Lewis C. from FRANKLIN, TN Reviewed on 3/26/2008...
Back to the basics for Live in Chicago
Kevin Cohn | New York, NY USA | 10/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dave Matthews Band's third complete live recording made commerically available (following 1997's Live at Red Rocks and 1999's Listener Supported) falls somewhere between the two. While Red Rocks is considered by many to be one of the band's finer performances ever, Live in Chicago doesn't fall too short. Including a couple of concert rarities (The Last Stop, The Maker, Christmas Song), some amazing guest musicians (Victor Wooten, Tim Reynolds, Maceo Parker), and a good mix of songs (all of the band's studio albums pre-Everyday are represented), it makes for a great live disc. One can argue, however, that the sound quality is not as high as that of Listener Supported (at times the mix seems a little off), and the argument can always be made that, "We've heard Watchtower enough now." Regardless, I'd still recommend this album to anyone interested in hearing what Dave Matthews Band sounds like live. This is raw and pure live Dave Matthews Band."
Possibly DMB's finest live release
Music Fan | Salt Lake City, ut | 10/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The amazing thing about Dave Matthews Band is the fact that they can release the number of live albums that they do, without saturating their fanbase with too many concert albums. DMB only has four studio albums (five if you include the fabulous unreleased "Lillywhite Sessions") while now having three two-disc concert albums available (their first ablum, Remember Two Things, is somewhat of a hybrid of live performances and in-studio tracks). Three live albums is alot for a band with only four studio albums, but that's just the thing - DMB can do this because they - and their fans - know that the live shows are where it's at.
When looking over the track listing for Live In Chicago, you might think that it's not worth the price since several tracks appear on one or both of DMB's previous live albums. While this is a sensible concern, I advise you to disregard it. First of all, as most DMB concertgoers know, each show is different; no two versions of any given song are identical. Secondly, the songs on this album are simply played better than on previous releases. Songs like "Don't Drink the Water," "#41," "Rapunzel," and "Stay" all are included on Listener Supported, but are not performed nearly as well on that disc as on this one. "Rapunzel" is played at its proper tempo on Live in Chicago, unlike on Listener Supported where it is slowed down to a snail's crawl for some reason. "Stay" is performed on Live in Chicago without the Lovely Ladies (the band's backup singers that frequently perform live with them), and so Dave is left to handle what is normally a five-part vocal all by himself....and he nails it beautifully. If you're not a fan of the backup vocalists that play with DMB, this is the show for you.
It's important to remember that Listener Supported, by DMB standards, is a rather lackluster show. The only reason it was even released is because PBS (the network that broadcast the show in its entirety in a televised special) intended to release it with or without the band's approval, so the band decided to jsut go along with it rather than fight it. live in Chicago, however, is a band-selected performance that shines throughout. This is the first live effort to include the song "The Last Stop," and to hear this performance of this song is worth the price of the disc alone. It also has the rarely played and previously unreleased "The Maker." Do yourself a favor and buy this album. You WILL NOT REGRET IT!!!"
DMB: Back to Basics
Shilo Nottinghorse | Sacramento, CA | 10/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With many people cringing at the release of Everyday (I am not one of those people), and its subsequent "pop-like" feel, the release of Live in Chicago gets us back to old school DMB. With more than 4 songs topping the 9 minute barrier, this is Dave and Co. at their best: jamming. Though there are songs on this album that have been released live before, the mixing job by John Alagia brings something new to these tracks. For example, Stefan's bass is more prominent on these songs, giving them a tight feel. Also, the entire set has Tim Reynolds playing, who always makes the songs that much better. Add that to special appearences by Maceo Parker, Victor Wooten, and Mitch Rutman, and you have the makings of a special set.I have had this show on cd for a couple of years (due to trading of course), and when I listened to the new cd it sounds like a completely different set (especially on Lie In Our Graves, where Boyd's violin playing gets incredibly subtle; this is not apparent on the pre-mixed version of the show). There are some great gems on this disc, most notably The Last Stop, The Maker (which is an incredible song by Daniel Lanois that Dave covers beautifully), and Lie in Our Graves. All in all, a great live cd that we have come to expect from DMB, and I recommend it to all, davehead or not. You just have to appreciate brilliant musicians to appreciate the show. (Hopefully the next live release will have some Lillywhite Sessions on it, because I am sure the entire Dave community is anxious for that)."
The best live release by the Dave Matthews Band
Michael W. Brindley | Keene, NH United States | 10/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recently, I have been listening to a lot of other music besides DMB. The release of Everyday really didn't please me, and I thought the band was headed in a really bad direction. While this still may be true, the release of "Live In Chicago 12.19.98" has brought DMB back up to being one of my favorite bands. This album is right up there with Red Rocks in terms of energy, setlist, and special guests. The energy is just incredible. With a Last Stop opener, you know the show is gonna be rockin. And with songs like #41, Lie In Our Graves, What Would You Say, Rapunzel, Jimi Thing, So Much To Say...how could anyone complain? While this album may have some repeats from Listener Supported, there is one major difference: TIM REYNOLDS. This man controls the entire show with his extremely unique style of guitar playing. His solos on Lie In Our Graves, Jimi Thing, and Watchtower are worth the price of the album alone. Also guesting are Victor Wooten and Maceo Parker, along with Mitch Rutman on The Maker, a song which makes its official debut on this album. All in all, I would say this is a must have. A live album capturing DMB in its prime."