REVIEW BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY BOB DeHART | Go Venue Magazine
Saturday, November 12, 2022, marked the return of Dave Matthews Band to Omaha, a 12-year wait for the group. Thousands of people packed into CHI Health Center in downtown Omaha to see the band that holds the record for the most consecutive albums to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200. Dave Matthews Band fans are some of the most passionate fans on this planet, and I now understand why.
Say what you will about Dave Matthews, but I think he has a good ear for music. He brings along musicians who play well with him. The musicianship on that stage was electric from the very start when they kicked into “One Sweet World”. What I enjoyed about their opening was that there wasn’t any fanfare or any kind of lead-up. The PA music turned off and Dave Matthews, whom you have to respect as a very normal-looking guy, and his band walked on stage and were ready to go. Dave Matthews had spent a couple of days in Omaha prior to the show, as he mentioned that he enjoyed going to the local record stores and hitting up the local movie theatre, which my guess was Film Streams from across the arena. I always enjoy it when artists that are not from here engage with the local culture. Also, Dave Matthews dancing on stage was something else, but I was into it. Going back to musicianship, I was very impressed with drummer Carter Beauford’s unique drumming, the dual-horn section of trumpeter Rashawn Ross and saxophonist Jeff Coffin, and the back-and-forth solos between keyboardist Buddy Strong and guitarist Tim Reynolds. The video production they brought along with them was visually incredible. They even covered Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain”! They ended the show with one of their hit singles, “Ants Marching”, with the crowd singing along. I wouldn’t call myself a casual fan, liking some of their songs, but I have a newfound respect for Dave Matthews Band. It sounds like they will be putting out their latest studio album, their first album in five years, in 2023, so be on the lookout for that.