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Woaah, that’s no air guitar. Keanu Reeves grabs his bass for a rare Dogstar reunion

Keanu Reeves in a black T-shirt and unshaven with his hair long, holds a bass guitar on stage.
Keanu Reeves performs with Dogstar at the 2023 BottleRock Napa Valley festival.
(Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images)
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Keanu Reeves traded his “Bill and Ted” air guitar for a real one over the weekend, reuniting with his alternative rock trio Dogstar in Napa Valley for the group’s first performance in more than 20 years.

Dogstar formed in the early 1990s with Reeves as its bass player. Largely riding Reeves’ movie stardom, the band put out two albums, toured and performed on “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee” and Jay Leno’s “The Tonight Show,” before giving a last performance in 2002 in Japan.

After the band declared, “We’re back,” on its Instagram account in July, Dogstar hit the stage on Saturday for a 12-song set at the 2023 BottleRock Napa Valley festival.

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As frontman Bret Domrose cued up their first song, with actor Robert Mailhouse taking his seat behind the drums, the star of “John Wick” and “The Matrix” could be seen onstage jumping up and down, rocking his head and long hair back and forth, according to fan footage of the performance. At some points between songs, Reeves smoldered and mouthed to the crowd, as fans screamed and yelled, “We love you,” and “Welcome back, Keanu!”

“Today was like our first kind of foray out,” Reeves told the Napa Valley Register, as Dogstar is preparing to release new music. “The band wants to play. We have a record, so we’re just kind of figuring out the best way to marry those two things.”

Domrose said the reunion “just organically happened” after the “really long break,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. And even during their hiatus, band members remained in contact, occasionally jamming with one another in between Reeves’ film shoots.

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But Reeves said he hadn’t intended for his band to play second fiddle to his acting career.

It wasn’t a matter of just “make time for it,” Reeves told Billboard last week. “It’s something that’s part of my life.”

The band members shared that they had an album in the works, with one of Dogstar’s songs already done. Yet with several projects on the horizon for the “Point Break” star — such as a possible “Constantine” sequel and Aziz Ansari’s big-screen directorial debut, “Good Fortune” — the band had to move fast.

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“I think all three of us just said, ‘Well, if we’re going to do this, let’s make a record,’” Reeves said in the Billboard interview.

Domrose added that making the song happened quickly: “We just knew that there was ‘X’ amount of time, and we needed to make the most of it.”

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