SARATOGA SPRINGS — Nearly every summer for the past decade, thousands of fans have crowded into the Saratoga Performing Arts Center to see the Dave Matthews Band.
This weekend, Matthews is slated to play SPAC sans the band. Instead, he'll be joined by Tim Reynolds. This has some fans asking: Will the show live up to the hype of a traditional Dave Matthews Band concert? Saturday's show is sold-out; a limited amount of tickets remain for Friday.
According to recent reviews of the tour with Reynolds, fans have little reason to worry.
Actually, when Matthews began his musical career, he wasn’t even sure if he was looking for a band.
“The band wasn’t something that I was looking for; it was very much I loved the people I asked to play with me. There was a connection at the beginning, and I think what we’ve been about is not some grand scheme but more the spirit of everyone, which is why we ended up with this band and why it sounds like it does,” Matthews said on his website.
Reynolds, a longtime friend who encouraged Matthews to start a band in the first place, is touring with Matthews for the summer season. The two have released several live albums together. Although Reynolds has never officially been part of the band, they often play together.
According to recent reviews, performances with Matthews and Reynolds have been just as popular and rowdy as typical Dave Matthews Band shows. A review by Billboard praised the duo’s performance and their stage presence.
Another review, this one by Rolling Stone, begged the question: “Is there a twin-acoustic-guitar act that can drive a crowd into a state of euphoria quite like Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds?”
It seems Matthews is bringing a new energy on stage with Reynolds.
Although Matthews will be commanding the stage for much of the show, he’ll be stepping back, and Reynolds will be taking the mic for songs like “Betrayal” or “Ode to the Box,” according to Billboard.
There’s no doubt that this pair is tour-worn. Matthews has been touring for the past 25 years -- he recently joked with Stephen Colbert that he’s gone from looking out on lighters to looking at cellphone screens while on stage. Reynolds has also toured frequently over the past few decades. However, it doesn’t seem to make the pair any less powerful on stage. They’ve been known to play for upward of three hours.
During some of his recent shows, Matthews has taken moments between songs to talk about the current political climate and environmental issues.
The DMB’s first performance was at an Earth Day Festival in 1991. He’s known to be passionate about the environment and is a part of Farm Aid. So it only seems fitting that Matthews would express his anger that the United States pulled out of the Paris climate accord or about budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency between songs on stage.
But he also doesn’t let those interludes completely overtake the crowd’s mood.
“I’m paranoid on stage,” Matthews told Colbert. He’s always looking into the crowd to make sure people are having fun and enjoying the show. It’s a feeling that seems unfounded by most of his rowdy fans.
Matthews and Reynolds will be hitting the stage at 7:30 p.m. on June 16 and 17.
For more information about the show, visit spac.org.
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
WHERE: Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Avenue of the Pines, Saratoga Springs
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Saturday sold-out; limited tickets available for Friday, call the box office
MORE INFO: www.spac.org