Dave Matthews Band played an evening concert at Sleep Train Ampitheatre in Chula Vista on September 6. The group usually stops in San Diego over the summer to jam in the large shed, and many San Diego fans showed up this time to dance the night away.
Opening the evening was blues guitar phenom Gary Clark Jr., fresh off some very high profile gigs with The Rolling Stones and having played Eric Clapton’s famed Crossroads Festival. This man can make a guitar sing just about any way he wants to, and his set was a slow simmer of hot blues licks traded back and forth with an amazing band. Clark just looked and sounded legit, and his vintage style of playing on songs like “When My Train Pulls In” was rich and authentic with a definite nod to Hendrix throughout.
Next, Dave Matthews Band took the stage to a huge ovation and played a set somewhat light on the hits but heavy on the jams. Matthews himself was visibly happy, dancing across the stage and proclaiming that he might have imbibed just a bit too much wine. Carter Beauford was in fine form, playing deep in the pocket behind his huge and elaborate drum kit. The whole band was on fire and seemed to relish the set’s extended jams.
Songs included “You Might Die Trying,” “Say Goodbye,” “Why I Am,” and “If Only” from 2012’s Away From the World. Gary Clark Jr. even came out and joined the band on stage for a version of Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower.” Tons of folks danced, laughed, and had a good time from the lawn all the way down to the pit, enjoying what was truly a great summer show.