Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dave Matthews Band - Live Trax Volume 9

By TC

There aren't many multiple night sets in the Live Trax series.  Volume 6, Fenway, is one of them.  Volume 9, MGM Grand in Las Vegas is the other.  That's the one I'm discussing today.

DMB Live Trax Volume 9
03.23.2007 & 03.24.2007

Night 1
1) Pantala Naga Pampa » Rapunzel
2) Satellite
3) When the World Ends
4) Time of the Season
5) Hunger for the Great Light
6) Dreamgirl
7) Say Goodbye
8) The Idea of You
9) Louisiana Bayou
10) I'll Back You Up
11) Down by the River
12) Crush
13) The Maker
14) Jimi Thing
15) Stay (Wasting Time)
16) Sister
17) Everyday
18) What You Are

Night 2
1) Crash into Me
2) You Might Die Trying
3) Grey Street
4) Sweet Caroline »
5) What Would You Say
6) The Idea of You
7) Seek Up
8) Still Water »
9) Don't Drink the Water
10 Dancing Nancies
11) Where Are You Going
12) The Maker
13) Louisiana Bayou
14) Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd
15) Down by the River
16) Too Much
17) Tripping Billies
18) Gravedigger
19) American Baby Intro »
20) Halloween

These shows were released in early June, 2007.  That's not a lot of turnaround time between when they were recorded and when they were released, considering all of the time it takes to mix, master, produce, and ship product.  But, you'd never be able to tell that unless you went searching for the dates.  The production on these is top notch.  From the crew notes for these days, we know the band loved these shows and felt very strong about them.  It's definitely a rarity to have a show from the current year in the collection.

That's about all I can say positively about this release.

Well, I take that back.  This is the weekend, if the rumors are true, that the band decided they were not going to break up.  They decided they were going to stick it out together.  There was a very serious threat of breaking up at this point and something about these nights in particular stopped that from happening.  That's a good thing.  2008 was a completely new sound to the band and set the stage for Big Whiskey.

Ok, now that's everything positive I can say about this release.

I just can't get into anything about this particular album, either night really.  There are four repeats, which although not awful, isn't great.  A lot of covers were played these nights too (Time of the Season, The Maker, Still Water, Down by the River, Sweet Caroline), and other than The Maker I could take or leave them.

Night one starts fairly standard with Rapunzel and Satellite.  The set is rather dull and lifeless to me.  Jimi Thing (again, tired shell of it's 2003 self at this point), Everyday, Hunger, Bayou, Stay...nothing stands out.  It's cool to bring back so many covers, but there's really nothing about the performances which stand out about them to make them worth revisiting with any kind of regularity.

Night two is better, but not by much.  Crash Into Me, as an opener, is good, and at least Still Water was a little different to hear.  Everyone loves Halloween at a show, but this one isn't very good.  It competes with Weekend on the Rocks for worst released Halloween.

I'm certainly thankful the band had a good time this weekend.  If they hadn't, we might not be hearing them tour right now, or they'd be touring as a shell of themselves (which, to some, they already are - I disagree).  For a quick mix too, the band sounds great - much better than they do on the Live at Piedmont Park release from later this year (WAY too much Butch on that one).

But as far as releasing the shows?  I don't get it.  I may put in one CD of this four disc set once a year, just to try it out, but I never get much past skipping through a few tunes and putting it back on the shelf.  It gets zero stars for me.  I'd skip it unless you're a completist like me or really like the sound of the band between 2005-2007.  For the majority of fans, they're probably in agreement with me on this one being subpar, even if they find a few more gems on this release than I do.

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