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The Boston Globe

Music

Music Review

A subdued Dave Matthews still delivers healthy variety

MANSFIELD — Dave Matthews has been more animated, and he’s been gabbier between songs. One of the only times he took the microphone in a non-singing capacity on Saturday was to announce that he had a frog in his throat. It seemed that on the sold-out first night of two at the Comcast Center, Matthews was feeling under the weather. Maybe that’s why he took the stage 15 minutes later than he was scheduled to.

That meant that the Dave Matthews Band only played for a scant two hours and 40 minutes, and while plenty of songs pushed or exceeded the 10-minute mark, the emphasis was indeed largely on songs, rather than extended jams. Not that he chose to forgo the latter. “Drunken Soldier” was supple and bombastic all at once, even before shifting to a spacey groove (echoed by cosmic video imagery) crossing the Grateful Dead with Pink Floyd. The closing “Two Step” incorporated a quasi-Spanish bass solo, barrages of spat-out electric-guitar notes and noise and a drum solo while building in dark intensity for 20 minutes.

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