The “alternative format” concert was performed without drummer Carter Beauford and bassist Stefan Lessard who each tested positive for COVID-19.
The Dave Matthews Band began their annual Labor Day weekend run at The Gorge in George, Wash. On Friday as co-founding members drummer Carter Beauford and bassist Stefan Lessard were not on site after being tested positive for COVID-19. The show continued “in an alternate format” with Dave enlisting opening actor Dumpstaphunk as a guest on a few covers at the end of the main set after Matthews and his pals performed in various setups.
“Well it will definitely be one of a kind,” said Dave Matthews as he emerged solo early in the set. He then recapped what he had told fans earlier while also featuring acts of support. Dumpstaphunk and Peter Allen confirming Carter and Stefan’s absences due to “COVID” but “because they have both been vaccinated they are both perfectly fine.” Matthews then lit up in “Gray Street”.
Dave continued the early evening solo 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 part of the show featured Dave, Tim, keyboardist strong buddytrumpeter Rashawn ross and saxophonist Jeff coffin. “Warehouse” was DMB’s first without Carter and Stefan. Other fan favorites followed in “How About You”, “Everyday” and “Tripping Billies”.
Dumpstaphunk bassist Tony hall was a member of the Dave Matthews & Friends ensemble who 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 here with us this weekend,” Dave told the crowd as they introduced Hall. Tony teamed up with the five members of DMB for a cover of “The Maker” by Daniel Lanois with Buddy Strong on drums. Hall was no stranger to the song that appeared on Lanois’ original.
Then Buddy Strong stayed on drums and Tony Hall played bass for a four-song series of Some devil: “Save Me”, “Gravedigger”, “Stay Or Leave” and “So Damn Lucky”. From there, the rest of Dumpstaphunk emerged for covers of “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly & The Family Stone and “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel to close the main set. The first was DMB’s first since September 11, 2015. Friday’s encore saw Matthews solo “Singing From The Windows” and “Dancing Nancies” with Reynolds.
Dave Matthews Band returns to The Gorge tonight.
Watch a fan-made video of last night’s show captured by Mitch Wight:
Thank you (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
Ensemble: Gray Street *, Ants Marching *, Virginia In The Rain *, Barman **, 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 ^^> Merci (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)%, Sledgehammer%
Again: Singing From The Windows *, Dancing Nancy **
- * – Dave Solo
- ** – Dave and the weather
- ^ – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff and Rashawn
- ^^ – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff, Rashawn and Tony Hall
- % – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff, Rashawn & Dumpstaphunk