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on January 25, 2005
As someone who has about 25 live dmb show's I must say that this is definitely a great one.

Starting the concert off with a powerful "Don't Drink The Water" the band continued that energy through the whole show.

Some of the highlight's include:

The first major live release of crush.

A great version of an unreleased song "Granny"

The one-two punch of Dancing Nancies-->Warehouse (listen for the salsa outro on warehouse and the bartender intro to nancies)

An excellent Two Step with butch taylor teasing a famous new york tune.

One of the fastest most energetic ants marching performance's I've seen the band give the song...without the long intro though.

The somewhat rare Help Myself...a good performance of the song.

Cortez The Killer with Warren Hayes.. nice.

Jimi Thing with warren hayes... One of my favorite performances of any song by any band ever. Wow. Listen for dave's scatting and the tease of buffalo springfield's "For What It's Worth". Get this album for this me.

Watchtower...a raging performance of this song. Not quite up with hendrix yet but dmb are coming close as the year's go by.

Finally the show closes with a great performance of the song "Stay"...not the best song to close with but it fit's nicely here.

Check this release out if you're just looking for great music.
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on December 7, 2003
I own both the CD and DVD -- bought the DVD first, and decided that I simply had to have the album as well. I'm ecstatic that "Cortez" finally made an official release. Fantastic cover.
I write this review, however, to say that a previous reviewer has no idea what he is talking about. He cites two specific examples -- Boyd's "Nancies" solo and Roi's "Warehouse" -- as problems with the concert. He calls the former "out of tune." I speak as a musician when I say that there is a large difference between "out of tune" (which he wasn't) and "dissonant" or "polytonal" (which he was, at times). Being out of tune is not good, i agree, but dissonance and polytonality is what makes a lot of DMB's music great. This solo was an example of that.
Now, as for Roi's "Warehouse" solo. I speak as a sax player of some ten years when I say that this solo was brilliant. Believe it or not, not every sax player wants to sound candy-coated like Kenny G. It's called "color" and "character." I can guarantee you that almost every thing Roi did in his solo, he did on purpose. Someone with his skill doesn't do those things accidentally. Those altissimo notes are hard to play that beautifully, but he pulls it off masterfully. And sampling "Everyday People" ("And so on, and so on, and shoobee doobie doobie")? Brilliant.
Another previous reviewer wrote about the "Hey!" during the "Warehouse" opening "stop-and-go" break. If you'd watch the DVD, you'd see that Stefan throws his fist into the air on every "HEY!" They love it. It's called interaction.
(Although, if you want to talk about annoying, how about the crowd speeding up clapping during the opening of "Two Step," then getting off from Boyd when he brought it back down to tempo? Ick. That was the only annoying part of the whole concert.)
4.95 stars => rounds to 5 ;-)
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on November 19, 2003
Their freshest sounding live release since "Listener Supported" puts DMB right back on top of the heap.. After the disaster that was "Everyday" it is good to see the band back in good form for this one-off concert in support of New York City Public Schools and other charities. Off the heels of Dave Matthews' solo release "Some Devil" many fans were concerned with the direction of the band. But this concert, which was performed the day after that release in September 2003, served to put those short-lived fears to bed. I would venture to say that this live release nearly matches the energy and quality of DMB's vaunted first live release "Red Rocks". This set features a wonderful 5.1 stereo mix and lush audio quality as compared to the two previous live releases - "Folsom Field" & "Chicago".
The highlights include: a rousing reading of Neil Young's "Cortez The Killer" featuring a blistering performance from Gov't Mule's Warren Haynes, delightfully teasing versions of "Dancing Nancies" & "Warehouse" that build to awesome crescendos, a 19 minute version of "Two Step" that blows the doors off any other version previously recorded, and a freewheeling performance of "Jimi Thing" with the aforementioned Haynes that includes an interpolation of Buffalo Springfield's "For What Its Worth".
The definite lowlight is yet another inclusion of "All Along The Watchtower" in a DMB live release. Ugh! Please make it stop! Haven't we heard this song enough?
This excellent recording shows what DMB can be capable of when they are on and when they devote the proper technology to capturing their sound, which only wets the appetite for the upcoming much anticipated 6 disc release of the 2002 Gorge shows, set to come out in early 2004. The price of this set along with its excellent sound quality and performances of classic as well as newer material should appeal to devoted DMB fanatics and casual listeners as well.
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on April 24, 2004
WOW. I was blown away when my friend showed me the DVD. These are the best versions of the songs that they have ever done. Their is only one itty bitty thing negative about this album: Boyd Tinsley messes up a few times - more than usual at least. Like in Crush - @ 1:06 he comes in very flat, and it makes you wince. But other than Tinsley, they play like gods.
Also, the mix was good. MUCH better than Folsom. Carter's snare @ folsom sounded like crap. Here, the kick drum and the snare are the best ive ever heard them. The kick is very punchy and the snare is a mix between how it was on Before These Crowded Streets, and Busted Stuff.
I must say everyone shined on this album. Killer solos by everyone. Even Dave, who scat sings towards the end of Jimi Thing. They NAIL the four-stroke ruff ending of Two Step. Stefan has a set of new licks plus his solo before Watchtower - where he ad libs the Star Spangled Banner. Butch Taylor is more prominent in as well.
Best DMB album yet. These guys know what they're doin.
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on November 22, 2003
I do believe that Dave Matthews Band is the best live band in the business, and this CD respresents the reason why I think that.
The smokin' 1-2-3 punch of the first three songs really sets the tone for the night, following up with "Granny," "Crush," and "When the World Ends," leaves you wanting more.
But then the CD hits a snag. After Dave's terrific "bartender, hooook me up," intro to "Dancing Nancies," the song is rendered nearly unlistenable by Boyd Tinsley's out-of-tune extended violin solo. I understand that a blemish here and there is a part of the 'live' experience; however, even if you are the most ardent Dave Matthews Band fan, you must admit that this solo gives you shivers (for all the wrong reasons!).
This song is followed by "Warehouse," which is brilliant except for Leroi Moore's squeaking and chortling extended sax solo. I don't mean to be overly critical here, but if you can't reach the high notes, don't try!
In a nutshell, these two songs should have been cut from the CD. I found myself cringing at times. Or perhaps the band should be applauded for leaving the songs untouched, warts and all?
Happily, the rest of the CD is wonderful -- even masterful. I've never heard a better version of "Jimi Thing" and "Two Step." Listening to Carter Beauford's incredible skin work is well worth the price of the CD alone.
Also, Dave Matthews shows off his outstanding vocal abilities in this set. Compare his range and power on this CD to, say, "Listener Supported," and you can tell he has come a long way a few short years. The guy's got soul.
Nearly all of these songs have appeared on other live releases. It would have been nice to hear an updated live version of something else, perhaps "Let You Down," "Halloween," or "One Sweet World." And I have to agree with other reviewers who have suggested that "All Along the Watchtower," although a fine musical performance, has really worn out it's welcome. If I'm not mistaken, it has appeared on every live DMB CD released. I would have vastly preferred to hear something like an extended jam of "Recently" as the show closer. It would have been a nice finishing touch to a very pleasant evening.
Yet who am I kidding? In this age of programmed music, where choreography is far more important than musical ability, we should all feel blessed we still have REAL music to listen to.
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on January 16, 2005
This concert was just all around the most amazing thing I have ever heard in my entire life! I have been the hugest Dave Matthews Band fan for 6 years now and I have to say that DMB was on fire from start to finish on this one, truly magical! Mixing a wonderful blend of old and new songs that will all shortly become classics, this 3 hour concert came and went with full energy all the way through. Check out this concerts major highlights - Jimi Thing, Granny, Dancing Nancies, Warehouse, Cortez the Killer, What Would you Say, Stay, Too Much, and Two Step. You will truly be blown away if this is your first time hearing Dave Mathhews Band AKA the best band ever live in concert, where they most definetly shine!
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on January 2, 2004
The quality of the audio on this CD is absolutley astounding, when played on a surronded sound system, it sounds like you are in Central Park at the concert. I have seen Dave Matthews Band 7 times in concert, I did not go to the Central Park concert but had close friends who did, buying this CD is essentially buying yourself a ticket to the concert. Not only is it filled with some of their best work, but some funny "Dave speaks" humor, lots of improv (New York, New York), lyric changes, and skatting. If you couldn't make the concert or are a fan of any of the Dave Matthews Band work, than this CD is absolutley for you!
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on November 19, 2003
This live album is absolutely flawless. From its great audio sound, which puts Chicago and Folsom Field to shame, to its excellent set list, this show has it all. Warren Hayes, the guitarist from Gov't Mule, appears as a guest towards the end of the show. The highlights of the show include an incredible transition between So Much To Say and Too Much (Tracks 2 and 3), Dancing Nancies followed by Warehouse (w/ Stop Time intro), Neil Young's Cortez the Killer, and the always great All Along the Watchtower. Although some may say that Watchtower is over played on live albums, Stefan Lesard's base intro of the Star Spangled Banner is incredible, which makes this version truly unique.
This CD is a must have for anyone who likes good music. There are things for the die-hard fans as well as the new comers.
Stay tuned for the release of the Gorge 6 CD set coming out in 2004. There is also supposedly a theatrical version as well, coming to a theater near you!!!!
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on August 21, 2004
Great solid show, but nothing surprising. No really rare songs, it's more of a greatest hits live compilation. The material is wonderful, Two Step is one of the best I've ever heard, having been a fan for a while, and Warren Haynes playing (and singing) is fantastic on Jimi Thing and Cortez The Killer is probably my favorite tune on the album. If you are looking for a really killer live performance by DMB go no further then Live In Chicago, or rock it old school with Live At Red Rocks. Central Park is great, and a good place to start, but if you consider yourself more of a fan, I suggest not getting it unless you really want it...or if you were there.
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on January 5, 2004
"Another year, another "live" Dave Matthews CD. Gee-Whez."
Except this time Dave and company were especially on fire. From the beginning with an especially powerful version of "Don't Drink The Water", we are treated to a concert when the band's adrenaline levels must have been at super saturation peaks.
Naturally, of course, not every song on this CD is the best live version Matthews has made available, "Ants Marching" seems rushed and "All Along The Watchtower" is tired. But these are the only defects in an otherwise excellent CD. "Cortez, The Killer" is a well-done romp outside of Matthews own catalog while a generous sample of fans' favorites remind you of why you like Dave Matthews in the first place.
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