Live at Radio City Music Hall

Studio Album by released in 2007

Live at Radio City Music Hall review

Longtime friends and partners

It is no secret that these musicians are freinds for a long time. Dave Matthews from South Africa, now naturalized American, and Tim Reynolds, born in Germany, met in a small town of Charlottesville in Virginia in late 1980s. Reynolds organized his band TR3 soon after that meeting and advised Matthews to do the same. That was the way Dave Matthews Band was gathered in 1991. Both projects were a success, but Reynolds, who became a famous guitarist by the moment, and Matthews, who proved to be a gifted singer-songwriter, regularly made duo gigs for the fans. They played live sets in different cities with many celebrated guests, like Santana, Bob Weir and Warren Haynes. Reynolds and Matthews can also boast of collaborations with such big names as Pearl Jam, Rolling Stones and legendary percussionists Blue Men Group. Besides, Matthews got Grammy in 2004. In April 2007 two friends made a three performance tour. The last live concert of three at New York Radio City Music Hall, having a glorious 75 year story, was released as an album this summer.

More does not mean worse

This acoustic album Live at Radio City Music Hall is pretty long - about 2 hours and a half. There are 27 tracks, but the album is no ways boring. It has so much of brilliant improvisation in Raynolds' guitar-playing and emotional nuances in Matthews' vocals that sounds fresh and unexpected from the very beginning to the end. The opening autobiographic blues Bartender by Matthews introduces the mood of the work. Like the majority of Matthews' songs it has very deep and emotional lyrics about injustice, betrayal and hope. One more wonderful thing, disclosing this theme, is Betrayal. Gravedigger, the Grammy-marked song, has a very interesting interpretiation on the disk, stripped to bare acoustics by the talented duet. Live at Radio City Music Hall has several praizeworthy covers. They are Neil Young's Down by the River, again posing Raynolds as a genious guitarist, Daniel Lanois' The Maker, and Woody Guthrie's This Land Is Your Land. Eh Hee is a rather upbeat song, curiously decorated by Matthews' rich vocals. Country sounding Don't Drink the Water is surely one of the most remarkable compositions.

Big hall for big musicians

All songs on the Live at Radio City Music Hall range from five minutes to ten, they may seem too long at first sight, but after listening to the album the ovewhealming majority of the tracks appear to be at least good. Though it should be acknowledged, that the album has a few slightly boring moments - may be due to the length of the performance. But a two-and-a-half hour long live set is a serious trial for masterity even for such distinguished musicians, as Raynolds and Matthews. In spite of rumours, circulating about their quarrel in late 1990s, friends still play wonderful gigs together, help each other in album support tours and are as good and sparkling at this work, as never before. The mere fact of recording a live rock acoustic set in a huge hall with an impressing history, full of loud events (Daytime Emmy Award, MTV Video Music Award, etc.), seems to be a daring idea. Anyway, Matthews and Raynolds managed to cope brilliantly with the implementation of their plan into life and Live at Radio City Music Hall is a doubtless evidence of their being worth to play on such a big scene.