Michael Kim, Associated Press
LeRoi Moore performs with the Dave Matthews Band in 2005.

The Dave Matthews Band will never be the same.

Tuesday, band saxophonist LeRoi Moore died. He was involved in an ATV accident the last week of June near Charlottesville, Va. The musician suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs.

The band released a statement on its Web site Tuesday saying: "We are deeply saddened that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of Dave Matthews Band, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 19, 2008, at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, from sudden complications stemming from his June ATV accident on his farm near Charlottesville, Va. LeRoi had recently returned to his Los Angeles home to begin an intensive physical rehabilitation program."

Moore, a jazz-trained saxophonist who was born Sept. 7, 1961, hooked up with Matthews in 1991. Throughout the years the band — whose lineup since 1993 included guitarist/vocalist Matthews, Moore, drummer Carter Beauford, violinist Boyd Tinsley and bassist Stefan Lessard — gained favor with the jam-band crowd, thanks to its own style of extended grooves.

The band's big breakthrough came in 1994 with its major-label full-length CD, "Under the Table Dreaming," which featured its signature song "Ants Marching."

The next album, "Crash," featuring the non-single hit "Crash Into Me," took the band into the stratosphere by selling more than 7 million copies and hitting No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

Now with a total of eight major studio albums and 10 live albums, along with one independently released full-length and another independent extended play, the band has entertained audiences all over the world.

Tuesday night, a few hours after Moore's death, the band, with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones' saxophonist Jeff Coffin, played a show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

According to the band's Web site: "As we sat this afternoon contemplating the loss of our brother, we wondered how we could possibly do a show today," said Matthews during the show as reported by an online post by members of the band's road crew. "There's no place I'd rather be than here with you guys right now. We cherish special memories of our lost friend. It's always easier to leave than to be left."

My first Dave Matthews Band show was in 1996 at the Horizons of Rock Development Everywhere Festival — more commonly known as the H.O.R.D.E. — at what was then called Wolf Mountain in Park City. The musicianship of each band member blew me away, and hooked me immediately.

Since then, I've seen the band almost every time it makes a stop in Utah.

DMB is scheduled to play the USANA Amphitheatre, with opening guest Robert Earl Keen, on Wednesday. So far, the concert is still scheduled.

This fan's heart is with the band during this sad time.


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