Skipping billies: Dave & Tim show bypasses Charlottesville

Widely thought to be his first solo tour, Dave Matthews' latest performance schedule turns out to be a duo tour with longtime DMB sideman and guitar virtuoso Tim Reynolds.

Unfortunately for locals, the closest it's coming to Charlottesville is Norfolk.

Although the duo got their start in Charlottesville with shows at the Prism and the Jefferson Theater back in 1993, 10 years later it skips Matthews' hometown, beginning in Wallingford, Connecticut, on March 19 and trailing south through small theaters and colleges before jumping across the Midwest and wrapping up at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on April 4.

Reynolds, a former Charlottesvillian now based in Santa Fe, released his latest solo effort, Chaos View, supported by a 2002 tour. He also contributed (along with DMB's Leroi Moore) to ex-DMB keyboardist Peter Griesar's highly anticipated Superfastgo, out this month.

Hope springs eternal in local DMB fans for an encore performance to rekindle the magic sparked by the band's triumphant 2001 Scott Stadium show. While the Dave & Tim show could probably fill U Hall, tour planners may find the giant domed stadium a little– well– acoustically challenged.

Lack of a worthy amphitheater keeps Charlottesville a sleeping giant for mid-size concerts and means students and locals must traipse up and down the coast in their quest for acts that bypass this market. While this lamented fact has caused considerable hand wringing, there may yet be reason for hope. Recent news reports confirm that Charlottesville's downtown amphitheater, home of the popular Fridays After Five music shows, could likely expand into a mini-Wolf Trap-style pavilion capable of seating several thousand.

Local delegate Mitch Van Yahres has already set things in motion with the recent passage of a bill allowing food vendors to sell alcoholic beverages for any outdoor event staged within the city or county. Proponents and organizers have also stage-whispered DMB manager Coran Capshaw's name as the force most likely to lead the effort with a combination of political and financial muscle. He put on a well-attended Little Feat concert there in the mid-1990s.

Capshaw's ever-expanding commercial and private real estate interests here– buttressed by his own failed 1995 effort to erect a pavillion– may finally be the canny impresario's entry into self-contained concert promotion and the ace in the hole that could bring Dave into his own backyard.


Summer tour breaks new ground

Capshaw has laid the groundwork for a DMB summer tour tentatively set for the band's traditional June through September jaunts. This year, however, Capshaw is hinting at a change from the group's familiar stomping grounds. Reports in Rolling Stone and other reliable sources have Capshaw considering bringing the DMB spectacle to previously untried territory. Whether these plans include another attempt at a European or Latin American trek remains to be seen, but will more likely direct Dave and Company into U.S. markets where the band has gained popularity as a result of increased radio and television exposure.


Band to fans: no streaming

DMB's 2003 shows will begin with a change in management's taping policy that has already sparked intense debate on fan websites. While the band continues to welcome taping of its shows for personal use and free exchange between tapers, an amendment to the band's taping policy bans the posting of audio or video files for streaming or downloading– a practice management claims defeats the policy's "spirit."

The move has forced such websites as the Internet Archive to halt access to its vault of recorded performances. Meanwhile, some fans charge that the move violates the band's own "spread the music" spirit– and could give rise to an underground trading market.


Dave lives

The much-reported rumor of the demise of Dave Matthews has itself been mostly put to rest. An account of Matthews' alleged death surfaced in late January on a hastily constructed facsimile of CNN's website reporting Matthews had died of a drug overdose.

"If I die before my time," Matthews has told Rolling Stone, "it will not be on the altar of rock and roll. It will be because I slipped on a pencil and smashed my head on a fire hydrant. I can safely predict I will not be found lying face down in a puddle of my groupies' vomit." 'Nuff said.


Dave: no blood for oil

Dave Matthews has joined a growing list of celebrities speaking out against a possible war with Iraq. In a statement posted on the band's website last week, Matthews questioned the Bush Administration's motives. He says he "fears that our true motivation is about oil and our own flailing economy; about the failure to destroy Al Qaeda and about revenge."


The Dead lives with Capshaw

Musictoday, the e-commerce arm of Coran Capshaw's Charlottesville-based empire, is reportedly close to sealing a deal with surviving members of the Grateful Dead to market the legendary band's lucrative merchandise.

Musictoday already counts the recently re-formed (first christened The Other Ones and now know simply as The Dead) band's Phil Lesh as a solo client and offers the group's 27-disc, multi-volume "Dick's Picks" live recordings as a mail-order business. The reorganization would effectively dismantle the band's own Grateful Dead Productions (operated by, among other's, Jerry Garcia's brother). "We want to simplify and play music," drummer Mickey Hart told the San Francisco Chronicle, "and get rid of all this mumbo-jumbo."

Read more on: dave matthews band