Dave also seemed keenly aware that although he may be the namesake of the band, he's only one small fraction of the ensemble. He made a point of showcasing his fellow musicians -- all seven of the other guys on stage -- and was content to literally step back and let his bandmates bask in their share of the limelight, doing so during nearly every song.
His humble persona is perhaps part of why these guys have outlasted the majority of the other funk/jazz/folk jam-bands. Despite there being eight guys onstage, there's no struggle for control; there's just a tight, cohesive understanding from each musician as to his rightful place. It's a collaboration in the most basic of forms; each part of the collective is a necessary component, and without that part, the magic would be lost.
They've also held on for all these years thanks to what amounts to an incredible showcase of talent up on that stage. Dave is backed by drummer Carter Beauford, violinist Boyd Tinsley, bassist Stefan Lessard, saxophonist Jeff Coffin, guitarist Tim Reynolds, and trumpeter Rashawn Ross, every single one of them a serious musician. Say what you want about their style, but they deserve a nod for being fantastic artists.
DMB's jazz-pop sound was anchored right into place by the surprisingly heavy crash of drum beats, courtesy of Beauford's kit. He is easily one of the most underrated drummers around right now, and his incredible percussion makes all the difference. He takes DMB from symphonic to rad, and I was stoked to see the close-ups of his foot pedal flash across the video screen in a nod to his skills.
There was also this beautiful manner in which Tinsley tore apart the strings on his violin; his lanky size and fluid mannerisms make him akin to a praying mantis playing when he's playing that instrument, and it's mesmerizing to watch.
Tinsley loses all human quality as he becomes entwined with the violin in the most graceful of ways. With his dreads swinging and his eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses, he creates some of the most zealous, exciting sounds that I've ever heard come from a violin. I was blown away.