Dave Matthews Band at Cynthia Woods Pavilion, 5/17/2013

Photos by Francisco Montes
Dave Matthews Band
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
May 17, 2013

"It's the humidity that makes the funk more glorious," mused a certain Mr. Dave Matthews in his amused, half-mumbled manner as he opened Friday night's show in The Woodlands, the first stop on the band's annual summer tour.

Oh, and what glorious funk it was. That statement set the tone for the night's sweltering concert, during which the Dave Matthews Band spent two hours improvising and extended each song into a jam-band version of its former self.

That's pretty much Dave Matthews Band concert protocol, though. Dave Matthews concerts generally aren't built for the casual fan, and rarely will you hear more than a smattering of radio hits played during their sets. With 20 years of material to draw from, and a penchant for jam-banding the shit out of each song, it takes a devout member of the church of DMB to recognize most of the songs on their ever-evolving set list.

That little fact didn't seem to put off the thousands of fans in attendance at The Woodlands show, though. As the band opened with "Grey Street" off their 2002 album Busted Stuff, the audience that filled the pavilion came to life right along with the musicians, despite the relative obscurity of the song.

There was little casual banter from Dave as he launched the audience into a wide coverage of the DMB catalog; we went from "Broken Things" to "Dreamgirl" and "Seven" with only a few short musings from him as the band transitioned from song to song.

As a front man, Dave is probably one of the most awkward, yet also extremely likable, guys to take the stage. And true to form, he seemed uncomfortable with the silence between songs on Friday night; the only time he appeared completely at ease onstage was when the music started back up and he fell back into place behind that aggressive folk-funk groove.

Between songs, he busted out lines that must have been spoken in a language only the most devout DMB fans could comprehend. At one point, Dave looked out at the crowd and, with that infamous half-smile, says,"You smell gooood, everyone from Houston that could make it this evening."

I couldn't tell if he was alluding to the skunky clouds that hovered above the pit, or if he was giving our city props for some rockin' hygiene, but despite my confusion, he was so obviously amused with the limelight that he was completely endearing.

Location Info


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX

Category: Music

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Can someone forward this article to Brittanie Shey and show her how a real Rocks Off piece is written.

del.martinis topcommenter

WAIT!  Have they ever been here before?

MadMac topcommenter

Good show, good review, Ms. Leicht. This was the first DMB concert for the Mrs. and I. It was nice to see, a) we were not the oldest couple there by a long shot, b) we were not the only mixed couple there, c) the capped frat boys, hippies, and hipsters coexisted in harmony, no matter how it was induced. We skated out at the first song of the encore and "Ants Marching" provided us cover to make it to the car ahead of the...happy folk. One question: The Carolina Chocolate Drops, truly? I have a standard--don't educate my, you a$$, I bought the ticket--when it comes to performances and these ~ahem~ performers REALLY made my agent orange act up. One quibble, I would've liked a set list.


@MadMac Totally agree on the opening act.  I kept telling my guy that I felt that the only way to have enjoyed that crap was to be barefoot, missing teeth and blowing into a jug with three x's on it.  In my opinion, they probably were the worse opening act Dave has ever subjected us to.


@MadMac I'd love to give you an unbiased opinion on those Chocolate Drops, but I had to walk away as soon as they began yodeling, and I subsequently spent the majority of their set in line waiting on liquor. They were pretty, ahem, interesting from where I was standing.

MadMac topcommenter

Or an oh-so-cooler-than-you anthropology grad student. My Mrs. and I now think this was the worst opening band we've seen. Up to this show, I thought Citizen Cope, opening for Santa was the worst. At least he shut up and played--not very well but he played--without educating me. Honestly, we enjoyed the kids around us laying their mack down more than the hokey-folky bit. 

MadMac topcommenter

I heard spoon music at the gate and knew I was in trouble. But the five minute history/background for each three minute song was too much. Their cover of Blu Cantrell's "Hit Em Up Style," was fun for one verse, then we went for popcorn.

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