LOS ANGELES – The Dave Matthews Band [ tickets ] has added a pair of new shows to its current tour slate behind the band’s hot-selling new album, “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King.” The Sept. 9 and 10 shows at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre come immediately after the band’s three-night stand at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA. The group, which continues the trek tomorrow night (6/19) near Pittsburgh, will head overseas for a European tour leg later this month. Tickets for the two LA shows go on sale to the general public starting Friday (6/ 19). Details for the group’s US tour dates are included below, and international dates are posted at DMB’s website. Last weekend, the band drew more than 50,000 fans to Saratoga Springs, NY, for a pair of outdoor concerts. State-park police made 34 arrests and issued 58 appearance tickets to concertgoers over the weekend, according to local authorities. “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King,” which hit stores earlier this month, marks the band’s first studio set since the death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore last summer. Guitarist Tim Reynolds returned to the studio with the band for the record–his first recording with DMB since 1998′s “Before These Crowded Streets.” The set debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in early June, moving about 424,000 copies during its first week on store shelves to make the album the third-highest selling debut of the year, behind Eminem’s “Relapse” (608,000 copies) and U2′s “No Line on the Horizon” (484,000 copies), according to Nielsen SoundScan retail figures as reported by Billboard. Produced by Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance), “Big Whiskey” is the follow-up to 2005′s “Stand Up,” the fourth consecutive Dave Matthews Band effort to enter the US album chart at No. 1. In addition to DMB members Dave Matthews (vocals, guitar), Carter Beauford (drums), Stefan Lessard (bass) and Boyd Tinsley (violin), the group will be joined on the road by Reynolds, trumpeter Rashawn Ross and saxophonist Jeff Coffin.
From the bluesy sax solo that opens the album, to the inspired songs and performances throughout, it’s clear that this one’s for LeRoi. “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King,” the Dave Matthews Band’s first album since 2005, is due June 2 on RCA. The album shows a number of inspirations: producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, My Chemical Romance), the band’s maturation and a focus on creating a studio project on a level with the band’s potency as one of the most popular live acts in rock history. But it’s hard to deny the impact of the loss of founding member LeRoi Moore, who last summer died of complications from injuries suffered in an all-terrain-vehicle accident after work on the album had begun. “Everything was really hard after Roi’s death,” Matthews says. “But when we were all spending time together and listened to what he had already played, we really had time to think about him and be grateful for the time we had with him.” Violinist Boyd Tinsley agrees that the sessions helped pull the band members together. “You’re in the studio and you look around, and there’s somebody missing,” he says. “I know there were some moments for me that were really tough in the studio.” Moore’s work is all over the album, culled from performances he had already put in for the project. “We created a giant ProTools file that had all of his parts, even if he was just tinkering around during a demo phase off-mic,” Cavallo says. “We scoured the hard drives to find all of these moments he had.” Dave Matthews Band will begin its 2009 tour April 14 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The band plans to make new material part of the set list and, as is typical, the “Groogrux” songs will find a new life onstage. “We’ve played them all but we’re going to have some extensive rehearsals before the tour starts – get them all oiled, lubed up and ready to go,” Beauford says. “By the time we step onstage for the first show these tunes are going to be ready. By the middle of the summer, it’s going to be a whole other story then, because most of the new tunes that we do always develop and grow into something fresh and new by the middle of the tour.”