After two amazing days of music, it was hard to believe that there was still a full day of music ahead of us. We started the day by perusing some of the fine shops along the boardwalk, and counting the number of massage parlors and psychic booths. Seriously, every block had the same exact stores. I never understood that. We were able to find a stylish t-shirt claiming Atlantic City as the "Ultimate Paradise", so overall it was a success.
Our goal was to arrive at Bader Field in time to see Dawes at 2:00, but we arrived a little early. So we set up shop and enjoyed the Pete Kilpatrick band who took the stage before Dawes. I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised. Of all the new music I heard this weekend, I think the Pete Kilpatrick Band were my favorite band I had never heard of before. They hail from Maine and have been named best musical act four times at the Portland Best Music Awards. Be on the watch out for another post about the Pete Kilpatrick band real soon.
Dawes took the stage next, and I have to say I was a little disappointed. I probably hyped Dawes up too much in my mind. I've read nothing but good things from friends and from music reviews, but their set seemed to be lacking something. Honestly, I ended up enjoying Pete Kilpatrick Band more. I should probably take some time to become more familiar with their catalog and give them another chance.
We left Dawes to catch the second half of Fitz & the Tantrums. This was the band that Teresa was looking forward to hearing most. If you're not familiar with Fitz & the Tantrums yet (I have a feeling you will be soon), they have a good bit of a 1960's soul feeling with a touch of 1980's charm. This Los Angeles based band also knows how to get the crowd involved. This included calling out anyone who wouldn't dance. The entire performance for lively and energetic, but they stole the show with their first single "MoneyGrabber" off their debut album Pickin' Up the Pieces. You'll be hearing more from this band, I'm almost sure.
After taking a break for dinner, our group had a decision to make. David Gray was playing on the main stage, and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals were playing on the Pacific Stage. Jan and I decided to take in David Gray, who put on a wonderful performance. I've been a fan of David Gray since 1999's White Ladder, but hadn't seen him perform live until August of last year. David is a great live performer! His songs, while outstanding on the studio records, are taken to a new level live. All I can say, is that if you're a fan of David Gray's music, you need to see him live. Highlights from his set included "Babylon", "Please Forgive Me", "Lately", and "Nemesis".
While we were enjoying David Gray, Teresa headed over for Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. She said they were outstanding, and I fully believe it. Grace Patter & the Nocturnals opened for The Avett Brothers last October and put on a great show. It was a shame their set overlapped with David Gray's.
In favor of staking out a good spot for Dave Matthews Band we missed out on Bassnectar and Michael Franti & Spearhead, but we could definitely hear Bassnectar from our spots. However, holding out for a good spot for a good idea, because this, out of all three nights, was the best Dave Matthews Band set of the weekend! The band opened with "Seek Up" which has been a favorite of Dave Matthews fans since the band's beginning. It typically clocks in well past 10 minutes, and usually only appears 10-15 times throughout a summer long tour. It's a great way to kick off a show.
Following a performance of "Warehouse" with a sweet salsa jam and "What Would You Say" came a real surprise with "Kill the King". "Kill the King" has only been played seven times prior to Sunday, and hadn't been played since 2006.
"Dive In" and "Raven" also made appearances which can be fairly rare. Following those songs the band broke into "So Much To Say", typically "So Much To Say" if followed by the interlude, "Anyone Seen the Bridge", however this time the band had yet another surprise in store. Instead of "Anyone Seen the Bridge" they covered Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion". Seriously, it's hard not to love a band that surprises diehard fans the way Dave Matthews Band does.
To close out the regular set, Stefan Lessard began his bass solo which could only lead into "All Along the Watchtower". The way they perform this song is nearly perfect. The first verse is slow and haunting, and then it ramps up from there into a fury of energy and excitement. Sunday night's performance didn't disappoint.
As if this third night of Dave Matthews Band couldn't get any better, they came out with a ridiculous encore. First Dave Matthews performed an emotional and solo performance of "Some Devil." Following "Some Devil" Carter Beauford began striking the snare drum, which typically leads into "Ants Marching" a usual show closer. Not tonight, instead it was an "Ants Marching" fake into "Halloween". "Halloween" is a pretty angry and emotional song. It was probably my favorite song of the entire weekend. It's amazing watching Dave Matthews scream the lyrics with such passion. As the song ended, the band entered back into "Ants Marching". Surely, this was the end of the weekend right? Not quite. Finally, they played the Sly and the Family Stone song "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)". This included crazed dancing by Dave and the entire crowd singing "I want to thank you/For letting me/Be myself again". It was truly awesome, and a perfect way to end the weekend.
What a great weekend! I had a wonderful time with my brother, his girlfriend, and all my friends. I got to enjoy a bunch of my favorite bands, and discovered new bands. And though I've been to over 20 Dave Matthew Band shows, they blew me away again this weekend. Including the Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds acoustic set, they played 66 different songs this weekend! No repeats! Simply unreal. If you were thinking about catching one of the other Caravan events in Chicago, Governor's Island, or The Gorge, you should bite the bullet and buy the tickets. It's definitely worth it!
Hope you enjoyed the reviews as much as I enjoyed the weekend! Thanks for reading!