So last week I get a PM from my good friend Anders saying that his 'lovely lady' SunnyG couldn't make the DMB concert last night and he wanted to know if I'd like to join him.
Well, after checking with my own 'lovely lady' I accepted and we prepared to meet for the show.
This was not only to be my first time seeing one of my favorite bands, but also my first time at the Hollywood Bowl. Yes, I've lived in SoCal for all of my 32 years and this was my first trip to the Bowl. So sue me.
Anyway, we decided to park at the LA Zoo lot and take the shuttle to the bowl. Great decision as parking wasn't a hassle and it's only $3 for the round-trip ticket.
We arrived at the bowl just before the opening act Stephen Marley took the stage.
I thought it was WAY cool that Dave actually came out and introduced the opening act. Very rock star.
Stephen Marley sounded great. If I didn't know any better I'd say it was Bob himself on stage. He put on a great show playing some of his songs and some of Bob's. He had a "Flag Guy" on stage waving the Jamaican flag. Anders and I were joking that his arms must get tired.
The show started off rather mellow with the song A Dream So Real. A very emotional start to the show. Next up was one of my favorite songs Two Step. They played an awesome 10 to 15 minute version of the song and the crowd was VERY into the show.
Next up was #27 followed by another of my favorites Crush. Again, a nice extended version of the song. After Crush the band played #34 since it was Dave's wifes 34th birthday. Very cool, I'll bet he got some.
Next up was a 'new to me' song The Idea of You followed by another favorite Don't Drink the Water. For the next few songs he brought out Banjo great Danny Barnes to join him on stage. The first of MANY surprises of the night.
Next up a couple of more 'new to me' songs, Corn Bread, You Might Die Trying and Eh Hee. Lie in our Graves and the AWESOME Shotgun followed after that.
Next up, another suprise. John Mayer came on stage and played an awesome version of #41 with the band. John made a remark that he wouldn't be who he is without DMB. I'd have to agree. He blended with the band quite well and is a great guitar player.
Next up was the fan favorite Warehouse. It's always interesting the different songs that are "Crowd Participation" songs and that a DMB virgin didn't get for a few seconds. This was one of those moments. But I loved it.
Next up, another HUGE surprise. Not only did Dave bring Stephen Marley again, but also Ziggy Marley. They did an awesome rendition of the Bob Marley hit Exodus (complete with flag guy).
The finished up the show with Stay (wasting time) to huge ovations.
For the encore, they did something TOTALLY awesome. Since it was the last show of the tour, they brought out the entire road crew so the crowd could give them an ovation.
They did an encore of American Baby and Grey Street.
We thought they were going to come out for a 2nd encore, but it didn't happen.
I do have to say, my first DMB experience was something to remember. Anders equated it to taking somebody to Disneyland for the first time, and I have to kind of agree. After seeing the band once, you want to see them again.
Anders also asked me how this show compared to shows from my favorite band Rush.
All I can say is ... it's AS GOOD as a Rush show, but vastly different.
Rush is a band you go to see for the love of the music, for the musicianship of the band and you really can sit there and study the way they play.
With DMB, it's a date concert or a party concert. You got the hippies, you got the frat-boys and you got the date people. A very weird mix of people, but all having an awesome time at the show. Not to say you can't stand there and love the musicianship of the band. All 7 members are masters at what they do. They can turn a 4 minute song into a 15 minute jam and make it AWESOME. Not too many bands can do that.
Thanks for the tickets again Anders. Thanks to DMB for the awesome show. I will be back ... and with Belle at my side next time.