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Grace Notes - Dave and Tim, 2.17.1997 Paramount Theatre

Updated: Feb 16

When it comes to the quintessential Dave and Tim releases, Live at Luther College and Live at Radio City immediately come to mind. One recording broke the duo onto the scene as a formidable acoustic partnership, while the other includes performances that are still the focus of Youtube review videos to this very day.

However, before either one of those concerts were officially released, Dave Matthews Band fans who didn't have the pleasure of seeing a rare Dave and Tim live performance, were trading bootlegs of the duo. One of the most popular of those was a recording of Dave and Tim from February 17, 1997 at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado.

The reason for the popularity of this release was obvious, not only are the performances both powerful and beautiful, Dave was feeling rather frisky with his various stories and comments to the audience (an all-timer when it comes to Davespeak). It's a perfect time capsule of where the singer-songwriter and his longtime collaborator were musically in the mid-1990s.

Since then, various Dave and Tim recordings have been officially released, whether through DMBLive, Live Trax, or other means. However, this newly remastered version, pulled directly from the soundboard source, and painstakingly worked on for months to perfect, is now worthy of status alongside Live at Luther College and Live at Radio City. The sound clarity here is unlike anything you have heard, both through Dave's vocals and the pair's exquisite playing. You feel as if you are gently tucked inside Dave's Lakewood guitar, hearing the music exactly as it was performed. Our crew did some simply phenomenal work on this DMB Remaster, and I have full confidence that you will agree.

But enough talking about it, let's take a listen!

Still basking in the glow of the commercial success of 1996's Crash, Dave and Tim now boasted a repertoire of music that included tracks from DMB's first three albums, along with Tim originals and songs that Dave was still working on (some of which would find new life on 1998's Before These Crowded Streets).

Starting with the pair making their way to the stage and getting settled in for a night of unforgettable music, Dave mentioned how much he loved being in Denver, the "home to one of his heroes." A reference to John Denver, who would sadly pass away in a plane crash later that year.

Dave and Tim open the evening with a roaring rendition of "Lie In Our Graves." Always a crowd pleaser in any setting, LIOG injects energy into a crowd already teeming with excitement to be there. However, that level of enthusiasm did not always sit well with Dave, particularly in more intimate settings, as he recommends the audience enjoy the show in the comfort of their chairs, instead of standing and blocking the view of others. (To be fair, as you listen to this show, it's hard to imagine modern crowds constantly screaming and yelling at Dave while he is trying to tell a story, no wonder he was a little on edge).

As "#41" rolls around, listen to the voice clarity of Dave in this remaster. Then do a comparison with Live at Luther College. It's a stark difference and one that I picked up on immediately.

The playing on "Dancing Nancies" is what brought me head over heels into this remaster. Throw on some headphones for this one, as both Dave's singing, their interplay together, and Tim's fills and riffs make you feel as if you're physically inside the music.

The duo perform a beautiful version of "Let You Down," when it was still in their rotation, with Tim offering some cool effects throughout, and Dave including a "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" outro.

"Say Goodbye" is a fairly straight forward version, while "Too Much" provides a certain level of funk to the show. Tim has a neat breakdown that adds a twist to the Crash classic, Dave scats, and even throws in a nod to Bowie with lyrics from "Golden Years" and "Fame."

"Two Step" is another gem, and yet again shows the power of this remaster. The isolation provided to both Dave and Tim's guitars as they play the haunting intro is a real treat.

Here's where Tim performs a solo of his original "Letting Go." Using various pedals, slides, and complex rhythms, the song sounds as if an entire string group is performing at once, but we know that's simply Timmy.

A rambunctious "So Much To Say" ramps up the energy and is followed by "Jimi Thing." Two solid performances, but the beloved "What Will Become of Me" outro to "Jimi Thing" is worth a listen. Forming the basis for "Pantala Naga Pampa", it's fun to hear how that tiny tune was created from this.

By now Dave is thoroughly fed up with some audience members who continue to be an annoyance, going so far to tell one man to "shut the f&*% up."

Thankfully they settle down for an excellent rendition of "Proudest Monkey," with an intricate Tim solo complete with his use of various pedals and distortions.

This "Satellite" is more well known for the Davespeak that followed it than the music itself. Here Dave talks about neuticles (artificial testicles for dogs) and questions why they are needed in the first place. It's classic Davespeak and acts as a comedic relief to the barnburner show.

Nothing like following a fireside chat about fake dog genitals than a lovely version of "Lover Lay Down."

Next comes a heartfelt "Leave Me Praying," the tune that would develop into "Don't Drink the Water." The lyrics here are interesting, given it was only the fourth time played live, however you can tell Dave knew what the general theme of the song would be very early on.

Dave tries to play "The Song That Jane Likes," but breaks a string midway through and gives up. That brings about one of the largest roars of the night for "Crash Into Me," not surprising given the song's popularity then on mainstream radio.

The setlist continues with another love song, this one the painful "I'll Back You Up," where Dave explains the origins of the tune. He fills the crowd in on a former lover that famously turned him down three times when asked to marry him (surely a shocking tale for many women in attendance).

A stirring "Minarets" follows, raising the energy level as we head into the homestretch of this wonderful show.

The possible star of the evening is next, the incredibly rare "Dream I Killed God," which was only played on this Dave and Tim Winter Tour. Due to the original source material and the excellent remaster, Dave's lyrics are crystal clear. Coupled with the tone of Dave's playing, passionate singing, the shrills, slides, and keynotes from Tim filling in the background, the song's dark theme is on full display here. It's a moving ballad for obvious reasons and absolutely a must listen.

As Jamie mentioned in his remaster notes, the final three songs of the evening were not on the original source material. But I think it provides an excellent example of how magnificent this remaster is. While this is an audience recording of Tripping Billies, Ants Marching, and Warehouse, listen to the difference between this DMB Remaster and the tape. Complete night and day.

Altogether the remaster fully restores this concert from the 1997 Dave and Tim tour and turns it into an instant classic, worthy of shelf space among any of their other releases. You owe it to yourself to give this show a listen.

Note: Grace Notes is our place for passionate comments on some of the great DMB shows that we remaster. If you want to be a writer, contact us at

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Feb 15
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Holy crap Jamie and team, WELL DONE on this remaster!!! Legitimately feel like Dave and Tim's guitar are jumping out of my headphones/speakers. I can just feel and hear the amount of love and attention that was given to this mix. DMB should just give you the job at this point, it's absurd that we are able to enjoy content of this caliber for free. Yet another example of how much we appreciate all you guys do. This latest release KICKS ASS!!!!!

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