On this “Evening with” with Dawes, you could feel the connection between the band and the crowd.
The Pageant, St. Louis
I love those shows that are “An Evening with” setups. I saw Colin Hay during “An Evening with” and it felt like a private concert. I was looking forward to An Evening with Dawes, but wondered how the Pageant would pull off that intimacy in such a large venue. The stage was dark until the music hit us, and boom: It was a private concert. There was no opening band and little chatter, and the lights weren’t distracting. Just us and the guys.
The band is very interesting to watch. The lead singer, Taylor Goldsmith, bounces like a grasshopper all over the stage. He isn’t a big man, but his voice is gigantic. He was essentially a troubadour. He wasn’t singing to us—he was performing. He pantomimed some lyrics and his facial expressions changed with the feelings in the words. He took us to the song. Wylie Gelber, the bass player, was stomping and walking in an orbit all his own. He seemed to be in his own world, but was absolutely connected to the rest of the band.
“You look like one of them but you talk like one of us/ And everything they said to you was wrong.” This song, “One of Us,” rolled through the crowd. Everyone was still. Everyone was paying attention. You could feel the connection between the band and the crowd. Their music is very different live; it feels more raw and accessible than when it’s recorded.
I love watching the Super Fans at concerts. I enjoy the musicians; I really do. But watching the fans who know every word to every song is pretty fantastic.
Another song, “Quitter,” was a song in defense of quitting. It’s a good thing to decide when something has hurt you enough, and I could tell some of the audience members were going to own this song as their new anthem.
The band has excellent harmonies and a wonderful range. They reminded me of Paul Simon—if Paul Simon were in a bluesy-folk band, that is. It’s hard to be disengaged from a band when they’re bouncing all over the stage. The energy was high for the whole show.
There was a great moment, in the midst of a lot of great moments, where we got to have a singalong! I’m not sure if bands know how much we like singing along with them: It’s a lot. Singing loudly with a few hundred likeminded folks and your favorite bands is fucking awesome. “When Our Time Comes” is their best-known song, and they gave it to us in the middle of a show filled with numbers from their newest album and some from the past. I think the reason fans love to sing a long so much is because it’s a way for us to tell Dawes, “You mean something to us. We know all of the words because they’re stamped in our heart. Thank you.”
Thank you, Dawes. | Melissa Cynova
Photo by Joseph Johnson; view full photo album here
Dawes is on tour through the spring; dates are below.
02.08 | The Orpheum, Sioux Falls, SC
02.10 | Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO
02.11 | Belly Up, Aspen, CO
02.12 | The Depot, Salt Lake City
02.21 | Fillmore, San Francisco
02.22 | Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
02.24 | Showbox, Seattle
02.25 | Wilma Theatre, Missoula, MT
02.26 | Pub Station Ballroom, Billings, MT
02.28 | Wooly’s, Des Moines
03.01 | Riviera Theatre, Chicago
03.03 | Iron City, Birmingham, AL
03.04 | Variety Playhouse, Atlanta
03.05 | DPAC, Durham, NC
03.07 | The Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE
03.08 | Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC
03.10 | Beacon Theatre, New York
03.11 | Orpheum, Boston
03.12 | Infinity Hall, Hartford, CT
03.14 | Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton , MA
03.15 | State Theater, Ithaca, NY
03.17 | The Opera House, Toronto
03.18 | State Theatre, Kalamazoo, MI
03.19 | The Vogue, Indianapolis
03.21 | Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa
03.22 | Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe
03.23 | Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff, AZ
04.01 | The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Los Angeles
04.21 | The Brown Theatre, Louisville, KY
04.22 | Lynchstock Music Festival, Lynchburg, VA
04.23 | High Water Festival, Charleston , SC
04.25 | Orange Peel, Asheville, NcC
04.26 | Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, TN
04.28-29 | Ryman Auditorium, Nashville
04.30 | Revelry Room, Chattanooga, TN
05.02 | Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre, Wilmington, NC
05.03 | Fillmore, Charlotte, NC
05.07 | New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans
06.11 | Laurellive Festival, Cleveland