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Dave Matthews Band was formed in the early ‘90s in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since then, the band has been on almost 30 tours, sharing their unique music on live stages across the world. What really is summer without tickets to a Dave Matthews Band concert? And with a new album on the way, this year’s tour will be one that you do not want to miss!

Formation of the Band

Dave Matthews was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1967 and spent his childhood moving between South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. At the age of 18 he was drafted by the South African military during apartheid, at which time him and his family moved to the United States permanently. Matthews and his family took up residence in Charlottesville, Virginia. This is eventually where Matthews would find other musicians to form the Dave Matthews Band.

Matthews worked at a bar called Miller’s down in Charlottesville where many local musicians would hang out and perform. In 1991, Matthews approached drummer Carter Beauford with a demo, asking Beauford if he would work with him. Matthews also asked saxophonist LeRoi Moore after hearing Moore play several times at Miller’s. The three started working on some music together but realized not after long that they needed more musicians in the band. Navigating the Charlottesville music scene, they recruited bassist Stefan Lessard, keyboardist Peter Griesar, and eventually violinist Boyd Tinsley. In the spring of 1991, the band began performing together at local clubs and bars all over Charlottesville.

Dave Matthews Band became popular so quickly because the band encouraged its fans to record their performances at live events. Fans would record the live music and then the tapes would circulate among them. This was done mostly by college kids but the band credits this practice for one of the reasons why they blew up the way they did.

First Big Break

Before Dave Matthews Band released their first album, Peter Griesar left the band. In 1993, the band released Remember Two Things as an independent album. The album debuted very high on the college charts and was later re-released by RCA in 1997. Shortly after Remember Two Things was released, RCA signed Dave Matthews Band. Then in 1994, the band released their first studio album Under the Tables and Dreaming. The album was an instant success and within a year it became four times certified platinum. Under the Tables and Dreaming included popular tracks like “What Would You Say”, “Ants Marching”, and “Satellite.”

The next studio album released by Dave Matthews Band was Crash (1996). Crash debuted at number 2 on the pop albums chart and was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. The track “So Much to Say” earned the band their first Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1997. All the meanwhile, DMB was on tour and releasing live albums. Their first full-length live album was Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95 and would be followed by many more live albums in the years to come. Their third studio album was Before These Crowded Streets (1998). Before These Crowded Streets debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. The album included hit song “Crush” which was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Dave Matthews Band ended the 20th century on a high note and brought their success with them into the new millennium.

Dave Matthews Band in the 21st Century

The next album for the band, Everyday (2001), had a much different sound. The songs were shorter and less acoustic sounding than the band was typically used to. In fact, it was the first time that Matthews had ever used an electric guitar on an album. Glen Ballard was the producer for this album and the driving factor behind the bands’ new sound. Regardless of the change in style, the album debuted at number 1 and was the fifth bestselling album of the Billboard Year in 2001. Everyday also included hit song “The Space Between” which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

In 2001, a collection of songs that had been recorded in 1999 and 2000 were leaked on the internet. These songs were produced by Steve Lillywhite and were cut by the label before they were officially released. Fans loved the unofficial tracks and due to the support, many of the songs were featured on DMB’s next album, Busted Stuff (2002). Busted Stuff included nine of the scrapped Lillywhite songs and two new songs. The two new songs were “Where Are You Going” and “You Never Know”. “Where Are You Going” was the first lead single for the album and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 2003.

Stand Up and Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King

Between 2002 and 2005, DMB released numerous live albums while they were on tour. Some of these live albums included Live in Chicago 12.19.98, Live at Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado, The Gorge, and Live Trax (Vol. 1 and 2). After so many live albums, DMB was back in the studio again working on their seventh album, Stand Up. Stand Up was released in May of 2005 and debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. The new album was supported by yet another summer-long tour. This tour was the first time that vocalist and trumpeter Rashawn Ross played with the band; he has been a permanent member ever since.

In 2008 DMB began working with producer Rob Cavallo for their next studio album. It was announced that guitarist Tim Reynolds would record with the band. Reynolds had made guest appearances with the band in the past but was not considered an official member of the band until 2008. Around that same time tragedy truck when saxophonist LeRoi Moore was in a serious ATV accident. Two months later he passed away due to injuries from the accident. DMB continued to record the upcoming album, and titled it as a tribute to Moore. Groogrux King was a nickname for Moore, so the album was released in 2009 entitled Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King.

Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 and eventually reached platinum status. It was nominated for two Grammy Awards including Best Rock Album and Album of the year. Even after 18 years of producing music, Dave Matthews Band continued to release music that their fans loved and supported.

Away from the World and Come Tomorrow

Moore’s talent could not be replaced but another saxophonist had to be added to the band. The role was filled by Jeff Coffin who has been an official member ever since. In 2001, DMB reunited with producer Steve Lillywhite, whom they had not worked with since 2000. The subsequent album was Away from the World and was released on September 11, 2012. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200, which was their sixth consecutive studio album to debut at number 1.

In the following years DMB would take a break from recording music but not from performing! The band continued to tour annually and released even more live albums. Six years after the release of Away from the World, Dave Matthews Band returned from their studio hiatus to record Come Away. Come Away is set to be released on June 8, 2018 and yep, you guessed it…will be supported by another tour! This tour will be sure to feature old favorites and tracks from their new album as well. Be sure to get your tickets to see Dave Matthews Band live in concert! Your summer won’t be complete without it.

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