This song… in its best form… is an epic.
The reason for that is 100% its length. The average length of this song live hovers somewhere around 20 minutes. Yes… 20 minutes. It takes 45 seconds in this version of the song for the first lyric… and live it’s about 5-10 minutes. But anyway…
I am a big fan of this song. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. Once again, the studio version of the song is much simpler than it is live. Throughout most of the song there is just the bass, acoustic and drums. You can hear the violin here and there, and Roi adds in the beautiful (and I mean beautiful) Sax parts here and there as well… and it just all comes together so nicely.
Here is the best version of Seek Up I can find on YouTube. It is from the Live at Luther College acoustic album with Dave and Tim. It doesn’t have the same effect as it does with the whole band, but at least you can hear it (if you haven’t already).
The lyrics to “Seek Up” paint a vivid picture of all the greed people encounter. Most of the verses talk about having everything and anything, but then in the chorus Dave drives home the point, “For soon we will all find our lives swept away.” No matter what happens, one of the guarantees in life is death. No matter how many things you have, how wealthy you are… you’re going to have to face and accept that life. That’s just some great song writing. Personally, my favorite part of the song is when the chorus comes in nice and strong around the __ minute mark…
You seek up an emotion
And our cup is overflowing
You seek up an emotion
Sometimes your well is dry (hey!*)
You seek up a big monster
For him to fight your wars for you
But when he finds his way to you
The devil’s not going ha ha… ha ha
*”Hey” usually comes in the second chorus, and is emphasized by the crowd at live shows.
The biggest comparison I can make between the studio version and live version of this song is length… there’s no way around it. A 7 minute studio song is going to translate into 20 some-odd minutes in DMB land. At times… when you’ve heard a song like this more than say… 5 times… it can get a little long to hear. The 5 minute intro and 15 minute jams are awesome, don’t get me wrong. The fact of the matter is when you start getting up into the 20s of how many shows you’ve seen, you like to start hearing songs you have either never heard, or at least haven’t heard as much. With the case of longs songs like “Seek Up” or “Jimi Thing,” they can be quite long, which takes up time the band could be playing other songs you might not have heard before (JTR, Sweet Up and Down, etc).
In terms of rating the studio version of this song… I don’t think I give it as high a rating as I think it would in a live version. And don’t think that my ratings in these reviews necessarily portrays how much I like a particular song. I really like “Seek Up,” but I like it live a lot more than this studio version, which is why…
Song Rating: 3/5
Next Song: I’ll Back You Up