Dave Matthews Band began their annual Labor Day Weekend run at The Gorge in George, Washington on Friday in an unusual way as co-founding members drummer Carter Beauford and bassist Stefan Lessard were not on hand after testing positive for COVID-19. The show went on “in an alternate format” with Dave enlisting opening act Dumpstaphunk to guest on a few covers at the end of the main set after Matthews and his mates played in various configurations.
“Well, this will definitely be one of a kind,” Dave Matthews said as he emerged solo at the start of the set. He then recapped what he told fans earlier while introducing support acts Dumpstaphunk and Allen Stone in confirming Carter and Stefan’s absences due “the COVID” but “because they were both vaccinated they are both perfectly fine.” Matthews then lit into “Grey Street.”
Dave continued the solo start to evening with the classic “Ants Marching” and the tour’s first “Virginia In The Rain.” Tim Reynolds then emerged to join Matthews for “Bartender,” “Two Step,” “Lie In Our Graves” and “Crush.” The next portion of the show featured Dave, Tim, keyboardist Buddy Strong, trumpeter Rashawn Ross and saxophonist Jeff Coffin. “Warehouse” was up first from DMB sans Carter and Stefan. More fan favorites followed in “What Would You Say,” “Everyday” and “Tripping Billies.”
Dumpstaphunk bassist Tony Hall was a member of the Dave Matthews & Friends ensemble that performed in support of Matthews’ Some Devil album between 2003 and 2006. “Over the years Tony and I have played a lot of music together, so I was grateful that Tony was going to be here with us this weekend,” Dave told the crowd while introducing Hall. Tony came out to team with the five members of DMB for a cover of Daniel Lanois’ “The Maker” featuring Buddy Strong on drums. Hall was no stranger to the song having appeared on Lanois’ original.
Next, Buddy Strong remained on drums and Tony Hall played bass for a series of four songs from Some Devil: “Save Me,” “Gravedigger,” “Stay Or Leave” and “So Damn Lucky.” From there, the rest of Dumpstaphunk emerged for covers of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” and Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” to close the main set. The former was DMB’s first since September 11, 2015. Friday’s encore saw Matthews perform “Singing From The Windows” solo and “Dancing Nancies” with Reynolds.
Dave Matthews Band returns to The Gorge tonight.
Check out a “The Maker” clip featuring Tony Hall on bass and Buddy Strong on drums assembled by ChesterCopperpot5 below:
Watch fan-shot video from last night’s show captured by Mitch Wight:
Setlist (via DMB Almanac)
Set: Grey Street*, Ants Marching*, Virginia In The Rain*, Bartender**, Two Step**, Lie In Our Graves**, Crush**, Warehouse^, What Would You Say^, Everyday^, Tripping Billies^, The Maker^^, Save Me^^, Gravedigger^^, Stay Or Leave^^, So Damn Lucky^^ > Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)%, Sledgehammer%
Encore: Singing From The Windows*, Dancing Nancies**
- * – Dave Solo
- ** – Dave & Time
- ^ – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff & Rashawn
- ^^ – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff, Rashawn & Tony Hall
- % – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff, Rashawn & Dumpstaphunk