As a musician myself, I can really appreciate the amount of emotion a performer can place into their music and their performance, but nothing compares to the raw emotion of losing someone.
On June 30th this year, Leroi Moore, founding member and saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band, was injured in an ATV accident near his home in Virginia. The band went on with their summer tour while he recovered, starting up shows the very next day in North Carolina.
Several days later, Moore was released from a Virginia hospital after suffering several broken ribs and a collapsed lung, but in mid-July was suddenly re-admitted to the hospital with complications. On Tuesday August 19, Moore died from the complications suffered from the ATV accident.
That night, the band went on.
They played a concert in Los Angeles and following the first song, front-man Dave Matthews addressed the crowd in memory of Moore.
Less than a week later, Dave Matthews Band came through Phoenix, and I had a ticket to the show which I had purchased several months earlier. The band opened with the same song they opened with the night Moore died, and they played their hearts out.
You could see it in their faces, you could hear it in their voices and through their instruments. Drummer Carter Beauford, normally an upbeat smiling guy, refused to smile for several songs, until he finally allowed himself to enjoy the performance.
While that concert was not the same without Leroi, it is my favorite out of the five I have been to thusfar. The heartache that must overcome the band every time they step on stage without Leroi was transparent in their music and in their performance which made for an unforgettable experience.
Now, I can experience that again. Since I purchased a ticket via Ticketmaster, I was given a free digital download through iTunes of the band’s newly released Live Trax 2008, which features the best of the best from this summer’s tour.
I downloaded it the day it was released. Today.
Six of the eight tracks are from concerts within a week and a half of Moore’s ATV accident, including one from his final concert with the band on June 28th.
My favorite track, is second to last on the album, and is that opening track from August 19, the day Moore passed. The song is called “Bartender,” and is also the song the band opened with at the Phoenix show I attended. I must have listened to it at least ten times already, and that’s saying a lot since this version is over fourteen minutes long.
Unfortunately, for those who didn’t purchase a ticket this summer, the album doesn’t go on sale to the public until December.
Only then will you be able to listen and experience raw unfiltered emotion at its best.