5 Must-Watch Dave Matthews Band Performances

Songwriter and guitarist Dave Matthews has a knack for fusing rootsy songwriting and jammy energy. He launched his career in Charlottesville, Virginia in the ‘90s, with the support of bassist Stefan Lessard, violinist Boyd Tinsley, saxophonist LeRoi Moore, and virtuosic drummer Carter Beauford. The band’s live show is known for being absolutely legendary. In the same vein as freewheeling peers like Phish and moe., you never know what you’re going to get when you catch them live. Here are five one-of-a-kind Dave Matthews Band performances that were thankfully captured on camera.

Videos by American Songwriter

1. “Crash Into Me,” 1999

“Crash Into Me” is Dave Matthews’ most recognizable hit. This live recording from a 1999 concert at Continental Airlines Area in East Rutherford, New Jersey offers a fairly faithful rendition of the studio version. But watching the live performance is an electric experience. It highlights how deceptively simple the intricate, heartfelt song actually is.

2. “Halloween,” 2002

On the album Before These Crowded Streets, “Halloween” is pretty restrained. Aside from Matthews’ ominous vocal effect, it’s a fairly straightforward DMB cut. But they let loose in this 2002 live version, which opens with a three-minute drum solo from Beauford. In spite of Matthews’ use of the acoustic guitar, this is one of the darkest, most hard-rocking DMB moments ever recorded.

3. “Two Step,” 2003

At almost 20 minutes long, the performance of the six-minute Crash song, “Two Step,” is the jammiest selection here. Captured at a benefit concert held in New York City’s Central Park, it opens with warm bass noodling from Lessard, which gives way to a withdrawn vocal performance from Matthews. The band extends a moody outro while the massive crowd goes wild, pinpointing the communal energy of a great rock show.

4. “Satellite,” 2019

This 2019 performance of the song “Satellite” reinforces the Dave Matthews Band’s enduring ability to shred. The Under The Table and Dreaming hit sounds massive here, carried by boisterous saxophone and horns.

5. “Louisiana Bayou,” 2005

Virginia is right at the northern tip of the American South, but Dave Matthews is one to lean into his roots. This performance of the 2005 Stand Up cut “Louisiana Bayou” finds Matthews and his collaborators teaming up with pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph. Around the five-minute mark, he and Tinsley square off in a bluesy dueling solo that could get even the staunchest Yankee dancing.

Photo by Astrida Valigorsky/Getty Images

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