Dave Matthews Band brings the summer heat to Alpine Valley

And so the summer tour tradition continues. Two nights, one historic theater, and thousands of fans. Converging from all around the country, people swarm to see Dave Matthews Band on what has become one of the hottest weekends in the Midwest thanks to years and years of touring.

It seems like a never ending cycle for Dave Matthews Band – tour, record, tour some more – but a cycle they obviously have endless love for.

It was reassuring seeing the faces of the band as they walked out on stage welcomed by a tightly packed theater filled with tens of thousands of screaming fans ready to rival them at their own songs. Those big smirks and bulging eyes tell a lot, especially knowing they see it night after night.

A few things have changed. Dave Matthews Band has a knack for opening acts, personally introducing special guest Grace Potter & The Nocturnals.

Grace Potter is a wild one. She’s no boring front-woman, dancing around to the funk infused rock with those eye catching Scott Weiland-esqe moves. And when she’s not busy with those, she’s got a Gibson Flying V around her neck jamming right along with the rest of the band.

I can see why Dave Matthews Band likes them.

As the sun dipped below the hill Matthews started with the hits, rolling right into “Louisiana Bayou,” new song “Belly Belly Nice,” and and unexpected “So Right” that really woke everyone up.

There was no shortage of his smart remarks and little jokes either. “I do believe, up wind, there is somethin’ on fire.”

“Don’t Drink The Water” and “Dancing Nancies” had phenomenal fan participation later on in the set, covering the chorus at a chilling volume.

“Thank you very very much,” Dave murmured in a silly low voice. Up until “Fool To Think,” the band kept pretty reserved and tame. But once the latter half of the setlist came around, loaded with hits dating way back, they loosened up.

Even the early days found a place in the generous setlist. “Ants Marching” was a must, but “Halloween” is just a treat. And there’s really get a better ending than an extended jam of “Rapunzel”.

The band’s newer music is working well, but it’s the vintage and more timeless “Dave” that many yearn for. It’s great to see their best still gets the upper hand.

Louisiana Bayou – Belly Belly Nice – So Right – Spaceman – Warehouse – Dancing Nancies – Save Me – Captain – Kill the Preacher – Don’t Drink the Water – Snow Outside – Fool To Think – Granny – What Would You Say – The Space Between – You Might Die Trying – Everyday – Ants Marching – Halloween – Some Devil – Drunken Soldier – Pantala Naga Pampa – Rapunzel


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