Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dave Matthews Band - Live Trax Volume 8

By TC

Another day, another Live Trax review.  Let's talk about Volume 8.

DMB Live Trax Volume 8
08.07.2004

1) Hello Again
2) Granny
3) #41 »
4) The Stone
5) Crazy Easy
6) So Much to Say »
7) Super Freak [partial]  »
8) Too Much
9) Bartender
10) When the World Ends
11) Help Myself
12) I'll Back You Up
13) Joyride
14) Grey Street
15) Sugar Will
16) Ants Marching »
17) Everyday
18) Typical Situation
19) Warehouse

The series returns to summer 2004 for this entry.  The pick this time around is one of the most highly regarded shows of that tour.  The show has its high and low points, but on balance, this is a much better selection for 2004 than Live Trax 2.

Hello Again, one of the new summer 2004 songs, opens the show.  I'm not a huge fan of this song, but it works as an opener here.  Granny is fantastic, and a great one-two punch of #41 and The Stone follows.  So far, so good.  Crazy Easy, another of the new summer 2004 songs, is next.  This was it's first release at the time (having been absent from Live Trax 2).  It's a fantastic sound and, although the lyrics are a jumbled mess, works here.

One of the gems in this release is the So Much To Say >> Super Freak >> Too Much combination.  Too Much in 2004 was a monster with the 'Lil John interpolation.  Super Freak is played here, partially, to honor Rick James who had just passed away.  For likely rehearsing it a couple of times in the dressing room, it's very well done.  I love the saxophone on it too.  (Leroi is ALL OVER this show.)

Bartender through Joyride is a bit of a drag for me.  Bartender here has the drawn out piano solo that I don't like, followed up by two songs I don't care for at all - When the World Ends and Help Myself. I'll Back You Up has a bass solo and, although a good song, I don't think it needs the bass solo. Joyride, another new summer 2004 song, pops up and remains a throwaway for me.

The show begins marching to it's conclusion with a solid, if out of place, Grey Street.  Sugar Will, last of the new songs, shows up and was the second time to hear Leroi's extended solo (instead of Santana).  The first was the Stand Up Bonus Disc which had a version of Sugar Will from The Gorge of that year.  This version is inferior to that one, which means it's my least favorite.

Ants Marching serves as an introduction to Everyday to close the set, which is a transition I do not like.  Everyday should not close or open.  The encore though makes up for it.  This Typical is great, and Warehouse is a nice dessert after the main course.

The sound here is fine.  It's compressed, but it's fine.

There's such a long stretch of this show that is a drag to me, and the ending of Everyday is pretty bad.  But, the first half and the encore are very strong.  And, did I mention Leroi is all over this one?  He plays his behind off and I never complain about that.  I have to give it 3 out of 5 stars.  I purchased this one used on eBay several years after it came out on a whim - it had a coffee stain on the package and it was only a couple of bucks.  It's worth more than that.  I'd recommend a purchase for the strengths of the show.  The lows are definitely not keepers, but there's enough here that makes it worth it.
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