Picks and Pans
by Rob Slater on January 20, 2017
You know what they say: When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. Or something like that.
Dave Matthews, apparently, loooves what he does because nobody disobeys the "take a year off" rule quicker than he does. Almost a year to the day after Dave Matthews Band announced that they would be taking a year off from touring in 2017, the first time the band would do so in their 25+ year career, Matthews quickly saddled up with guitar-mate Tim Reynolds first for an announced destination event in Mexico and then a run through both Europe and the States.
In other words, the exact opposite of taking a year off.
While I'm not one to question Matthews' desire to play whatever types of shows he wants, some would certainly argue a true year off may actually prove beneficial to the weary bones of the DMB bandleader. Or there's the "play through" method, which he seems to be adopting with dates booked with Reynolds through the first half of the year, including a summer jaunt that finds the duo hitting many venues frequented by the band.
All of this may sound very familiar to DMB fans who have been tuned into the inner-workings of the group for some time now. You don't have to go back very far to find that when Matthews claims to be taking a year off, he doesn't stick to it very long. In 2010, the band vowed that 2011 would be a year off following a 20th anniversary celebration.
"We feel lucky that our tours are a part of so many people's lives, and wanted to give everyone as much notice as possible. We're excited to make this summer one of our best tours yet, and look forward to returning to the road in 2012," the announcement also mentioned. That year off? 13 shows as a part of a massive summer-long "Dave Matthews Band Caravan" traveling festival. Logistically about as daunting as a full summer tour.
When DMB regrouped in 2012, it was as if they had never left. The setlists and playing felt unchanged and not nearly as refreshed as one would have hoped following that announcement in 2010 (that was followed by a very strong summer tour). So it's with this, that many hope(d) 2017 would finally be the year that Matthews put the guitar down, recharged his batteries and returned in 2018 with a fresh outlook as he enters his fifth decade of living.
The other band members seem to be laying relatively low (Boyd Tinsley is touring sporadically with new project Crystal Garden and touring members Jeff Coffin and Rashawn Ross are involved in numerous other projects) and it's certainly do the bandleader some good to enjoy his time off.
But who the hell am I? If the fire is lit, then it's lit. Onto Mexico we go.