02/11/17 Aspen, CO Belly Up Aspen
02/12/17 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
02/21/17 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
02/22/17 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
02/24/17 Seattle, WA The Showbox
02/25/17 Missoula, MT The Wilma
02/26/17 Billings, MT The Pub Station
02/28/17 Des Moines, IA Wooly's
03/01/17 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre
03/03/17 Birmingham, AL Iron City
03/04/17 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
03/05/17 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts
03/07/17 Wilmington, DE Grand Opera House
03/08/17 Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre
03/10/17 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
03/11/17 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
03/12/17 Hartford, CT Infinity Hall Hartford
03/14/17 Northampton, MA Academy Of Music
03/15/17 Ithaca, NY State Theatre
03/17/17 Toronto, ON Opera House
03/18/17 Kalamazoo, MI Kalamazoo State
03/19/17 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue
03/21/17 Tulsa, OK Cain's Ballroom
03/22/17 Santa Fe, NM Lensic Performing Arts
03/23/17 Flagstaff, AZ Orpheum Theater
04/01/17 Los Angeles, CA The Theatre
04/21/17 Louisville, KY W.L. Lyons Brown
04/22/17 Lynchstock Music Festival
04/23/17 High Water Festival
04/25/17 Asheville, NC Orange Peel
04/26/17 Knoxville, TN Bijou Theatre
04/28/17 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
04/29/17 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
04/30/17 Chattanooga, TN Revelry Room
05/02/17 Wilmington, NC Greenfield Lake Amph
05/03/17 Charlotte, NC Fillmore Charlotte
05/07/17 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage
Call it a home-away-from-homecoming show—
California band Dawes has always had a growing and loyal following in the Twin Cities metro, from its early days forward, as one of the first markets in the nation to embrace their music and both longtime fans and new converts, were treated to over two hours of the band’s catalog, at a recent stop at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.
In support of last September’s fifth full-length, We’re All Gonna Die (HUB Records), the tone of the evening was neither desperate or panicked as the album title might infer; rather, the best chance yet to see this seasoned band properly stretch their wings for a musically encompassing and satisfying trip through their sonic back pages.
In many ways, Dawes (Taylor Goldsmith, guitar / vocals; his brother Griffin on drums; Wylie Gelber, bass; and newest addition Lee Pardini on keys) personifies the archetypal modern West Coast folk/rock band- they are Laurel Canyon-influenced in sound (via producer Jonathan Wilson), can tug gently with a ballad, lay down an extended jam or just heavily rock out, have previously backed up the likes of Conor Oberst and Jackson Browne, have had the son of an Allman Brothers Band member in their touring group, and Goldsmith’s storytelling lyrics paint timeless musical portraits that (like many Eagles songs) will sound fresh thirty years from now.
The “An Evening With…” was split into two full sets, with this show’s first eighty-minute portion starting their nightly-rotating setlist with the new ‘One of Us’, maybe Taylor Goldsmith’s nudge toward the fact that Minnesota embraces the band so. Staging was relatively simple, with plenty of room to move amongst a draped back curtain illuminated like a chroma key, in varying changing hues of color shades.
The elder Goldsmith, bassist Gelber, and new touring guitarist Trevor Menear were near the forefront of the stage, while Pardini and drummer (and now-shaggier) Griffin were more in the back shadows and harder to see, which was unfortunate as Griff has some of the greatest facial expressions in rock, to watch as he plays.
Pardini was properly introduced with an eloquent opening solo on ‘Right on Time’ with Goldsmith saying “we’ve got a long night ahead of ourselves” to the crowd, mid-way into the song. Conversation was minimal until halfway through when Taylor gushed about us being “the first city to ever give us a chance” and “the fact that we’re in this beautiful room together means so much more to us that I can ever be able to articulate”.
‘Somewhere Along the Way’ purposely wallowed in its mellowness, with Menear being an ideal foil for Goldsmith to trade guitar riffs with, and ‘When My Times Comes’ had the audience collectively singing louder than the band. Two character-driven songs ended their first set- ‘A Little Bit of Everything’ then ‘Less Than Five Miles Away’, about survival and perspective, which whetted appetites for the second shift.
After a brief intermission, the second eighty minutes started acoustic and hushed with 2011’s ‘Moon in the Water’ then drummer Griff taking over lead vocals for ‘Roll Tide’ with the sound soon rising for their cover of ex-bandmate and recent producer Blake Mills’ ‘Hey Lover’.
Drinks were held on high for “all the people you’re not speaking to” on ‘Things Happen’, the benefits of walking away were sounded out on ‘Quitter’, and a snippet of ‘Time Spent in Los Angeles” (kind of wished he’d changed it to Minneapolis) fell into a stretched-out jam on ‘Most People’.
The irresistible one-two melodic punch of ‘If I Wanted Someone’ and ‘From the Right Angle’ led into the half-funny, half-somber title track from the new record. The encore first reached back to the band’s 2009 debut with the again appropriate in these tumultuous times, ‘Peace in the Valley’, which featured Pardini and an extended organ solo.
From there a message of hope and a musical toast from the band, wishing the audience the best of the old days and that ‘All Your Favorite Bands’ “stay together”. And their home-away-from-home crowd responded to Dawes with a final standing ovation, like old friends coming back to town.
PHOX, with Cuddle Magic, at the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis (02 Feb 2017)