Never one to shy away from publicly supporting a presidential candidate, and Dave Matthews campaigned in Richmond, Va. in a way only he could pull off. The Virginia Commonwealth University Siegal Center was filled with hardcore Dave fans, Obama volunteers, and maybe a few CraigsList patrons with deep pockets. Joining Mr. Matthews on stage was his long-time collaborator and good friend Tim Reynolds.
Throughout their summer tour, the Dave Matthews Band stressed the importance of voting, regardless of political affiliation. Now a resident of Seattle, Matthews recognizes that his home state of Virginia could be the difference in this election. For those that know him well, it is no surprise that his stance on the issues are in line with Barack Obama. While Matthews usually pushes issues such as health care and the environment, he made it clear that he looks forward to paying higher taxes under an Obama administration.
The relatively small venue gave him the chance to speak to the entire crowd between songs. His short phrases in funny voicesknown as DaveSpeak to the serious fanshad everyone laughing, even if we couldnt understand what he was saying. He didnt speak for long, but he got the point acrossthis is our opportunity to make a difference.
The set list was a well-balanced mix of new songs and old hits. Dont Drink the Water was a strong open, which even included a short cover of This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie. Twice Matthews allowed Reynolds to show off his skills on the guitar, including an amazing version of Stream, made popular by the bands Live at Luther College CD. Rarely played tunes such as The Dreaming Tree gave the crowd an intimate melody that could never be performed at a large venue. Crowd favorites like Two Step and Crash helped close out the regular set. After the crowd refused to leave without a little more Dave and Tim, they returned to close the night with Bob Dylans All Along The Watchtower.
It was an incredible night of music, with tasteful plugs for Barack Obama. Dave even thanked the crowd for coming out and spending their hard earned nothing on the show. If everyone campaigned like Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, people would wish campaign season were every year.