Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – Las Vegas

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds - Live in Las Vegas!Ahhh Vegas.  They really know how to throw a party out there.  Call it the entertainment capital of the world, the grown-ups’ playground, call it what you may, there’s no denying that those casinos know how to bring in an audience and have them leaving happy.  The folks at the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino are no stranger to this, as this past week the famed establishment hosted the likes of none other than Dave Matthews and his guitarist-extraordinaire friend, Tim Reynolds.  The six-string dynamic duo performed three rousing acoustic shows at Planet Hollywood’s Theatre for the Performing Arts last week. 

I think it’s safe to say most of the readers out there know who Dave Matthews is.  But some may be curious as to who this Tim Reynolds fellow is.  Tim is a long-time friend of Dave Matthews and one of the most prodigious and modest guitarists around.  He doesn’t sing.  He doesn’t do a funky little dance.  He just plays his heart out with unparalleled creativity.  These two gentlemen are their own little touring powerhouse when they hit the road.

Taking place on December 10th, 11th and 12th, Dave and Tim (fans are pretty much on a first-name basis with these guys) played to a packed house each night, somewhere in the realm of 7,000 giddy and exuberant fans.  For those not familiar with a Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds acoustic show, the first thing to take note of is that this is not to be confused with Dave Matthews Band.  Yup, same Dave, but minus the band.  You’ll just find Dave, Tim, a couple guitars and maybe the occasional piano making their home on stage in this more subdued style of performance.  Dave will periodically chime in with a story or two in between tunes, reminiscent of the VH1 Storytellers format, which is always a bonus for fans as he may explain how a song came to be or just share an unrelated life experience.  Though he’s sometimes overly apologetic to the audience for his ramblings, it’s safe to say the crowd eats this stuff up.

Onto the shows!

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds - Live in Las Vegas!

December 10

The first realization of the evening was that these shows would be some of the first to feature acoustic versions of tunes from this year’s Dave Matthews Band album, Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King.  Now depending on who you talk to, quite a few fans in attendance said the Thursday night show was the best of the three.  I thought it ran a close second, but hey, they all rocked it out.  It certainly featured some firsts, such as the inaugural concert performance of Little Red Bird, a tune off of the four-song cd of the same title that was included in the deluxe version of the Big Whiskey album.  Preceding the song was Dave’s explanation on how he achieved the inspiration for this ballad.  There is a beauty to the evening as Dave Matthews’ delivery, though sometimes a verbal fumbling, captures the audience’s attention as 7,000 people sit starry-eyed, digesting his musically informative and occasionally humorous discussions. 

But before Little Red Bird flew into the evening’s setlist, the show started off with a favorite off the Some Devil album, So Damn Lucky.  The two then made their way to the begging lyrics of Stay or Leave, which was followed up by a very much anticipated Funny the Way It Is in all its acoustic glory…and it sounded brilliant.  The evening progressed with an undeniable flow of other tunes that seemed to reach the fans’ ears with technical perfection.  If either one of those guys made an error on stage, it certainly escaped my audible grasp. 

There was a very unique highlight of the evening which was courtesy of none other that Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Dave broke into an impromptu a capella rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  Though he admittedly had difficulty with the middle of the song, it was an absolutely beautiful thing that can only be found in a show like this.  Before you knew, the audience chimed in while Santa and his Mrs. gingerly waved to the crowd around them.  If the Christmas spirit in the venue for that brief moment, then I don’t know what you would call it. 

Closing out the main setlist was a favorite from the mid-90’s; Dancing Nancies, a tune which Mr. Matthews seemed to lose sight of early on as he wrestled with the lyrics.  Whether he was purposely delaying the start of his singing (whilst the guitars played on) or he just couldn’t remember the words, it was somewhat awkward while we waited with baited breath for the lyrics to commence.  He made his recovery and closed out the song to a standing ovation.  The evening eventually came to a close with Time Bomb and a rendition of Two Step that, while toe-tapping and positively upbeat, just didn’t measure up to the energy of its Radio City counterpart.  Still, if those are my biggest negatives of the night, well, then that’s still just one damn good night of music. 

12/10/09 Setlist:

  1. So Damn Lucky
  2. Stay or Leave
  3. Funny the Way It Is
  4. Lying in the Hands of God
  5. Bartender
  6. Old Dirt Hill
  7. Crush
  8. Shake Me Like a Monkey
  9. ~Tim Reynolds solo~
  10. Little Red Bird
  11. Alligator Pie
  12. Eh Hee
  13. Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith cover)
  14. Spaceman
  15. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  16. Oh
  17. The Maker (Daniel Lanois cover)
  18. ~Tim Reynolds solo~
  19. #41
  20. Grave Digger
  21. Dancing Nancies


  1. Time Bomb
  2. Two Step

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds @ Planet Hollywood

December 11

With one show in the books, it was on to night two.  How would the sequel fair?  Dave and  Tim opened with the haunting, mid-paced and increasingly rare song, The Stone.  Overall, it was a more toned down event than its predecessor, but did feature some impressive highlights such as the highly sexual and wickedly rhythmic Cornbread in addition to Dave taking the helm on piano while covering Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush.  The rarely played #27 and I’ll Back You Up were also welcomed additions to Friday’s list of tunes. 

Love him or hate him, you have to recognize Dave Matthews for his song writing ability.  The lyrics’ flow and ambiance to I’ll Back You Up run deep with affectionate overtones that struck a chord with many an audience member.  Perhaps this song was the catalyst for a fan’s marriage proposal during the evening’s performance.  Dave caught wind of the action and after one of his tunes asked the couple, “Did everybody say yes?”  Indeed they did.  Wow.  I come for a concert and get a marriage proposal (well, not me literally).  Unfortunately, Dave’s inquiry to the acceptance was one of the few things he said that night.  Friday’s show just involved a whole lot less discussion time from Mr. Matthews and that was a bit disappointing to be honest.  Sure, we all came for a concert first and talk second, but hearing more from the singer/song writer/actor was expected.  He did mention feeling a bit ‘throaty’ that evening so perhaps he was preserving his voice for the remainder of the performance. 

The night’s festivities concluded with with an impressive and unexpected four-song encore which contained everybody’s favorite DMB ballad, Crash Into Me, along with society’s anthem, Ants Marching.  The fans begged for more and for a second I thought we were going to get yet another encore (a first to be sure!).  Unfortunately, it just became a case of the venue lights being a bit delayed in their illuminating revival of the theater’s landscape.  Ah well, a fan can dream.  Of the three nights, I rank this evening the lowest.  Maybe it was the overly-conversed people around me or maybe it was a partially tepid setlist.  Either way, this show needed a bit more punch to it.  

12/11/09 Setlist:

  1. The Stone
  2. Squirm
  3. Don’t Drink the Water
  4. Angel From Montgomery (John Prine cover)
  5. Funny the Way It Is
  6. Where Are You Going
  7. Shake Me Like a Monkey
  8. #27
  9. Little Thing
  10. ~Tim Reynolds solo~
  11. After the Gold Rush (Neil Young cover)
  12. Jimi Thing
  13. Lover Lay Down
  14. Smooth Rider
  15. ~Tim Reynolds solo~
  16. I’ll Back You Up
  17. You & Me
  18. Satellite
  19. Cornbread
  20. Save Me


  1. Rye Whiskey
  2. Down by the River (Neil Young cover)
  3. Crash Into Me
  4. Ants Marching

Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds - Live in Las Vegas!

December 12

A bittersweet night, Saturday the 12th was the last of the three shows, but something in the air told me these guys weren’t going out quietly.  No, it wasn’t the sulfuric smell reminiscent of a Savannah paper mill or the gaseous afflictions of a person (as Dave mentioned).  Something just said they were going to go 80 in a 25 zone.  Before we could get there, we hit a speed bump before we got out of the gate.  Sober fans grew somewhat impatient as we were approaching 9pm with no performers yet.  With an 8:30 scheduled start time, some began to wonder if Dave’s throatiness from the night before took its toll on his vocal chords.  In the end though, it was a case of ‘have no fear.’  The Matthews-Reynolds team made their casual but cheer-inducing entrance and the show began. 

Starting off with the primal and sometimes angry Eh Hee, the guys followed it up with what this time was to be a flawless Dancing Nancies.  Old favorites such as Loving Wings also dotted the evening with yet another marriage proposal taking place; this time a mere four rows behind me.  In between songs, Dave dedicated the next piece to his very good friend Eileen who requested the tune.  Wondering what it could be, I don’t think anyone expected Christmas Song to be just that tune, but that it was.  A gorgeous song about the true meaning of our most celebrated holiday, Christmas Song tells the tale of Mary and Joseph, their miracle-working son and his ultimate passing.  It was a special treat for all of us as this is one song that tops the rarity list. 

One of the biggest landmarks of the evening had to be Tim’s second solo of the night; an adrenalizing acoustic rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir from start to finish.  The crowd was on a musical high and stood for this entire piece.  We all just watched and listened in awe and Tim Reynolds virtually knocked our socks off with his jaw-dropping ability in manning the guitar.  This one is going to be talked about for a while.  Well done, sir.

Dave and Tim offered their thanks some five songs later before returning with the inevitable encore.  It was the second night in a row of a four-song closing effort that no one wanted to end.  Unfortunately, the show’s conclusion was unavoidable and it was just an awesome experience had by all…except for the guy in the next row over who wanted to knock out the guy in front of him for not knowing how to dance properly.  Cool!  That’s something worth going to jail over. 

Anyway, testosterone overdose aside, the night for me was the most memorable of the three evenings.  From Dave’s stories of incessant vomiting and pirates clad in shiny red pants, to Tim Reynolds’ cover of Kashmir, to the impressively varied music that night, December 12th‘s performance was something I can walk away from saying, “I could have paid double and still got my money’s worth.”  Okay Ticketmaster, don’t go getting any ideas from that comment. It’s just a figure of speech. 

You can expect a CD release of the weekend, but there are no details at this time if it will be a best of the three shows, all three shows in their entirety or just a best night of the three.  No official word has been released on a concert Blu-ray yet, but with multiple cameras there, I wouldn’t think they were just filming for fun.

As for the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino, please do yourself a favor and check out this stylish and happening locale.  The concerts couldn’t have fallen into a more hip environment, surrounded by the Miracle Mile Shops and one very chic, trendsetting casino. 

12/12/09 Setlist:

  1. Eh Hee
  2. Dancing Nancies
  3. Squirm
  4. Grace is Gone
  5. Alligator Pie
  6. One Sweet World
  7. Loving Wings
  8. Grey Street
  9. ~Tim Reynolds solo~
  10. Oh
  11. Christmas Song
  12. Funny the Way It Is
  13. Stay or Leave
  14. Shake Me Like a Monkey
  15. Lying in the Hands of God
  16. Bartender
  17. ~Tim Reynolds solo (Kashmir)~
  18. So Damn Lucky
  19. Little Red Bird
  20. Save Me
  21. You & Me
  22. Crush


  1. Some Devil
  2. Typical Situation
  3. Sister
  4. Two Step


For more information on the Dave Matthews, Tim Reynolds or the Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino, please visit the following links…


The Official Dave Matthews Band website:

Dave Matthews Band



The Warehouse, the Official DMB fan club:




The Official Tim Reynolds website:

Tim Reynolds



Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino:

Planet Hollywood - Las Vegas



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7 Responses to “Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – Las Vegas”

  1. Brian White

    Despite not being a huge Dave Matthews fan myself I can appreciate the level of enthusiasm and detail you put into the above review. It’s exactly the level of care and thought I would have put into a concert review that I am passionate about. I guess what I am trying to say is what a kick-a#$ review Gregg!

    While spending time in Vegas this weekend I got to witness all the happy faces that walked out of the show each night in Planet Hollywood. It truly must have been something special to behold, be a fan of and also partake in.

    Hope this comes out on Blu-ray for you! Maybe you will see yourself in it. How cool would that be?

  2. Chastity Lapiratanagool

    Thanks for the memories Gregg! Your recollection of the 3rd show was impeccable…almost like I was there once again. Its always a great pleasure to see Dave & Tim work their magic!

  3. Jeremiah Blue

    Great Show~ Fantastic Review

    Here is a video of Santa and Dave

    “Its cold here…and now we know why. Santa Claus is getting his freak on”


  4. Cory Johnson

    Solid review but you failed to mention how much tighter the sound was on Friday vs. Thursday. It was if they spent the entire day hold up in a hotel suite practicing. Amazing…but I won’t flame you too much. Peace.

  5. Lewis Cooper


    That was one of the best concert reviews I’ve ever read, incredibly detailed and well written, all it lack is some kick ass photos and thats were I can help, I shot night 1 for the Denver Post and put some of these shots on my concert photography website, see http://www.gonzoshots.com, there is a link there to the 200+ photos that cans can download for free from my Flickr site. I was not at Friday’s show but being a musician myself I find it hard to belive that Friday was that much tigher of a perfromance than Thursday, these guys can read ech othes minds and the music they make is second to none.

    Thanks for the great review, I will set a link back to your story from my site.


  6. Stephanie

    I will have to disagree with you about Friday’s show. Tepid setlist? I got to hear some of my favorites such as I’ll Back You Up and my personal favorite from this past summer, Rye Whiskey. I thought Dave, even for being “throaty” had just enough “Dave speak”. I thought his pointing out of the particularly rowdy fan was hysterical, saying, “I feel sorry for whoever has to sit next to that guy.” And the one gentleman being escorted out by security was even better. I’ve been to over 25 DMB shows and Friday night was by far the most memorable and amazing time of my life.

  7. Gregg

    Lewis, thanks for the comments! I appreciate it. Your photos are brilliant and truly captured the essence of the moment!

    We can agree to disagree but ‘tepid’ is along the lines of luke warm and those aren’t fast songs that you mentioned. Don’t get me wrong, I love those tunes but I felt there were too many slow ones that evening. As for his discussion time that night, the fact of the matter is it paled in comparison to the other two nights as far as quantity goes. He did not talk nearly as much as he did on Saturday or Thursday.