If you haven’t heard of Dawes, now would be the time. A fusion of country and rock, Dawes (not a last name but a middle name) pays homage to musical influences from CSN to Dylan. They’ve got a dusty, timeless feel to them; but anyone that has experienced their live shows knows they put on a show that is nothing but electric. Listening to their recorded album, North Hills, you can get a sense of what these guys are all about. An americana feel with excellent writing, written mostly by frontman Taylor Goldsmith.
After seeing what could have been the best set at Newport Folk Festival this past summer, I was expectedly excited for an evening with Dawes at the Royale here in Boston.
The energy in the room was great, and apparently Dawes cashed in on their success at Newport, there were plenty of people in the crowd eagerly awaiting them to take stage. Crowd pleasers like, “My Girl to Me,” and when drummer Griffin sang “How Far We’ve Come” took the crowd by the metaphorical horns. Griffin was surprisingly fantastic from behind the kit echoing his inner Levon, bringing the crowd into a 500 person harmony. New track “Fire Away,” which one can assume will be on the forthcoming album was warmly received by the excited fans, but as the night came to an near end, the band dropped “When My Time Comes” their most popular song, a boisterous yet ruminative track about life and death. The crowd all standing on their toes singing along at the top of their lungs, it was exactly what they had been looking for.
On the encore, the sing-along “I’ve Got a Feeling,” which left us all in bliss back in Newport, was epilogue to a fantastic night that won’t soon be forgotten, in the end, “it’s gonna be alright.”
You can truly see these guys have something special, and are hands down one of the best young bands out there today.
Catch Dawes Touring:
Nov 8 2010 Horshoe Tavern Toronto, ONT, CANADA
Nov 9 2010 Magic Stick Detroit, MI
Nov 10 2010 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
Nov 11 2010 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
Nov 12 2010 Majestic Theatre Madison, WI
Nov 13 2010 Turner Hall Ballroom Milwaukee, WI
Nov 14 2010 The Maintenance Shop Ames, IA
Nov 15 2010 Hi Dive Denver, CO
Nov 16 2010 The State Room Salt Lake City, Utah
Nov 18 2010 Tractor Tavern Seattle, WA
Nov 19 2010 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, OR
Nov 20 2010 The Independent San Francisco, California
Nov 21 2010 Soho Restaurant & Music Club Santa Barbara, California
Nov 26 2010 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, California
Nov 27 2010 The Casbah San Diego, California
Junip at the Royale with Sharon Van Etten
Playing to an ecstatic crowd, Junip hit the Royale last night for their first stop on a cross-country tour. An intimate evening of music was the perfect way to spend this cold Boston night.
First up was the relatively unassuming Sharon Van Etten. To date, I had only heard a small sample of her music, specifically her track Don’t Do It. For fans of acoustic guitar singer-songwriters, Van Etten has a great expressive voice and plays a traditional folk style. But on this night, she was backed by a band, plugged in and, as her mom puts it, “rocking out.” Carefully tuning between songs, she seemed a bit nervous with the silence of the room. Song after song, gaining rapport with the crowd, she became more at ease. The crowd loosened, and soon everyone was sold on her talent.
When Junip’s members arrived on stage, the crowd sure did multiply. It got a lot more packed in, and people were chomping at the bit to hear Jose Gonzalez’ smooth vocals and the ambient sounds of his band. Backed by Tobias Winterkorn (keyboards), and Elias Araya (drums), Gonzalez began the set with a single strum of his guitar, opening with Rope & Summit from their new album Fields. Instantly recognizable, the crowd hung on every one of Gonzalez’ gossamer words. The band filled in the sound with atmospheric keyboards and light bongos, and the room came to life. Minutes into their set, Junip’s ability to simply and elegantly layer together latin jazz guitar, electronic keyboards and percussion shone.
The crowd totally ate it up, even with the band’s calm, chill demeanor. Everyone was fully with Junip. The entire crowd swayed and bopped through an hour-long sonic journey capped off by a three-song encore including breakout single, “Chickens.”
Although their success is slightly hinged on Gonzalez’ popularity, these guys put together a sound that is unlike anything out there. Last night was the first stop on their North American tour; they will cross the continent twice, deploying their special brand of electronic and latin-infused folk, and are certainly worth the price of admission.
Check out Junip in your neck of the woods:
02 – Boston, MA – Royale
04 – Montreal, QC – Belmont
05 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s
06 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
07 – Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
10 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
11 – Vancouver, BC – Neumo’s
12 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
13 – San Francisco, CA – Independent
14 – Los Angeles, CA – Music Box
16 – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room
18 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
19 – Huston, TX – Fitzgerald’s Downstairs
20 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
21 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
22 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradel
23 – Washington, DC – Black Cat
24 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza