Obama Rock 

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds at the Siegel Center.

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It's no surprise that tickets to a free Dave Matthews show in Richmond were snatched up in just a few hours, a handful of which ended up on Craigslist for a whopping $300 each. It's likely, however, that even those paying top-notch prices left fully satisfied after Matthews and longtime friend Tim Reynolds knocked out a handful of hits for nearly three hours.

Launching into “Don't Drink the Water,” the duo laid down fierce finger picking while ominous red lights bled over a stool-seated Matthews unearthing his smoky vocals. With exchanged laughs and a lighter theme, “Proudest Monkey” strutted along, prompting head bops and a few twirls from the floor fans before the first notes of old favorite “Satellite” filled the Siegel Center.

While Matthews took a breather offstage, virtuoso Reynolds enthralled the crowd with his mesmerizing guitar skills. Upon his return, Matthews pulled the set back to darker territory with a searing rendition of  the growly “Gravedigger,” eventually making his way back around to the crowd pleasers “Crash Into Me” and “Ants Marching,” which began the close of the evening. A charging cover of “All Along the Watchtower” and a message to get out and vote rounded out the chock-full performance. 

Billed as the “Last Chance for Change,” the concert drew a crowd that seemed predominantly pro-Obama and ranged from parents with small kids to fiery college students voting for the first time. There were, of course, a few folks who just wanted to see Matthews regardless of political preference, and those who squeaked out a brief “boooo” amidst a sea of “Change We Can Believe” in T-shirts.

Surprisingly, however, the talk of politics was limited as Matthews admitted from the stage that it made him ramble ridiculously in strange voices in which he flailed his arms and squealed in a high-pitched girly voice. But we all knew why we were there. One of the recurring jokes of the evening found Matthews saying he looked forward to being taxed heavily as someone who is well-compensated for something he loves to do. Regardless of your preference, you have to admit it was amusing. That same sense of levity surrounded all talk of the impending election and allowed the music to remain center stage.



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