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In their most informative announcement in many months, the band today announced their tour dates and provided a long-awaited update on the progress on a new album. The summer tour is the same structure and most of the stops that we've seen for a decade, kicking off in Burgettstown, PA in late May and winding up in Berkeley, CA in early September. Opening acts are State Radio, Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, The Black Crowes, Paolo Nutini, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Old Crow Medicine Show, Gomez, Ingrid Michaelson, Willie Nelson, TR3, the Eli Young Band, Robert Earl Keen and O.A.R. The Warehouse lottery runs through March 17, while tickets go on sale to the general public on March 22 for most shows and March 29 for the remainder.
There's an eyebrow-raising price hike—the band is apparently experimenting with a new pricing structure, and is selling the best seats for $250 (!) a pop at a trio of shows. For a band that has long objected to high ticket prices, this is a significant change in tack.
Finally, there's news about the new album. The band is on their fifth producer in as many albums, having parted ways with Batson despite having begun their latest album with him. (For more on Batson see our 2005 interview with him.) The latest producer is Rob Cavallo, known for his extensive work with pop punk band Green Day, plus his production for one-time DMB collaborator Alanis Morissette, Chris Isaak and Jewel. Tim Reynolds is back in the game, contributing to the new album, presumably in the form of guitar, which explains how TR3 came to join the tour this summer. (See our 2000 interview with him.) There's no ETA on the long-developing album, but having surpassed the gestation period for the Lillywhite sessions, it has now been in progress longer than any other DMB album.
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds will be performing at the Kokua Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii, the band has announced in an e-mail to fans. The April 19-20 event will benefit Jack Johnson's Kokua Hawaii Foundation, an environmental education group. Tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster next week.
Here's your day-before reminder that DMB's two-night stand at West Point will be broadcast online on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Robert Randolph and the Family Band opens at 6:45pm, followed by DMB, presumably at 8:00pm. Watch the whole thing here.
The band's cross-branding promotion with a phone company has come to a close, with the winner of the "World's Loudest Pep Rally" competition being named. The United States Military Academy at West Point sent more text messages through the phone company's mobile phones than any of the other 100+ universities vying to have the band play at their school. The pair of free concerts will be held at the school on November 14 and 15, with Robert Randolph & the Family Band opening. A small number of tickets will be provided to Warehouse members via lottery.
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