Thursday, June 08, 2017

Dave Matthews Band - Live Trax Volume 17

By T.P. Creech (aka "hubby")

Between pregnancy and the newborn days, the blog has been neglected for some time. However, getting back into the swing of things, it is finally back to DMB Thursdays!  Which means it's time for another Live Trax review!

This one's a prime number too.  (Don't ask, I'm weird.)

DMB Live Trax Volume 17
1) Two Step
2) #41 »
3) Say Goodbye
4) The Best of What's Around
5) Lover Lay Down
6) Jimi Thing
7) Lie in Our Graves
8) For the Beauty of Wynona
9) Pay for What You Get
10) Dancing Nancies
11) Crash into Me
12) Tripping Billies
13) So Much to Say »
14) Anyone Seen the Bridge »
15) Too Much
16) Leave Me Praying
17) Ants Marching

On the heels of a Live Trax picked by fans, the band releases a Live Trax from a year that many fans had been asking for since the series started.  1997 was a very short tour but it featured extensive guest spots from Bela Fleck & The Flecktones.  The thought was that one of those shows would be a shoe-in for a release.  We'd get Live Trax Volume 7, Part 2.  We didn't.  But, that doesn't mean we didn't get a fantastic show.

1997's tour was short as the band was heading into the studio with Steve Lillywhite to record the album Before These Crowded Streets.  It's regarded by many as the band's darkest and best work.
This particular show starts with Two Step which at this point had really come into it's own.  It's not the epic 20 minute versions of today, but it definitely packs a punch.  I do have to comment that it really does  sort of fall apart at the end, but it's still a fine opener.  It's followed by a solid two punch of #41 and Say Goodbye, each excellent.  The Best of What's Around and Lover Lay Down are not the definitive versions of either but are certainly quality versions of each.

David Hildago makes an appearance on guitar for the next three songs, and Steve Berlin joins him on saxophone on the latter two (both of Los Lobos fame).  David's solos never really go anywhere on Jimi or Lie In Our Graves, but the Wynona cover is fantastic and he plays a large part in that.  For The Beauty Of Wynona is a great cover song for the band and this was the first time it had been released on a DMB album.  It's the standout of the release.

Pay For What You Get is a fantastic version, not as good as Live Trax 5, but still good.  I really wish the Dancing Nancies here proceeded Warehouse, but alas, it's stand alone.  Crash Into Me is fantastic here, one of the best.

Tripping Billies has a mistake in the intro, although apparently Dave broke a string at the beginning and had to change guitars.  It wouldn't make it a mistake per se, but it's a little weird to hear it if you're not used to it.  The set ends with the relatively recently developed suite of So Much To Say & Anyone Seen The Bridge & Too Much.  It's so different in it's infancy!

The encore of this tour is pretty unspectacular.  (For some reason, most of the shows of the tour ended this way, especially later ones.)  Leave Me Praying is an early version of Don't Drink The Water.  It's a spacy, dark mood that really meanders and never goes anywhere - not my cup of tea.  Ants Marching is certainly okay here but not spectacular.

It's a solid setlist and it's a 1997 show, so the band played fine but there's not a whole lot definitive here.  That said, it's a very solid show and I'd highly recommend it.  The mix is considered by some as the best ever done.  I think it sounds a bit distant myself, but again, it's not enough to pull away from purchasing it.  This is a solid 4 star release.

Has your CD collection started to grow yet?  By my count, you should have 12 more albums in the library now.

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
Live Trax 13: 4/5, purchase
Live Trax 14: 2/5, purchase
Live Trax 15: 3/5, purchase
Live Trax 16: 4/5, purchase
Live Trax 17: 4/5, purchase
Overall: 3.3/5, 12 purchase, 5 skip
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