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11-20-2002John to appear at Tim Vega exhibition/tribute; Fall tour finalized; Irving Plaza goes off without a repeat

The HERE Arts Center in New York City will be hosting an exhibition and concerts to celebrate the work and life of NYC artist Tim Vega, who unxpectedly passed away this past April 29th. Tim is best known for his bright, psychedelic art created for many New York-area bands and their extended musical family, including Blues Traveler, the Spin Doctors, Jono Manson, Gov't Mule, Wasabi, and many more. From December 6th through the 21st, Tim's work will be displayed and several concerts will be held to benefit the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center and HereART. The opening concert will feature Suzanne Vega, Jaik Miller (of X25) and Warren Haynes on December 6th. The following night's concert will have Vega and Miller only, while the final event on December 16th will feature John Popper, the Spin Doctors' Chris Barron, and singer Joan Osborne. All shows are at 10pm with reception beforehand at 9. Tickets are $30 for the first two shows and $40 for the last; a link is at the bottom of the Tour Dates page. The exhibition itself can be viewed during normal business hours 7 days a week.

Several tour dates have been added to the end of the tour since the previous update; in addition to a December 4th date in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom, the band will return to finish the tour on US soil at Portland's Roseland Theater on December 5th. The opener for all December shows will be PJ Olsson, while Tre Hardson is slated to open from November 19th through the 25th, with the exception of the 22nd, when no opener is scheduled.

As advertised, the Irving Plaza setlists did in fact make it through four nights without a single repeated song, a first in Blues Traveler history (as was a four-night stand in one venue). Several tunes were played for the first time with the new lineup, including Cleopatra's Cat (nearly seven years since it was last played), Crystal Flame (almost four), Come Together (four), Weird Chick (four), Miss You (four) and the big fan favorite, Trina Magna (four). Old friend Chris Barron graced the stage three of the four nights in guest vocal spots, and openers Lake Trout and Wayne Krantz were also invited on stage to lend their musical talents to various tunes. Based on subsequent setlists, it appears that both Trina Magna and The Gunfighter have found their way back into the permanent rotation, with the others to follow, one would hope. The final twist in the four-night run saw Traveler Suite broken up in its several movements and sprinkled among the eight sets played - also a first.