....................... ...........2003
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Dave Matthews
Rocking the USA!


......An evening with the battle-hardened Dave Matthews Band still managed to fill the Sacramento Amphitheater Wednesday night with more than two hours of music and thousands of energetic fans. Sure, there were a few empty seats, but after a decade in the business, singer-songwriter Matthews and his loyal group have built a broad fan base and have kept it moving with lively shows, perpetual touring and trademark rhythms.
.......From the get-go, when the band formed in Virginia in the early '90s, the South African-born Matthews eschewed the traditional band composition, utilizing instead a five-person lineup (three-fifths African-American) that included a violinist (Boyd Tinsley), woodwind player (Leroi Moore), drummer (Carter Beauford), bassist (Staffen Lessard) and Matthews' acoustic - rather than electric - guitar.
.....When the Dave Matthews Band burst on the scene 10 years ago, it was a refreshing change of pace from the bombastic rock and pop of the day -- clean, acoustic and groovy, a blend of world beats, jazz, folk, rock and bluegrass, with nary an electric guitar to be heard. Fast-forward 10 years, though, and one wonders, is the band as vital today as it was then? Tough to call. Even though Matthews and company still draw masses to their concerts, the band has not grown much musically since its first hit album, 1994's "Under the Table and Dreaming." The rhythms, once energizing, have not progressed and, as critics have pointed out, the songs have remained the same. Indeed, it was some of the band's earlier hits that generated the most energy and fan reaction . The pretty, marching love tune "Crash," the band's most recognizable hit, and the funky "Too Much" created more crowd response and greater stage energy than newer songs like "Digging a Ditch" off the band's 2002 album, "Busted Stuff." Dave Matthews is a pleasant anomaly in that scenario. Rather than fading out, he's proven he's got staying power - in fact he seems to get more popular as the years go by.
......So can Matthews keep his fervent following going for another decade? If the enthusiastic response to the rousing encore, "Stay" was any indication, probably so. Matthews and Tinsley both are releasing solo albums this year, and it may help the group grow its already solid core of fans.

By Randy Cohen

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Wednesday Jul 30 2003 Sleep Train Amphitheatre Best of Whats Around Warehouse Rhyme & Reason Spoon Dont Burn The Pig Kit Kat Jam Sleep To Dream Her What Would You Say Jimi Thing Crash Minarets Grace Is Gone Dreaming Tree So Much To Say Rapunzel __________________ Digging a Ditch Watchtower