Wednesday’s show brings the most successful band of the past decade by at least one measure to the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys
According to Wikipedia, the Dave Matthews Band, Wednesday’s headliner, sold more tickets and earned more money from 2000 to 2010 than any other musical act in North America. But Matthews’ legions of fans likely would attest that financial figure represents only an iota of the success of the singer-songwriter-guitarist and his band.
Beyond the devoted following that bought all those concert tickets, Matthews can boast three Grammy awards on his own as well as one more with his band. Since Matthews, bass player Stefan Lessard, drummer Carter Beauford and saxophone player LeRoi Moore founded it in 1991, the Dave Matthews Band has released seven studio albums, plus two more solo albums by Matthews, as well as a number of well-regarded live recordings.
Before entertaining hundreds of thousands of people, Matthews was a bartender in Charlottesville, Va., with a guitar and some musical ideas. Too shy to record his own demo tape, he enlisted the help of Beauford and Moore from the local jazz scene and recruited the 16-year-old prodigy Lessard to play bass. The band made its debut at a Mideast Children’s Alliance benefit at Charlottesville’s Trax nightclub and soon started playing regular gigs in the college town.
The next year saw the band touring beyond Virginia and becoming a favorite at colleges. In 1993, the Dave Matthews Band joined the jammy HORDE festival and released its debut album, “Remember Two Things,” a live recording from Nantucket, Mass., which eventually would go platinum. “Under the Table and Dreaming,” the band’s second album, would follow in 1994, and reach No. 11 on the Billboard 200. It spawned a hit single, “What Would You Say,” for which the band shot its first video. The Dave Matthews Band also went on its first national tour in 1994.
The band continued to develop a following, releasing a live recording from Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater, and reached the top of Billboard’s charts with the release of its third studio album, “Before These Crowded Streets,” in 1998. Another essential live album, of Matthews and collaborator Tim Reynolds playing Iowa’s Luther College in 1996, followed in 1999. The band spent much of 2000 touring and finished the year as the top-grossing rock band in the United States.
In 2002, the Dave Matthews Band kicked off the celebrations for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and released its fifth studio album, “Where Are You Going,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Matthews released his two solo albums over the next couple of years, and the band played a special concert in its home state in 2007 in the wake of the shootings at Virginia Tech.
In 2008, Moore died of complications from injuries he suffered in an ATV crash, but the band pressed on without one of its founding members, including a show at the Staples Center on the day of his death. “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King” came out in 2009, and the band celebrated its 20th anniversary two years later. The group is touring in support of its 2012 album, “Away from the World.”
The show begins at 7 p.m. with Gary Clark Jr. Although the concert sold out fast, tickets may be available at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Harveys box office. They are $75.