For years Dave Matthews Band has made its way to The Garden in New York, NY for two nights in November... Friday, November 17th we got a chance to join in on night one of the collective’s Walk Around The Moon fall tour at the venue. It is commonplace for the group to cajole their many friends to play along on these dates and this two-night stint was no exception. Fans at the World’s Most Famous Arena were treated to no less than five guests as Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Trombone Shorty, James Genus, and Jon Faddis popped in through the setlist.
Nostalgia pervaded the set. The show began with "Virginia in the Rain," from their 2018 album Come Tomorrow moving into "Old Dirt Hill," before ambling onto the new & sultry "Straight Shot," which had only debuted a few days before at their latter Mohegan Sun show. From there Matthews moved into the driving mid-eastern whirr of "Madman's Eyes," a staple on the tour (and in repeated airplay on the DMB Sirius XM channel of late). Although the song was written to be about gun violence, it somehow felt like it could also speak to the recent conflicts in Israel (which were notably being protested in the neighborhood around Madison Square Garden that same afternoon).
A solemn moment that moved into consolation and joy in the subsequent hit 'The Best of What's Around'. Up next the audience grooved through the hard-rocking 'She', and the soft and high meandering 'Walk Around the Moon' until the moment of the first guest-- Susan Tedeschi. Together the duo delivered a rousing version of The Band's 'The Weight' before being joined by Derek Trucks in a potent expression of Dylan's 'All Along The Watchtower'. From there the trio went into the immensely loved 'Lie in our Graves', from the seminal Crash album, mixed with snippets of Clapton's 'Wonderful Tonight'.
The stage was cleared of guests briefly as Matthews & company jammed into 'Spaceman' before inviting SNL bassist James Genus to sit in on '41'. Guests continued with Trombone Shorty joining next for the first version of 'Come Together' since 2021. Jon Faddis emerged and jammed with Shorty and Matthews on the beloved 'Jimi Thing' which funked into 'Brick House'. Faddis stuck around as Shorty departed for the close of the collaborations with 'Warehouse'.
Matthews continued with 'Cry Freedom', 'Pig', and 'So Damn Lucky' before the encore comprised of Pearl Jam's 'Just Breathe', 'Pantala Naga Pampa', and 'Rapunzel' completed the evening.
For the second and tour leg closing night at The Garden, the band would see the return of guest Trombone Shorty along with Mark Whitfield, as well as an entirely different setlist.