Entertainment Weekly - 11/07/97, p.86
"...Matthews has always stayed one step ahead of the H.O.R.D.E. by focusing on taut songcraft instead of distended riffery, making RED ROCKS a primo showcase for the South African expat's serpentine melodies and lock-jaw vocals." - Rating: B
Dave Matthews Band: David Matthews, Carter Beauford, Leroi Moore, Boyd Tinsley, Stefan Lessard.
Additional personnel: Tim Reynolds.
Recorded live at Red Rocks, Colorado on August 15, 1995.
Personnel: Dave Matthews (vocals, guitar).
Audio Mixers: Doug Derryberry; Jeff Thomas; John Alagia.
Photographer: Sam Erickson.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Dave Matthews; LeRoi Moore; Stefan Lessard; Tim Reynolds; Boyd Tinsley; Carter Beauford.
Known for their grassroots attitude and tight, engaging live shows, The Dave Matthews Band has always encouraged fans to record its performances, and was one of rock's most often bootlegged bands. In fact, a direct patch to the soundboard was made available to would-be recordists until 1995, when some of these tapes found their way into less scrupulous, commercial-minded hands who, in the band's eyes, overcharged fans. In response to the bootleg dilemma, LIVE AT RED ROCKS 8.15.97 captures the band in the legendary Colorado venue, performing two discs worth of mesmerizing, intense music.
Opening with the ominous strains of "Seek Up," the DMB proceeds to flow through seamless renditions of their instant classics. The rhythmic play and violin-saxophone harmonies of "Satellite" give way to the frenzied plucking of "Two Step." A lively "Tripping Billies" kicks off side two, while "#36" shows off drummer Carter Beauford's chops. Closing with live staple "All Along The Watchtower," the striking thing about LIVE AT RED ROCKS is its adherence to form: eschewing extended jams for intense, airtight performances, satisfying bootleg-hungry fans who want the energy of the band's live set and the quality of a legitimate, band-approved release.