Dave Matthews Band founding saxophonist LeRoi Moore sadly died on this date in 2008. Moore was injured in an ATV accident on June 30 of that year and died on August 19, 2008 due to complications from the accident. He was just 46 years old.
Moore was born on September 7, 1961 in Durham, North Carolina but grew up in Virginia where he studied tenor saxophone at James Madison University. LeRoi would become a fixture in the Charlottesville, Virginia jazz scene, helping to found bands such as the Charlottesville Swing Orchestra and the John D’earth Quintet. The latter played a weekly gig at a bar called Miller’s where Moore would meet bartender and aspiring singer-songwriter Dave Matthews around 1990. LeRoi, Dave and drummer Carter Beauford would begin jamming as a trio that would evolve into the Dave Matthews Band in 1991 with bassist Stefan Lessard and fiddler Boyd Tinsley rounding out the classic lineup.
Moore’s sax stylings were an integral part of DMB’s unique sound, distinguishing the band from other rock heavy groups of the grunge era and helping to launch the success they would enjoy throughout the decades to come. On September 14, 2007, Dave Matthews Band stopped at Sound Advice Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida. Around this time last year, the concert was rebroadcast as part of the DMB Drive-In archival livestream series and JamBase takes a look at the show in honor of LeRoi Moore.
The West Palm Beach play got underway with the now rare, “A Dream So Real,” which was debuted on the 2007 Summer Tour but would only be played once again in 2008, as per DMB Almanac. The set continued with staples “Pantala Naga Pampa,” “Rapunzel” and “Everyday.” The unreleased live gem “Loving Wings” saw the band stretching out a bit including a soprano sax solo from LeRoi.
Next, classics “The Song That Jane Likes” and “Crush” bookended “Corn Bread” and the now rare “Eh Hee.” After Dave delivered a mostly solo “Sister,” the band would get into the intro of “If I Had It All” as Matthews made a quick wardrobe change. “Sweet Up And Down,” “Grey Street” and “Shotgun” followed ahead of the vintage “Dancing Nancies.”
A set-closing segment of “So Much To Say” segued into “Anyone Seen The Bridge” and “Too Much.” Dave would emerge for a solo “Gravedigger” to kick off the encore followed by a full band sequence of “Louisiana Bayou” — with Dave on electric — and the classic closer “Ants Marching,” which saw Moore shining once again on soprano sax.
To remember LeRoi Moore, watch the saxophonist perform with Dave Matthews Band in West Palm Beach in 2007 below via the JamBase Live Video Archive:
Setlist (via DMB Almanac)
Setlist: A Dream So Real, Pantala Naga Pampa » Rapunzel, Everyday, Loving Wings, The Song That Jane Likes, Corn Bread, Eh Hee, Crush, Sister, If I Had It All, Sweet Up and Down, Grey Street, Shotgun, Dancing Nancies, So Much to Say » Anyone Seen the Bridge » Too Much
Encore: Gravedigger, Louisiana Bayou » Ants Marching