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DMB’s New York Blowout Show

Dave Matthews kicks off world tour with help from Gregg Allman

Evan Serpick Jun 21, 2009
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The Dave Matthews Band launched a globe-trotting seven-month tour – their first since saxophone player LeRoi Moore died last August – with a sold-out, emotional three-hour show at New York’s Madison Square Garden on April 14. “I was strangely calm compared to how I felt I should be,” says Matthews, who was clearly moved by the crowd’s chants of “LeRoi.” “There’s real moments where Roi’s absence becomes very present in my mind.”

Tickets for the tour – which makes a two-night stop at Boston’s Fenway Park in May – top out at $70 and are selling briskly. So far, the band has mixed cuts from the forthcoming Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King (out June 2) with classic tracks and a few covers. In New York, DMB invited Gregg Allman to sing on his own band’s ‘Melissa.’ “We want to mix it up so we don’t get bored,” says Matthews, who plans to invite openers, including Willie Nelson and the Hold Steady, onstage to play with the group. “I can’t imagine not asking all of ’em [to collaborate]. It saves us work.”

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