HOLLYWOOD BOWL, Los Angeles - The Dave Matthews Band capped off an impressive 46 date summer tour with an epic 2 hour and 45 minute set at the Hollywood Bowl. The tour was in support of their ninth studio record Come Tomorrow, the band's first release since 2012's Away From The World. Of the 21 songs performed, seven of them were from the new album. "When I'm Weary" made its debut with Stand Up and Come Tomorrow producer Mark Batson on the keyboard accompanying Matthews. Later in the evening, a mini-orchestra of at least 10 performers came out to play on the intimate "Here On Out", "Come On Come On", and "Squirm." Led by conductor David Campbell (Beck's Dad), and in the spirit of the Hollywood Bowl, the ensemble provided a depth to the concert which was reminiscent of Dave Matthews Band's first three studio albums.
Of the five original band members, three of them remain. Dave Matthews, drummer Carter Beauford, and bassist Stefan Lessard. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of saxophonist Leroi Moore who died of complications due to an ATV accident at his farm in Charlottesville, VA in 2008. Longtime friend of DMB and guitarist Tim Reynolds joined the band full time shortly after, as well as Rashawn Ross on Trumpet, and Bela Fleck & The Flecktones saxophonist Jeff Coffin to help honor Moore's legacy. At the end of 2017, founding member and violinist Boyd Tinsley took a break from the band for personal reasons. In spring of 2018, he was fired from the band amidst sexual harassment allegations. With the new record release and some changes already in the place, Buddy Strong joined the tour on keyboards as the 7th touring musician in the band.
In addition to fan favorites "One Sweet World" which opened the show, the jazzy "#41", ballad "Crash Into Me", the wildly energetic "Don't Drink The Water", and set closer "Ants Marching", Dave Matthews Band also performed Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer", Prince's "Sexy M.F" as the outro to "Jimi Thing", and ended the encore with the rambunctious cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" trading lines of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven."
As summer comes to a close, the 27-year-old band from Charlottesville is still selling out baseball stadiums and amphitheaters across the country, and the world for that matter. Once a rock band with violin, saxophone, guitar, bass, and drums, blending pop, folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, and rock and roll influences into an indescribable sound beaming up the charts, and now a fully fledged jam band. With the release of Come Tomorrow, Dave Matthews Band is the only group in history with seven consecutive number one debuting studio albums.
Photos and words by Mathew Tucciarone. Follow him on Instagram: @mathewtucciarone.