Dave Matthews Band Relaunches Concert Season at Blossom Music Center (Photos)
CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – If you’ve been to a concert in the past few months, you’ve probably heard something like, “It feels good to be back” once or twice.
But maybe nothing has made the roller coaster of this year’s concert season feel “normal” than seeing Dave Matthews Band take the stage at Blossom Music Center. Few acts in musical history have been more prolific on tour than DMB. The band has performed on Blossom 15 times in the past 20 years alone.
Even though Wednesday night was like nothing had happened, there was a touch of something more.
“I love Blossom!” Dave Matthews said, pronouncing the name of the place more like “Blah-sum!” In his distinct voice. That moment alone seemed to make for a show originally slated for summer 2020 that was well worth the wait.
From there Matthews played like a dizzy kid who had been locked in the house and eventually came out to play. The setlists for Dave Matthews Band’s 2021 tour, which kicked off in late July, varied from night to night. But you could argue that DMB picked the best of the bunch for Wednesday’s two-and-a-half-hour show.
Things started with “Rye Whiskey”. It’s a song Matthews has been covering for over a decade and one of the hardest things a singer can do. Still, Matthews seems more at ease than ever before, alone in the center of the stage with his bandmates, pushing his falsetto to new heights. And that was only the beginning.
“Rye Whiskey” bled into an epic performance “The Stone”, which inevitably led the crowd to sing “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You”. The outro incorporating the Elvis Presley classic has become a mainstay of DMB concerts, it is embarrassing to hear the 1998 studio version of “The Stone” without its counterpart.
As always, the evening highlighted every member of the Dave Matthews Band. Saxophonist Jeff Coffin took center stage in the extended portion of “The Stone”, owning the crowd with his Yamaha 82ZR.
Guitarist Tim Reynolds in turn performed on notable tracks like “Rooftop” and “Lying in the Hands of God”, as well as a catchy rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” which preceded the encore later that night. .
And with only three years under his belt with the Dave Matthews Band, keyboardist Buddy Strong has clearly been an integral part of the band, leading his classmates and the crowd to sing a soulful version of Sly and the ‘Thank You (Falettinme Be). Family Stone Mouse Elf Agin).
But it was the charm and fervor of Dave Matthews that took center stage, from his sweat-soaked performance of “Pig” to a solo performance of “Singing From the Windows” to kick off the encore. Matthews could transform into a sex symbol in a minute (a cover of Prince’s “Sexy MF”), then pull out his awkward but compelling dance moves on a cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”.
Throughout 25 songs, Matthews and his band mates brought a sense of comfort that fans have been waiting for over a year. And they didn’t hesitate to show their appreciation, swinging the aisles and singing lyrics before Matthews could even get them out.
Right before a performance of “Everyday,” a young man in the front 10 rows ripped off his shirt and started dancing as if he was immune to the cool 55-degree temperature. Who could blame him? DMB had a way to make you feel whole again.