Dawes at The Orange Peel on 10/21/11
Review by: Beth Baldino
Photos by: David Simchock
Performing as a split-bill with Blitzen Trapper, Dawes wasn’t truly headlining the October 21st show at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina, but you couldn’t tell that from the reaction of the crowd, or the top-notch performance they gave their enthusiastic fans, both the firmly-established and those being recruited that evening.
This band is only getting better, and this time I was really struck by the greater depth and strength of lead singer Taylor Goldsmith’s voice. Their country-rock style, with roots in the “Laurel Canyon” sound hailing from California, is consistently simple, earnest and emotionally honest. And fortunately for those of us who anticipate a bright future for the foursome, they seem to be maturing and evolving in an appealing way that will ensure their presentation stays fresh and interesting. Close your eyes when Taylor’s belting out a melody now, imparting words of hard-earned wisdom about love or life in general, and you can hear hints of Jackson Browne in his voice and in the message.
It was fitting foreshadowing that on the way into the venue, we caught a glimpse of their drummer, Taylor’s brother, Griffin, through the front window of their large tour bus. He was pounding away on something in their kitchen (pots and pans?) as we passed. Sure enough, he did seem to be featured a little more prominently than in previous shows I’ve seen, harmonizing on vocals with Taylor in songs including “How Far We’ve Come” from their new album, Nothing is Wrong, and singing the lead on the band’s cover of Paul Simon’s “Krodachrome”
The rest of the show involved a balanced mix of additional numbers from their latest recording, including “Fire Away” and “A Little Bit of Everything,” along with hits from their 2009 release, North Hills,including “Peace in the Valley,” featuring Taylor’s signature bouncing across the stage, and “When my Time Comes,” clearly a crowd favorite which inspired the most participation of the whole evening. When they finished up with the number that’s probably their biggest hit to date from the new CD, “Time Spent in Los Angeles,” it was clear that even those who came just to see the next band up, Blitzen Trapper, could have handled more of Dawes’ compelling and melodic story-telling.
Extra: Check out TSI’s Interview with Dawes from this summer, click here.