Opening Night | Dave Matthews Band Acoustic Electric Tour

Last night the Dave Matthews Band began their annual, extensive summer tour at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Woodlands, TX; but this year there’s an interesting twist to the shows. Besides a 2010 TV taping, the DMB have presented their performances in a one-set format since New Year’s Eve 1996. This summer, the group is presenting shows in a two-set format, with the first set performed acoustic featuring various configurations of the band and the second in the regular electric style.

[Photo by @LiveNationHOU]

As expected, birthday boy Boyd Tinsley was on hand for the tour opener despite his recent surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Fans at the Houston area venue were treated to an acoustic first set that featured a pair of songs DMB hadn’t performed in at least 100 shows. Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds took the stage first for “Bartender” before drummer Carter Beauford utilized a stripped-down kit to join the pair for “Stay Or Leave.” Next up was the first of four covers presented on Friday night -Beauford, Matthews, Reynolds and bassist Stefan Lessard’s take on “Take Me To Tomorrow” by John Denver. For the “Satellite” that followed, and the rest of the set, the entire band came aboard to close out the 10-song acoustic set. The evening’s biggest surprise was a performance of “Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd” off 2005’s Stand Up, which had been on the shelf since August 30, 2008 -a span of 409 shows. Later in the acoustic set, the DMB dusted off “Minarets” for the first time in 100 shows. The DMB also covered Rodriguez’s “Sugar Man,” which they debuted in South Africa last November, as the penultimate song of the acoustic performance.

The 12-song electric second set saw the Dave Matthews Band focus more on tour staples such as “Seek Up,” “One Sweet World,” “Grey Street,” “Don’t Drink The Water” and “#41.” In fact, “Seven,” “If Only” and “Belly Belly Nice” were the only songs performed in the second set that were debuted after 2001. A two-song encore of “The Space Between” and “All Along The Watchtower” brought the show to a close. Dave and his band continue their tour tonight at the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas.

Watch fan-shot footage of the acoustic “Minarets” thanks to Chad Jones:

Check out the setlist from last night’s tour opener:

Set One (Acoustic): Bartender*, Stay Or Leave**, Take Me To Tomorrow***, Satellite, Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd, Tripping Billies, #27, Minarets, Sugar Man, Two Step

Set Two (Electric): Big Eyed Fish > Seek Up, Seven, So Right, One Sweet World, Grey Street, If Only, Don’t Drink The Water, Belly Belly Nice, #41, Pantala Naga Pampa > Rapunzel

Encore: The Space Between, All Along The Watchtower

* -Dave & Tim
** -Dave, Tim & Carter
*** -Dave, Tim, Carter & Stefan

[Setlist via @DMBTrivia]