Watch Dave Matthews Band Bust Out ‘Long Black Veil’ With Sierra Ferrell
Ferrell accepted Matthews’ request to bring “her hauntingly beautiful voice on stage” at The Gorge on Sunday.
Dave Matthews Band closed out their 2023 Summer Tour and annual three-night Labor Day Weekend run at The Gorge last Sunday. Sierra Ferrell came out in the middle of the set to lend her “hauntingly beautiful voice” to DMB’s first “Long Black Veil” in over eight years.
Written by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin, “Long Black Veil” was originally recorded in 1959 by Lefty Frizzell. Johnny Cash, The Band, Emmylou Harris and Bruce Springsteen are among the many artists who have covered the folk song over the years.
Dave Matthews first performed “Long Black Veil” as a duet with Emmylou Harris at a 1999 tribute to Johnny Cash. A full-band version came a week later. DMB played the song regularly through 2003 and then again from 2013 to 2015. “Long Black Veil” hadn’t been performed by DMB since July 8, 2015 before Sunday night.
Sierra Ferrell was tapped along with Abraham Alexander to open on Sunday. Dave Matthews took a few moments after the seventh song of the septet’s set at their Gorge finale to introduce Ferrell. He explained he was nervous when he went up to Sierra backstage to ask her to “bring her hauntingly beautiful voice on stage.” Ferrell then came out and said “of course Dave wasn’t nervous!”
Matthews started “Long Black Veil” on lead vocals with Ferrell adding gorgeous harmonies. Sierra then took over fronting the song as the pair exchanged verses. Keyboardist Buddy Strong delivered a memorable break on piano before DMB brought “Long Black Veil” to a close.
Watch an audience-shot video of Dave Matthews Band and Sierra Ferrell performing “Long Black Veil” at The Gorge in Washington state below:
Dave Matthews Band’s Gorge finale was a 21-song affair. The main set featured just the third “Proudest Monkey” of the 43-show tour as well as the fourth “She” and sixth 2023 versions of “Corn Bread,” “Sledgehammer” and “Lover Lay Down.” Matthews took the stage by his lonesome to open the encore with “Something To Tell My Baby.” Next up was the fitting choice of “The Last Stop,” a tour debut. DMB then wrapped the show by performing fan-favorite “Halloween” for the second time this year.
Loading tour dates
Setlist (via DMBAlmanac.com)
Set: Water Into Wine [partial] » Dancing Nancies, Proudest Monkey » Satellite [fake] » Warehouse, Sweet, All You Wanted Was Tomorrow, #41, Grey Street, Long Black Veil*, She, Grace Is Gone, Corn Bread, The Ocean and the Butterfly, The Only Thing, Sledgehammer, Lover Lay Down, Don’t Drink the Water, Old Dirt Hill (Bring That Beat Back) » All Along the Watchtower » Stairway to Heaven [partial] » All Along the Watchtower [reprise]
Encore: Something to Tell My Baby, The Last Stop, Halloween
* – w/ Sierra Ferrell