Dawes | 07.19.13

 

Dawes 75Dawes communicated with the fans perfectly through meaningful talking points and outstanding, poignantly placed guitar and keyboard/organ solos.

Dawes 500

Off Broadway, St. Louis

An unseasonably cool, July evening in Off Broadway’s crowded, intimate setting may have been the most perfect way to take in Dawes’ St. Louis tour stop. It was comfortable outside, but the humble venue was sold out for the show and made for a steamy, soupy set, though Taylor Goldsmith and co. didn’t seem to mind. A few songs in, Goldsmith declared there was “no better place to be” despite the heat and substantial crowd. The husband/wife duo Shovels and Rope helped to stir up the crowd with their eclectic arrangements and skillful musicianship. Their opening set seemed to fly by due in part to their whirlwind rhythms and infectious moxie. With sweaty foreheads and smiles on their faces, people were quick to take a smoke break or catch some fresh air in the venue courtyard in order to catch every note of Dawes’ set.

While Dawes isn’t the type of band that sends fans into a Beatles-like fervor, the rollicking opening of “From a Window Seat” elicited many supportive yowls and applause. Goldsmith’s genuine excitement to be playing in front of the sold out crowd was contagious and made for an extremely special show. Many concert-goers smiled because they heard their favorite song, got a kick out of watching drummer Griffin Goldsmith, or, like me, because they were in awe of the whole package—beautifully composed songs with meaningful lyrics and unreal musical tightness. It’s a modern rarity to see bands employ musical elements like three-part vocal harmonies, but the Los Angeles band kept giving fans what they wanted in a most alluring way.

Goldsmith did his best to keep the show interesting and sprinkled in some stories behind songs like “Bear Witness”—a song about death, though the structure of the song and its pop-tinged style might insinuate something different. Where other bands may talk too much in between songs or drone on with unnecessary guitar solos, Dawes communicated with the fans perfectly through meaningful talking points and outstanding, poignantly placed guitar and keyboard/organ solos. “We’ve Got Tonight,” a Bob Seger cover, further demonstrated Dawes’ musical ability and proficiency to draw from some of their influences without directly ripping them off. To add to the aforementioned perfection, the set was closed out with the dynamic, Americana-inspired “A Little Bit of Everything.”

The quartet returned to the small stage for an encore of “Hey Lover” from their newest album, Stories Don’t End, and another cover—Traveling Wilburys’ “End of the Line.” For the finale, Dawes sought the assistance of Shovels and Rope and each member of the Traveling Wilburys was represented as Griffin Goldsmith played the part of Tom Petty, and Taylor Goldsmith actually took more of a backseat role in the cover until he took Roy Orbison’s portion of the tune. While those three-part harmonies are a rarity, hearing a Traveling Wilburys’ cover is the most special type of treasure. Dawes gave each and every person in the crowd more than a great show, but was truly a gem travelling through our city. | Jenn Metzler

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