Dave Matthews Band
Ak-Chin Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ, Sunday, Jan 13, 2019
Dave Matthews’ Band started its 23-song set at 7:20 p.m. with a highly anticipated acoustic run featuring longtime friend and banjo master Béla Fleck. After a rousing version of “Tripping Billies” (“Crash,” 1996) Matthews invited Fleck join him for final three songs of the set and then took a breather.
Fleck would rejoin him during the following electric set for the songs “Don’t Drink the Water,” (“Before These Crowded Streets,” 1998) “#41,” and “Lie in Our Graves,” (from “Crash”).
Left off the setlist was perhaps DMB’s biggest hit, “Ants Marching,” the second single off the band’s debut album in 1996. Ironic, since that is exactly what the sea of people flooding into the amphitheater looked like as they scampered to grab a piece of lawn seating to catch the remainder of the show.
DMB closed the show with a three song encore of “The Space Between,” (“Everyday,” 2001) “Pantala Naga Pampa,” (1998) and an all-out jam session on the song “Rapunzel.” (“Before These Crowded Streets,” 1998).
Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ, Saturday, August 8, 2015
Amazing Grace Potter took the Celebrity Theate stage Saturday night to the sound of a clock ticking and chiming — an audio nod to her recently released record, “Midnight.” Potter wore a silver leather miniskirt, a silver sequined wrap over a cropped bustier and short, black boots accentuating her long, tan legs. She looked like a supermodel accessorizing with a Gibson Flying V guitar.
From “Midnight,” she performed “Empty Heart” with a country-western wail, as well as the appropriately vibrant “Alive Tonight.” At one point, Potter dropped to her knees for a psychedelic riff on Led Zeppelin’s echoing shrieks. Potter’s band included two drum kits, and toward the end of the show, all the players beat drums, pounding out a primal frenzy.
For her lively and lengthy encore, Potter and her band covered “Gimme Shelter,” and their rendition worked hard to leave the Rolling Stones in the dust. After the rowdy “Paris,” Potter wound down with a rocking lullaby version of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.”
US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ, Monday, May 27, 2017
For the 40th anniversary tour, which the band has hinted may be its last, Rush has dug more into the vaults for some rarely played gems, and for almost three hours on Monday night at the U.S. Airways Center, everything that makes Rush the brilliant band it is was showcased front and center.
There was the amazing drumming from Neil Peart, the jaw-dropping bass playing of Geddy Lee, and the precise riffs of Lifeson on guitar, all with nary a flubbed note or beat.
The band was mostly content to focus on the music. Lee only addressed the audience a handful of times throughout the show.Musical highlights were there aplenty, starting in the first set with the instrumental “The Main Monkey Business,” with Lee dazzling on the bass and Peart’s precise drumming propelling things along. During “Roll the Bones,” a handful of celebrities, including Jason Segal, Paul Rudd, Peter Dinklage, and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine appeared in a trippy video behind the band doing the mid-song rap.
Though Lee will turn 62 in just a couple of weeks, his voice still held up for the most part, even if it sounds a little lower in the register. Lee also bounced around the stage frequently while playing, eliciting frequent smiles from Lifeson.
Though Lifeson, like Lee, turns 62 this year, and Peart will turn 63, judging by Saturday’s show, it certainly seemed as if the band could tour as much as it wants. If this tour is indeed farewell, it’s a brilliant note to go out on.