Dawes, The Romany Rye | 10.26.10

Dawes had the entire room screaming the heartfelt lyrics in unison, which gave the band the perfect setting to rock out on stage.



The Gargoyle, St. Louis

Opening up for Dawes was The Romany Rye, a six-month-old band that blends southern alt-rock with a touch of west coast longing. With influences across the board (Sam Cooke, Ryan Adams, Pink Floyd, Gillian Welch, etc.), it is no wonder this band has the well-rounded and encompassing sound the indie scene demands. MacMaster has a rich Jim James-esque voice that lends itself well to his poetically visual lyrics. Besides MacMaster, the band consists of lead guitarist Judsen Spillyards, his brother Joshua on drums, Ryan Hitt on bass and Whitman Bransford on keys.

The Romany Rye opened with “Brother” from their recently debuted album, Untitled (Looking Back Carefully), and continued through the better half of the record, teasing the audience with a few new tracks off of their upcoming release, My True North, due out in February 2011.

Despite the monitors going out and a series of other small technical problems, The Romany Rye kept their composure and continued playing on flawlessly, underscoring their raw talent. Although this band is new, they are on a fast track to success. Their show was impressive enough to inspire an impromptu review from us at PLAYBACK:stl, and their t-shirts disappeared on the fourth day of their debut tour.

Dawes, in their second time playing The Gargoyle,  captivated its audience with west coast folk rock. The dedicated crowd listened attentively as lead singer Taylor Goldsmith’s tales of young adult angst echoed sweetly through Washington University’s student-run venue. Goldsmith approached the microphone and commented, “You know, at some shows, you have a lot of people talking, but you guys are great.”

While the audience remained enthralled, they also knew when to catch the chorus cues. They made “That Western Skyline” (off the band’s 2009 debut album North Hills) a crescendoing sing-along, and the participation continued throughout the course of the evening.

During the show, Goldsmith mentioned that they had taken the month of September off to work on their new not-yet-titled album, tentatively scheduled to hit record stores sometime in early May. The native Los Angeles band performed a well-received new track, “Fire Away.” While staying true to Dawes’ alt-rock sound, this song was full and catchy, with a strong chorus (featuring back up vocals from Taylor Goldsmith’s brother and Dawes’ drummer, Griffin Goldsmith, as well as Alex Casnoff on keys) that got the crowd clapping in time to the rhythm.

Finishing their set with “When My Time Comes,” Dawes had the entire room screaming the heartfelt lyrics in unison, which gave the band the perfect setting to rock out on stage. The boys took a quick break, and a lone Taylor Goldsmith took the stage to serenade the audience with a solemn tale of life and understanding titled “A Little Bit of Everything.”

Later, bassist Wylie Gelber and bandmates Castnoff and Griffin Goldsmith took the stage to showcase their new song titled “The Way You Laugh.” After a quick goodbye, the band rushed to their merchandise table to greet the line of fans waiting to shower them with praise for their powerful and energetic performance. | Kelly Glueck

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