Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dawes Plays the Ryman Auditorium

From a balcony seat.
Last week things went silent here at TMI as I was in Peoria, IL most of the week doing bridesmaid duties at my college roommate's wedding. It was an intense weekend capped off by a quick flight home Sunday and a trip to the Ryman Auditorium that night to catch Dawes. 

The show was great for a couple reasons. For one, this was my third Dawes show this year and it was definitely the best. They seemed genuinely happy and appreciative of the significance of playing the Ryman. It's holy ground. The vibes were just so good and the audience was particularly vocal. They were basically hitting on the band the entire night. It was great. The other reason it was a memorable night is that it was my Dad's first Ryman concert. I thought it was a good match with Dawes' Ryman debut. Plus, it's a band that we both can agree on.

Dawes played about 19 songs. You can check out a Spotify playlist the Ryman made here. They mostly performed tracks from Stories Don't End and Nothing is Wrong, throwing in "When My Time Comes" and "That Western Skyline," which they used to close out the show because it's the first track from their first album North Hills. They played pretty much everything I wanted to hear: "From a Window Seat," "Most People," Time Spent in Los Angeles," "Peace in the Valley" etc. "Something in Common" was particularly nice. They put a little echo on Taylor Goldsmith's vocals and tamed the arrangement on the verses, making the song even more desolate and heartbreaking than usual. Dawes also performed "Moon in the Water," which they said they don't normally trot out because it's a quieter song that needs an audience responsive to the song's tone.

Midway through, Goldsmith brought out Jonny Fritz (formerly Corndawg) to sing "Goodbye Summer" off his recent album Dad Country, which Dawes played on. Fritz is something of an odd and interesting figure in these parts, so it was fun to actually see him sing live. He was wonderfully quirky and sort of scooted/shuffled around the stage and off it when the song ended.

Another quick point– opening act Shovels and Rope is worth your attention.

So, that was that. I'll stop here before I start to gush. Dawes remains one of my favorite bands to see live, if not my favorite. From the first few notes of opening song "From Window Seat," I marveled how strong they are as a band, even though it's a fact I know well.

Catch a show if you can.

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