Posted by: Nathan | July 7, 2006

My Dream DMB Setlist

Since I got such an overwhelming response on my previous Dave Matthews Band post, and because I know it’s such a subject of general interest–I couldn’t resist putting together my ideal setlist for a DMB concert. Okay, so I’m writing this mostly for me and also for Kyle. So what? First the setlist, then the commentary:

1. Seek Up
2. The Best of What’s Around
3. The Space Between
4. #41
5. You Never Know
6. So Right
7. Grey Street
8. Steady As We Go
9. The Song that Jane Likes
10. Warehouse
11. Say Goodbye
12. The Stone
13. #36
14. Satellite
15. The Idea of You
16. You Might Die Trying
17. Stay
18. Tripping Billies
1. #40
2. Two Step
3. Ants Marching

Wow, what an incredible concert that would be! This setlist is not a list of my favorite DMB songs per se; instead, I used the following criteria so that it would be theoretically feasible to actually hear this setlist.

First, I read through this year’s setlists and found the largest amount of songs they’ve actually played; obviously, I’d have ’em on stage for a 48 hour period playing song after song, but they can’t do that, so I went with the 18 and 3 format that’s actually been used once this summer (sure, it was the longest setlist of the tour to date, but this is my ideal concert here, and I want ’em to PLAY!).

Second, I forced myself to use at least two (2)* songs from each studio release, including the ones I don’t like as much–this is my fairness/diversity clause. Counting six studio releases, I started with twelve songs off the bat. I also wanted to include some songs that they rarely play or aren’t on a studio release, but that was no problem because there are so many I’d want to hear that are rare or unreleased.

Third, I included at least one new song because they develop new songs on the road and because it would be exciting to hear a newbie.

Breakdown by album:
Under the Table and Dreaming: 3
Crash: 4
Before These Crowded Streets: 2
Everyday: 2
Busted Stuff: 2
Stand Up: 2
New: 1
Rare/Unreleased: 4 (“Seek Up” and “Song that Jane Likes” are both on Remember Two Things, an album I didn’t count in studio releases because it’s technically a live album).

My excessive babbling:
This setlist would be friggin’ amazing! Kick it off with a long “Seek Up,” one of my all time favs, and who wouldn’t know that this was going to be an amazing concert!? “Best” follows on its heels, then “The Space Between” to get rid of the Everday songs early. “#41” is HUGE, then the equally brilliant “You Never Know” would raise the energy just in time for “So Right.” Mm mmmm. “Grey Street” keeps it rolling, “Steady as We Go” slows it down but includes a long played-out outro featuring Moore on the sax that I don’t think the band has ever done. Pause. “Song that Jane Likes” with kickin’ violin intro.

“Warehouse” blows up, peaking the energy surge. Then, the band slows it down with “Say Goodbye,” featuring that violin counter-melody that just slays me. “The Stone” keeps things mellower but ends with a bang. As everyone pauses for breath, Dave strums the riff for “Everyday, ” but instead plays “#36,” taking everyone by surprise; this is a lengthy “#36” cf. Live at Red Rocks. “Satellite” is always a crowd-pleaser, then the band jumps into “The Idea of You,” which is the best of their new songs. All of this is to gear up for the big finale which begins with “You Might Die Trying,” which I don’t think they’ve ever played live but is the best song off Stand Up, then “Stay” sans those annoying backup singers. Just when everyone thinks the primary setlist is over, a blazing “Tripping Billies” leaves everyone screaming for more. The band goes off stage amidst wild applause.

For the encore (which will become concert legend), Dave comes out and strums “#40,” but instead of just a tease, he plays out a four-minute version. Then, the frontman and Tinsley kick off an epic “Two Step” with that patented fast-strumming. After the solos (of which there will be violin, bass, drum, then saxophone–but NO keyboard) and the amazing rapid-fire finish, the band pauses to bask in the uproarious applause. Then, Carter drops his stick on the snare in 4/4 time, and DMB finishes with my absolute favorite song, “Ants Marching, “featuring the guitar/bass duel, the ridiculous violin and sax intro, and a super extended violin solo at the end. “Lights down, you up and die…Thanks very much, y’all! Goodnight!” Then, I think I would faint from exhaustion. Actually, the band probably would too, as that’s a lot to play. It would probably take 3+ hours to do in one night, but hey, if Plato imagined a DMB setlist, this would be it.

*Don’t you hate when people write a number and then put a digit in parentheses, e.g. “sixteen (16).” Grrr. I know what the number looks like when I read them spelled out!


  1. That would be a amazing concert! I’ll ruminate and put forth my ‘dream DMB setlist.’

  2. Here goes…

    Red Rocks Amphitheater

    1. Seek Up
    2. One Sweet World (Instrumental Intro)
    3. Dreamgirl
    4. You Never Know
    5. Joyride >>>
    6. Crush
    7. #41 (w/ Tim Reynolds, Victor Wooten & Bela Fleck)
    8. Lie in Our Graves (w/ Tim Reynolds)
    9. Grey Street
    10. So Right
    11. Tripping Billies (w/ Tim Reynolds & Bela Fleck)
    12. Jimi Thing (w/ Victor Wooten)
    13. The Idea of You
    14. The Stone (Wise Men outro)
    15. Pay for What you Get
    16. Recently (Water/Wine outro)
    17. Best of What’s Around
    18. Two Step (w/ Tim Reynolds & Bela Fleck)
    E1. #40
    E2. JTR >>>
    E3. Ants Marching (w/ Tim Reynolds, Victor Wooten & Bela Fleck)

    I liked all of your parameters, even the ‘diversity’ clause. I modified it to one song per album, however, as I just wouldn’t want to hear more than one ‘Everyday’ song (I think one ‘Everyday’ song is generous enough). The breakdown is as follows:

    Remember Two Things: 3
    Under the Table and Dreaming: 4
    Crash: 4
    Before These Crowded Streets: 2
    Everyday: 1
    Busted Stuff: 2
    Stand Up: 1
    Unreleased: 3
    New: 1

    Brief virtual recap:
    What can one say after a show like this? C’est magnifique! It’s a mellower show, with some phat jam sessions on Seek Up, #41, LIOG, Billies, Jimi Thing, Two Step, and Ants. Highlights include the instrumental opener to One Sweet World, a 22 min. #41, a #36 interpolation into LIOG, Tim & Bela ripping it up on Billies & Two Step, a PHAT Victor Wooten solo on Jimi Thing, a gorgeous LeRoi solo on PFWYG (cf. our MN show), a 2 min. #40, and the Ants to end all Ants’. Carter opens with the trademark snare hits, Victor and Stefan go dueling basses, Tim and Bela go dueling ‘banjos,’ and Dave brings it all back 5 min. later to kick the song off. After some tinkering from everybody (c. 10 min.), the show closes with a roar.

    Oh man! One can only dream.

  3. Man, you had the guest stars and everything! I should’ve thought of that… I think the biggest surprise of your setlist was the presence of “Dreamgirl” as the only song off Stand Up. Really, our setlists are pretty similar. Yours probably has more quality songs though due to my larger diversity clause.

  4. dreamgirl sucks… stand up is a sub par cd… i cant understand some of your guys’ decisions…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: