Five For Friday: Dave Matthews Band Summer Tour Requests
This year, the Dave Matthews Band will embark on yet another massive summer tour, spanning every corner of the United States and landing the band in very familiar territory. Today, thousands of fans rushed to LiveNation and Ticketmaster to pick up their tickets for the 23rd year of Dave Matthews Band. This time the band will tour with a new twist. Instead of the conventional one set, one encore show, DMB will play two sets in traditional jam band fashion. A welcomed move to most fans who have been following the group for a while. The first set will consist of acoustic arrangements of DMB material, with the second set serving as the rock portion of the evening.
Surely, this forces the band outside their comfort zone and will offer fans a chance to not only hear reworked versions of their favorite songs but will also give the hardcore fan an opportunity to cross off the final few requests from his or her list. Which is where this piece comes in. The band has presented themselves and their audience with an opportunity to explore some of the rarest and least played tunes in the catalog. Here, in a new "Five For Friday" (thanks, Five For Fighting) series, are five requests for DMB's new and improved summer tour.
"Pay For What You Get"
Amazing that this beautiful Under the Table and Dreaming cut has been missing since 2008, particularly given how well it was performed and received by fans on that tour. Jeff Coffin and Rashawn Ross haven't really had a chance to lend their full expertise to this one, so a potentially reworked version could turn Dave's feeling on the song. In the acoustic portion of the show, this song would be a lovely addition.
This year should be the year of #40. Given the band's penchant for slowly piecing together live versions of the unreleased "#40" both lyrically and musically, it'd be a good guess that this song slowly morphs back into it's early-90s self as the tour progresses. Look for standout versions that rival the version above, which ranks as the last time played. Six years and 335 shows ago. Tragic.
"Sweet Up and Down"
While most of these selections will lean more towards the acoustic set, here is one for the band to break out during the rock show. After getting heavy play during the 2007 tour and coming out briefly in 2010, "Sweet Up and Down" has been absent ever since. Few songs fall in and out of rotation as quickly and violently as this one, which is shocking because it's a fan favorite and really suits the band's bigger, fuller sound they've developed in recent years. Now at it's longest disappearance since it debuted, SUAD would be a welcomed addition to provide some variety.
"Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd"
Now, stay with me on this one. While "Stolen Away" hails from the unpopular 2005 Stand Up record that saw the band dig far too deep for any scrap of songwriting creativity only to come up short, this track could warrant some consideration this year. Missing since 2008, this delicate tune with a looping beat could really benefit from a rework in the acoustic setting. With some creativity on the horns and drums, "Stolen Away" could be the one song from Stand Up that comes out smelling like roses.
Much like "#40," it is time for "Blue Water" to return to form in 2014. And I'm not talking about the partial versions they've been dabbling in since the song resurfaced in 2009, I'm talking about the 7-12 minute instrumental with the full band participating. With Boyd seemingly getting more run during the live show (see: recent performances of "Jimi Thing" and "Ants Marching"), "Blue Water" would be the perfect way to punctuate his resurgence. Let BT flourish, DMB. You're better off when he does. A set one closing "Blue Water" sounds good to me, and just about everyone else.