.

Dave Matthews Band Bust Out Rarities at Summer Tour Kickoff

Connecticut gig features deep cuts like "JTR" and "Kit Kat Jam," plus hair-raising sing-alongs

June 1, 2010 12:00 AM ET

After leading his band through a blazing two-hour set in Hartford, Connecticut Friday night — the first of a 50-date summer tour — Dave Matthews returned to the amphitheatre stage for an encore. "We've never played this song live before," he told the crowd. "So if we fuck up, you won't know." The band then launched into "Break for It," a slow-burning acoustic track that has occasionally kicked around at soundchecks since 2006, but only made its debut four years later. DMB recently announced that they will take a break from their relentless touring schedule in 2011, so this night's kick-off gig was an opportunity for the band to dust off songs they hadn't played in years.

When DMB took the stage in a haze of blue fog, they got things rolling with "JTR," a spiraling acoustic jam that the band originally cut with producer Steve Lillywhite in 2000. (Most of the songs from those sessions ended up on 2002's Busted Stuff, although fans have traded bootleg versions for years.) Matthews seemed in high spirits: he bobbed his head and busted out his two-step stage shuffle. "It's opening night of the tour," he said. "If I look goofy, that could be why." Later, DMB unleashed "Kit Kat Jam" and "Busted Stuff," also from the Lillywhite sessions, and those tunes sounded lean and tight, even though the band hadn't performed them live since the early 2000s. The highlight of the night came when the band left Matthews onstage solo to serenade the crowd with the folk standard "Rye Whiskey."

Matthews played plenty of material from recent albums, growling over the runaway-train rhythm of "Hello Again" from 2005's Stand Up. During "Seven," from their recent album Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, Matthews and guitarist Tim Reynolds broke the song down into Deep Purple-ish arena-rock guitar riffs. Reynolds has played shows with Matthews since 1993 as an acoustic duo, but the guitarist has been with DMB full time since 2008. And while Reynolds lays low throughout the show for the most part, his sonic contributions (especially on tunes like "Proudest Monkey") offer a mellow, atmospheric dimension to the band's rootsy, jammy songs.

The biggest cheers of the night came during the band's bursts through their Nineties hits. The crowd howled during the opening bursts of "Ants Marching" and when DMB launched into the set staple "Dancing Nancies," Matthews scatted gently in the intro before letting the crowd take over with a sing-along during the choruses. He seemed impressed with the crowd's enthusiasm, and rewarded them with a tweaked lyric that got an epic roar: "Lost somewhere in Hartford."

For the lowdown on nearly 50 more of this season's biggest tours and festivals, be sure to check out Rolling Stone's Summer Tour Preview.

Set List:
"JTR"
"Seven"
"Hello Again"
"Spaceman"
"Proudest Monkey"
"Satellite"
"Funny the Way It Isv
"Rye Whiskey"
"Shake Me Like a Monkey"
"Busted Stuff"
"Kit Kat Jam"
"#41"
"Grey Street"
"You and Me"
"Dancing Nancies"
"Too Much"
"Ants Marching"

Encore:
"Break For It"
"You Might Die Trying"

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com