Thursday, March 10, 2016

Dave Matthews Band - Live Trax Volume 12

By TC

Today I'm talking Live Trax Volume 12.

DMB Live Trax Volume 12
05.05.1995

1) Warehouse
2) Recently
3) Dancing Nancies
4) The Song That Jane Likes
5) Proudest Monkey »
6) Satellite
7) What Would You Say
8) Tripping Billies
9) Drive In Drive Out
10) Typical Situation »
11) #36 »
12) Ants Marching
13) #40
14) All Along The Watchtower

I tend to float around when I pick my favorite era of the band.  Sometimes I really connect with the 2008-2011 era.  When Tim came back full time, I felt the band really picked up the energy and brought new life to a lot of old songs.  Sometimes I fall back to the 2000-2003 era, what I consider the height of their popularity and influence (if they had any at all), and that's when I first saw them too (in 2003).  And I tend to fall back into this period - the winter and spring of 1995.

I'm not sure what it is about this particular era that is so fantastic to me.  The songs sound really tight.  The setlists were pretty much all amazing (they still hadn't released two major label albums yet).  The arrangements were starting to get a little more complex as well.  There were still several songs in transition and in development, but this is a band which is really refining it's sound on the major stage and is honing its stage presence.  It's great to have some multi-track recordings (even if we don't have a ton) from this era.

This album, which at the time was the earliest Live Trax release, is also the shortest concert released as a Live Trax.  (Live Trax 33, without the previous night's bonus material, may be shorter - forgive me for not looking it up to confirm).  The release, at barely over an hour and a half, may be short but is still extremely engaging.

The first four songs are money.  Fantastic versions from a fantastic era.  Proudest Monkey is really more of an introduction at this point than a song, as it had been for a little whlie at this point (it was slowly building into the song it would become the following year).  After Satellite, What would You Say and Tripping Billies keep the set moving quickly.

If you've read the blog, you know I don't care for Drive In Drive Out.  Here, although the basic structure was already set, the lyrics aren't set.  It's a unique listen every now and again, but it's not mandatory.

Typical Situation is great (Leroi!), and the main set ends with the fairly standard #36 >> Ants which closed sets for a number of years.

The encore of this set contains likely the biggest draw of the album to fans, a full solo acoustic #40.  Although it's not THE #40 (that would be 5 days later), it is a clean recording of the song that never came to be.  It's a good listen, but it's not what sells me on the set.  The show closes with All Along The Watchtower.  This version is okay.  I prefer the 4.7.95 version from this tour, but since that's an all time Watchtower it's very hard to do an accurate comparison.

The sound on this one is fantastic.  It's a multi-track 1995 recording and I'm thrilled with it.

It's another 5 stars, and given that the series had a rough patch in volumes 9 and 10, it's good to get it back on track with 11 and 12.

It was around this time that Tim Reynolds came back into the band as a full-time touring member, so the next few Live Trax focus on 2008 - not only for Tim, but in rememberance of Leroi who had passed away.


Recap:
Live Trax 1: 4/5, purchase
Live Trax 2: 2/5, skip
Live Trax 3: 5/5, purchase
Live Trax 4: 3/5, skip
Live Trax 5: 5/5, purchase
Live Trax 6: 2/5, skip
Live Trax 7: 5/5, purchase
Live Trax 8: 3/5, purchase
Live Trax 9: 0/5, skip
Live Trax 10: 1/5, skip
Live Trax 11: 4/5, purchase
Live Trax 12: 5/5, purchase

Overall: 3.3/5, 7 purchase, 5 skip
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