Monday, December 14, 2009

Dave Matthews Band - The Live Trax Series

The Dave Matthews Band have released several studio albums over their long career. But, as the die-hard fans know, while their studio albums are great fun, it’s the live experience that makes Dave Matthews Band so popular. Fortunately for the fans, DMB has captured a lot of concerts on CD, and years ago started releasing the Live Trax series. The Live Trax series is a group of live concerts captured for posterity and mixed in perfect soundboard recordings, then released to the public through the DMB website.

The only drawback to the Live Trax series is that there are so many to choose from. The really devoted fan will, no doubt, own them all, but if you’re new to the DMB scene, or can’t justify spending the hundreds of dollars to own the entire series, then you’ve come to the right place. Cousin Ryo, a huge Dave Matthews Band fan in his own right, is going to break down the five best Live Trax CDs, and show you which are the ones to own and why.

So, without further adieu:

Volume 2: Golden Gate Park

Of all the Live Trax series available (currently at 16), Volume 2 is the most definitive piece of the band’s history. Recorded at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, this was a benefit show that DMB put on for Bay Area Charities. This collective concert opens with One Sweet World, and includes the rarely played Joyride, Loving Wings, and Sugar Will. Fan favorites #41, Jimi Thing, and All Along The Watchtower are included on this incredible set. An amazing performance from 2004, volume 2 is one of the best in the DMB collection.

Volume 6: Live At Fenway Park

Volume 6 is a must own for several reasons. It contains both nights at Fenway Park in their entirety. Only a handful of bands have been allowed to play Fenway Park, so this live recording of DMB performing there is special. A cover of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline is played in tribute to the ballpark. New songs (never released on an album) include Can’t Stop and The Idea Of You. The raw energy and excitement of both the band and the fans can be felt throughout both shows, making it a much more intense concert(s) than most. Volume 6 is the cornerstone of the Live Trax series and a must own.

Volume 9: Live at MGM Grand

Volume 9 is another special treasure in the Live Trax series. Once again there are four discs covering two concerts in their entirety. Once again a cover of Sweet Caroline is included. Also included is the band’s cover of Time Of The Season and their version is insane! Almost better than the original, DMB should play this song a lot more often than they do. Tim Reynolds played at both of these shows, so this collection includes Tim on guitar. The rarely played I’ll Back You Up, a great cover of Neil Young’s Down By The River, and an amazing version of Seek Up help to round out this set.

Volume 10: Lisbon Portugal

The only Live Trax released with a concert from outside the US, Volume 10 features a special guest appearance from Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), and an incredible double encore that included Jimi Thing, Stay, and #41. An amazing overseas performance, Volume 10 finds DMB at their finest. The show opens with Everyday and closes with Rapunzel, keeping the energy high all night long. Clocking in at just under three hours, this was the longest show of 2007 and a great addition to your collection.

Volume 14: Leroi’s Last Concert
This is the last time that Leroi Moore ever played live with DMB before his sad and untimely departure. The band captured the concert and released it as a Live Trax in honor of their dear friend. Volume 14 includes a great cover of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer (the only time that LeRoi played the sax for it), an acoustic version of The Space Between, a strong version of Cornbread, and the rarely played Sister. This is a great way to remember LeRoi and hear the band live in top form.

And there you have it. Cousin Ryo’s guide to the five best Live Trax in the Dave Matthews Band collection. Agree? Disagree? Voice your opinion.

Comments are open. Feel free to post some.


Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

I think a good band is that which gives incredible live performances and make you say "Wow". That's the point where you start to love them. Dave Matthews Band is a great and perfect example of that. Thank you for the recommendations!

generic viagra said...

DAve Matthews has always been one of my favorite bands and this is such a nice blog to read, you know,... I've never had the chance to see them playing live, but people have told me they are great in their performaces!

Mark said...

Tim Reynolds didn't play at either show on LTv9.

Anonymous said...

Great choices there mate, I live in Australia and haven't had the honour of experiencing them live yet, that'll change in april 2014 when they come out for the byron bay bluesfest, can't wait.
Fortunately for me I own live trax vol 1-19. I definitely agree with your choices. for me live trax volume 7 is another one that rates beside the ones you mentioned.