Saturday, March 24, 2007
Dave Matthews Band and The Fray concert review
We went to see the Dave Matthews Band and The Fray last night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. I have been waiting to see Dave Matthews Band since 1994. They would play in Philly every year, and usually had to add shows because the tickets sold out so fast and the demand was so high. I was never able to go, either because of schedule or money. I have watched videos of their concerts in Philly, listened to the CDs people burned of the shows, and read reviews of the incredible shows they put on. Dave Matthews Band is one of my favorite bands (top 5) and I have been waiting for this concert since I bought the tickets in November of last year. Yes, I had high expectations. And yes, I was expecting the greatest rock show I have ever seen. And yes, I was extremely disappointed.
The performance itself was terrific. The show was an incredible 2 and a half hours. The band played incredibly well and the sound was fantastic. Dave is definately a showman, dancing around with guitar in hand. The songs they decided to play, however, left me wanting. I was very disappointed with the set list. When I go to a concert, I know that the band will play lots of songs from their newest album and mix the classics in there. This show was a mix of 2 songs from the latest album, 5 singles, and the rest a random assortment of songs. I can honestly say I have never heard several of the songs. I have listened to all of Dave Matthews albums (live and studio) and found myself at a total loss during several of the songs, having never heard them before. During at least 3 numbers, a few hundred people would get up and leave to get drinks or use the bathroom all at once, because they had no idea what was being played.
Here is the set list:
Pantala Naga Pampa
When The World Ends
Time Of The Season
Hunger For The Great Light
The Idea Of You
I’ll Back You Up
Down By The River
What You Are
No Ants Marching, no Crash Into Me, no Don't Drink the Water or Ants Marching or So Much to Say or Grave Digger or Space Between or Grey Street or Where are You Going or Ants Marching or I Did It or Tripping Billies or What Would You Say or Ants Marching. Did I mention they did not play Ants Marching? I can think of at least 10 other tracks from Crash or Before These Crowded Streets that I would have loved to hear. Billy Joel has a library of 10 times more songs than Dave Matthews, yet when I saw him last year, he played 2 lesser known numbers, and the rest were the big hits. There was so much potential here, and it was not realized.
When I go to a concert, I expect to hear some of the big numbers, the songs that made you famous, the songs that people know you for. Satellite and Crush are literally the only 2 BIG songs they played. Out of their entire set list, Crush was the only song I actually got excited for.
The Fray did fantastic. They played for 50 minutes and did exactly what I expect from a concert. They played about 4 songs from their current album, 2 new songs, but then closed with their 4 big hits. Admittedly, they have a far smaller list of songs, but they knew that people didn't come to hear songs they have only heard twice, they came to hear the big numbers.
Dave Matthews put on a show for the super devoted fans, and no one else. Unless you have been to a Dave Matthews concert before (and often) and listen to all their albums non-stop, you would have been lost. When there is a notable "awww" at the end of the show because other songs weren't played (people were shouting "ANTS MARCHING!" during the encore) then you could have done a better job.
When someone pays good money for tickets, you should play the music they want to hear, not songs only the most devout fan will know. This was a 500+ seat venue, spanning 2 nights, its not like this was a small show where only the major fans would be coming. My only other compaint (notice how this hole review is a single complaint) is that the five idiots 2 rows in front of us didn't understand that not EVERYBODY wants to spoke pot at the concert. They literally smoked CONSTANTLY for 2 hours. I am all for legalizing the stuff, but smoke it on your time, not when surrounded by 100 people trying to enjoy themselves. Oh, and my hand got crushed in the metal seats and its all swollen.
If I had to rate this show, I would give Dave Matthews Band 4 stars out of 5 for the technical side of things (lighting, sound, performance) but only 2 stars out of 5 for the overall show. The Fray get 4 out of 5 stars for their show.
C'mon DMB! I want to see your big numbers performed live, and now you've scared me away from possibly buying tickets next time you come to town.
Apparently this is a European tour and Vegas was one of only 2 stops or so in the US. It appears that this set list was designed for the European audience, where singles and hits may be quite different than in America. Still not happy....