Author: Annie Borse
What do you get when you bring hipsters and middle-aged adults together in one concert venue? A Dawes concert.
On February 6th the Barrymore Theatre played host to the band Dawes and a crowd full of indie rock lovers. The best way to describe Dawes would be as your dad’s favorite band (but every dad is different so don’t you get too heated by the generalization). With the perfect combination of Neil Young’s classic sound and Ryan Adams guitar riffs, Dawes has that folk-rock feel with a little SoCal charm mixed in.
Concert goers were lucky enough to experience a Dawes double feature this time in Madison. The band had no opener so they played a two-set show, impressively enough they played for close to four hours. They opened with “One of Us,” a song from their most recent album, We’re All Gonna Die. They stuck to most of their new releases and peppered in some of their classic stuff like, “If I Wanted Someone.” The best moment of the show was the band’s creative take on their most popular song, “Time Spent in Los Angeles.” Starting off slow, the lead singer (Taylor) worked his way into the normally fast-paced song. Just when he was about to head into the chorus the band broke into “Most People,” a seamless transition from one infectious beat to the next. Every song was filled with a gritty guitar solo, a testament to who Dawes really is, a rock band.
Their back and forth between new and old songs emphasized their growth as a band. Previous albums and songs focused heavily on a typical Jason Browne “folk-rock” inspired sound but now, juxtaposed directly against their older stuff you can see the pop-soul vibe the band is going for. However, the contrast in their sound isn’t as stark, Dawes did an exceptional job of staying true to their roots while also tying in psychedelic aspects like the electric keyboard.
The atmosphere of the concert as a whole was a welcoming one. Taylor took the time between songs to say how close he felt to the audience; and he was right, the audience was close. Looking around, you could see people who didn’t know each other just talking about music. Everyone was friendly, the adults were happy to talk to their younger counterparts and vise versa. Dawes ended their first set with “When My Time Comes” and when the whole audience joined in for the chorus that connection Taylor talked about showed.