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The Loop

Published: 2013/05/15
by Sheryl Hunter

The Dave Matthews Band at Jazz Fest

Photo by m Dino Perrucci

Dave Matthews Band
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival *April 28, 2013

The skies had threatened all day, but as soon as the Dave Matthews Band, the closing act of the first weekend at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, took to the Acura stage, the rain began. But Mother Nature didn’t deter the group,
who jammed on with full force, during a slightly less than two hour groove heavy set.

The band opened with “Seven,” a quirky song off 2009’s “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King” that featured some inspired electric guitar from Tim Reynolds. From there, the band teased the crowd with a snippet of Daniel Lanois’s “Still Water,” before Jeff Coffin’s bleating saxophone and Carter Beauford’s pounding drums burst into a powerful “Don’t Drink the Water.”

It was fitting that during a song about water, the rain turned into a torrential down pour. Matthews looked out at the drenched crowd of thousands ,shrugged his shoulders and said – “you might as well enjoy it.”

And the crowd did. They danced and sang along to the “Proudest Monkey” and cheered “Rooftop” a hooky song with a thundering chorus, that the band took to a whole other level when playing it live.

By this point, Matthews was as drenched as his audience. While he nervously joked about the possibility of being electrocuted. The singer and his band seemed bolstered by the weather and were determined to reward the throngs who endured the elements to watch them perform.

They followed up “Belly, Belly Nice” with a standout “Jimi Thing,” Boyd Tinsley’s fiery fiddle work may be the focal point of this concert staple, but his bandmates took their turns soloing as well. The audience roared as sax player, Jeff Coffin, showed of his skill by playing two saxophones together.

When Matthews introduced Coffin as Rashawn Ross, it started a running joke where he introduced all the band members as saxophone players.

Matthews refrain of “Sexy Mother Fucker, Shake Your Ass,”
complete with some of his trademark dancing ,prompted a massive sing-along. The singer then traded his acoustic guitar for an electric for “Louisiana Bayou,” and as the song ended, the rain once again picked up in intensity.

But the band didn’t stop, Beauford banged out the staccato marching drum sound that signified the start of crowd favorite, “Ants Marching,” which led to even more jubilant singing and dancing in the mud. As the band left the stage, the lightening began, forcing the group to cut their triumphant set short and not return for an encore.

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