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The Suburbanite
  • On the Beat: Meet Canton’s very own Dave Matthews tribute band

  • When it comes to the Dave Matthews Band, local tribute group Crash Into DMB isn’t doing anything half-heartedly.

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  • When it comes to the Dave Matthews Band, local tribute group Crash Into DMB isn’t doing anything half-heartedly.
    Together for only about a year, the six-member Crash already has more than 60 of Matthews’ songs in its repertoire, including radio hits (“What Would You Say,” “Satellite,” “Ants Marching,” “Crash Into Me”), fan favorites (“Warehouse,” “Number 41,” “Dancing Nancies”) and relative obscurities (“Grey Street,” “Halloween”).
    “We try to do a three or three-and-a-half-hour show,” said Brendon Swaffield, vocalist and guitarist for Crash Into DMB. “We have quite a catalogue of songs. We hit anywhere from 20 to 30 a night.”
    At 10 p.m. Saturday, Crash Into DMB will appear in concert at The Auricle in downtown Canton. If the band’s past shows at Sadie Rene’s are any indication, this one should attract a large and diverse crowd.
    “We get everything from 18-year-old hippie kids ... to well-dressed people in their late 40s, almost like at a real Dave Matthews show,” Swaffield said.
    “We try to hit every fan that’s out there. If you’re a really big Dave fan, you’re going to be surprised at some of the stuff we throw at you. If you’re a fan that likes DMB when they come on the radio, you’ll hear those songs.”
    In addition to Swaffield, Crash Into DMB includes Matt Vick on bass, Joe Reis on keyboards, Gary Gerber on violin, Jason Harris on sax and Scott Powell on drums.
    “We copy the songs as best as we can, but we’re really good musicians, too, so we take solos and play around with the music as they might,” Swaffield said. “Matt Vick is a tremendous bass player, he plays with Matt Corey. The sax player was in the Marine Corps band out of D.C. He’s played for presidents. He’s exceptional.”
    Prior to joining Crash, violinist Gerber was completely unfamiliar with Dave Matthews’ music. “He had to learn the entire catalogue, but he’s done really well,” Swaffield said. “The crowd goes crazy over him.”
    The idea for Crash Into DMB came one night when longtime friends Swaffield and Reis were hanging out chatting. They met 10 years ago at an open-mic night and over the years had played Dave Matthews songs at open mics.
    “This whole thing came from a small idea one night,” Swaffield said. “Within a couple of months we got a whole band together. It took off really quickly, but quite a bit of work has gone into this. At the very beginning, we were rehearsing three times a week.”
    For Swaffield, the big challenge has been remembering the lyrics to 60-plus songs. “It’s hard,” he said. “Some of these songs don’t repeat a lot. It’s a whole lot of spoken verse sometimes.” When he forgets onstage, “I try to do a pretty good job of covering it up.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Crash Into DMB has built a loyal local following from its summertime shows at Sadie Rene’s. “We make a real connection with the crowd,” Swaffield said. “Halfway through the set, we’ll have half the people on the dance floor. We’re not just up there trying to copy the Dave Matthews Band. We’re up there having fun and they can tell. We put on a hell of a show.”
    Doors will open at 9:30 p.m. Saturday for Crash Into DMB’s show at The Auricle at 601 Cleveland Ave. NW. Tickets are $7 advance at Ticketweb.com and $8 at the door, with a $2 surcharge for people under 21. All ages are welcome.