Dave Matthews Band Rocks Bangor, Despite Rain Delay
Thousands donned ponchos and waited in long lines, despite the rain, for an opportunity to hear 90s music icons the Dave Matthews Band rock the Bangor Waterfront Friday night.
The doors were originally scheduled to open at 6:30 PM, with the band taking the stage at 7:30, but a thunderstorm rolled through Bangor at exactly that time, causing the Maine Savings Amphitheater to hold off opening the doors, for safety's sake. It wasn't until 8:15 PM that people were finally let inside, leaving concert-goers literally left standing out in the rain.
But no one seemed to mind. The weather did not damper the mood of those in line to get in. Everyone was excited, regardless of how long the line was. And it was long!
People waiting to get into the Northeast Entrance were stacked from the front of the Amphitheater all the way down the waterfront to past the SeaDog and under Joshua Chamberlin Bridge.
Folks lined both directions of Main St. to get into the Northwest entrance.
For a number of people, this marked their first time in the new Maine Savings Amphitheater since they finished up some of the projects from the last couple of years, like the VIP skyboxes...
...and the new lounge areas.
The staff at the Maine Savings Amphitheater did a great job ushering folk in, once the doors opened, and people got primed to welcome the band, taking advantage of the new bathroom areas...
...and grabbing drinks at some of the newer beer tent spots that are now open.
And then, at just about 8:40, the band took the stage.
And Bangor greeted the rockers with open arms.
Matthews and the band seemed humbled and relieved that the rain delay hadn't washed the crowd's enthusiasm away.
They kicked the concert off with "Pig" and then went right through a setlist that included some old and some new songs, with very little chit-chat in between.
It's like they figured the crowd had waited long enough, and they were going to give them what they wanted.
The band was tight, playing only as a group of musicians who had been doing this together, for a long while, could. Alongside three of the founding members--Dave Matthews, Carter Beauford (drums) and Stefan Lessard (bass), the band was joined by musical phenoms Buddy Strong (keyboards) Rashawn Ross (trumpet) and former Mainer Jeff Coffin (saxaphone). A man Matthews has toured extensively with in the past, guitar vituoso Tim Reynolds brought the band together for a power house performance.
Matthews and long-time drummer Carter Beuaford would fist-bump between every song.
The band finished up their regular set just before 10 PM, but came back with a great encore that consisted of a song they don't typically play before "Something To Tell My Baby" and then fan favorites "Gravedigger" and "Shake Me Like A Monkey."
Matthews thanked the crowed repeatedly for coming to join the band on such a rainy evening, "Thank you for putting up with us."
He even issued an online thank you to the Bangor, after the fact.
"The Dave Matthews Band returned to Bangor on Friday night, in support of their new album 'Walk Around the Moon', and they delivered the goods at Maine Savings Amphitheater."
It was a great show, and a great start to the June concert season.