What: Dave Matthews Band

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 SW Shevlin Hixon Drive, Bend

Cost: Sold out

Contact: bendconcerts.com or 541-312-8510

Most of the venues on Dave Matthews Band’s 2018 summer tour have capacities of 10,000 to 20,000 or more.

That makes sense, of course, considering the band’s longevity as hit-makers and its live appeal as modern jam-band figureheads. “Come Tomorrow,” the group’s ninth studio album, set a record in June for most consecutive Billboard 200 No. 1-debuting studio albums (seven), and the band’s summer tours in 2016 and 2015 landed on Billboard’s year-end Top 25 Tours lists (at No. 22 and No. 18, respectively).

Les Schwab Amphitheater, with its capacity of 8,000, is something of an outlier on the tour. The band returns to the venue Tuesday for its first stop in Bend since debuting at the amphitheater in 2014. Back then, Matthews and company commented on the Bend show’s intimacy.

“This is a tiny stop; the artists are really close to the audience,” venue Director Marney Smith said. “That’s an energizing — that’s an invigorating thing for a lot of these artists. They don’t have a 30-foot moat between them and the first guests. I think Dave Matthews, the one part of the show that I actually heard in 2014, he looked over to his drummer and said, ‘Well, I never get to play right next to you!’ They had to sit on the stage, and they were 10 pounds of sugar in a 5-pound sack.”

Since that sold-out debut, Les Schwab has seen an uptick in the number of bigger-name performers booking summer gigs here. Phish, who share DMB’s booking agency (Paradigm Talent & Literary Agency), performed two sold-out shows at the venue in 2015. That year the venue hosted 15 shows, a record at the time (beaten by this year’s 17 performances).

“We were told — whether or not this is true, I don’t know 100 percent — but we were told we got Widespread Panic for two nights (in 2016) because we had Phish, and we got Paul Simon (in 2017) because we got Widespread Panic,” Smith said. “So it is definitely a snowball effect.”

Since 2013, the venue has closed the grassy area on the east side of the river during concerts. Before that, people could watch shows for free from this area. An article in the concert business magazine Pollstar detailing the changes received positive feedback from booking agents, which also helped the venue increase its shows.

That, in turn, helps Bend’s economy. In 2015, Les Schwab concert attendees pumped more than $18 million into the city’s economy, according to a survey conducted by the amphitheater, the Old Mill District and RRC Research of Colorado.

“It took a very long time to get people’s attention, but I think they’ve now figured out that it is something they can play and make successful,” Smith said. “The Bend market is a little bit daunting to an agent sitting at a desk in Nashville. When you’re looking at the population base, it looks like it’s 80,000 people, and if you count the contiguous population, maybe 200,000, and that’s not a huge population to pull from.”

Dave Matthews Band is one of two sold-out shows this season, the other being Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss, which had attendance of 5,819. There will be no reserved seating at the DMB show and no blankets, chairs or strollers allowed, which allows for a full house of 8,000. As they did in 2014, tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale, Smith said.

Ticket scalpers are always a concern for Les Schwab, and that goes even more so for a packed show such as DMB. Smith said the venue goes through purchased tickets to “scrub” for scalpers, flagging customers with suspicious addresses and large orders. These tickets are released back to the Ticket Mill in the Old Mill District for local concertgoers to purchase (in 2014 and for this year’s show, the venue allocated 2,000 tickets for locals only at the Ticket Mill).

“We can go through the addresses that people order the tickets from, and if there’s 18 tickets for example sold in upstate New York, that’s a little suspicious,” Smith said. “… What we do in that case is we switch the tickets to will-call pickup, and you can count the seconds until the phone rings. That person or the scalper will call and say that doesn’t work for them, and they usually get pretty upset. And we say, fine, you have to pick the tickets up from will call, and the process goes from there. But usually they out themselves as not being the ones who are going to use the tickets and having resold them, and then they get canceled.”

DMB attendees can expect increased security and volunteers. The venue will expand its perimeter and restrict pedestrian and vehicle traffic on Shevlin Hixon Drive, as well.

“These guys have a lot of superfans,” Smith said. “We’ve got to make sure they feel safe and feel protected. When you’ve got 8,000 people visiting, there’s … unavoidable human issues to deal with. We just need to make sure we give ourselves, and the guests who are arriving, space and safety.”

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