On Live at Folsom Field, the quintet's third full-length concert release in the past five years, Matthews wrings every drop of drama from his recent spate of painfully personal songs. Cuts such as "Bartender," "Digging a Ditch," and "If I Had It All" drip with his unique brand of falsetto-drenched theatrics. Stefan Lessard, Leroi Moore, Carter Beauford and Boyd Tinsley follow Matthews' lead with considerable sensitivity and carry the emotional load during the disc's drier moments, transforming the notoriously tedious "Angel" into a legitimate gospel celebration with help from the band's part-time trio of female backing vocalists.
The rest of the show's set is a balanced mix of old and new, with tried-and-true pleasers such as "Warehouse," "Recently" and "Crash Into Me" bristling with a renewed sense of energy. If predictability means being able to consistently offer fans a live experience like Folsom Field, then Matthews and company are still far from monotonous.