Dave Matthews Band Debuts Beatles + Sly & The Family Stone Covers At The Gorge

Watch highlights from an evening that featured guest appearances from Robert Randolph, Tony Hall and others.

By Scott Bernstein Sep 5, 2021 9:45 am PDT

Dave Matthews Band continued a three-night stand at The Gorge in Washington state on Saturday without co-founding members drummer Carter Beauford and bassist Stefan Lessard who each tested positive for COVID-19. Fans were treated to performances featuring multiple configurations of the group and special guests including bassist Tony Hall and Robert Randolph & The Family Band for a concert that included debut covers of Sly & The Family Stone’s “I Want To Take You Higher” and “Come Together” by The Beatles.

Once again, the show started with Dave Matthews performing a series of songs solo. Dave opened with “The Best Of What’s Around” and then served up three tour debuts. Matthews’ take on the Pete Seeger-popularized “Rye Whiskey” was followed by “Mercy” and Neil Young’s “The Needle & The Damage Done.” Dave mentioned “Mercy” has a message that has “become more reasonable” since he first wrote it and called “The Needle & The Damage Done” one of the best songs ever written as he spoke about his friendship with Neil Young. “He’s too good to be true and he doesn’t take shit from anyone,” Matthews told the crowd.

Next, Tim Reynolds came out to duet with Dave Matthews on “Don’t Drink The Water,” “Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin),” “The Stone” and “Corn Bread” before keyboardist Buddy Strong emerged to augment the pair of “Grace Is Gone.” From there, the remaining DMB members who were on hand at The Gorge — saxophonist Jeff Coffin and trumpeter Rashawn Ross — added to special five-piece arrangements of classics “Proudest Monkey” and “Satellite.”

Bassist Tony Hall and keyboardist Elijah Pigg were the evening’s first special guests. Hall is a member of Dumpstaphunk who played bass in Dave Matthews & Friends from 2003 – 2006, while Elijah is Buddy’s keyboard tech. Strong hopped behind the kit as the seven musicians performed “You Might Die Trying,” “Crash Into Me,” “#41” and DMB’s “Come Together” debut.

Robert Randolph was on hand for an opening set from Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Randolph teamed with Dave, Buddy, Jeff, Rashawn, Tim and Tony for “Louisiana Bayou” off DMB’s Stand Up LP. The main set concluded with the sacred steel specialist’s Family Band mates joining the fray for a rousing “I Want To Take You Higher.” Dave and Tim ended the night by performing “Oh” and “All Along The Watchtower” as the encore. Matthews and company finish their three nights at The Gorge tonight.

Watch fan-shot videos from last night’s show captured by Mitch Wight below:


Mitch Wight (See 13 videos)
Dave Matthews (See 66 videos)

The Needle & The Damage Done

Mitch Wight (See 13 videos)
Dave Matthews (See 66 videos)

Come Together

Mitch Wight (See 13 videos)
Dave Matthews Band (See 929 videos) and Tony Hall (See 25 videos)

I Want To Take You Higher

Mitch Wight (See 13 videos)
Dave Matthews Band (See 929 videos) , Tony Hall (See 25 videos) and Robert Randolph & The Family Band (See 29 videos)

Setlist (via DMB Almanac)

Set: The Best Of What’s Around*, Rye Whiskey*, Mercy*, The Needle & The Damage Done*, Don’t Drink The Water**, Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)**, The Stone**, Corn Bread**, Grace Is Gone***, Proudest Monkey^ > Satellite^, You Might Die Trying^^, Lying In The Hands Of God^^, Crash Into Me^^, #41^^, Come Together^^, Louisiana Bayou&, I Want To Take You Higher&&

Encore: Oh**, All Along The Watchtower**

  • * – Dave Solo
  • ** – Dave & Tim
  • *** – Dave, Tim & Buddy
  • ^ – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff & Rashawn
  • ^^ – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff, Rashawn, Elijah Pigg & Tony Hall
  • & – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff, Rashawn, Tony Hall & Robert Randolph
  • && – Dave, Tim, Buddy, Jeff, Rashawn, Tony Hall, Robert Randolph, Lenesha Randolph, Marcus Randolph, Ray Ray Randolph & Steve Ray Ladson
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