Dave Matthews Live In Chicago Live
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Live In Chicago 12.19.98 at The United Center
This collection marks the fifth live Matthews collection in eight years. But while previous surveys have chronicled the band's nascent ambitions (Remember Two Things), initial fame (Live at Red Rocks), solo pretensions (Live at Luther College) and PBS-ready charms (Listener Supported), this double-disc set, recorded at the final show of their '98 tour, seems bent on formally crowning Matthews and company as arena-filling superstars--warts and all.
With a set listing culled largely from the pop-oriented Crash and more internationally experimental Before These Crowded Streets, the proceedings held some promise. But, like most arena bands before them, the DMB generally amps the nuances right out of the mix here. "The Last Stop" recalls where Led Zep's own world-music pretensions led them, while "Pantala Naga Pampa" skirts dangerously close to Kenny G. territory before finding its jazz-funk stride. Though they groove mightily and consistently throughout, the DMB's oft-criticized jam-band ethos often seems strangely burnished and studio-overdubbed to homogenous extremes here. And while legend Maceo Parker's sax further ignites the crowd-pleaser "What Would You Say," as guitarist and frequent Matthews collaborator Tim Reynolds plays guest guitar god throughout, it's Matthews's own shamanic, oft-trancelike vocal excursions that barely keep this one from lapsing into DMB's McLive album. Try Budokan next time? --Jerry McCulley
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the biggest problems with this album is that sound mix is horrible. The audience is way too loud. There are portions where you can't hear a guitar solo because the audience noise overwhelms it. Also, the sound quality isn't that good and there are periods where there is a background buzz.
The other problem with this album is that the concert starts out strong and then starts to fade. Almost the whole first CD is a a rocking jamfest. But things really slow down for most of the second CD. A lot of the songs are just poorly done, noisy copies of the superior studio album versions.
Maybe the problem with the Dave Matthews Band live CD's is that they release full concerts, instead of picking the best material from several concerts. Also, if you buy the 4 live CD's released to date, you get a lot of repeated material. Some songs, like All Along the Watchtower are on 3 of the CD's.
So, this isn't a bad CD and neither are any of the others. They are all just disappointing. You could take all the live CD's and pick out the best material and end up with a great live album.
First off it has some great renditions of some of the bands "Non-single" songs such as "#41," "Lie In Our Graves," "Jimi Thing" and "Christmas Song." It also contains the fan favorite singles of "What Would You Say," "Crash Into Me," "So Much To Say," and "Too Much"...and to a lesser extent "Don't Drink the Water." There is also an awesome version of "The Maker" which was previously unreleased on any DMB album. Plus you get to hear the Dave Matthews Band improvise like almost no popular band today can.
Now for why it isn't the best live album: The greatest part of a DMB show is to hear Dave talk and tell funny stories. You barely get that on this CD whether he didn't talk during this concert, or they just cut it out when editing and producing it. Also, I don't feel that the performances of the "popular singles" were as good as they are on other CD's/Live Albums. The DMB has been known for their quality of live play, and I don't hear it as much on this.
My biggest complaint comes with "#40" (also titled "Always"). It is barely on here as an intro to "Lie In Our Graves." That is one of DMB's best live songs, and they have yet to distribute it in a full version of some sort (There was also a clip of it on Listener Supported). This CD also contained only ONE previously unreleased song, that being "The Maker." I wish they would put out more of their concert only songs.
Also, there is yet another version of "All Along The Watchtower," which means it has shown up on all three full band live albums as well as the Recently EP.Read more ›
So Much to Say(ASTB)->Too Much sounds amazing on here. I love that combo more every time I hear it.
Nice to see Watchtower closing again, as I feel that's probably one of the best closing numbers DMB plays. Also great versions of The Maker and Christmas Song. It's good to see some of the rarer songs make it into a retail release like this.
The only complaint I have, and it's not a big one, is the fact that we were given a show that doesn't have Lillywhite songs or Everyday stuff on it. Guess they're saving that for the next release.
My advice: Buy it. Why are you still reading? You should have already hit the Add To Cart button a LONG time ago. ;)
Tim Reynolds was a bit of a disappointment though, he did nothing for "Lie in our Graves" (extreme disappointment, almost as much as "Jimi Thing" and "The Maker" on this cd.) Tim is awesome on "Live at Luther College" but we could have done without the electric, next time bring the acoustic. "Last Stop" was a highlight, especially since Dave & Co. jammed on for quite some time (which is always awesome!). If you're a more traditional DMB fan you might be better off buying "Listener Supported," which is pure DMB (no electric guitar).
The "Live in Chicago" album has a lot of electric guitar, an instrument that sometimes doesn't sit well with DMB even though Tim Reynolds is playing it. Tim normally does an excellent job involving the electric guitar into DMB songs, but with this album he seems to go a little too far. Especially with Jimi Thing, which is a pure acoustic song, but Tim's electric totally ruins the song and although "Jimi Thing" might be my favorite DMB song ever, I find myself pressing "Skip" as it nears. "Crash Into Me," however, was the best live here on Chicago. Leroi Moore (sax) was awesome on an electric-version of "Rapunzel" (the only song the electric sounded good on) and "The Last Stop".Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I come from the Philippines where the band is not so well known. I get my CDs and DVDs via the internet. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2004 by Francis Carlo Taparan
This live recording has the be the dave matthews band's best display of their true talent. Not only is this band underrated because of thier studio crap that is played on the... Read morePublished on Nov. 29 2003 by Ben Gilliam
Okays folks this is Dave... hes wonderful... every cd of his is wonderful.. lots of meaning and wonderful melodies to drive and bop your head to:)Published on Oct. 30 2003 by tonya masters
This cd is incredible. It shows the best of all of the members, especially Tim Reynolds, who joined the band for an amazing set on electric guitar. Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2003
This is another of DMB's live offerings. All of them are really good so you should just pick one that has the most songs that you like. Read morePublished on July 22 2003 by Surface to Air Missle
Okay this review I'm only gonna write about Tim bc theres about a million other reviews of the CD. So Disclaimer
This is my personal feeling about Tim. Read more
This show is quite possibly as good as red rocks. Many fans don't give much respect to LIC, but I can't seem to find out why. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2003
This is a good CD, not great, but a good CD. It isn't Red Rocks or Listener Supported, or any other bootleg show that can be found on the net. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2002 by Carlos Castro
From "Red Rocks" to "Listener Supported" to "Live at Luther College," the Dave Matthews band has put out so many live CD's. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2002 by brent