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Volume 71, Issue 12, Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Life & Arts

Though routine, DMB still rocks

By Matt Dulin
The Daily Cougar

To some extent, a Dave Matthews Band concert is wholly predictable.

An introductory mix of new and old flavors, followed by a brief salutatory from Dave Matthews in his lovable, folksy gibberish. And, of course, the 15-minute jam sessions that melt your soul as each musician unfolds an impressive solo. Even the unfamiliar piano man gets his share of solo time.

The band's Monday night performance at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion followed the same formula, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It was a little amusing, though, to see audience members on the lawn take a seat when Dave and Company went into a lengthy, whimsical jam session, only to stand up and bob their heads when the song resumed in earnest. It was as though they already knew the drill. 

Though Dave Mathews' crooning voice sent shivers down many concertgoers' spines, Monday's performance at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion gave old fans the solid performance they've come to expect from the band, but not much else.

Matt Dulin/The Daily Cougar

The truer fans stood the whole time, rolling through LeRoi Moore's smooth saxophone solos and Boyd Tinsley's erratic violin jams with a smile on their face.

Wearing a T-shirt, well-worn jeans and cowboy boots, Dave seemed at ease with a Texas crowd, whom he thanked repeatedly for their hospitality and service during the Louisiana crisis. After his first such thank-you, the band performed a timely "Louisiana Bayou," from their latest release, Stand Up. 

The group's newest songs got good airtime, with "Dreamgirl" and "Hunger for the Great Light" drawing a warm response from the crowd. But it was old favorites such as "What Would You Say" and "Warehouse" that really got the audience going. 

Behind it all was Dave's voice -- perhaps the band's most captivating instrument -- which took on godly status during "American Baby Intro," where his words seemed to command the audience's collective soul.

The show was about what you'd expect, even if your only exposure to DMB live is a bootleg CD or one of their superb concert albums -- in other words, an excellent display of musicianship. 

Dave Matthews Band

@ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

Verdict: Just your average soul-rending Dave Matthews Band performance

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