The Dave Matthews Band experience is like attending an all-night jam session and becoming one with the music.
For more than two hours, the Grammy Award-winning band entertained thousands of bright-eyed concertgoers at the Journal Pavilion Thursday night.
Against the turquoise New Mexico sky, the band kicked off its summer concert series at the outdoor amphitheater.
As the sun began to set behind the majestic mountains, an energetic crowd of fans waited to hear the words that would come out of Dave’s mouth and flow throughout the audience like a musical elixir.
The flavor of the band’s top-grossing CD, “Everyday,” proved fresh and dynamic. Matthews began the show by playing the electric guitar, complementing the sizzling sounds of drummer Carter Beauford, violinist Boyd Tinsley, sax/flute player Leroi Moore, and bassist Stefan Lessard.
Moore played the flute and contra-bass clarinet in addition to his usual duties on baritone, alto and tenor sax. The mixture of instruments added to the unique collection of songs.
It was good to be back in New Mexico, Dave told the enthusiastic onlookers.
The guys rocked harder than ever on tracks like “I Did It” with a muscular guitar riff that set the stage for one powerful concert.
To witness this band playing live is to celebrate its dramatic development.
In “I Did It,” Dave sings: “I’m mixing up a bunch of magic stuff/A magic mushroom cloud of care/A potion that will rock the boat/Make a bomb of love and blow it up.”
Emotion flowed through the melancholy mix of songs to the
more joyful tunes such as the hard-driving “What You Are” with a crescendo of bluesy beats and catchy guitar riffs.
The band showed its immense capacity for emotional depth on the grand ballad, “Space Between” and the tender love songs of “Angel” and “Fool to Think.”
“So Right” infused the audience with more surging energy. The strong, sexy swagger of Matthews made the crowd go wild.
Throughout the sonic explosion of music, Dave Matthews and his bandmates remained positive, delivering the fun-loving energy that has become their trademark.
DMB added tasteful keyboards to many of the live tracks, with the band members pounding away on “I Did It.”
It appears that Matthews’ lyrics emphasize the joy of living and loving, and the vivacity of the five musicians is stronger than ever.
As with every album, the band raised the bar with its live performance. Matthews addressed the ease with which his band excels when he proclaimed on “I Did It, “I did it justice. I just did it for the buzz.”
Instead of comparing old songs to new ones, it’s refreshing to hear the wistful sound of the Dave Matthew Band combined with the blues-infused guitar and saucy saxophone. Each sound and beat is a dynamic part of the band that comes together like pieces of an intensely creative puzzle.
After more than two hours, a hush rang out across the grassy plane. Fans wanted more. Dave Matthews delivered a another handful of tunes before coming to a complete close.
When the last note faded, the crowd burst into applause, and the sweet spirit of the Dave Matthews Band lingered long after the last trail of fans faded from the Journal Pavilion.