a beautiful song. Its very soft and just amazing. Than we went into the new stuff off of Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Shake Me Like A Monkey, Funny The Way It Is, Lying In The Hands of God, were all pretty much standard studio cuts of the songs. Then, out comes the black baritone that Dave plays and a little feeling of sadness realizing the song would most likely be something off of the album Stand Up and it was. Louisiana Bayou and its new intro to the song gave it a nice little change; it also got the crowd moving a little. You Might Die Trying also had the crowd moving with its heavy hitting beats. Four more songs off of Big Whiskey; Spaceman, Alligator Pie, Seven and Time Bomb, all were pretty standard. #41, not much you can really to say to describe this song besides EPIC! This was the highlight of my night. Jeff Coffin and Carter Beauford traded licks back and forth. The crowd would sing the song Everyday as the outro, 17 minutes and 29 seconds of amazing! #41 would segue into Everyday which would have an incredible display of violin work by Boyd Tinsley. Next came Why I Am and You & Me. Both are songs off Big Whiskey and were all pretty standard. Two Step was the last song of the set and displayed pure energy everywhere. Carters’ drumming blows the listener away more and more each time it is played. Leading to the encore the crowd was starting to stream out of the venue and there was not much chanting going on from the crowd like you would see at SPAC. Dave came out to play Rye Whiskey as the first song of the encore. A new touch to this song is Boyd coming out towards the end to give some background music. It sounded incredible. Squirm was played next which was pretty standard, like the rest of the Big Whiskey songs. Tripping Billies would close out the encore and the show. Billies always brings out lots of energy and excitement from the crowd.
All in all, it was a good show, mediocre setlist, beautiful venue, decent crowd, and a great band. I doubt we will ever have another Dave Matthews show at the venue due to the crowd energy, but who knows what the future holds. I am very surprised there was no mention of Jeff’s birthday, by the band or crowd. On a final note Bethel needs to work on the traffic situation like always.