DMB June 16, STL

What could have been an empty night turned into a decent last night in St. Louis for us June 16.  Tracey had somehow managed to shred our DMB tickets for their show at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Maryland Heights.  Fortunately our Warehouse status paid off and the tickets were reprinted and waiting for us at the box office when we arrived at the venue.  Our first DMB show of 2010 was salvaged.  Thank you Warehouse!

This was our first of five shows we are seeing this year for DMB’s 2010 summer tour.  Turns out we picked a good time to get tickets as the band will be taking next year off from touring.  The Internet buzz on the tour so far has the band playing some rare tunes combined with more of last year’s album “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King.”  With no real surprises, that would pretty much sum up the St. Louis show.  The entire set list from the show can be found on AntsMarching.org.  The St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote a review too.

DMB live firsts for us were the Tex Ritter cover “Rye Whiskey”, “Big Eyed Fish”, “Cry Freedom”, and Danny Barnes’ “Road” with Barnes sitting in as lead vocal and on banjo.  I thought when we saw Barnes playing with opener Robert Earl Keen that we may see a guest appearance in the DMB set and was pleased when he came on for “Cornbread.”  Although I like what the band did with “Cornbread” in St. Louis, with Barnes on banjo the “Hoe Down” version played in Charlottesville on last year’s tour highlights the rootsy nature of the song better.

We were surprised at some people around us openly heckling Barnes when he came out and through both tunes he played (as if the band could hear them from 100 yards away).  That was a surprise.  For all the criticism the band seems to have taken in online forums, having Barnes on for a couple of tunes particularly one of his own was a great change of pace.  By the way I thought having guests come on during a set was a part of the DMB mystique anyway?

We’ve also been to enough DMB shows using tickets purchased through the Warehouse to note a lot of club members tend to do a good bit of complaining.  Tracey and I are just happy to be there and in fact, every show we go to we hear tunes for the first time.  I guess if you’ve gone to 30 DMB shows you’ve almost heard everything.  Seems like you would just stop going or find something else to complain about, like the millions of gallons of oil dumped in the Gulf?

Anyway, I have to agree with the STL Today review.  The jams and other trusty stand-bys gave the other band members chances to shine.  I thought Rashawn Ross played one of the best shows I’ve heard from him.  Maybe his weight loss has something to do with that?  Jeff Coffin continues to get stronger within the library.  St. Louis native Tim Reynolds didn’t disappoint either.

Other highlights for me were “Bartender”, “You Might Die Trying”, and “#41”.  These are favorites but in particular I thought the band played them really well.  Specifically Coffin who is beginning to energize the songs with his own style.  The sax solo in #41 is totally over the top!

Next up for us is the Washington DC show at Nationals Park.  We’re not too excited about the general admission field tickets but are happy to have the band close to our new home.  If past baseball stadium shows are any indication this one should be good.

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