For the First Time in 20 Years, Keanu Reeves Plays Live with His Band

This weekend was the first time in more than 20 years that Keanu Reeves and his band Dogstar played a show together. The actor joined his bandmates at the BottleRock Napa Valley event in California in 2023. Other A-listers on the bill included The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and The Smashing Pumpkins. The San Francisco Chronicle said that Reeves’ performance was very well-liked.

Although Reeves is best known for his roles in action films like The Matrix and John Wick, his most devoted fans are aware that he once dreamed of being a rock star. After doing well on TV and in the Bill & Ted movies, Reeves, Robert Mailhouse, Gregg Miller, and Bret Domrose started an alternative rock band called Dogstar in 1991. Reeves played bass guitar in the band. In 1997, the band put out two albums and went on tour, but they often had to work around Reeves’ movie schedule. 2002 they finally broke up, but they stayed friends and played together in other bands.

Dogstar started teasing a return on social media last July, and it looks like this weekend may have been the real start. Reeves’s drummer, Robert Mailhouse, is said to have given him some advice on how to get back on stage. “Mailhouse was just very positive,” Reeves told the Chronicle. “Listen to the music,” he said. Just listen to the music. and we’ll see what happens next.’”

In the middle of the 2000s, Reeves was a member of Mailhouse’s band Becky for a short time. When he left, he said that he couldn’t commit to a serious music job. In a recent interview with Billboard, though, he said that he missed making music with a group like Dogstar. He said he was happy to get back together with the band in some way, even if they weren’t trying to fill arenas.

“II missed playing together, I missed writing together, I missed doing shows together. It’s something I’ve always missed,” he said. “We came to a spot where we weren’t playing anymore, and I missed it… Once we started to play, and it felt good, and really positive and creative, that’s when it was like, ‘Okay, let’s make this happen.’”

Dogstar is also rumored to be working on a new album, so fans may see Reeves playing guitar more often in the coming years. For now, most music streaming apps have their old songs.