For Dave Matthews and his band, lockdown was a time for creativity. Mid-set, the frontman of this tight-knit band explains how he was inspired to pen Singing from the Windows by the actions of housebound Italians.

The tune itself – delicate guitar married with Matthews’ distinct voice – is a rare mellow moment in an impressive near three-hour set. Back in Berlin for the first time since 2019, tonight’s show heads down several roads, from rock to jazz, gospel and funk. There’s always a whole lot more to unpick from DMB gigs.

New tracks pepper the show, from Monsters, to The Ocean and the Butterfly and the mystical, Middle Eastern mini scales of Madman’s Eyes, on which Matthews’ vocals sound close to Robert Plant. It’s not a million miles in feel from The Last Stop, from 1998 album, Before These Crowded Streets.

White gloved, drummer and founding member Carter Beauford martials things from his riser, while five-string bassist Stefan Lessard (if you’ve never seen his four-minute bass solo in New York’s Central Park, go find it) makes it look easy.

The Virginia-formed band has a fair share of jamming to do as songs are extended, but never laboured. Wiesbaden-born lead guitarist Tim Reynolds and Buddy Strong (keys) coax each other on. A similarly jaw-dropping game is also in play across the stage between Rashawn Ross on trumpet and Jeff Coffin, on sax and flute.

Such moments, could, of course, risk seeming indulgent, something Matthews humbly apologises for. There’s no need, for they're proof of this tight band’s sheer musicianship.

This Sunday night crowd takes time to get going but warms to the infectious beat of a cover of Commodores’ groovy Brickhouse. Sly & The Family Stone’s Thank You, from 1969, also loosens the crowd. Covers have long formed part of DMB setlists – and, while there’s no Sledgehammer tonight, the band’s renowned version of Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower remains masterful. The night closes with Two Step, from 1996’s Grammy Award winning Crash.

Lockdown, when most of Walk Around the Moon, the band’s tenth album, was conceived, may seem a distant memory now. Especially given the current state of the world, something Matthews refers to, calling for an end to the killing of children as he looks beyond the four walls of this recently rebranded modern Berlin music hall.

“When we all wake up tomorrow, hopefully the world will have come to its senses.”