The night began with an engaging 45-minute set by Indie pop singer Ingrid Michaelson, including her hit “The Way I Am” and new single “Be Ok.” Next, Julia Roberts briefly took the stage at Madison Square Garden, looking sassy in jeans, an Obama t-shirt and her signature cascade of auburn curls.
"I cannot tell you how excited I am to be in the greatest city in the world,” she said, “to introduce one of the greatest bands of the world!"
And with that, Dave and co. blazed through an electrifying 2.5 hour set. Along with hits like “Don’t Drink The Water,” “Number 41” and “Crash,” DMB dazzled with lengthy instrumental riffs that demonstrated why they’re one of the best and most enduring modern rock bands on the scene today.
Noticeably absent from the performance – sax player and founding DMB member LeRoi Moore, who died in August at age 46. Dave movingly told the crowd this was the band’s first MSG show without Moore and how much he is missed. Flecktones saxophonist Jeff Coffin did a great job filling in.
The evening’s other poignant moment came when Dave revealed he was just 10 years old when he lost his father to lung cancer.
"One day, we hopefully won't need to have events like this," he said.
DMB ended the night with a rousing, extended version of their signature hit, “Ants Marching,” that had me on my feet and smiling from ear to ear. This was my third DMB concert, and I’m looking forward to many more.
Visit DMB online at http://www.davematthewsband.com/. For more information about Stand Up For A Cure, log on to http://www.sufac.org/.