A joyful first round with Dave Matthews Band in Camden - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

It’s been 27 years since my first Dave Matthews Band show. Yikes, I winced just writing that. A lot has changed since the Charlottesville born band took the stage at Jones Beach Amphitheater in June of 1996. The line-up has seen members come and go. They just released their 10th studio album and both my hairline and Dave’s have regressed at a strikingly similar rate!

As night one in Camden unfolded, songs from Walk Around The Moon, the new album, felt right at place alongside the tried and tested material of Dave’s songbook. And despite the relatively unfamiliar material driving some “fans” to bathroom breaks, songs like “Monsters” and “After Everything” get winning grades.

Dave Matthews Band | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Only two songs that were played at my inaugural show in ‘96 found their way onto the setlist Friday night. And what still made an impact is how unifying and joyous moments like “#41”, and “Two Step” (both from Crash) can be. These continue to be DMB staples that weren’t necessarily bolstered by radio play or marketing, but by a fan base that made them the soundtrack to their dorm rooms in the mid-to-late 90’s and early aughts.

Something else that hasn’t changed much is how completely unpredictable each night with this band can be. On Friday evening, DMB delivered some rarities like “Help Myself” (released originally on the Scream 2 soundtrack), which hasn’t been played live since 2019, and “Hunger for the Great Light,” liberated for fans for the first time since 2018. Newly unveiled covers “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” (The Beatles) and “Late in the Evening” (Paul Simon) both found their way into the setlist and were highlights. And speaking of covers, an “All Along the Watchtower” fake-out (props to bassist Stefan Lessard) and segue into “Crush” brought night one in Camden to a close.

Dave Matthews Band | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

As the night was finishing, Dave thanked the crowd and lobbed a softball to his faithful: “maybe we’ll see some of ya’ll tomorrow.” Based on the reaction, Philly and Jersey alike seem ready for round two. I’ll see you there.

Dave Matthews Band
Freedom Mortgage Pavillion
  • Virginia In the Rain
  • Help Myself
  • Walk Around the Moon
  • #41
  • Pantala Naga Pampa
  • Rapunzel
  • Looking For a Vein
  • Old Dirt Hill
  • I Want You (She's So Heavy)
  • After Everything
  • Recently
  • So Damn Lucky
  • Monsters
  • Grace Is Gone
  • Hunger For The Great Light
  • Spaceman
  • Late In The Evening
  • Only Takes A Moment
  • The Stone
  • Two Step
  • Seven
  • Crush
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