Release Date: June 29, 2004
Reviewed by Sonya Sutherland
I’m not a fan of live recordings and I’m not a fan of Dave Mathews either. But I will give credit where credit is due and for this album Dave Mathews is deserving. The first thing that makes this album listenable for a non-Mathews’ fan is the fact that there are no super radio hits on here. It’s a live performance, recorded flawlessly, as far as catching the clear crisp plucks of the guitar strings and inflections in Mathew’s voice. There is an energy on this record that is hard to find in a live album- unbridled enthusiasm.
There is no denying that DMB is a strong sonic force. They’ve been around for about a decade and it shows. There performance is tight. Mathews’ has a strong voice that holds pretty well through out the entire album but does waver a bit. That’s okay though, if I wanted vocal perfection, I’d check out a studio album. And it seems Mathews even has a sense of humor with his remarks like, “Damn something smells good,” and I’m sure he’s not talking about the sewage he may or may not have dumped on a city street last month.
Boyd, Leroi, Carter and Stefan are probably over looked more often then not, seeing how it is Mr. Mathew’s band, but they did a fine job. Drums, violin, piano, bass all sound great together, although Boyd’s violin could be turned up just a notch, it’s overall a pretty smooth balance, and like I said before if I wanted balanced perfection I wouldn’t be listening to a live album.
Overall, every song is listenable and one might even say enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to grab my Birkenstocks, burn my Marilyn Manson records and jump on the I love DMB band wagon, but I actually wont delete this music from my I-Tunes collection.