The Dave Matthews Band (DMB) kicked off their 10-city fall tour at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center on Tuesday night. The two and a half hour show introduced Columbus fans to the band’s new album “Come Tomorrow” (released in June and debuted at number one on Billboard’s top 200) and covered some well known and lesser known songs from their past. Early on, Dave apologized to the crowd that it had been too long since he last visited, although the die-hard fans were able to trek two hours to Cincinnati during this summer’s tour. He also remarked it was good to be back on the road to take a break from too much eating and drinking during their time off. Dave’s endearing quips and funny stories between songs along with his facial expressions are part of the reason he is so well loved.
This was not a greatest hits show, which may have disappointted the casual fan that came to hear just the three-minute classics they know from the radio. When you see the DMB you should come for the surprises, cool jams, and a few of the hits. And even more so on this tour. Dave introduced us to their new band mate and keyboardist Buddy Strong, who replaced violinist Boyd Tinsley this year. Songs that had a heavy Tinsley influence, like Warehouse and Ants Marching, were not played as they had been on the summer tour in spite of Tinsley’s departure. While DMB did play fan favorites Jimi Thing, Dancing Nancies, Rapunzel (the final encore song), and Satellite, they also pulled out some lesser played gems like You Never Know (from Busted Stuff) , Kill The King (Live in Atlantic City), Sleep to Dream Her(Everyday), Break Free (Live Trax Vol 6), and Minarets(Remember Two Things). My only criticism is that Break Free, a solid but lesser know song, should have not have opened the encore.
The most rousing crowd responses came during Don’t Drink The Water, Grey Street, Funny the Way It Is, and a cover of Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion. It was only the third time DMB covered Sweet Emotion and hopefully they bring it back again. However you can’t count on the same set list from DMB even during the same tour, as they want to keep it interesting for the fans, many of whom see multiple shows during a tour. But you can count on them giving you the same feel- some jazz-infused rock jams, one or two acoustic songs, a kick-ass cover song, four or five new songs, a few gems that you may have forgotten about, and a few fan favorites. Although the band has been playing since 1991 they are still evolving and keeping us engaged. Moreover, they must been seen live.
Setlist Ref: https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/dave-matthews-band/2018/value-city-arena-at-the-schottenstein-center-columbus-oh-4b972be2.html
Photographed by Ron Valle