Talking About Dave...
The amazing show in Lucca, three and a half hours of pure ecstasy of sounds now available in the recently released box-set "Europe 2009", indelibly marked the relationship between the Dave Matthews Band and the Italian audience. This relationship started with the famous petition launched by Con-fusion and is finally giving its results with a real tour that begins this evening at PalaSharp in Milan.
The audience pours into the arena with slow but steady progression to fill it almost completely, while the atmosphere is heated by Alberta Cross, the multinational quintet based in Brooklyn that plays under Dave Matthews' wing. Their classic rock style which often shows flashes of alternative rock and blues drifts is well suited to the evening and the audience's taste, and the audience shows its appreciation. Write down their name, we'll hear about them again.
Slightly after 8:30 p.m. Dave Matthews brings his beautiful musical creature on the stage of the Pala Sharp, thus sparking the enthusiasm of a literally starving audience. Ironically, the show is right in the aftermath of Sanremo. It's like saying "St. Dave, save us from princes, pupi (a reference to Italian singer Pupo who sang at Sanremo with prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia), and abominations from reality shows.
"Proudest Monkey" starts a show that offers a setlist with massive presence of songs from the recent "Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King", but also includes a couple of covers and newer and older gems from an enviable discography, picking from which one can never go wrong. The cult status the band enjoys among its followers generates some typical fans' reactions. So it's fun to overhear the comments around us when feeling, improvisation, or simply the deep impact these gentlemen from Charlottesville have during their performance take the form of this or that song, thus arousing joy or disappointment depending on every single fan's expectations and desires (how can you possibly play each one's favourites?) . For a band of this magnitude there cannot be a perfect setlist, especially when this is just a great excuse to get on a stage and play, play, play.
The two hours and forty minutes go by way too fast, propelled by the stellar performance of what is rightly listed among the best live bands around. Just for the sake of splitting hairs, we could say that this was a two-geared show: more refined and with less impact in the first part, much more sustained and overwhelming in the second. Chapeau to Carter Beauford, simply amazing. I honestly think it had no sense to expect a "second Lucca". That show paradoxically set a standard which is difficult to reproduce within a tour like this, but it inevitably asks for comparison. From this point of view, we can understand that hint of disappointment in those "yes, but in Lucca ..." whispers among the hard core fans.
Proudest Monkey Satellite You Might Die Trying Funny The Way It Is Seven Squirm Crash Into Me So Damn Lucky Lying In The Hands Of God Why I Am Dancing Nancies Shake Me Like A Moneky Jimi Thing Burning Down The House You And Me Don't Drink The Water -------------------------- Baby Blue Everyday Ants MarchingLoudvision (february 2010)