Dave Matthews Band Caravan, Friday: Ray LaMontagne + Drive-By Truckers
With a feather in his cap and a sombre expression on his face, Ray LaMontagne took the stage early in the evening at the Dave Matthews Band Caravan. The notoriously shy folk singer didn't let any photographers in the pit—hence our lack of pictorial evidence—and had nary a word to say to the crowd, except for the occasional "Thank you." LaMontagne let his music do the talking, starting the evening with several cuts from his 2004 debut, Trouble. Raspy, guttural voice in full effect, he wafted through country-esque arrangements of "Burn" and "Trouble" with the aid of his backing band. The mood picked up a bit when LaMontagne launched into some tracks from his most recent release, God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise. The bluesy, upbeat swagger of tracks such as "Repo Man" and "Devil's in the Jukebox" were far more appropriate for the festival setting and gave LaMontagne a chance to bust out some thickly distorted harmonica licks.
Over on the Slip Stage, a small crowd gathered for a set from southern rockers Drive-By Truckers. The performance was sprinkled with material from their latest release Go-Go Boots, including stand-out track "Used To Be A Cop," the sonic lovechild of the Hold Steady and It Still Moves-era My Morning Jacket. Elsewhere, the band's alt-country leanings showed through in "The Company I Keep" and "Uncle Frank." But perhaps the most telling song choice of the evening was closing track "Buttholeville," a straight-up rocker benefited by the group's three-guitar attack. Whether a thinly-veiled comment on the festivities or mere pandering, it gave the evening's main attraction something to top.