Los Angeles-based folk-rock band Dawes made their way to Port Chester, New York last night for a show at the historic Capitol Theatre. The band currently tours in support of their third studio album Stories Don't End, which has received generally positive reception due in part to the powerful second track "From A Window Seat".
The band wasted no time in getting the packed house going when they opened with the aforementioned track and letting lead singer and guitarist Taylor Goldsmith bust out a twangy guitar solo. What surprised me, as this was my first time seeing them live, were their jam band qualities. And this was perhaps invigorated due to the fact that longtime friend and collaborator Blake Mills served as an honorary fifth member throughout the show. Mills was part of what could be considered the mother band of Dawes, Simon Dawes. It was his departure from the group in 2006 that birthed the more folkier, present-day band.
While the band played the songs everyone wanted to hear, such as the ambitious "When My Time Comes", many of the songs would eventually lead into freestyle jams that spanned five or more minutes. While this got the crowd fired up early in the show, fans began to head for the exits when the clock went past 11pm and Goldsmith and Mills continued to spew out 10-minute experimental solos.
Regardless of whether you appreciated the experimentalism that Dawes exhibited, there were two undeniable truths: they can put on a great show, and they are vastly talented. Taylor's younger brother and drummer, Griffin Goldsmith, wowed the entire crowd when he belted out lead vocals behind his drum set, getting the whole crowd involved and singing along.
Songs like "If I Wanted Someone" exemplify the incredible lyrical talents of the older Goldsmith. And the rhythmic and gritty chords that go along with it bring back memories of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. At the end of the night, the biggest complement for Dawes is the diversity within their fan-base. Members in the audience seemed to range from college-aged to grandpa status (Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young fans perhaps), and as a songwriter, reaching both the young and the old is an incredible feat.
Watch Dawes perform at M Studio exclusively on Baeblemusic.