Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dave Matthews Band - September 13 - Irvine, CA

The Boy and I were in Southern California checking out a college and we noticed that the Dave Matthews Band was in town. Since they are his current favorite band and I'm always up for a rocking show we decided to check it out. The venue is the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, California. Formerly known as "Irvine Meadows", this place is rather large outdoor venue (16,000+) with mostly reserved seating and a small lawn section. Nissan can hold more, but I think that is because Nissan has a much bigger lawn area. The Verizon Amphitheatre is on a steep mountainside and unlike other "sheds" it has no roof for the patrons. Everyone sits outside and the roof only covers the stage. You gotta love that California weather!

Switchfoot was the opening band, their performance was rather forgettable except when the lead singer ventured out into the audience while singing. He went way up behind the sound board singing all the while and shaking hands in the audience. Reminded me of the William Walter performance at the Hill Holler stage at FloydFest. But William was handing out CD's while he was roaming through the crowd.

The DMB put on a fine show, they have a stage with big video screens that allows everyone to see what's going on. They played a good number of tunes from their new album ("Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King"). This is a fine album and it was nice to hear the songs live. The DMB can definitely stretch out into some great instrumental jam sessions. I had seen them a couple of times before, but this was the first time I'd seen them with Tim Reynolds on electric guitar and Jeff Coffin (of the Flecktones) replacing the late LeRoi Moore (the "GrooGrux King"). They've also added a trumpet player (Rashawn Ross) in the last few years, he helps out with the background vocals. They rocked the house with a cover of "Burning Down the House" (Talking Heads). Dave seemed in good spirits, joking with the crowd between songs and pleased with the number of women's "drawers" that were being thrown on stage.

We had a lot of fun at this show and it was a nice way to end our sojourn out west.

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