There has been evidence of an added muscularity and a deeper level of musical interplay working their way into the Dave Matthews Band's concerts over the past few years. Credit guitarist Tim Reynolds, saxophonist Jeff Coffi and trumpeter Rashawn Ross, virtuosic players all, for upping the improvisational ante for the DMB. Along with founding member and drummer Carter Beauford, these players have helped the band break free from the instrumental stasis that seemed to have enveloped the group a few years prior to their involvement.
Of course, all the hot playing in the world wouldn't mean a thing without good songs to frame it, and leader Matthews has never had any shortage of those. Reviews from the road so far during the DMB summer 2012 tour suggest that the high level of musicianship and idiosyncratic beauty of Matthews' songwriting are combining to take the group to a new plateau. The Dave Matthews Band and guest Brandi Carlisle perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $75 reserved, $40.50 general admission lawn (LiveNation.com).
-- Jeff Miers