From the start, they seemed like unlikely candidates for pop stardom, with their quirky jazz-flavored songs and nonstandard instrumentation, But for more than two decades the Dave Matthews Band has been selling albums and filling arena seats.
DMB's popularity is actually built more on their long, energetic and unpredictable live shows than on their recordings, and in fact they have released many more live albums than studio albums.
Summer tours have long been a DMB trademark, and this year's tour has been getting solid review thus far.
Their set has included surprise appearances by the likes of the great jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan, and surprise songs such as a cover of "Runnin' Down a Dream" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
The tour has also featured some excellent opening acts including Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
Opening the Tampa show is Blind Pilot, which doesn't have the name recognition but should be just as satisfying as Grace and her gang.
Blind Pilot is low-key and but quietly sublime. They've been compared favorably to Bon Iver and people who have seen them live say they're great.
Details: 7:00 p.m. July 17, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida Stata Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301, Tampa. Tickets: $52.85-$89.70. Information: 813-740-2446, www.livenation.com.
-- Marty Clear