For the longest time, I have wanted to see Dave Matthews Band play live. They come to Phoenix almost every year, but I missed the show in 2003 and again in 2004. No matter what, I was going to see them this year, even if it meant going alone. The ticket was $55, but with all the convenience charges it ended up about $75, and parking was another $5. I was expecting a killer show for such expense!
The show was August 30th at Cricket Pavilion (formerly Blockbuster Desert Sky). The place is way out in Peoria, but I got there easily enough from the Loop 101 Freeway. Got in past security without a fuss, they let me bring in my jug of water which I was happy about. The food was overpriced and so were the shirts, so I didn’t get anything to eat or wear.
I found my seat and watched the opening act at 7pm, Slightly Stoopid. Dave came out to introduce them and made a comment that “it’s like standing in a hair dryer out here” or something to that effect. That got a good reaction from the crowd. There were not very many people here when Slightly Stoopid came on. I thought they sounded like Sublime, their set was good but not great or anything. After they were done, the cleanup crew came out.
Waiting for the band to set up seemed to take forever. There were a dozen people on stage moving equipment, setting things up, vacuuming the stage, and talking on radios or something. It sure was a while before DMB came on stage. It didn’t take long for things to get better, though.
They played a couple of songs off the new CD, Stand Up, which I feel are not as good as the older songs. Say Goodbye was a real crowd pleaser, and everyone around me was singing along. Rhyme and Reason was played also, one of my favorites. American Baby had a killer intro, with Boyd Tinsley going nuts on his violin. He really stood out as the star of the show, playing with more intensity than I have ever seen anyone play.
Dancing Nancies and Ants Marching were two more great pieces, with lots of energy from the crowd going on. It seemed like the show was over too quickly, really. The crowd was chanting for an encore and banging on the plastic seats, making a thunderous racket for about 10 minutes. To everyone’s satisfaction, the band came back out and we got two more songs: You Might Die Trying and What You Are.
I really enjoyed my first DMB show, and look forward to more. The energy of all those people was pretty phenomenal, and all the secondhand weed smoke gave me a mellow/happy feeling on the drive home. It was a blast from start to finish.