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Old 07-29-2021, 06:06 PM   #481
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Re: the (2021) summer so far

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Come Tomorrow, Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King, or even AFTW is not more worse than Stand Up. What hyperbole nonsense. And people wonder why/where Hilly gets his shtick.
There’s the big 3 and then the back 3 to me. I really enjoy the last three albums in their own way. I was excited to get If Only cause I love that song.
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  • Old 07-29-2021, 06:10 PM   #482
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    They haven't just past their peak, jack. They peaked 20 years ago. It has been a long, slow, unwavering decline since then. Mostly in songwriting, but also in sound and performance. I long since abandoned the "well at least they're still playing" veil, and can now be honest about them. They sound the worst they have ever sounded, and each new album is the worst thing they've ever made.
    It's like this for 99.9% of bands, and DMB is more or less no different IMO.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 06:12 PM   #483
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    Different strokes for different folks, but IMO there's no way the 2021 sound is worse than the absolutely lifeless sound of '07, or the godawful Tim-dominated sound of '09-'12.

    "But they had a violin back then."

    That's fair, but only up to a point. There were many times during the 2010s that Boyd sounded so bad he straight up ruined songs. There were Ants solos that were just long runs of squeaks and skrees. As important as the violin was to this band, you can't tell me that was an acceptable sound.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 06:16 PM   #484
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    They haven't just past their peak, jack. They peaked 20 years ago. It has been a long, slow, unwavering decline since then. Mostly in songwriting, but also in sound and performance. I long since abandoned the "well at least they're still playing" veil, and can now be honest about them. They sound the worst they have ever sounded, and each new album is the worst thing they've ever made.
    Curious, what was the last show you were at? To each their own I suppose, but to say they sound and perform poorly is so far off base from reality from what I've experienced and seen others experience for years, it doesn't make sense. There are a lot of credible critiques of the band that stem from fans' subjective experience, but to say their performances are poor because you, perhaps, prefer no Tim, a violin, no trumpet, etc., doesn't make sense. They still put on a hell of a show, it's more predicable with less improv than at the turn of the century, for sure, but it's still, I'd argue an objectively good performance: musicianship, timing of all members, sound dynamics of each member and cohesively, band and fan energy when you're their live etc.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 06:18 PM   #485
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    Curious, what was the last show you were at? To each their own I suppose, but to say they sound and perform poorly is so far off base from reality from what I've experienced and seen others experience for years, it doesn't make sense. There are a lot of credible critiques of the band that stem from fans' subjective experience, but to say their performances are poor because you, perhaps, prefer no Tim, a violin, no trumpet, etc., doesn't make sense. They still put on a hell of a show, it's more predicable with less improv than at the turn of the century, for sure, but it's still, I'd argue an objectively good performance: musicianship, timing of all members, sound dynamics of each member and cohesively, band and fan energy when you're their live etc.

    It's just far off from reality in general
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    Old 07-29-2021, 06:25 PM   #486
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    Some people say that cucumbers taste better pickled.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 06:37 PM   #487
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    Some people say that cucumbers taste better pickled.
    Man I use this quote all the time and no one ever knows what I’m talking about. So happy to see you use it!
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    Old 07-29-2021, 06:50 PM   #488
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    Different strokes for different folks, but IMO there's no way the 2021 sound is worse than the absolutely lifeless sound of '07, or the godawful Tim-dominated sound of '09-'12.

    "But they had a violin back then."

    That's fair, but only up to a point. There were many times during the 2010s that Boyd sounded so bad he straight up ruined songs. There were Ants solos that were just long runs of squeaks and skrees. As important as the violin was to this band, you can't tell me that was an acceptable sound.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 06:52 PM   #489
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    The only songs that really miss the violin are Ants, Nancies, Two Step, and probably American Baby if they ever play it again. Everything else either sounds equal or better than it did with the violin. Besides, Boyd never really brought violin to the band. He brought energy and a spectacle of watching this crazy guy flying on the violin during his solos. Which, that’s fun at a show but listening back to it afterwards you really notice how absurdly terrible he’s been since like… 1996?
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:11 PM   #490
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    The only songs that really miss the violin are Ants, Nancies, Two Step, and probably American Baby if they ever play it again. Everything else either sounds equal or better than it did with the violin. Besides, Boyd never really brought violin to the band. He brought energy and a spectacle of watching this crazy guy flying on the violin during his solos. Which, that’s fun at a show but listening back to it afterwards you really notice how absurdly terrible he’s been since like… 1996?
    Hard disagree on the bold. Almost everything has lost an edge and authenticity in its “DMBness” without the violin. The songs you mentioned are the ones that are truly suffering-to-bad without it (you missed Billies and Pig in there too). Most of the catalog doesn’t sound bad - in fact, some of them sound great musically. But it’s not “DMB” sounding, if that makes any sense.

    As far as Boyd - yes, he was definitely awful at a LOT of shows. But he had some where he was on, and he had eras where he was good. And SL knew how to get a great studio sound from him. So to say he never brought violin to the band is simply not a true or fair statement.

    I’d love the band to add a competent, and generally morally abiding, fiddle player. I’d be far more likely to travel to see them or see multiple shows. Without one, it’s barely DMB, they sound nothing like the band that I fell in love with, and I have much less of an interest in their live act as it is.

    Last edited by BTBaboon; 07-29-2021 at 07:12 PM.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:15 PM   #491
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    At one point, there was a thread created at Nancies.org asking if Boyd would be the first chair violin at (m)any orchestra. What a laughable statement now that I know better than what I knew then when I was a lurker when that was a serious question at the time.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:20 PM   #492
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    The band was also more "fun" with Boyd...for me at least. The entire band standing/sitting just isn't as entertaining as it once was.

    The bursts of showmanship that he brought to the table are definitely lacking now. Not as important as the violin sound itself, but definitely a facet I miss.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:24 PM   #493
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    The band was also more "fun" with Boyd...for me at least. The entire band standing/sitting just isn't as entertaining as it once was.

    The bursts of showmanship that he brought to the table are definitely lacking now. Not as important as the violin sound itself, but definitely a facet I miss.
    I agree with the showmanship component of what Boyd brought to moments of shows, for sure. Second only to his enduring desire to kiss Dave.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:25 PM   #494
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    I’d also add that I think there’s a lot of (correct) takes that the band sounds very tight right now - they absolutely do. They’re playing their instruments to damn near perfection and the sounds to perfection (save, DIDO the other night). But I think the band would sound more like DMB if they loosened up a bit, gave things a bit more space to breathe, etc. They’re a little too “clinical” and rigid at times for my taste.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:27 PM   #495
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    The band was also more "fun" with Boyd...for me at least. The entire band standing/sitting just isn't as entertaining as it once was.

    The bursts of showmanship that he brought to the table are definitely lacking now. Not as important as the violin sound itself, but definitely a facet I miss.
    When Jeff first joined, he was a bit of a showman and moved around and solo’d off in front of fonz and Dave and maybe even crossed to Tim/Boyd side.

    Now he’s basically been given a back seat - I have to think that was Dave’s call. Which sucks. #FreeJeff
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:34 PM   #496
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    Personally, I hated the 2018 tour and was sour about no Boyd. I didn't like what Buddy added. I took 2019 off because of this. I did the first two shows of 2021 in NC and thought Buddy was great and now am fine with no violin. His jam at the end of Sweet was perfect, even last night he added to the very last minute of Typical. Just my 0.02.

    However, he needs to settle down on Everyday.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:41 PM   #497
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    Hard disagree on the bold. Almost everything has lost an edge and authenticity in its “DMBness” without the violin. The songs you mentioned are the ones that are truly suffering-to-bad without it (you missed Billies and Pig in there too). Most of the catalog doesn’t sound bad - in fact, some of them sound great musically. But it’s not “DMB” sounding, if that makes any sense.
    This does makes sense, and I totally agree with the sentiment - but I don't think losing the violin is the cause of the problem. To me, the band lost that "original" sound with the sonic shift of the BW era. From '09-'16, the violin became more and more of a nonentity in the band, to the point that Boyd leaving didn't change the sound all that much (at least to my ears.)

    IMO Billies and Nancies now sound better than they have in a long time. Jeff's Billies solo is much better than Boyd's overlong, aimless sawing. Nancies is maybe Tim's best solo, because he really plays into the vibe of the song (unlike his #41 solo, which still sounds out of place to me.)

    Anyway, yeah, I miss that classic DMB sound too. But I think it's a lot deeper than losing Boyd, and so a replacement violinist wouldn't bring it back.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 07:55 PM   #498
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    I’d also add that I think there’s a lot of (correct) takes that the band sounds very tight right now - they absolutely do. They’re playing their instruments to damn near perfection and the sounds to perfection (save, DIDO the other night). But I think the band would sound more like DMB if they loosened up a bit, gave things a bit more space to breathe, etc. They’re a little too “clinical” and rigid at times for my taste.
    Yea, I view it like I do setlist variety...I think there's some validity to complaints about lack of that and "fun", especially when they were somewhat defining aspects of live shows. At the same time, you also have to realize that bands are just going to get less unique and energetic as the members get older, but it's still kind of a bummer.

    There was a point last night when Tim was soloing and he crouched down or went to a knee or something but then quickly got back up. And my first reaction was man that would have been awesome if he went full Back to the Future and just hammed it up on the ground or something. That's the kind of shit I miss with Boyd....the running around, head banging, duels with Dave, etc. Now it's more like Tool/Classic Albums Live. Everyone is a statue except for the occasional glances/smiles to each other and Dave dancing like an idiot during Seven, which feels forced/rehearsed. Everything just feels so intentional now.

    I still had a great time last night, but the caveat is that my reaction was somewhat contingent on the lower standard set by all of the above.

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    Old 07-29-2021, 08:27 PM   #499
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    This does makes sense, and I totally agree with the sentiment - but I don't think losing the violin is the cause of the problem. To me, the band lost that "original" sound with the sonic shift of the BW era. From '09-'16, the violin became more and more of a nonentity in the band, to the point that Boyd leaving didn't change the sound all that much (at least to my ears.)
    But would that have been the case if Boyd hadn’t deteriorated (wrist issues) + all the other stuff.

    If there was a competent fiddle player in the band from ‘09-‘16; I think they’d have retained a lot of their sound, even post Roi’s death.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 10:03 PM   #500
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    Hard disagree on the bold. Almost everything has lost an edge and authenticity in its “DMBness” without the violin. The songs you mentioned are the ones that are truly suffering-to-bad without it (you missed Billies and Pig in there too). Most of the catalog doesn’t sound bad - in fact, some of them sound great musically. But it’s not “DMB” sounding, if that makes any sense.

    As far as Boyd - yes, he was definitely awful at a LOT of shows. But he had some where he was on, and he had eras where he was good. And SL knew how to get a great studio sound from him. So to say he never brought violin to the band is simply not a true or fair statement.

    I’d love the band to add a competent, and generally morally abiding, fiddle player. I’d be far more likely to travel to see them or see multiple shows. Without one, it’s barely DMB, they sound nothing like the band that I fell in love with, and I have much less of an interest in their live act as it is.
    I think Tripping Billies is VASTLY improved with Jeff taking the solo instead, and while Pig sounds a bit empty without the violin, I'd take what we have now over getting excited for Pig only to hear him butcher the hell out of it.

    That's the thing though. Studio wise? Violin sounds great and adds a great layer to all of the songs. But like you say, Lillywhite was the only one who was able to get that out of him, and even he has said that doing so was incredibly difficult because Boyd had so many takes that were downright awful. He was awful at A LOT of shows, was said to be awful a lot in the studio. The argument of "when he was on point, they sounded GREAT!" isn't a very good one when he wasn't on point 95% of the time.

    You and a lot of others say you wish they would add a violin player back in, but I'm fairly certain that if they did, everyone would despise it because it would come off sounding either like a hollow imitation of the band OR would be so clean and precise that it would sound too clinical/rehearsed and gain the same complaints as the canned horn sections.

    Look back at the threads here about the best/favorite Boyd solos. The top ones are usually LIOG from Chicago (which was butchered horribly at the show and re-recorded for the release), Blue Water (usually the one with Warren Haynes, which isn't necessarily because of Boyds contributions, though Blue Water is arguably his best solo song), a studio version like Billies or The Stone (which was predominantly Kronos Quartet), or a solo where he plucked (which I think is REALLY what everyone is missing the most). Yea, he was an important part of the band, and was quite good in the early days, but it seems like as soon as the band hit it big, he checked out and stopped playing at the same level.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 10:10 PM   #501
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    I think Tripping Billies is VASTLY improved with Jeff taking the solo instead, and while Pig sounds a bit empty without the violin, I'd take what we have now over getting excited for Pig only to hear him butcher the hell out of it.

    That's the thing though. Studio wise? Violin sounds great and adds a great layer to all of the songs. But like you say, Lillywhite was the only one who was able to get that out of him, and even he has said that doing so was incredibly difficult because Boyd had so many takes that were downright awful. He was awful at A LOT of shows, was said to be awful a lot in the studio. The argument of "when he was on point, they sounded GREAT!" isn't a very good one when he wasn't on point 95% of the time.

    You and a lot of others say you wish they would add a violin player back in, but I'm fairly certain that if they did, everyone would despise it because it would come off sounding either like a hollow imitation of the band OR would be so clean and precise that it would sound too clinical/rehearsed and gain the same complaints as the canned horn sections.

    Look back at the threads here about the best/favorite Boyd solos. The top ones are usually LIOG from Chicago (which was butchered horribly at the show and re-recorded for the release), Blue Water (usually the one with Warren Haynes, which isn't necessarily because of Boyds contributions, though Blue Water is arguably his best solo song), a studio version like Billies or The Stone (which was predominantly Kronos Quartet), or a solo where he plucked (which I think is REALLY what everyone is missing the most). Yea, he was an important part of the band, and was quite good in the early days, but it seems like as soon as the band hit it big, he checked out and stopped playing at the same level.
    I agree with all of this and am loving this year specifically because Buddy is comping a lot of the parts I miss from Boyd in shows. This years Grey Street has his violin fill in it at the end, which is awesome cause with the third verse back, it feels like an older show again.

    I know I am in the minority on this, but I love Buddy and love the band these days. Can't wait to hear the new album with him fully integrated on it.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 10:36 PM   #502
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    Billies with sax is good

    It is absolutely not better than with violin.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 10:45 PM   #503
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    When was the last truly great Billies with Boyd? Early 2000s, maybe? I'm not saying it was terrible for twenty years, but as the solo started getting longer and Boyd started getting worse through the 2000s, the song definitely declined.

    Now if we're talking in the 90s when Boyd was better and the solos were tighter, that's a different story. Current Billies certainly isn't better than those were. But it is the best the song has sounded in quite a few years.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 10:46 PM   #504
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    I do agree with the sentiment that the band is missing something that gave them their signature sound, but at the same time: that 'classic' sound we're all thinking of was Dave, Carter, Roi, Stefan, Boyd, and Tim in the studio/on a few tours. Of those, we only have Dave, Carter, Stefan, and Tim left. The two things that most set DMB apart from other bands was Roi's sax and Boyd's violin. Mostly it was the sax, which we haven't had in the same way since 2008. The violin was always regarded as the energetic violin guy who plays like its a guitar, less so as "wow that violin is amazing!"

    At the same time, if you really think about it, the band has been around for 30 years. The sound that most people are longing for hasn't really been the band's sound in about 20. Come Tomorrow and Big Whiskey are much more in line with Everyday and Stand Up than UTTAD and Crash. AFTW is sort of the outlier, but they also rarely played anything from it since its release, and that's most likely because that's not the kind of band Dave wants to be anymore.

    If you look at it from Dave's POV, he probably just wants to play music with the musicians he respects and enjoys making music with. They're a 30 year old band now. They don't have to worry about hitting the charts or getting radio play or being in pop culture. They can really do whatever the hell they want at this point because who knows how much longer they have left to do it? Their diehards are going to be there no matter what, and those who won't be there won't really be too missed. I think since the band hit it big, he's tempered that drive to do his own thing with a feeling of obligation towards his fans, constantly split between making the music he wants to make while also releasing something the fans will want too. I think LeRoi's letter probably called him out on this and challenged him to either do what he wants or do what the fans want. Big Whiskey seemed to very much be an album of Dave doing what Dave wanted to do, and we generally liked that. Everything since has come off a little bit uneven. With Come Tomorrow, I think he might have had a little bit of 'fine, let's release this shit they want' and a little bit "this is what I wanna make and hopefully you like it, but I don't care if you do because I had a good time making it." That resulted in an uneven album that we all don't like as a whole but enjoy bits and pieces of. The next album seems to be just Dave writing what he wants with the people he wants to write with and producing it with who he wants to produce it. For probably the first time since those early albums, he doesn't really have any pressure to be something he doesn't want to be and most likely doesn't have that pressure from record execs to release a certain kind of album since 'nobody's really clamoring for a new DMB album."

    You can see the line where Dave wanted to do something different and didn't fully commit to it (for whatever reason), and that's made up most of the 2000's and about 2011-2016. Since 2018, people have been saying the band is less DMB and more Dave Matthews's Band. Maybe that's a good thing. Sure, it doesn't sound exactly like DMB, but that's because it's not really the same band. It's the core of Dave, Stefan, and Carter (and Tim). That's who he's got, those are the one's he's always admired, and those are the ones he wants to make music with. I think we see the horns turning into more rehearsed canned lines because Dave probably acknowledges that eventually, Rashawn and Jeff might want to go do something else. I wouldn't be surprised if Rashawn goes his own way in the near future, especially with how disinterested he came across on the Sirius interview. Jeff might stick around, but really, in Dave's mind, it all comes down to him, Carter, and Stefan. Those are the pieces he knows he cannot lose/replace and continue touring as DMB. Everything else he's already had to replace in some way and been able to keep it all going.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 10:47 PM   #505
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    Billies last truly great great year was before high annoying trumpet came on board so 2004 for me. There’s many great versions from that summer
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    Old 07-29-2021, 10:54 PM   #506
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    I will say when sets are like this, it is so much more fun.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 11:05 PM   #507
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crashintonickdm View Post
    Billies last truly great great year was before high annoying trumpet came on board so 2004 for me. There’s many great versions from that summer
    2004 seems to be the last time the band as a whole was really firing on all cylinders
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    Old 07-29-2021, 11:17 PM   #508
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    By the end of this two night stand, I think we will fully understand if Dave "gets it" this tour or if these last two shows were just a coincidence. Those sets are dramatically better than anything we've seen lately. My fingers are crossed.
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    Old 07-29-2021, 11:17 PM   #509
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crounsa810 View Post
    2004 seems to be the last time the band as a whole was really firing on all cylinders

    They are firing on all cylinders now, people just don't like what they are
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    Old 07-29-2021, 11:21 PM   #510
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    Re: the (2021) summer so far

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    They are firing on all cylinders now, people just don't like what they are
    End of Sweet and The Ocean and The Butterfly (Two songs most people probably put as 0's or -1's) from the last show I watched really stuck out to me. It sounded as close as they could possibly get to prime 2000's DMB with Butch.
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