Every year, fans from all over Western New York come to Darien Lake for Dave Matthews Band; at this point, it’s become the start to a lot of people’s summer concert season. The weather always seems to be the same as well, wet and rain-filled, and it was no different this year. The only thing that changed was the traditional set that DMB usually incorporates into the evening. This year, the band chose to go with a two-set approach and they hit a home run with the concept. The first set incorporated many of their hits into an acoustic driven platform. Opening the night with “Dancing Nancies”, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds wasted no time getting everyone up and moving and it marked the first time since 1997 that the song was opened by both Matthews and Reynolds.
Carter Beauford quickly joined in on the set behind his drum kit for “Recently”. Steffan Lessard (bass), Jeff Coffin (sax), Boyd Tinsley (fiddle), and Rashawn Ross (trumpet) soon followed and “Two Step” broke out boosting an already high level of energy. “Minarets” seemed to also get a lot of attention on this tour, and given it’s rarity in past years, it was a nice to hear it put into the rotation once again. The first set slowed down a bit during “Stolen Away On 55th and 3rd”, but soon picked right up with “Tripping Billies”, “Satellite”, and “What Would You Say”, closing out the first set.
The second set would be in the more traditional flow with a full band electric set and given the first set, which was toned down, made it even more powerful. The second set started with an improvisational intro behind a sheer style curtain, leading up to the highly energized “So Right”, putting an already amped up crowd into a full on frenzy. “#41” was slotted perfectly in the second spot, and with the crowd in a high point, it drove the show to its peak.
Tinsley and Matthews jammed together and soon were joined by the electric force behind Reynolds guitar. “The Lovely Ladies” (Cindy Mizelle, Tawatha Agee, and Sharon Bryant) joined the band on stage during several of the songs with their beautiful background vocals on songs “Save Me”, “Long Black Veil” , “You and Me” and “Stay”, which closed out the second set. It was good to see the ladies joining the band once again on tour since it had been so long since they had last done so.
“The Song Jane Likes” kicked off the encore, which, for an encore, was the first time since 2012 it was played. “Grey Street” closed out the evening, feeding the high energy right until the last note was played. DMB always plays well to the crowd at Darien Lake, however I think this year may have been their best in recent years.
Setlist provided by dmbalmanac.com
Set 1 (acoustic): Dancing Nancies, Recently, Two Step, Minarets, Stolen Away on 55th and 3rd, Tripping Billies, Satelitte, What Would You Say
Set 2 (electric): So Right, #41, When The World Ends, Save Me, Long Black Veil, So Much To Say>Anyone Seen The Bridge>Too Much, Crush, If Only, Belly Belly Nice, Jimi Thing, You and Me, Stay
Encore: The Song That Jane Likes, Grey Street