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By Tony Bonyata
File photos by Matt Schwenke
Dave Matthews Band returns to Alpine Valley Music Theater this weekend
June 30, 2010
There are a few things, other than merely checking the calendar, that let you know we're in the throes of summer here in Walworth County; boats on the lake, tourists crowding the streets & shops of downtown Lake Geneva, and singer/songwriter Dave Matthews' annual pilgrimage to East Troy's Alpine Valley Music Theatre.
Of course, no one has to tell fans of the Dave Matthews Band that they're coming to town. They just seem to know it, as their Saturday night concert has already completely sold-out, and only a number of lawn seats are available for their Fourth of July show on Sunday. Perhaps this is one of the reasons they continue to return to this local venue every year. After all, Matthews has stated more than once that Alpine Valley is the band's favorite place to play. In fact, two of their officially released live CDs (Live Trax Vol. 8 from 2004 and Live Trax Vol. 15 from 2008) were even recorded right here on this grassy hill.
For these two local shows, Matthews and Co. will not only lean heavily towards their most recent critically acclaimed, platinum selling album Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King released last year (including the record's three singles, the spirited "Why I Am," "Funny The Way It Is" and the catchy "You & Me"), but will also touch on their previous six albums and slew of hits, stretching all the way back to their 6x platinum 1994 debut Under The Table and Dreaming.
Matthews' touring entourage includes bassist Stefan Lessard, violinist Boyd Tinsley, drummer Carter Beauford and newcomer Jeff Coffin on saxophone (replacing founding member LeRoi Moore who died two years ago from an ATV accident). Also joining the live ranks are trumpeter Rashawn Ross and multi-instrumentalist Tim Reynolds. With the band members bringing so many different styles and genres to the table (including soul, bluegrass, jazz, rock and even hip-hop and classical) it's no wonder that they attract such a broad fan-base. But of their entire audience, perhaps their most fervid followers are fans of Jam band music, as the patchouli & hemp-laced crowd have embraced the band and their live shows since their infancy in the early '90s.
Matthews recently announced on his website that he and his band will not do any touring during 2011 in order to spend more time with their respective families. This will mark the first time in the band's 20 years of touring that they will take an entire year off. So if you'd like to see the Dave Matthews Band anytime before 2012 at the least, you better make a grab for the lawn seats that are still available for Sunday night's show.
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND / ZAC BROWN BAND - Saturday, July 3 (SOLD OUT) and Sunday, July 4 (as of this writing General Admission Lawn Seats are still available) at 7:00pm Alpine Music Theatre, 2699 Highway D, East Troy, WI 262.642.4400. Ticket prices for General Admission Lawn Seats are $40.00 for Sunday night's show.