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Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95

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Album Review

No other band in rock's history went to such great lengths to shut down bootleggers as the Dave Matthews Band. They shut down stores that sold live boots of Matthews' concerts and they shut down labels that pressed the bootlegs, essentially crippling the underground industry. That didn't stop the boots completely, however, and Matthews finally retaliated in the fall of 1997 with the double-disc Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95, the first in a series of official live albums from the band. To the outsider, this series might seem a little odd, since the group doesn't have an explicitly fanatical following like those of the Grateful Dead or Phish, but like those two bands, the Dave Matthews Band has a similar fondness for improvisation, which makes their live recordings desirable for dedicated fans. Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95 shouldn't disappoint fans already familiar with the band's loose-limbed, jazzy live show, but it should come as a revelation to listeners unacquainted with that aspect of Matthews. In fact, the record often sounds livelier and more energetic than its studio counterparts, and that alone makes it a necessary purchase for dedicated fans.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Charlottesville, VA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in the early '90s by South African vocalist/guitarist Dave Matthews, the Dave Matthews Band presented a more pop-oriented version of the Grateful Dead crossed with elements of jazz, funk, and the worldbeat explorations of Paul Simon and Sting. Matthews populated the group with several Virginia-based musicians -- bassist Stefan Lessard, saxophonist Leroi Moore, violinist Boyd Tinsley, drummer Carter Beauford, and short-lived keyboardist Peter Griesar -- and the band built up a strong word-of-mouth...
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