Upcoming 2015 DMB Tour in West Palm Beach

I’ve just returned from the Dave Matthews Band Fan member site (The Warehouse) on my annual quest for tickets to the two DMB concerts that they perform in West Palm Beach.

The Warehouse allows members to request tickets before they go on sale to the public. This is the 13th year of going to DMB concerts with my love Shannon. This year would have marked the 14th year of Dave concerts for us but DMB didn’t tour in 2011 (the only year that Dave and his mates didn’t tour in over 20 years).

Now we wait and see what kind of seats we’ll get in the fan lottery (seats are divvied up by seniority in the DMB fan club). Wish us luck! Last year we had the best seats we’ve ever received and it really made for an amazing show. This puts me in mind of our upcoming anniversary of meeting in Phoenix – our 14th.

Adele – One and Only

I’ve listened to Adele’s new album 21 every day since it came out. I wasn’t even a fan of Adele until 21 but I’ve been catching up quickly. She’s young, real and has a voice that won’t quit. As far as I’m concerned if 21 is as good as she ever does, she need not do more.

At first I thought of Janis Joplin when I heard Adele but that connection has faded for me now. The timbre of Adele’s voice and character are completely different after closer inspection. I like every song on 21, I love many of them, and a few tracks freeze me in place. I’ve listened to One and Only 5-20 times a day for the last three weeks and I’m still not sick of it. It’s ridiculous. I don’t know if this video captures her recording or voice as much as I’d like, but its good. This isn’t a review, this is me testifying.

Under Pressure

Under Pressure” (Mercury, Taylor, Deacon, May, Bowie) – 4:02


boom boom boom da de boom boom

boom boom boom da de boom boom

ding ^DING

boom boom boom da de boom boom

boom boom boom da de boom boom

ding ^DING

boom boom boom da de boom boom

boom boom boom da de boom boom

ding ^DING

boom boom boom da de boom boom

boom boom boom da de boom boom

boom boom boom da de boom boom

boom boom boom da de boom boom

ding ^DING

Mm ba ba de

Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de

Pressure! pushing down on me

 Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure – that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da – that’s o.k.

It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow – gets me higher
Pressure on people – people on streets
Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba

Chippin’ around – kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap
People on streets – ee da de da de
People on streets – ee da de da de da de da

It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow – gets me higher high high
Pressure on people – people on streets

Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work
Keep coming up with love
but it’s so slashed and torn
Why – why – why ?
Love love love love love

Insanity laughs under pressure we’re cracking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance
Why can’t we give love that one more chance
Why can’t we give love give love give love give love
give love give love give love give love give love
‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure

That’s my Dedication to my Family today.

Under Pressure | Queen and David Bowie

Pick up a copy of Under Pressure today on Amazon.

Top 10 Music Pics

Before the time and tunes are forgotten I wanted to journal some Top 10 and other music lists I made in the family.

I’m happy to note that Max and Charlie are both playing guitar and continue to explore a real cross section of music. John is playing Violin at his Kindergarten and had his first recital in December (watch the video here). Yours truly is continuing on with his own guitar work and I’m hoping to get my first keyboard this year, or more specifically a digital music workstation that will allow me learn piano and make my own band.

At Christmas in the Bay Area I asked Max and Charlie what bands would make their top 10 (chronicled below along with @seerysm’s and my list) and just this week both of them volunteered their favorite bands of today.

Right now Max (almost 18) is listening to a lot of Pulp and his top three songs from Pulp are

  1. This is hardcore
  2. Common people (video)
  3. Sorted out for E’s and Wizz

Charlie’s favorite band of the moment is Muse. His top 3 Muse songs are

  1. Bliss (video)
  2. Starlight
  3. Plug in Baby

Good job guys, now go do your home work Charlie. 🙂

Max’s top 10 songs from Crissy are

  1. Beatles
  2. Bob Dylan
  3. Sublime
  4. Rolling Stones
  5. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  6. Led Zeppelin
  7. The Doors
  8. Pink Floyd
  9. Oasis
  10. Bob Marley & The Whalers

What can I say, the young man has good taste. Although I will note that if you were to pile up all the drugs these guys did collectively in their lifetime it would sink a freighter…

Charlie’s Top 10 from Crissy

  1. Foo Fighters
  2. Green Day
  3. Cold Play
  4. The Strokes
  5. The Ramones
  6. Sum 41
  7. Jack Johnson
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?

Charlie clearly having some math problems (hence the home work comment earlier) but otherwise the list is good. At 13 I can forgive him for Sum 41. Damn Charlie. 😉

Shan’s Top 10

  1. Dave Matthews Band
  2. Counting Crows
  3. Foo Fighters
  4. Sarah McLachlan
  5. Prince
  6. Marc Cohn
  7. Pearl Jam
  8. Bare Naked Ladies
  9. Matchbox 20
  10. Sting

My Top 10

  1. Dave Matthews Band
  2. Counting Crows
  3. Foo Fighters
  4. INXS
  5. Pearl Jam
  6. Prince
  7. Marc Cohn
  8. The Eagles (my #1 band for about 30 of my 40 years)
  9. U2
  10. The Who
  11. Audioslave (I wrote this so I’m allowed to cheat!)
  12. Red Hot Chili Peppers (yup, still cheating)

John and Julia are a bit young for a Top 10 list but I’d say Julia would favor Colbie Caillat (video for Realize) as her fave and John would say he’s paralyzed by Finger Eleven (video of Paralyzer).

Artists that we’ve discovered in 2008

All but Blind Pilot have been making great music for a long time but were new to me.

Blind Pilot – Blind Pilot’s album 3 Rounds and a Sound of 2008 is simply brilliant (buy it now). I’d go so far as to say these guys are the best new band of 2007 and 2008 and I don’t say that out of ignorance. Huge props to Kristen for this tip!

Beirut – strangely wonderful and difficult to categorize. Vocals remind me of Rufus Wainwright Check out their album The Flying Club Cup.

Sia – thanks Shan! Also check out the band she made her mark in – Zero 7. She’s been making good music for years but she was new to us in 2008

Regina Spektor -thanks Shan and Diary of a Call Girl on Showtime – heard one of Regina’s songs here. She’s a brilliant pianist and vocalist.

Glen Hansard (The Frames) and Marketa Irglova– Check out their album The Swell Season – they make an amazing duo. Thanks again Kristen (See the movie Once it’s fantastic)

Heartland (several musicians) Listening to NPR last year while driving along Dixie Higway here in West Palm Beach I was introduced to some classical virtuoso’s that play a whole range of music including Americana. The specific song I heard on NPR was Emily’s Reel, written for Yo Yo Ma’s daughter by Edgar Meyer and roots music legend and mandolinist Mike Marshall. Pick up the album Heartland, An Appalachian Anthology. Also of particular note are a range of songs on this album by violinist Mark O’Connor and double bass master Edgar Meyer.

I could talk, play, listen to, and write about music all day. I must get back to work!

Dave Matthews Band Cruzan Amphitheater July 11 & 12 – 2008

Julian and Shannon Seery Gude at the July 12, 2008 Dave Matthews Band concert at Cruzan Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida

Scanned image of Dave Matthews Band Ticket for Saturday July 12, 2008 performance at Cruzan Amphitheater West Palm Beach, Florida

Shannon and I made our annual two night pilgrimage to see Dave Matthews Band over the past two evenings at West Palm Beach’s Cruzan Amphitheater. I’ll cover the Dave stuff first and then end with a roundup of our family news and attendees for these shows.


Rating for Friday’s performance: 4 out of 5

Here’s a little homemade YouTube video from a fellow fan from Friday’s show.

Rating for Saturday’s performance 4 out of 5

Highlights: All the cover songs they performed: Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, Sly and the Family Stone’s Thank You, Pink Floyd’s Money and The Beatles’ Money (these were played back to back).

Dave introducing Old Dirt Hill (Bring that Beat Back) during his set on Saturday night. He recounted a story about a reporter asking him if this song was about him and that he had replied that the song was not about him. After the interview he thought about it more and realized that Old Dirt Hill WAS about him.

Cover songs: Even though I had read about these cover songs it was something else to see and hear them. I was really amazed to hear how Dave sounded singing them. The band appeared to really enjoy playing some different material as well. Dave’s dancing on Thank You (for letting me by myself) during night two’s encore was especially lively as he performed his uniquely goofy dancing much to the appreciation of everyone present.

Tim ReynoldsThe other highlights included Tim Reynolds playing AMAZING GUITAR on a number of electric guitars through the entire set. He wheeled out a Red Fender Stratocaster (Tim’s go-to guitar) for much of the evening but also played a Gibson Flying V for many tunes and busted out a Gibson Les Paul for a couple of songs as well. Especially great was his slide guitar that he played on two tunes. This and his playing overall really added texture and edge to the Band’s performance. The interplay between him and the regular band were really additive to the show. While it was great to hear him solo, I was also impressed with how he slipped right into Dave’s sound playing rhythm guitar to the point where, if you weren’t paying attention, you wouldn’t be thinking there was any difference to Dave’s normal sound.

It was strange without Butch Taylor playing piano and keyboards and even more so without sax player LeRoi Moore, who is out for the summer tour since his ATV accident of a few weeks ago. You can leave LeRoi a get well e-card at his hospital’s web site. Dave actually played piano on one song on Friday night’s performance. We’d like to see more of this Dave!

Jeff Coffin, saxaphonistJeff Coffin, who normally plays sax for Bela Fleck and The Flecktones filled in brilliantly for LeRoi. Shannon and I were blown away that he could play each of the songs so fluidly. I shouldn’t be surprised, he’s such an accomplished musician and he’s played pretty extensively over the last twelve years with Dave and the crew. But it’s still something to see someone drop into a brilliant live band like DMB and actually keep up. Amazing.

It was a blast as always. I’m sorry that my over appreciation for Tequila spoiled the first night (sorry everyone!). That’s all I’ve got to say on that score. That, and I think I’m making a pledge to just not drink at any more Dave concerts from here on out so I don’t make anyone miss any of his songs!

Here’s the set list from Saturday’s show.

I have one omission on song six and let’s face it, even sober I might have made an error on the rest. I’ll wait for another poster to fill in the blank on six and to double check my set list accuracy.

Regular Set

  1. Don’t Drink The Water
  2. Dreaming Tree
  3. One Sweet World
  4. Rhyme and Reason
  5. Crash
  6. Blank! Will add later.
  7. Cover: Pink Floyd’s Money
  8. Cover: The Beatles Money
  9. Pay for what you Get
  10. Crush
  11. Old Dirt Hill (Bring that beat back)
  12. Louisiana Bayou
  13. Grave Digger
  14. Ee Hee
  15. So Much To Say
  16. Too Much
  17. Tripping Billies

18. Encore: Rapunzel

19. Encore: Cover: Sly and The Family Stone’s Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin

Our Family Dave Stuff

Shannon being the oldest of 5 kids was the instigator in her family of their mutual appreciation for Dave Matthews Band. All of her siblings ranging from her baby sister Brittany (18) to her second oldest sis Kristen (25) are all fans that try to make it to see DMB every year. This year Brittany went with her boyfriend Alex and also in tow were Shan’s brother Michael, her sis Jenna and her boyfriend Will (who cites DMB as his favorite band).
The Dave Matthews Band
On Friday’s show we also snagged an extra seat for my 12 year old Charlie so he could come with us. It was Charlie’s second concert (way too few for a 12 YO!). His first was a DMB concert we attended at Shoreline Amphitheater in the San Francisco Bay Area when Shannon and I lived in Los Gatos (near San Jose). On that occasion we went with my dad Lorenz and my oldest sons Max and Charlie. They all loved that first Dave concert but Charlie was much older for this one and as of three weeks ago has started to learn guitar. These things combined to make it much more interesting for him. Especially with Dave’s great acoustic playing and guitar pro Tim Reynolds playing in the band this summer – and playing electric for the entire set. More on that later. It was great fun for everyone on the first night. On Saturday just Shannon and I went and we got to hear the band play ‘our song’ – Crush, which was perfect!

On a closing note I’ve got to cop to the fact that I’ve now missed meeting up with TWO Miami friends at Dave Concerts. Three years ago I was supposed to hook up with Juan Monch and didn’t, and this Friday I was supposed to see my friend Carlos Villanueva. Somehow both of us managed to not text each other Friday! So sorry to have missed you Carlos!

Butch Taylor leaves Dave Matthews Band

Butch Taylor, long time guest member and keyboardist for The Dave Matthews Band as photographed in October 26, 2007 by his cousin and professional photographer Taylor Richards Glenn.

This morning I got an email from my favorite Dave Matthews Band fan site with the very sad news that longtime ‘guest’ member and keyboardist Butch Taylor just left the band. Here’s the story on WeeklyDaveSpeak.com titled “After 10 years of Touring, Butch Taylor Calls it Quits“. As long time Dave fans, Shannon and I have always been perplexed as to why Butch wasn’t given full band status given the inclusive nature of the band. It seems just as hard to see him leave as it would if Stefan or another member were to go. Shudder to think.

Speculation I’ve read is that he was just really tired of being on the road and wanted to be home with his family back in DMB home town Charlottesville Virginia. Funny enough, my search for more news on Butch landed me on acclaimed T.V. interviewer Charlie Rose’s web site. There I found a ‘Butch Taylor’ tagged video that was actually a one hour video special on the entire band, their music and history. I have NO IDEA how I missed this Charlie Rose special. About two thirds of the way through the special they introduce Butch and strangely enough (or not) the one thing they show Butch talking about is how difficult being on the road is and how he missed his family. Not surprisingly all the band quickly agreed with Butch but it still struck me as pretty interesting given that he made the comment seven years ago.

I’ve embedded the Charlie Rose special below and even if you’re not a huge Dave head I think anyone interested even vaguely in music would find it very interesting. There’s much to see here in terms of their highly varied musical heroes, the eclectic mix of music styles, backgrounds and personalities that are just as far ranging.

Whether you know me or not I’m here to say that only my family is more important in my life than music and no other band is more important to me or Shannon than the Dave Matthews Band. I am truly saddened that when Shannon and I see them this summer for the umpteenth time Butch won’t be playing with them. We can only hope that he’ll soon miss his band mates and that his family will understand his desire to be with them again.

Butch we will miss you and we wish you peace, happiness and our sincerest gratitude for what you’ve brought to your band’s music, the songs, the fills, the leads, the solos, the rhythm and some serious pearly sparkle. You were lucky to be with Dave and Company and they were lucky to have you. And to your family, thank you so much for sharing him with us for all those years.

Julian goes electric – an electric guitar that is

Left-Handed Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Model

Back in September last year I purchased my first guitar and began my life-long dream of learning to play, read and write music. I love my right-handed Seagull S-6 acoustic guitar and can’t say enough good things about the quality, feel and sound. Recently I was in a couple of music stores and my ear could easily detect the superior sound of the Seagull over much more expensive acoustic guitars.

Despite being a full-blooded lefty, I made a valiant effort to learn to play right handed for two primary reasons. First, the ability to share the instrument with Shannon and my right handed children (that would be all of them). I dearly hope all of them will become interested enough to start playing at some point. So far, Max is the only taker and he did that all on his own (keep playing Mate!). Second, I also knew that the selection and price of left handed guitars is really bad.

I struggled through learning chords and notes for 4-5 months and really never got over feeling very awkward. I will say that the awkwardness became harder to feel over time. One day I flipped the guitar over and played it left handed. It was like my experience of using a computer mouse with my left hand after ‘dealing’ with using one right handed. Immediate relief. While I can work a mouse (and a guitar) right handed, the comfort and dexterity I feel with my left hand is far superior. I went an grabbed my old lefty Hondo Stratocaster rip-off from the garage that my dad purchased for me in the early 80’s back in Perth Western Australia. I’d be playing the Hondo but it’s been badly warped from years of improper storage. The lefty Hondo felt amazing and confirmed that I needed to play left handed. It’s not that I didn’t try really hard to determine my ability to play right handed when I first bought my Seagull. The difference is that now I’d been playing for several months and thought I was learning pretty well. The fact that I could flip a guitar upside down, play it with the strings in the wrong order, and IMMEDIATELY play it much better is what got my attention. I did some additional research on testing to determine or measure your ‘handedness.’

I came across a great test that I hadn’t encountered on my initial research. Clap your hands together. Go ahead and do that now before reading any more. OK, now go back to your clapping and as you do, notice if you are moving both hands to clap or if one hand is staying stationary while the other hand does all the clapping. The article I read suggests that if you’re moving both hands you have a pretty balanced handedness and could learn to play an instrument with your non-dominant hand. If you’re in the latter camp you have a strong preference for that hand. I did the clapping test and my left hand did all the work with my right hand completely passive. I had my dad perform the test and he moved both hands. The test confirmed what I’ve always known – I’m a lefty through and through.

Another similarly non-scientific clue came to me on a walk after playing my right handed guitar. As I imagined the song I was learning I realized I was playing ‘air guitar’ as a lefty. I’ve always played air guitar left handed but the fact that my instinct was to do this DESPITE the fact that I was learning and playing a song I’d just been practicing right handed gave me a big clue.

So I started looking for a lefty guitar but not very seriously since it’s not in our budget right now. Dad’s here visiting right now and he offered to get me a lefty guitar so I could learn with the guitar right-side up with all the strings where they should be. Needless to say I jumped at his offer.

I was interested in getting another Seagull S-6 (and will at some point) but I also want a Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul to play electric. These represent the defacto standards in electric guitars that almost all electrics are based on. The Strat being more popular with Blues and rock ‘n roll and the Les Paul being more rock and hard rock (these are over simplifications). No one who plays will go their playing career without owning an acoustic and both of these classic models. I loved trying both the Strat and the Les Paul but from my online and in-store research I determined that I liked the versatility of the Les Paul more (here’s a review of the Les Paul Epiphone Standard Plus model. You can get a cheapie Epiphone Les Paul model based on the Gibson Les Paul for under $200 but the Epiphone model with far superior wood, construction and hardware (The Epiphone Les Paul Standard with Plus Top) retails for over $850 and sells at Guitar Center for $570. Too much! Fortunately eBay came to the rescue and we were able to snatch up a new-in-box model from a music store for a substantial savings.

It arrived last night and the unboxing was really fun! I plugged it in to the amp for the first time last night and I am just blown away by how nice this guitar sounds and plays. I could not be happier with it. It’s amazing to really play a lefty guitar and I have no doubt my rate of playing progress will accelerate now. I can play it with its clean tone without distortion and really hear each note or crank up the distortion for a heavier sound. It’s just great to see how different it can sound and how pretty the notes ring out.

Dad, thank you so much for keeping my dream alive and always encouraging me to explore my creativity. Your values rubbed off on me and I really hope I’ll continue to encourage that same creativity in all my kids. For now I’ll be trying my damnedest to get John in to our fantastic local music program at his Kindergarten (it’s a very sought after and limited space program).

Now I just need to learn how to really play!