By Oliver Bazely, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Friday, the HSBC Arena in Barra will host the legendary Dave Matthews Band, who are embarking on their 2010 South American Tour. DMB, as they are known to their fans, will also be playing São Paulo on the 10th October, before moving on to Buenos Aires in Argentina and Santiago in Chile.

Dave Matthews, photo by Julio Enriquez, Creative Commons License.

The band are well known for their globe-trotting summer tours, and after South America they return to the U.S. for fall shows in New York, Boston and Atlanta. Staying true to their roots, the quintessential garage band will finish their 2010 tour schedule with two shows in their home-town of Charlottesville, Virginia.

From humble beginnings in his mothers basement as an unlikely clutch of stray musicians, Dave Matthews and his band have crafted an eclectic style, incorporating elements of jazz, hip-hop, blues and rock. The jazz influence was originally provided by a saxophonist, the late LeRoi Moore, who used to play in a local jazz bar where Matthews mixed the drinks.

Soon after, during an afternoon rehearsal session in the empty bar, fellow bartender Peter Griesar joined in with his harmonica. Violinist Boyd Tinsley was initially drafted in as a session musician for one track, but ended-up joining the band permanently, and bar the untimely death of LeRoi Moore in 2008, this original line-up has barely changed since the early nineties.

Just one month after Moore’s death the band played an emotionally-charged show at Rio’s Vivo Rio venue to over 4,000 fans. Hundreds of white balls were released into the crowd in his memory, and the jam lasted over three hours, one of the longest gigs they have ever performed.

One of the main driving forces behind their early success was their relationship with fans, allowing them to record live performances and even get access to spare output plugs on the mixing desk to do so. Recordings were soon being traded amongst fans, and the DMB community grew rapidly.

A typically extravagant DMB stage setup, photo by Peter Cross, Creative Commons License.

According to Jake Vigliotti, DMB fan and member of , a popular DMB fansite, “Allowing fans to patch into live shows, and later record them, really facilitated spreading the word about the band throughout the country. Dave once commented that at a show in Charleston, South Carolina in December 1992, the fans in the front were singing along with the song ‘Ants Marching’, despite the fact the band had never played there.”

To this day, DMB have one of the most active fan bases around. Many gained their first taste of DMB as freshers at University, and successive generations of graduates have continued to follow them into adulthood. This has repeatedly made DMB one of the top grossing tour acts in the world, able to hold their own amongst the better known legacy pop and rock acts like Madonna and The Rolling Stones.

DMB’s most recent release, ‘Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King’, is dedicated to the memory of LeRoi Moore, and a fitting musical tribute to the former jazz man. Crowd-pleasers such as ‘You and Me’ complement more adventurous songs such as Alligator Pie (Cockadile), and concert-goers are likely to hear some of these new tracks at the show. However, the band will no doubt mix in some old classics, such as ‘Shake Like Monkey’, ‘Seven’ and maybe even one of their earliest songs ‘Jimi Thing’.

The Rio concert will no doubt be popular with many U.S. ex-pats, as well as DMB’s international fans. To get your hands on tickets, try here. Doors open at 8PM, and the gig starts at 10PM.


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