After attending the Dave Matthews Band Concert on Saturday night, it's pretty easy to see why people travel all over to see the group and will go to multiple shows a year to watch the same group perform the same number -- they're awesome. Unfortunately I have no pictures as the event staff said "no cameras" and, like an idiot, I simply didn't take a camera into the venue. That hardly stopped the other 22,998 fans from bringing in a camera. How they accomplished this, I don't know -- nor do I really want to know. But I digress...
The Hold Steady opened for Dave. I purchased a Hold Steady CD a while back and never really got into it but couldn't remember why until last night. The lead singer, Craig Finn, doesn't really sing. He just kinda talks in a monotone way over the music for most of the song. There are very few lyrical pieces to the music. It's not bad...just not my cup of tea. After about 40-minutes, they cleared the stage and the giant curtain went up in preparation for Dave.
The venue filled in a hurry at 8:00 p.m., in anticipation for the opening of the show. We had seats in Row Z (26 for those with a math/alphabet issue) which had a decent view of the stage but I would have much rather been about 25 rows closer. The show started and everything was electric. The crowd was into it from the first notes and, well, it was just phenomenal.
They hit alot of their hits, like "Ants Marching," "Two Step," "Best of What's Around" and "Bartender" and mixed in a lot of stuff from the new album Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. Maybe they jammed a tad too long on a couple songs but the jams were all cool, especially the prolongs "Ants Marching." No "Satellite," "Crash Into Me," or "Space Between," but they couldn't hardly play the entire collection (unfortunately). After 3-hours, they finally closed with "Halloween," which delighted the fans in attendance.
Needless to say, I probably could have stayed another three hours to listen to them play. They honestly sounded as good at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as they do on a post-production live CD. Boyd Tinsley tore up the violin and Carter Beauford was amazing on drums. Really, the whole show was just amazing. And the crowd was well-behaved, which was nice.
Leaving the show was a spectacle as we sat in the parking area for a good hour hoping a group of people were going to fall out of a truck. It never happened unfortunately. However, the concert the girl in the next car over was putting on herself was definitely entertaining. Once we got on the highway, it was smooth sailing home except the downpours. The whole experience, though, was definitely positive. And I will most certainly be getting tickets to next year's Dave Matthews visit to the area.