Dave Matthews Taps Offbeat Mix Of Opening Acts

When the Dave Matthews Band launches its brief arena tour next month, the group will once again boast a diverse array of opening acts.

West African vocalist Angelique Kidjo will be the first to take the support slot, performing at the December 3 tour opener in Minneapolis and on December 4 and 5 in Chicago, a spokesperson for the group said.

Veteran New Orleans funk outfit the Funky Meters will open in Cleveland on December 7; University Park, Pennsylvania, on December 8; Albany, New York, on December 9; and Boston on December 11.

The rest of the tour will then take on an outlaw country flair as Steve Earle and the Dukes will come aboard to open shows on December 12 and 13 in New York; December 16 in Providence, Rhode Island; and December 17 in Philadelphia.

For past tours, the Dave Matthews Band has reached out to such eclectic opening acts as Native American blues-rock band Indigenous, banjo wizard Bela Fleck, Norwegian experimentalists

Getaway People, rock radio faves Vertical Horizon and Southern rockers Gov't Mule.

The Dave Matthews Band is expected to finish work on the follow-up to 1998's Before These Crowded Streets shortly before the tour starts. The album is due in February (see Dave Matthews Books Brief Tour, Slots LP For February").