Monday, August 13, 2012

Dawes at the Cannery Ballroom

Photo: The Musically Inclined
Dawes returned to Nashville and the Cannery Ballroom Sunday night, headlining the venue for the first time.

Frontman Taylor Goldsmith remarked that the band has gotten used to introducing themselves and their songs to unfamiliar audiences, but playing in Nashville it felt like "we know each other." The show had that kind of ease of familiarity to it, like the highest goal was not so much to win fans as it was to please the ones who came out. Even from opener Simone Felice of the Felice Brothers, who brought Nashville's own Apache Relay out to sing tribute to the late Levon Helms via "I Shall Be Released," the night sprawled from a place of community and comfort.

Seeing Dawes perform live certainly brings out a greater appreciation for Taylor Goldsmith's guitar skills. He gets a chance to showcase more than his voice and his songwriting. It's a kick watching him play. Goldsmith moves at the mercy of the music, balancing on his toes or side hopping across the stage.  A live show also means the audience gets the most out of songs like "When My Time Comes" and "How Far We've Come," which naturally demand crowd participation.

Fun fact: Taylor Goldsmith is actually this blurry in real life.
The set list consisted mainly of songs from their last album, Nothing is Wrong, with a handful from their debut album North Hills. They also played two songs, "Something in Common" and "From the Window Seat," off their next record. The latter is about getting "a case of the fears" after being in an airplane for too long, Goldsmith told the crowd.

Early in the set John McCauley (Deer Tick and Taylor Goldsmith's Middle Brother bandmate) joined the band for a few songs, taking verses on "Million Dollar Bill" and "When My Time Comes."

Dawes spaced out well the tunes from their repertoire that best let them jam and expand, like "Peace in the Valley" and "My Way Back Home." Those songs were also a good chance to watch drummer Griffin Goldsmith's intense drumming faces.

Thank you, Google Images. 
For the encore, Dawes played three more songs including "The Way That You Laugh" and heartbreaker "Moon in the Water." Then came those chords we'd been waiting to hear. Cannery Ballroom went into full singalong mode and Felice came back on stage and perched by the drum kit to belt along with everyone else: "You've got that special kind of sadness! You've got that tragic set of charms!" For a band from across the country, it sure felt like they were playing on home turf.

Here's to hoping they'll be back soon.

No comments: