The Dave Matthews Band wowed the sold out crowd at Pine Knob with a 2 1/2 hour set that included favorites from their first major label release, UNDER THE TABLE AND DREAMING, as well as plenty of cuts from the new CD, CRASH. The band opened with "The Best of What's Around" from their first CD, followed by "#41" from CRASH. From the opening bars, the diverse crowd, ranging from adolescents and college students to Baby Boomers and their kids, was on its feet and dancing. Each of the singles released from the two CDs produced a powerful reaction from the crowd, particularly "Ants Marching," the band's second release off UNDER THE TABLE AND DREAMING, which closed the set. The encore performances of "Drive In Drive Out" and "All Along the Watchtower" only made the audience want more. With this great performance, the Dave Matthews Band definitely proved that they are the best of what's around.
"Last year, we got together at a hotel in New York and, with a couple acoustic instruments, started singing these old Styx songs. By morning, we knew we had to bring it on the road again," Tommy Shaw told a sold out Pine Knob audience. Taking a break from the Damn Yankees, Shaw joined the "Welcome to Paradise" tour. In support of two greatest hits CDs, if there needs to be any support, this reunion fell one member short with drummer John (brother of bassist Chuck) Pannozo being off due to physical illness, but an enthusiastic Todd Suckerman filled in perfectly and later told us, "This is the highlight of my life." Opening with "Paradise," Styx delivered exactly what the older fans on hand had hoped for -- two hours of classic Styx music, continuous hit after hit. Even "Crystal Ball," which Shaw introduced as one of the first songs he wrote in Styx. Flawless vocals for Shaw, Dennis DeYoung, and James Young matched with musical perfection from one of the '70s' biggest rock acts couldn't have been any better. Until the encore brought onstage another Yankee, Ted Nugent, closing out the biggest highlights with, of course, "Renegade."
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