Dave Matthews Band Caravan Chicago: Day Three
July 8th - July 10th
Words By Andrew Veerman
Photos By Jay Miller (Gaian Eye Photography)
I was at the gates this morning as they let people in to the festival. Like Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving, they came charging out of the turnstyle, headed to stake their spot at the main stage early. The veterans calmly walked in; they were in no rush because they have already had two days of this.
The first band I was to see today was Jeff Coffin Mu'Tet on the Slip Stage. Their heavy horn sound carried over the light crowd that was building. The music seemed like something meant for the Chicago blues scene. With beautiful instrumentals, this band stood out and represented blues at this festival.
I walked over to the South Work Stage to catch the Wailers show. This being my second time hearing the Wailers, I was very impressed. They seem to bring the same atmosphere with them every time they play. Their classic reggae sound was well received by the audience as both the band and audience sang through the Wailers famous songs of “Three Little Birds”, “I Shot the Sheriff”, and many more.
Before the Wailers were completely done I headed over to the Jayhawks on the Lakeside Stage. This band played with a well-tuned rock sound that other bands at this festival toyed with, but the Jayhawks hit the nail on the head. With a slight country music influence evident in their love songs, they held their own great moving sound through it all.
I kept moving to catch Emmylou Harris at the Slip Stage. Dave Matthews himself took stage to introduce Harris as one of his favorite performers of all time. Emmylou’s smooth country rhythms brought a relaxed mood to the stage. Harris joked that she had to make up stories of heartache and pain for her songs because she had such a normal childhood, which got a great laugh from the crowd.
Gomez was now taking the South Work Stage. They favor soft rock melodies with heavy hitting hard rock choruses. Every time the drums and guitar switched to a harder rhythm, you could see everyone in the audience follow suit and start moving. With their sound it is easy to see why they take the same stage as Dave Matthews Band.
I worked my way to the Lakeside Stage to see the Mariachi El Bronx sound check. As the band took stage, all of them wearing matching outfits, they were obviously different than any band there. Their rhythm section consisted of an acoustic bass guitar and the smallest drum set I had seen all weekend. The horn and violin carried the high melody as two more guitars carried the mid melody. They all came together to produce a very beautiful Latin sound.
The Slip Stage was my next stop. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings’ soulful sound had the entire audience dancing. If James Brown is the "Godfather of Soul," Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings must be his grandchildren. Sharon has a powerful voice, and the band gave the feeling of a big band show you might see at a music award ceremony.
Next on my list to see was The Flaming Lips (Dark Side of The Moon). It was not a show so much as an experience that electrified your senses with tons of balloons, confetti, a huge screen showing images, a wide range of costumes, and a more then ecstatic Wayne Coyne (vocals) playing to the crowd. Starting off with a crash rock rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", they kicked right into the Dark Side of the Moon album with many other Wizard of Oz songs in between. When it was all, over an image of the beating heart on the projection screen got the crowd to start clapping to the beat, yelling for an encore. But the Lips had finished the album, and did an amazing job of it.
Dave Matthews Band took stage in great form like the previous nights. There was a gentle feel over the crowd. As the large group that had amassed sang song after song, a peace drew over the crowd. Dave Matthews Band Caravan brought these people something they had been asking for: a great three day rock show that ended with his emotionally charged music. I think every fan could not have been happier with all three nights of Dave. Altogether, the Caravan was an amazing festival for Chicago that satisfied avid fans of the jam scene and introduced many newcomers to some truly world-class music.
Jay Miller’s Day Three Photos
DMB Caravan Day One
DMB Caravan Day Two