DMB's Moore remains in hospital, will miss rest of tour
July 9, 9:22am update: Dave Matthews Band announces on its website that doctors have upgraded LeRoi Moore's condition from fair to good.
July 8, 12:35pm update: Bela Fleck saxophonist Jeff Coffin has announced on his website that he will fill in for LeRoi Moore for the rest of Dave Matthews Band's North American tour this summer.
A week after an accident with an all-terrain vehicle left him in serious condition, Dave Matthews Band saxophonist LeRoi Moore remains at UVA hospital, where he is in fair condition, according to a band spokesperson. "Nothing has changed since the last statement on the website," says DMB publicist Ambrosia Healy, "but we will put new information up there as things change."
Local blogger and longtime DMB fan Waldo Jaquith says that going back to DMB's early days as the house band at Trax, he's never known Moore to be reckless in the pursuit of fun. "He's no dope," says Jaquith. "He's not a kid. He's 46 years old, and I've always known him to be a level-headed guy who wouldn't be going off ramps or anything like that."
Not that such stunts would be necessary to result in a serious injury. According to Karl Woerner, a salesman with Virginia Tractor who has both owned and sold ATVs, the risk of serious injury on the four-wheeled vehicles is high. "If you're going 60 mph and you go into a sharp turn, you could lose control and go into a tree," he says. "If you accelerate too quickly, these things have such good traction that they'll do a wheelie and come over on top of you. If you're going downhill too fast and try to stop, you could go over the handle bars. If you're going up a hill and you turn too quickly, it could roll over on you."
Still, Woerner says that although he no longer sells ATVs because John Deere canceled its line, they're still "safe vehicles if used properly."
The band continues its full slate of summer tour dates– minus Moore– with Jeff Coffin from frequent DMB openers Bela Fleck and the Flecktones handling sax duties. It would seem that the band hasn't missed a step in Moore's absence: Rolling Stone raved about the band's Saturday performance at the Rothbury Festival in rural Michigan.
"Surprisingly, as [Matthews'] stage presence grew more unhinged, the group's musical explorations tightened," reviewer Andy Downing writes. "'So Damn Lucky' built to a dizzying, horn-fueled climax; a true-to-its-source take on Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' proved a smart selection, as violinist Boyd Tinsley sawed at his instrument as if he was trying to start a fire."
Tonight, the band plays in Atlanta at the Lakewood Amphitheater– its fifth show in the six days since Moore's accident.
The original post misstated one of Jaquith's recollections. It has been corrected here.