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Dave Matthews: A Safe Bet in Vegas

In the intimate setting of the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Dave Matthews and guitarist Tim Reynolds opened the Vegoose at Night series on Friday to a crowd already on its feet, eager for the first notes of a long weekend of music.

“We will do our best to fill the room with sound,” Matthews said, and it was a promise fulfilled by the duo’s acoustic melodies, which twinkled from their strings up into the spotlights. Matthews captivated listeners with a balance of soulful, delicately plucked notes and energy-infused chords, and the crowd sang along to Dave Matthews Band favorites like “Crush,” “Satellite,” and “Crash.”

In the festival spirit of sharing, each musician took his turn alone on the stage. Reynolds played a well-received instrumental piece while Matthews traded his acoustic for an electric on “Some Devil,” the title track from his 2003 solo album.

Matthews entertained the crowd with amusing stories of talking on the phone to Bono and Mick Jagger while in the bathtub and visiting the shark reef at Mandalay Bay. “I’m afraid the only place I’ll get to see animals one day is at the zoo,” Matthews lamented.

Fans mirrored Dave’s good mood, showing their readiness to party by cheering for “Tripping Billies” lyrics, “Eat, drink, and be merry.” Dave made sure to emphasize the “drink” part: “In the desert, never forget to moisturize and drink lots of water,” headvised. LEAH DURAN

At Vegoose ’06, is on the ground with our college correspondent program. Six college students — three writers, three photographers — earned the opportunity to cover the festival for, live, all weekend long. Sound appealing? Stay tuned to for future opportunities to apply for our college correspondent program!