Thursday, 30 May 2013 07:16

Dave Matthews Can Still Draw the Crowds

By Staff Report | Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Dave Matthews is one of those rare artists who is able to not only exist, but actually thrive outside the mainstream music industry. The reason for this may have been apparent to anyone in the Saratoga area when the Dave Matthews Band rolled in the Saratoga Preforming Arts Center last weekend. 

That reason? The legions of devoted fans who attend his shows year after year. 

In what might perhaps be described as “droves”, concert-goers converged upon SPAC to see Matthews and his band perform Saturday and Sunday; the group’s 27th and 28th appearance at SPAC since their first debut in 1994. 

Braving the rain and cooler temperatures than is normal for May—the 40s—the crowd ranged from first-timers to those who had been to see DMB dozens of times, like Cheryl from Estoria, Queens, who counting the Sunday show, had been to 75 Dave Matthews Band concerts. Yes, you read that right—75 concerts. 

But it is exactly the fans such as Cheryl and so many others I spoke to at the recent shows, which is what keeps Dave Matthews Band one of the most consistently successful live bands in music today. 

And it certainly helps to have such talented players in the ensemble. The band was tight with Tim Reynolds on guitar, Stefon Lessord on bass, Carter Beauford on drums, Jeff Coffin and Rashawn Ross on sax, Boyd Tinsley on violin, and of course, Dave Matthews on rhythm guitar and vocals. 

Despite the rain and cold, DMB still put on a high energy, 17-song show for the roughly 25,000 fans who attended each day. With his usual grace and showmanship, Matthews led the band through favorites old and new, with just the right amount of improvisation that keeps his fans coming time and time again to his live performances. 

It is exactly this attitude of a fresh approach to every show that I heard repeatedly by people in the crowd as one of the main reasons for coming year after year to see Dave Matthews. 

No matter how you feel about Dave Matthews Band and their music, there is no denying the fact that they must be doing something right in order to have so many devoted fans.

And love them or hate them, it’s a very good probability that Dave Matthews Band will be back to SPAC again next year, and where DMB goes, his fans are sure to follow. 

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