After a show in the Target Center and then a day off to get from Minnesota down to Austin, the Dave Matthews Band serves up the 6th-rarest setlist out of 49 shows on the extensive fall ’96 tour. However, its rarity index is really only due to a solo Little Thing to open the encore and the last of the tour’s three Water/Wine transitions in the main set.
This recording sounds a little warmer than the typical 2-track to me. Although the mix is even, both Stefan and Carter’s kick enjoy a big presence on this tape, and the warmth is also noticeable on touches like Roi’s flute work or Boyd’s plucking on Say Goodbye.
The pre-BTCS years of #41 were the song’s best. After the flute warmup, Roi and Carter don’t let it all hang out on the first song of the night, but they gradually ratchet up the energy enough to show why a #41 opener is always a good omen.
As usual in ’96, Two Step is a treat in its non-bloated form, and as much as you’ve heard it, Crash Into Me is still so new and pretty that it’s worth a listen. Fans who were around when that song hit VH1/MTV will always recall how it signified a step up for the new album, blending some racy content in its elegant little package, accompanied by that color-rich and distinctive video.
Roi and Carter don’t let it all hang out on the first song of the night, but they gradually ratchet up the energy enough to show why a #41 opener is always a good omen.
Also of the period, the Texas crowd got a blessedly woo-free Warehouse intro. On the other hand, I always look forward to the sax break as the high point of Typical Situation, but here Roi bypasses it completely and sticks to the flute. (His Jimi Thing solo almost makes up for it.)
Turns out that the bits boosting the show’s rarity index also make enjoyable listening, too. The Water/Wine jam is mellow but is nudged along by a sweet (and to my limited knowledge, also rare) groove from Carter and Stefan.
Later, Little Thing echoes opera like (but less formally than) the way Bono had his father’s favorite genre on his mind during Miss Sarajevo. It prefaced what the Almanac reports was the last solo Watchtower at a full-band show. So while you don’t necessarily go to a DMB concert hoping for a totally solo encore, its rarity and quality here help set this release apart from the multitude of otherwise perfectly enjoyable ’96 shows.
Dave Matthews Band
10/24/96 @ University of Texas
#41 > Say Goodbye / Lie In Our Graves / Song That Jane Likes / Two Step / Rhyme & Reason / Jimi Thing / SMTS > ASTB > Too Much / Crash Into Me / Dancing Nancies > Warehouse / Recently > Water/Wine > Typical Situation / Tripping Billies // Little Thing / Watchtower