Live - Dave Matthews Band and $7 Budweisers Equal Summer Fun

The show was the blizzomb! No one opened for DMB and although the show was scheduled to begin at 7pm, I was thankful it got rolling closer to 8:30/9pm, as I was late in getting there. Traffic was outrageous heading into the venue, but it seemed to be well organized and under the control of the copious Camden police presence, whose efforts were supplemented by bountiful event staff. Alcohol was egregiously priced at $7/per plastic bottle of Bud or Bud Light so I opted for the $8 margaritas and strawberry daiquiris, which were both slushy and refreshing!! Ahhh.

DMB opened with "Everyday," which was well-played but not my favorite track by far. Boyd Tinsley's notable violin solos blew the crowd away. Stefan Lessard's groovy bass stylin' added that fresh and funky twist to the band's eclectic rhythm (his red T-shirt/yellow nylon pants, however, were somewhat off-kilter and evoked in me images of dragon-themed kites on Chinese New Year).

Three cameras, arranged to catch varying angles of the band's musical revelry, were broadcast on an expansive monitor set behind them. The camera work, while professional, polished and even a tad creative with its special effects, took away from the live music experience. I imagine I would actually prefer this type of viewing if I were watching it on a small TV screen at home in my living room, but if I wanted that, I would have stayed my lazy ass at home and not trekked 2 hours through Jersey jungle to Camden. Perhaps my selfish attitude discounts the needs of lawn viewers; however, they were not as exposed to the discomforting Starsearch effect the cameras and monitor had on us reserved-seat folk up front. I half expected some pint-size Miss America to come out and sing Whitney Houston's "the greatest love of all"... Needless to say this never actually happened.

The highlight of the show was "Ants Marching" along with the encore performance of "Long Black Veil." The former track grew the crowd into a thick ball of frenzied animation and elation. The latter song's sweetness took us all by surprise and was the perfect lullaby to pacify the crowd before exiting the stage. Parting is such sweet sorrow (especially when the set only lasts an hour and a half at the most with a one-song encore, not that I'm disgruntled or anything). See you next summer Dave!

Source: Jaemee Monahan

Live - Dave Matthews Band and $7 Budweisers Equal Summer Fun