Saturday, December 31, 2011

Live Review: Dawes @ Black Cat, 10/24/2011

Upon seeing them in person, it is immediately clear to me why The Band's Robbie Robertson hearts Dawes, those boys of Los Angeles with the many golden melodies and the richness of layer upon layer of beautiful sound. It's as though they have taken up the mantle for Band-loving bands, and must be doing something more than right of a member of said Band digs them. When the gents came through DC on a typically mundane Monday with the equally great Blitzen Trapper, they were certainly doing everything within their considerable powers to show us patrons a dang good time.

Over the course of the year Dawes has been garnering a certain amount of buzz, which probably accounted somewhat for the packed house at the Black Cat. It struck me pretty early on that Dawes seems to be a band of another time and place, a band that (almost) isn't made for these times. But they sure do sound good in the here and now, I must say. They do, as most folks would opine, have a certain something of that legendary Laurel Canyon sound of yore, but to me it's mostly about The Band when I hear Dawes. And, ok, maybe a dash of those dashing Flying Burrito Brothers (the Gram Parsons years, of course) when they're really gettin' down up on the stage.

Included in their set was an appearance from the one and only Johnny Corndog, lending his vocal talents to an already vocally-gifted outfit. Some pretty piano was a feature in "A Little Bit of Everything," and by that point in the set I was already writing in my notes that I was good and sold on Dawes. Their songs were lovely - warm, idyllic, and steeped in 70s-tinged earnestness. It seemed that the crowd as a whole all sorts of loved them some Dawes, with singalongs and hootin' and hollerin' running rampant. The Dawes fellas, too, seemed to be having a right good time, giving DC their blood, sweat, and tears and then some.

Between Dawes and Blitzen Trapper it was one hell of a night, but I was well and truly blown away by Dawes, y'all. This is a band that will give you all they've got, so I recommend you go forth and see them whenever you can to return that love.

mp3: Million Dollar Bill (Dawes from Nothing Is Wrong)

[photo courtesy official Dawes site]

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