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Chickapig Gets Some National Recognition

Posted by Joe M in Band Collaborators at 5:41pm on Monday, Oct 16th, 2017

Chickapig, the fun strategic board game, is getting some well deserved national attention. Entertainment Weekly, yep that one, just reviewed the game and give it some glowing feedback. The article also includes some quotes from Dave Matthews in it, like how the game might never have came to be where it is now if it weren't for some "Guinness encouragement". Funny enough the game lends well to enjoying a Guinness (or two) with others while you play. Chickapig is also a great addition to Charlottesville Night 0 DMB Parties. :-p

We've enjoyed following the local Cville game as it's been growing larger. From the very early pre-release days of April 2016 when Chickapig participated in our Night 0 Charlottesville party at Mono Loco, we had the the game available for attendees to enjoy (sidecar'ed with a Starr Hill Warehouse Pils of course.) The community rallied to help with the initial kickstarter campaign to get the board game out to the masses. And then over the past year across the country, Chickapig has appeared at tailgates (you likely saw the 'big board' in action at any tailgates we participated in), with the latest culmination of a national Chickapig van tour.

What a ride Chickapig is on, and it has been fun to be along for it, including the most recent latest national attention. Check it out yourself if you haven't (couple ways to get 15% off when visit site.) Or if you already own a copy, get at it as you pass out Halloween candy (with a Guinness of course.)
   
     
   



Recap: Stevie Wonder joins DMB on Stage at Star-Studded Benefit Show

Posted by Matt Yette in Charity at 6:41am on Tuesday, Sep 26th, 2017

Sunday evening saw the return of Dave Matthews Band for their lone show of 2017 at A Concert for Charlottesville at Scott Stadium in their hometown of Charlottesville, VA. DMB headlined the event, which included superstars such as Justin Timberlake, Chris Martin, and a surprise appearance by Stevie Wonder.

The politically-charged event has silhouetted against an already tense atmosphere, with NFL games earlier in the day turning into ground zero for the ongoing “#TakeAKnee” hot button issue. The show began with Dave Matthews performing a solo rendition of “Mercy,” much like he did during the Hand in Hand telethon. Dave then introduced the mother of Heather Heyer, the Charlottesville local woman who was killed during last month’s protests.

The show went on, featuring short appearances by Cage the Elephant, Coldplay members Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland, The Roots featuring Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes and Pharrell Williams, Chris Stapleton and Ariana Grande. The show then turned to a 45-minute Justin Timberlake set, which, for all of DMB’s touring acumen, was an impressive act to follow. JT put on a signature high-energy show, drawing practically universal praise across social media and the Ants forums.

The moment then arrived for Dave Matthews Band to make it’s return after more than a year since its last performance. An unheralded but certainly noticeable addition on stage with the band was the return of touring keyboardist Butch Taylor, whose last performance with the band dates back to a corporate function for Outback Steakhouse in 2008. After beginning the set with “Don’t Drink the Water,” “Warehouse,” “Satellite,” “Seven,” and “You Might Die Trying,” local trumpet player John D’Earth emerged to join the rest of the band for “Grey Street.” Things then turned political, as Stevie Wonder entered the stage, unannounced. Wonder joined Matthews at center stage as both musicians took a knee, with Stevie leading in prayer. After a lengthy monologue by the 67-year old legend, guitarist Natural and Dave’s vocal coach RAab Stevenson came up on stage to assist as Wonder led a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” before moving onto the Stevie Wonder songs “Love’s In Need of Love Today” and “Superstition,” which ended the set.

We now wait until 2018 for more DMB, which is shaping up to be a big year for the band, with the return to regular touring and their first studio album in nearly six years slated to be released.
   
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Band Room Poster Appears to Reveal Chris Martin Guest Appearance

Posted by Matt Yette in Charity at 8:18am on Sunday, Sep 24th, 2017

Late last night, Twitter user jay posted an image of all the laminated sheets that normally show up backstage to direct performing acts to their own green rooms. We've seen various shots of these posters over the last few days, but this image had a sheet stick out that contained a name that hadn't been announced: Chris...well....something. The picture taken has a strong glare on that exact poster, and the last name is unclear at first glance (of course it is).

Running the image through an inverse filter in Photoshop, and lightening things up a bit, reveals more about the last name. We can see that the first letter is likely an 'M', and it's fairly clear the last three are "TIN." Could it be Chris Martin of Coldplay fame? Well, let's see. Coldplay was in Seattle, WA last night for a concert at CenturyLink Field, and just two hours ago posted an image on their Instagram page that shows a "Welcome to Virginia" sign. It seems highly plausible that Mr. Martin took the redeye out of Seattle late last night after his concert, and is now in the great state of Virginia.

We only have a few more hours to go until we have our definitive answer. There's no doubt though that tonight's benefit show is shaping up to be a special evening.
   
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The Return of Butch

Posted by Joe M in Band Collaborators at 5:13pm on Saturday, Sep 23rd, 2017

Speculation has been bouncing around the community about the possibility that long time bandmate Butch Taylor may be joining the band to play on stage at the Concert for Charlottesville. Could it be true or is it just the community spinning itself up in the excitement of the only full band concert of the year?

A friend of Butch's tells AntsMarching.org it's actually NOT community hysteria. That indeed Butch is "around" and has been at rehearsals.

But on top of just rehearsing, will he play on stage with the band? Well Rashawn Ross recently shared a short video of the band getting ready to sound check. And what appears to be Butch's current go-to keyboard, the Yamaha Motif XS8, is on the stage in the typical Butch stage position. (Some other unknown keyboards are setup at the front of the stage, but those are less identifiable as Butch's vs the Yamaha.)

Stefan has lead to the cause too, in a less obvious way by tweeting an image of the band in their Haunted Hollow studio in Charlottesville, presumably of the band getting some practice in. With the photo he commented “Leading lines and I spy”, which lead the community to read into the photo more.

It's been nearly 10 years since Butch last played a show with the band. Why hasn't Butch made any kind of an appearance especially with shows happening in Charlottesville over the years? This was a question the community has always wondered. Was it because Dave found his own fondness with piano? Hard to say. But what is certain is there is a noticeable level of interest in seeing Butch back in some capacity and things are looking up for that to happen tomorrow. But we'll have to wait and see.

UPDATE: Jeff Coffin didn't want to be left out of all the fun and has now posted an image of the band soundchecking on stage and sure enough the Yamaha keyboard has a very Butch-like figure sitting at it.

Side Note: If you're wondering what Butch Taylor has been up to, he has been doing some producing and performing. One in particular project was his production of Whispers & Secrecy by Michael Coleman. In addition to engineering, producing and mixing the album, he also plays on a few tracks. Definitely a recommend listen, Charlottesville local Michael Coleman is quite talented.
   
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Dave Discusses the Time Off From Touring and Charlottesville Concert

Posted by Joe M in Charity at 2:51pm on Saturday, Sep 23rd, 2017

Dave Matthews appeared on the Charlie Rose show on PBS last night along with Sunday's Concert for Charlottesville co-bill Pharrell Williams to discuss the event. The 32 minute segment touches on a range of topics around the concert, around the state of the nation, and other personal thoughts and items from both Pharrell and Dave’s past. As can be typical with episodes of the Charlie Rose program, the episodes don't touch on simple surface questions. It provides a look into Dave's connection to Charlottesville, how the concert came about, the motivation behind the concert, and what they hope will come from it. It's a unedited look into Dave and Pharrell's thoughts.

As a side topic Charlie does ask Dave "When you took the time away from touring, was it an introspective period for you or were you just resting?" Dave makes it clear that he wasn't resting and was doing a number of things, including writing. He also goes on to say "I feel like [the time off] made me love my band more. It made me miss them. It made me want to do more things in music."

The full program is available online on charierose.com. The Concert for Charlottesville kicks off tomorrow at 6pm and will be live streamed for all to watch.
   
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Concert for Charlottesville Show Itinerary Leaked

Posted by Matt Yette in Charity at 7:51am on Friday, Sep 22nd, 2017

An image purporting to be A Concert for Charlottesville's stage schedule has shown up in the wild, detailing each act's planned performance time with some minor notes. It must be noted that the listing itself claims that the set times are subject to change, but for now, antsmarching.org can corroborate that this document is authentic and represents the planned schedule for the evening.

It should be no surprise, given that Charlottesville, VA is the town where Dave Matthews Band started its meteoric rise to the top of the touring world (setting a few album-related records on the way), that the hometown performance schedule dedicates three times as much stage time to Dave/DMB than the next longest performance. Dave himself will open the festivities with a short, 15-minute solo set at 6:00pm, before introducing Brittany Howard and giving way to the bevy of acts that are also signed on for the charity gig. Howard's time on stage is slated to be a mere 20 minutes, followed by the same duration for Cage the Elephant and The Roots, with 10 minute breaks in between. These are roughly half-opener performance lengths. At 7:45, the show times bump up to 30 minutes, with Ariana Grande taking the stage, followed by Chris Stapleton, and then Justin Timberlake at 9:05pm, all with 10 minute breaks in between. Interestingly, the handoff to Pharrell Williams will not include a break, which seems to indicate that there will be some sort of joint performance between the two long-time collaborators. The schedule notes that Pharrell must leave the stage at 10:00pm "PROMPT", allowing for a 15-minute break until the main act, Dave Matthews Band, takes the stage for their 75-minute set.

The schedule makes note that the set designs themselves are intended to be minimal to keep the set breaks to a minimum and allow for maximum play time. It also mentions that extended play permits are already in place, but whether that means DMB could run past their 75-minute allotment, or must stick to it firmly, is unclear.

UVAToday, the newspaper for the University of Virginia, has also released an article detailing some of the security and parking information related to the benefit show. Security will be implementing a clear-bag policy, so if you have something to carry in, it must be clear and smaller than 12x6x12". Signs and banners, often a staple at DMB shows, are prohibited. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis, with lots opening at 1:00pm. Parking in spaces closest to the venue are $20, with outlying lots commanding $10. Note that all parking fees are cash only. Tailgating is allowed, with the caveats that no cooking or public consumption of alcohol is allowed. Those Solo cups better have Kool-Aid in them, folks. Concert gates are set to open at 4:00pm.

A Concert for Charlottesville will be live-streamed starting at 5:55pm EDT this coming Sunday, September 24, 2017.
   
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Concert for Charlottesville to be Live-Streamed

Posted by Matt Yette in Charity at 4:39pm on Wednesday, Sep 20th, 2017

Given the relatively difficult and unlikely path to obtain tickets for this weekend's Charlottesville Benefit Show, as well as Dave's involvement at the Hand in Hand Telethon, there was always a hope - nay - an expectation, that there would be some sort of live-stream of the star-studded event. Today, we learned that those wishes would be granted.

Per an email from The Warehouse, it has been revealed that A Concert for Charlottesville will have multiple live-streaming partners, including Yahoo!, Huffpost, Build, and AOL. Yes, those of you who hung onto all those free floppy disks, CDs, and hundreds of free hours will finally get your due. The stream will be compatible with mobile devices as well as your desktop.

The stream is set to start at 6pm EST this coming Sunday, September 24th. Watch it with us and join the discussion on the Ants Forums!
   
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Dave Matthews to play at Second Annual Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees Tour

Posted by Jen Henson in Charity at 8:13am on Wednesday, Sep 20th, 2017

Dave Matthews continues his humanitarian efforts next month when he joins the first leg of the the Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees Tour. The North American branch of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency, is hosting the concert series.

The series was first organized last year to bring awareness to JRS’s Global Education Initiative which provides educational services to displaced youth throughout the world.

Despite the “usa” at the end of the name, the tour is actually named after the Italian island, Lampedusa, which is known as the “door of Europe”. It is estimated that nearly 400,000 people have braved the Mediterranean, first passing through Lampedusa, in their hopes to migrate to Europe. For the last twenty years, the immigrant waves often outnumber the island’s tiny population of 6,000 but not its hospitality and humanitarian aid.

Over the course of thirteen days in October, artists, including Dave Matthews, Joan Baez, Brandi Carlile, Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris, among others, will form their own tiny island of musicians in furtherance of the aid efforts and awareness of refugees on a global level. Unlike last year’s tour, which spanned the US from coast-to-coast, this year’s tour is focussed on the western United States with 8 concerts spanning Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. With tickets ranging from $30 to $150, the proceeds will go to support JRS’s Global Education Initiative. Unfortunately, if you have plans of trying to see Dave in this concert series, you will have to turn to the secondary market. Both of Dave’s shows are ‘sold out’ and so far, these are the only ‘sold out’ shows in the concert series. With all other artists playing at least one other non-sold out night, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to assume that Dave’s appearance in the line-up was the catalyst of the ‘sell out’. The interest in any Dave Matthews performance is not surprising during the band’s break and given that these are the only west coast dates that Dave Matthews has scheduled to play this year.

While he did not participate in last year’s Lampedusa concert series, it is possible that the cancellation of the Bridge School Benefit Concert freed up Dave’s October schedule enough to enable him to participate this year. Dave will be performing at the October 3rd Seattle, Washington and October 4th Portland, Oregon dates in the series. The settings will be quite intimate with Seattle’s Moore theater holding only 1800 and Portland’s Aladdin theater holding only 620. If this series of concerts follows the same format as last year, the musicians will remain on stage together, throughout the concert, and play their songs in a round-robin format with accompaniment from the other artists. Last year’s performances were heavily laden with humanitarian and political messages. This is exactly the sort of event that may spark a new song from Dave Matthews or the debut of a song that has been in the works. A prediction that seems possible given Dave’s recent mention of a potential album next year and the debut of new song “Do You Remember” at this year’s Farm Aid.
   
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Dave Debuts New Song 'Do You Remember' at Farm Aid

Posted by Matt Yette in Album News at 5:38am on Sunday, Sep 17th, 2017

Just days after Dave Matthews gave an interview in which he revealed that a new album was in the works for 2018, fans got a taste of a new song that might show up on said project. At last night's Farm Aid show, Dave introduced a new song, originally called "Odds Are Against Us," but since revealed by the band's official site to be called "Do You Remember." Dave shared that he wrote the song recently and had just shared it with Tim prior to the performance.

Given fans' thirst for new album news (the last studio effort was from 2012; the subsequent drought represents the band's longest of their career), a brand new song so soon after the album news should satiate those desires.

You can check out Dave's performance of Do You Remember on our YouTube channel or by watching the video above.
   
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Hand in Hand Telethon Raises Over $44 Million

Posted by Matt Yette in Charity at 1:56am on Wednesday, Sep 13th, 2017

The surprise telethon that Dave Matthews was a part of yesterday was a massive success: the Hand in Hand telethon raised more than $44 million last night. When Dave's participation was announced, there was plenty to speculate about; with over 100 big names on the ticket for a one-hour event, there was little hope that we would see a performance, but see a performance we did. Dave performed a relatively well-received version of Mercy during the event.

The telethon included performances by other artists, as well: In Nashville, Usher and Blake Shelton sang "Stand By Me," while George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett sang "Texas" and "I Believe" from San Antonio. Other performances included Luis Fonsi and Tori Kelly singing "Hallelujah," and Brad Paisley, Demi Lovato, Darius Rucker, Cece Winans performing "With a Little Help from My Friends."

You can check out Dave's performance of Mercy on our YouTube channel.
   
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