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Dave Matthews Band played near-sold-out shows this week for eager and excited fans.
“This is my first DMB show, and I am expecting the best, because these guys are amazing,” said Adam Abosedra, a junior international affairs major.
Both shows were opened with 45-minute sets from Robert Randolph and the Family Band. They pumped the audience for the rest of the concert with the mix of gospel, funk and rock sound for which the band has become known.
Wednesday night, when it was time for the headliners to begin, the crowd started to roar. Sauntering on stage, Matthews looked out into the crowd as if he was looking out at about 15,000 of his friends.
Picking up his acoustic guitar, he started the evening off with the well-known song “Everyday,” accompanied by saxophone player LeRoi Moore. It seamlessly transitioned into a violin solo from Boyd Tinsley, and things just kept going from there.
“I thought it was a good show,” said Henry Dickson, a sophomore international affairs major. “They surprised me with songs I never thought I would hear live.”
The set list for Wednesday night’s show differed greatly from Tuesday’s, said Dickson, who has been to seven Dave Matthews Band shows.
Using a different set list each night is unusual for larger acts that perform at the Pepsi Center. They usually adhere to a certain set list because of intricate light and special effects designs. DMB, however, puts together a different set list for each performance.
The special effects and light design didn’t disappoint: three screens were set up behind the stage showing up-close footage of the musicians, and other special light designs dazzled the crowd. For a show of this size, the screens in the back added a touch of intimacy to for people who couldn’t see the stage very well.
The band played a variety of songs, both serenading the audience and also getting them up to dance. Each band member was featured in a number of solos throughout the show. Matthews performed on guitar and lead vocals, with Moore on saxophone, Stefan Lessard on bass, Boyd Tinsley on violin, Carter Beauford on drums, Butch Taylor on keyboard and Rashawn Ross on trumpet.
Highlights of the show included performances of unreleased songs, such as “Shotgun” and “Break Free,” and “Smooth Rider” and “Louisiana Bayou” with opener Robert Randolph on pedal steel guitar.
The show did not disappoint listeners both seasoned and new to Dave Matthews Band.
As the opening act, Robert Randolph and the Family Band really stepped up to the plate at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Although they only had 45 minutes to perform, they managed to get people up on their feet to dance and enjoy their music.
“Tuesday night’s show was really cool. We really put our all into it,” said drummer and family member Marcus Randolph.
The band consists of Robert Randolph on pedal slide guitar, Marcus Randolph, Danyel Morgan and Jason Crosby on organ. They got their start in church, where Robert Randolph learned to play the pedal steel guitar.
“One day Robert asked me to go play in some bar with him,” said drummer Marcus Randolph. Since then they have placed in many different venues, ranging from smoke-filled basement bars to festivals to arenas like the Pepsi Center.
The band has played with an impressive list of musicians, including Eric Clapton, North Mississippi Allstars, Dave Matthews and more. They have spent the past six months touring with Dave Matthews Band.
“They are great, their shows always sell out and we never thought we would ever be opening for a band like this,” Marcus Randolph said.
After the summer tour ends this week, the band will begin to promote its new studio album, “Colorblind,” due in stores Oct. 10.
“This album is 50 times – no 100 times – better than the last one. We just put a lot of heart into it, and I think we just keep getting better,” Randolph said.
In addition to the tour and the new album, one of their songs will be featured on ABC during this season’s Saturday Night Football. Their first single, “Thrill of It,” was first heard and seen last week during the Ohio State and Texas game.
“The video looks real good. Sometimes songs just fit, and this one did,” said Randolph.
For those who missed this week’s shows, Robert Randolph and the Family Band will be playing a special Halloween show at the Fillmore Auditorium on Oct. 31 along with Gomez. Costumes are encouraged.
For more information about “Colorblind” and to preorder the album online, visit robertrandolph.net.