#2 Dave Matthews Band
If you have ever seen DMB live, then you can stop reading this now because you know how amazing this band is. Each one of these musicians is as gifted and talented as any orchestra member or virtuoso can be. And when they play together, accompanied with Dave’s singing, playing, and goofy nature, it can transport you through portals of emotions ranging from love, to loss, to bliss, sadness, heartache, elation, despair and back up to jubilation. Just like Dave sings in the song Everyday, “Pick me up, love, from the bottom, up to the top, love, EVERYDAY.” Their eclectic blend of funk, jazz, rock, soulful blues, and honky tonk fusion blends together the best of all of those genres into one cohesive amalgamation.
Their sound is eclectic as the members themselves. The Band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991. Dave Matthews himself is originally from Johannesburg , South Africa and moved from there to England to New York in 1977. He then moved back to South Africa to complete school. Rather than be drafted into the army he moved back to America to escape serving in a military he didn’t want to be part of and to pursue his dreams. The band formed well, you can read all about The Dave Matthews Band’s history by following this link to this website. They all happened to find each other and that is the important part of the story. The members include Dave Matthews, lead guitar, harmonica, and lead vocals, Carter Beauford, drummer and backing vocals, Stefan Lessard, bassist and backing vocals, Boyd Tinsley, violinist, and LeRoi Moore, saxophonist. They played and toured together for many years until tragically in 2008 LeRoi Moore died in a sudden and unexpected ATV accident. He was replaced by Grammy winner Jeff Coffin. They have also added guitarist Tim Reynolds and trumpet player, Rashawn Ross who have touring with the band since 2009.
I started listening to DMB when one of my dorm mates in college, Hedrick Hall, 6 North, played it for me. I thought they were a cool band. So a few months later we went down to Irvine Meadows, now Verizon Amphitheater, but it will always be Irvine Meadows to me, to see him perform. That was pretty much it. They are crack cocaine for the ears. One melody and you are hooked. They are an amazing jam band. I understand now why people followed around Fish, The Grateful Dead, Wide Spread Panic, and Jimmy Buffet. Some bands just speak to your soul and this is one of them. There is no substitution for seeing them live. You can listen to all of the albums and know all of the songs, but until you experience the vibe, the passion, the fun, and the emotion of one of his shows live, there is no explanation. And each live show reflects the mood of the band. I have been to sad shows, fun shows, upbeat shows, angry shows, and every emotion you can think of, and each one the songs come out different than the previous show. The lyrics are the same, the melodies and harmonies are the same, but the tempo, the tone, the way in which it is performed are dramatically different changing the meaning to a song that you thought you had figured out years before. It’s awesome, amazing powerful stuff.
Each one of these songs holds a special place in my heart. I have heard each of these songs a million times, and will probably listen to them a million more. From the tear inducing Crash into me, to the upbeat daily grind of Ants Marching, to falling in love with Crush, and telling my girlfriend I love her with Dream Girl, or realizing you have had one too many with Grace is Gone there is no limit to which emotions DMB can evoke with their music. I can only hope that everyone who reads this has a chance to see them live. They are the second best band I have ever seen live. And will quite possibly change your life.
All of their albums are amazing. The live albums are just as good as buying the studio recorded ones. The live albums transport you back to when you saw them lie, and if you were lucky, maybe you were present at the recording of one of these shows. But even if you have never gone to a live DMB show, you can hear how the crowd is singing along, cheering and loving the energy of this epic band.
Under The Table and Dreaming
Just play the whole thing
Before These Crowded Streets
Let this one just play, too
Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
Away from the World
“A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another, they will fall for each other…Maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever”
― Dave Matthews Band