“Celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain.”
That line sums up the Dave Matthews Band in one sentence. This song is, hands down, one of the biggest, most popular, and most recognizable DMB songs. No questions asked. The number of times this song has been chanted for at concerts, played at after-prom parties, and thoroughly enjoyed at every single concert the band has every played it in.
As a die-hard fan of the Dave Matthews Band, you’re almost obligated to love this song. I’m sure there are a select few who are tired of it, don’t enjoy it as much as others, etc. I don’t share that same opinion. If I heard this song at every concert I ever attended, I’d be happy. It’s such an uplifting, fun, jamming, kick-ass song.
From the first strumming of the violin by Boyd… the crowd knows what’s coming, and they go nuts. But can you blame them? Celebrate we will, “Two Step.” We will celebrate you.
Song Meaning: To put it simply, Carpe Diem*. (*for further assessment, click the link.)
Total Play Count: 858
Album Ranking: 2/12
What better place to begin… than the beginning. The signature sound of this song is the violin intro. That sets the tone for the entire song, right off the bat. The violin is coupled with the guitar, and other instruments slowly start in, along with some eerie vocals. Then…
CRASH! Crash! Bam! Crash! Crash!
It’s not as powerful on the album as it is live, but just go with it. Carter picks up his pace after crashing us into the first verse. Dave sings it much higher on Crash than he does now live, but that kind of goes without saying.
The instrumental aspect of the song stays consistent throughout, with the snare-work from Carter nice and steady, with some sax in the background during the chorus. Then… after the first chorus… Boyd gives us a little more strumming on the violin. Good stuff.
As with most songs by the Dave Matthews Band, one of my favorite parts comes from Mr. LeRoi Moore. I really dig the bass sax playing during the chorus, when Dave starts singing, “Because life is short but sweet for certain.” Again… it’s not as prominent in the studio version. Having seen so many live shows, and loving the songs more in the live-form… I feel like those versions sometimes taint my view of the songs. I hope you bear with me there.
During the second chorus, you can really start hearing some more sax, and it’s nice and groovy. Gotta love it.
Another great part about this song, is the fantastic lyrics. I hope you read through all the lyrics that I post, or at least take a glimpse. And if you’d rather listen to the lyrics, always start with the studio version, just to get a base knowledge of the song. But with “Two Step,” just listening can tell you all you need to know about the song. There is no hidden message in the lyrics (at least I don’t think there is). It’s pretty straight forward. Enjoy life know, because you never know when you’ll kick the bucket.
There does seem to be a little more than meets the eye to the lyrics, but nothing I can really determine. Regardless, how can you not love this line:
Hey, my love, you came to me like wine comes to this mouth
Grown tired of water all the time
You quench my heart and you quench my mind
And then… it rolls right back into the chorus. I just love it!
Now where the live version really divulges from the studio, is toward the end of the song. The live version of “Two Step” is really known for its jamming. Ask anyone who’s been to a few DMB shows, and they’ll tell you “Two Step” is one of the longer songs you will ever hear (that and “Seek Up”). Let me prove it to you. The longest version of “Two Step” live was 27:34. The studio version is just north of 6 minutes. That’s a lot of jamming. Sometimes, it’s a little unwarranted, but most of the time (especially recently with Tim and Jeff), it’s awesome. I’ll touch on that more when I start getting into the live album reviews.
Another big difference, is the intro. While it’s quick and instrumental on Crash, live… it’s much more interesting. As of the last few years, Dave often times tells a story. He does it all within that same instrumental intro you hear on the album, but he’ll freestyle over it. You can catch that in the live video I posted above.
On Crash, however, it’s a steady, consistent fade out of the song. Pretty mellow, actually.
To wrap up here (I’ve noticed I don’t like to ramble on as much as I thought I would), “Two Step” is a classic. Most fans, both novice and expert, can agree on that. It’s hard not to be happy when hearing “Two Step,” and that’s definitely a good thing for a band to have in their arsenal.
I hope you enjoy. I know I have, time and time again.
Song Rating: 5/5
Next Song: “Crash Into Me”