Dave Matthews Band are playing at the du Arena on Thursday, October 8. We've been trawling the archives and have learned 10 facts about this remarkable band.
1. The name, the guy
The band was formed in 1991 when Dave Matthews, a vocalist and guitarist, decided to bring in some instrumental help for recording his songs. He was born in South Africa and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1986. There, he became part of the local music scene along with Tim Reynolds, John D’Earth and others.
Matthews won a Grammy award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 2004
The name of the band and its association with just Dave Matthews was not intentional. They were unsure of their band name and could not decide on one until they were booked. For their first flyer, Boyd Tinsley, a band member, wrote ‘Dave Matthews Band’ on the flyer. This continued for further gigs and by the time they thought about any possible changes, the name had struck a chord with fans.
2. DMB Cast
In 1991, Dave Matthews joined hands with Carter Beauford, LeRoi Moore, Stefan Lessard, Peter Griesar (who left the band in 1993) and Boyd Tinsley to form the Dave Matthews band, or “DMB”. Tragedy struck in August 2008 when LeRoi Moore passed away after an ATV accident. Tim Reynolds has been a long time collaborator and performer in songs and tours of the band.
The band always play for a good cause
The band’s first performance was in their adopted home of Charlottesville. They played at the Middle East Children’s Alliance Benefit and Earth Day Festival in 1991. Their first official performance came at a private party in the town followed by regular gigs in two nearby local clubs. Their first songs were written by Matthews in the days before DMB and included "Typical Situation," "Best of What's Around," "I'll Back You Up," "The Song That Jane Likes," "Warehouse," "Cry Freedom," and "Recently".
Their first recorded album was “Remember Two Things” released in 1993 as an independent album, later re-released by RCA in 1997. Their first live extended play “Recently” was released in 1994, recorded from shows performed at The Birchmere and Trax, also re-released by RCA in 1997.
4. Unique concerts
DMB concerts are unique in that they allow fans to tape shows on audio recorders for personal use and non-commercial streaming. This led to the creation of an extremely interactive fan base and community. While this has created occasional problems with bootleggers, DMB still encourages this and sells designated “taper tickets” along with concert tickets at various venues.
5. Dave Matthews Band Day
In 1994, it was announced by then Mayor of Charlottesville, David J Toscano, that September 27 would be known as David Matthews Band Day. The day also marked the release of “Under the Table and Dreaming”.
6. DMB for the world
The band has its own charity, the BAMA Works Fund which, to date, has donated over US $8.5 million to various causes. Some of the causes the band performed for and supported are Farm Aid (1995), Concert to Benefit Bay Area Charities (2004), Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, Bama Works Haiti Relief Fund, the Innocence Project, The Village Recovery fund (for tsunami victims in Sri Lanka), Texas Disaster Efforts Relief and many more. The band was awarded the NAACP Chairman’s Award in 2004 as a result of their efforts.
7. Dave Matthews Band Caravan
In 2011, the band marked its twentieth anniversary with a decision to not have any tours for the year. While not touring, the band created four multi-artist music events under the title ‘Dave Matthews Band Caravan’ held in Atlantic City, Chicago, New York City and Washington respectively from June through September. These events were highly successful and saw participation from David Gray, Ray Lamontagne, The Flaming Lips, O.A.R., Damian Marley, Bassnectar, TR3, Vusi Mahlasela, The Budos Band, Bobby Long, Dawes and others.
Gorge, Washington was one of the venues for the Dave Matthews Band Caravan in 2011
8. The Warehouse
The Warehouse is the official fan association of DMB and was founded in 1998. Fans who are members get early access to tickets, exclusive CDs, bonus tracks and merchandise. The current membership fee is US $35 annually. The Warehouse is now owned by Live Nation who acquired MusicToday in 2006.
9. Top five songs
The top five songs of DMB that you should listen to are:
1. Ants Marching
2. Crash Into Me
3. Two Step
10. Dave Matthews Band in UAE
The band kicks off its 2015 international tour from Abu Dhabi at du arena, Yas Island on October 8. The doors open at 6pm. Keeping with the DMB spirit, your concert ticket also assures you five free exclusive tracks for download.