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Volume 68, Issue 56, Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Arts & Entertainment

DMBis latest live CD lacks solid set list

By Jason Caesar Consolacion
The Daily Cougar

Live at Folsom Field offers what previous Dave Matthews Band live albums didnit: tracks from the last two DMB studio releases: Everyday (2001) and Busted Stuff (2002).

In fact, DMB fans should be more inclined to grab this album because these songs sound so much better in concert than they do on the aforementioned CDs. This rings true especially with the Everyday tracks.

An album that practically split the bandis fan base in half, Everyday offered the compositions of frontman Dave Matthews and pop/rock producer Glen Ballard. Some (including DMB members themselves) even went so far as to dub Everyday a Matthews solo album.

The songs were short, laden with pop hooks and quick riffs that offered a strong contrast to previous DMB material. Everything from chord structure to melodic phrasing in each of the 12 tracks on the album reeked of pop and commercial influence a sound that settled easily in some ears and irked others.

But to finally take these songs out of the studio and put them on stage a place where DMB excels in showing its true colors should bring some rest to hardcore fans more fond of the jamming, get-down funky sound of earlier DMB material.

Live at Folsom Field, which contains a live recording of DMBis July 11, 2001 concert in Boulder, Colo., opens with "Donit Drink the Water" and flows beautifully to the obscure "JTR" and Everydayis "When the World Ends" and "So Right."

A duet of Busted Stuff tracks follows, but what adds a bit of interest to this setting is the fact that Busted Stuff, which consists mainly of material recorded before Everyday, had yet to be released at the time. Perhaps the only people in the crowd that had heard these songs were the computer geeks that downloaded tracks from a collection that has become to be known as "The Lillywhite Sessions."

Steve Lillywhite, DMBis longtime collaborator, produced an albumis worth of tracks that would have been the bandis sixth studio release. Instead, RCA Records opted to hook Matthews up with Ballard to write new material that would be produced for Everyday.

Presumably pushed by fans that didnit sit well with the Ballard songs, DMB was forced to release "The Lillywhite Sessions" anyway, thus producing the bandis seventh album Busted Stuff.

"Big Eyed Fish" and the poignant "Bartender" follow the Everyday tracks. The only other Busted Stuff track on Live at Folsom Field is "Digging A Ditch," another great tune yet to be appreciated by the Boulder, Colo., crowd or at least those who had yet to download it.

Because 1999is Listener Supported and 2001is Live In Chicago were almost identical in terms of their set lists, Live At Folsom Field stands out among the three. However, the material on the previous two live albums, including the earlier DMB live album Live At Red Rocks (1997), far surpasses the work DMB has produced lately.

Matthews is in his trademark form, Carter Beauford still kicks ass on his kit, it was nice to hear more Leroi Moore and Boyd Tinsley on the Everyday tracks and bassist Stefan Lessard turns out some impressive solos, but Live At Folsom Field is not as entertaining as DMBis other live albums.

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