Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dave Matthews Band wraps up tour with epic set at the Hollywood Bowl

My review was originally posted on The Orange County Register website on Sept. 11, 2018. You can view the original review and a number of fantastic photographs taken by Orange County Register photographer Kevin Sullivan here. Robert Kinsler

Dave Matthews glances over his shoulder as The Dave Matthews Band performs at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Dave Matthews Band shows no restraint at the Hollywood Bowl

The group performs a tour-ending show that is unapologetically self-indulgent.

The Dave Matthews Band wrapped up their latest North American Tour with a truly epic set in front of a capacity crowd at the Hollywood Bowl on Monday night (Sept. 10).

Performing for more than two hour and forty minutes without intermission, Matthews and his six-man band  as well as a number of guest players who came and went during the show  delivered a mix of fan favorites and stellar versions of tracks from his outstanding 2018 album Come Tomorrow
Dave Matthews Band performing at the Hollywood Bowl on Sept.
10, 2018. Photo: Robert Kinsler

The energy in the house was electric from the time Matthews and company took the stage, with Matthews guiding his acoustic guitar and the early moments of the night gently into the aptly-titled "One Sweet World." An extended lush jazz-filled introduction enhanced by the subtle work of trumpet player Rashawn Ross bolstered the sway of the song.

After delivering that seven-minute track, Matthews thanked the audience, noting this was the last night of the tour: "If you think at any point we are being self-indulgent, you are correct."

The audience was happy to share in the DMB's indulging its desires without restraint, cheering the group on through energetic highs and sparse quiet moments. Early highlights included "That Girl Is You" (featuring Matthews singing much of the early part of the track with falsetto vocals before the song picked up fire), "#41" with a kaleidoscope of interesting visuals projected on a large screen behind the stage while the song itself featured dynamic turns from sax player Jeff Coffin and lead guitarist Tim Reynolds before there was an interesting blend of horns and keyboards.

Fans responded most to classic DMB tracks such as "Don't Drink the Water" and late-set entries such as the sing-along "Everyday" and "Ants Marching," but the strength of the night was that every cut could provide something special. A mostly-faithful version of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" turned the enduring venue into a huge dance floor, and a guest appearance from keyboardist Mark Batson who joined Matthews for a tender "When I'm Weary was as quiet as it was beautiful.

Later in the set, a large string section came on stage and joined DMB for a three-track mini set including the lovely "Here On Out," powerful "Come On Come On" and rocking "Squirm," the latter featuring a gigantic symphonic finish.

"Thanks for indulging us; we don't do this kind of thing very often," Matthews said at the end of that trio of songs.

Those who didn't stay for the encore missed out big time. The 10-minute run included a spectacular version of the new song "Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin" off the band's "Come Tomorrow," the grooving rocker "Why I Am" and a potent take on Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" that morphed into the climatic moments of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" complete with Reynolds' lead guitar work mirroring the classic fretwork of Jimmy Page.

Dave Matthews Band

Where: The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles

When: Monday, Sept. 10, 2018

The Dave Matthews Band setlist - September 10, 2018

1. One Sweet World
2. That Girl Is You
3. #41
4. Don't Drink the Water
5. Again and Again
6. When I'm Weary
7. Louisiana Bayou
8. Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel cover)
9. Crash Into Me
10. What Would You Say
11. Here On Out
12. Come On Come On
13. Squirm
14. Jimi Thing
15. Shake Me Like a Monkey
16. Everyday
17. She
18. Ants Marching
19. Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)
20. Why I AM
21. All Along the Watchtower / Stairway to Heaven

Review by Robert Kinsler

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