Dave Matthews Goes Home For First-Ever South African Shows With Band

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(Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Syracuse University)

(Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Syracuse University)

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Dave Matthews is going home to South Africa and for the first time, bringing his bandmates with him.

On November 30, the band will make their debut in Cape Town before playing a show in Johannesburg — Matthews’ hometown — on December 3. Each show will feature South African folk singer Vusi Mahlasela, a friend of Matthews who has opened for the band numerous times in the U.S.

Though Matthews has played solo shows in the country, this will be the first time in their 20+ years that the entire band will play their singer’s homeland.

Matthews was born in Johannesburg in 1967 and moved to the United States at the age of 19. The singer started the band in 1991 while living in Virginia and has talked about the role his South African roots played in the music. In an interview with Charlie Rose from 1999, Matthews talked about taking influence from the keyboard players he heard growing up, which you can hear on their debut album, 1994’s Under The Table And Dreaming. He also spoke about the inspiration he still found in the country even after leaving.

“Although there’s economic strife… and there’s violence and there’s still a lot of frustrations over there and there’s still a lot of pushing and pulling going on, there’s also an energy there and an urgency to the social and political scene that’s really exciting,” Matthews said. “And it’s exciting to be in any way part of that. I find it inspirational. I find it cleans me out and brings me down to ground when I go back there.”

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