Dave Matthews Band's 'Sledgehammering' Show Kicks Off Yahoo Live Concert Series

Laura Ferreiro
Live NationJuly 16, 2014

The Dave Matthews Band kicked off Yahoo Live's new daily streaming concert series with a bang this Tuesday, performing two separate sets for fans at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida. Starting things off with an intimate, hour-long acoustic set, the band then treated fans to more than two hours of electrified jamming.

"Somebody told me that this particular evening is being shown on the Interweb, so I do hope it doesn't suck!" Matthews told the massive audience near the beginning of the show. He had no need to worry, because the 47-year-old and his tried-and-true band adeptly delivered hit after hit, resulting in several loud singalongs and declarations of love from the crowd.

"Any mistakes I might make during this performance are 100 percent intentional to create an element of live-ness," Matthews quipped. "If at any point you think, 'Oh, that wasn't supposed to happen,' you're wrong."

Leading off the acoustic set with "Bartender," DMB played several crowd-pleasers including "Satellite" and "Sweet," on which Matthews played the ukulele. "Try to swim, keep your head up/Kick your legs never give up, boy," he sang, after explaining that he had been staying in a hotel with his kids when he wrote the song. They wanted to go swimming, but he stayed behind in the room and wrote a song about his son learning to swim. "That's weak," he admitted, before adding "but I've swum with him since then."

Matthews said that he was digging the intimate acoustic arrangement. "We've been enjoying playing up here — all of the band — looking at each other and making eyes at each other," he joked.

After ending their acoustic set with the 1994 hit "What Would You Say," the band took a brief break before returning to the stage full force to perform "Minarets." The electric band's big, full sound starkly contrasted their previous mellow, acoustic set.

The band trotted out several of their trademark lengthy jams on songs including "Crush," "You Might Die Trying," and "Warehouse," which featured an elaborate laser-light display and a Rashawn Ross trumpet solo with a Latin flair.

Throughout the evening, Matthews chatted with the crowd, repeatedly thanking them for being there, making jokes, and telling stories about the inspirations for the songs. Several fans commented on social media that he was unusually talkative, possibly because he knew the concert was being livestreamed.

Before the night was over, DMB delivered an impressively funky cover of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer," replete with Dap-Kings-style horns. The popular '80s tune used to be a staple of their sets in 2008, but they reintroduced it back into the mix just a couple of weeks ago.

Toward the end of the nearly four-hour performance, Matthews thanked the crowd for staying with the band so late, especially on a school night. "It's summertime, though," he added.

The band concluded with "Grey Street" before saying goodnight, returning to the stage a few minutes later for a three-song encore featuring "Belly Full," "Good Good Time," and "Why I Am."

Before leaving the stage, Matthews grabbed a poster that a fan had been waving, holding it up against his own body to display a drawing of a bikini-clad woman — a fitting end to a night of Matthews letting his hair down and having some fun.