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07-08-2003Red Rocks shows/DVD news; Asbury Park show IS a go; Tour news

Blues Traveler celebrated their 11th Independence Day bash at Red Rocks Amphitheatre over the weekend, culminating with a full-fledged DVD shoot the night of the 4th. Among the highlights of the two nights were the first "Conquer Me" since November of 1996 and the first "Support Your Local Emperor" - the winner of this year's netter Chant Poll - since November of 1998. With the exception of two Truth Be Told numbers played during Friday's encore, the two sets featured completely different songs and the new material sounded much stronger and more solid than last year's renditions.

John and Chan were everywhere to be seen during the week - two days prior to their appearance at Joey Harrington's fundraiser on June 26th, the pair did an in-store appearance at Best Buy in Clackamas, OR as well as appearing on Portland's KINK-FM a day later. They repeated the feat in Denver at Twist and Shout Records, arriving late because of a similar engagement at Boulder's KBCO-FM. They made an additional appearance with old friends Leftover Salmon, guesting on "Other Side" and "Down In The Valley" during their opening set. Salmon reciprocated by lending Drew Emmitt, Bill McKay and Noam Pikelny to a 21-minute version of "Mountain Cry" to close the night on the 3rd. On the 4th, management-mates Shurman kicked off the festivities, followed by an alternately lively and heartfelt set from a Melody Maker-less Ziggy Marley. Then the lights went up, the booms swung into place, and the crowd cheered for nearly three hours straight as seven separate cameras filmed the show in its entirety for an upcoming HDNet broadcast (in November) and a DVD (tentatively scheduled for later this year).

The later summer tour continues to be in a state of flux; the previously-canceled Stone Pony show in Asbury Park is now back on due to a change of heart from the band - the offer of a show in their home state of New Jersey turned out to be too much to resist, and tickets are now back on sale for the August 2nd date through MusicToday and TicketMaster at a reduced rate of $25 (instead of the original $30). Opening this date - as well as much of late July and early August - is the Ben Taylor Band. The show originally scheduled for August 8th at Northampton, MA's Calvin Theatre has been shifted to the 6th, presumably to accommodate a new date in Colorado, of all places. Blues Traveler has been tapped to play the Triple A Summit for the Radio & Record Industries' annual bash; the date is scheduled for Boulder's Fox Theatre on August 9th. According to Dave Matthews Band fan uber-site nancies.org (Matthews will be playing a solo set on the 6th), tickets for at least the first night go on sale Sunday, July 12th for $35 through the venue's box office, and it would logically follow that other nights will go on sale at the same time for a similar price. More info will be posted here as it becomes available.