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Flashback Friday: Dave Matthews Band Deliver a Full Band “#40”

by Rob Slater on May 30, 2014

When Dave Matthews Band rolled into Saratoga Springs, NY on June 20, 2008, the ultra-rarity "#40" hadn't been played since 6/12/01, or 569 shows. At least not by the full band. The elusive tune saw numerous teases, partials and any other special notation to keep the song alive despite its apparent deadness. If there is one song to illustrate the unique connection between SPAC and DMB, it is "#40" and what happened on that probably-really-steamy June night in New York in 2008.

Although the first night of the run featured five songs from Stand Up and a host of other material in heavy rotation that year, the encore included a tease, albeit brief, of "#40." Dave could taste it, but he was real full.

As Dave remarked about "bringing his homework tomorrow," fans would leave the show with hope that maybe they would witness something special on the closing night. Needless to say, that 6/21 show still stands as one of the best in the Tim Reynolds-era of Dave Matthews Band.

Dave would wail through an emotional "Shotgun" that night along with a midset "Ants Marching" and a "Lie in Our Graves" that was reprised in the encore. There would also be a "Jimi Thing" singalong (a theme that would continue over the next few years) and a closing Sly and the Family Stone cover that seemed like it lasted forever. The gem of the show, despite all of that, was the "#40" you will see below.

The band did their homework better than I ever did in school and delivered the gold standard "#40," one that may never be matched. The tune hasn't been played since and it probably shouldn't be. As DMB kicks off their annual SPAC run tonight with a two-set show sure to bring out some rarities, enjoy this "#40" from June 21, 2008.

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