I was bummed when I heard that Dave Matthews Band sax player Leroi Moore passed away on August 19th following complications from a June ATV accident. The news came just days after DMB announced plans for their first-ever appearance here in Argentina. I am planning to attend; as of now, the show is still scheduled for October 3rd.
Leroi was a brooding bad-ass with serious sax chops. Some say that Boyd Tinsley's harmonic violin licks gives DMB its unique sound, but for me it is Leroi's deep - and often dark - grooves that provide the groundwork for the band's most exploratory and exciting live moments. He will be missed.
Jeff Coffin of Bela Fleck and The Flecktones fame (also scheduled for an upcoming Buenos Aires visit) is currently filling in.
A bit of nostalgia now: Amongst my first -- and undoubtedly most exciting -- assignments as a freshman reporter for the UVM student newspaper, The Vermont Cynic, came in January 1995 when I covered the Dave Matthews Band/Big Head Todd + The Monsters show at Memorial Auditorium in Burlington. I got to interview Boyd, watch the show (with a surprise appearance by local hero Trey Anastasio) from the first-row, swig from a bottle of Jack Daniels with Dave and Trey in the green room afterwards AND my article was the cover story of that week's Cynic; not a bad first gig for an 18-year-old journalist. It was an amazingly exciting experience for me, and pretty much cemented my desire to make my living documenting what is happening around me.
Countless concerts, rock-star interviews and boozy backstage encounters have followed, and they've all been awesome, but that cold night in Burlington was what started me on this path. Leroi was a part of it, and now he's gone....a bummer, indeed.