Dawes has found a comfortable home in New York City’s Central Park, returning to SummerStage for the third time this past Monday. The energy of the evening seemed to evolve in sync with the performances, as singer-songwriter Andy Shauf began with relaxed acoustic folk tunes which played well with a crowd just beginning to recover from a long day of heat exhaustion. As the night progressed the temperature slowly dropped, creating a more welcoming environment for the joyous dancing that accompanies any First Aid Kit performance.
First Aid Kit’s Johanna and Klara led the crowd through their beautifully woven harmonies and heartwarming ballads while surprising and exciting everyone with covers of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” and Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”. In a fun bit of 6 degrees of separation, Taylor Goldsmith (of Dawes) joined First Aid Kit’s Johanna and Klara on their song, “King of the World”, which had been recorded with Dawes’ previous tour and SummerStage mate, Connor Oberst.
With summer upon us, many are looking for great summer jams and upbeat tones. For those who like breezy pop with a hints of blues, folk, and classic rockabilly, I’d strongly suggest checking out Toy Soldiers and Quiet Life. After hearing Toy Soldiers at CMJ last October, I’ve gotten to know Ron Gallo a bit better, preparing me for the sort of on-stage antics which make a Toy Soldiers show about more than the music. Catching these bands on a Tuesday at Mercury Lounge, the crowd was amicable and so were the bands, bringing fun to the whole room.
The Black Keys’ Turn Blue sounds like a collaboration between Pink Floyd, Broken Bells, Warren Haynes and Gary Clark Jr. The record is smooth yet punchy, with soul and disco dueling through its 11 songs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like The Black Keys we’ve come to love. It’s been four years since their Big Come Up via Brothers and it seems like Bryan Burton, aka Danger Mouse (of Broken Bells) has grown to become the third Black Key. Much has changed in the two years since El Camino, ; not only does the band sound different, but lead Dan Auerbach has gone through a difficult divorce, leading the album to take a more somber tone.
For those of you familiar with my show, you know that I love Typhoon. The band, which consists of eleven members, is led by Kyle Morton, who provides lead vocals and guitar with support from two violins, two trumpets, two drums, another guitar, a bass guitar, horns, and separate percussionist-ukulele player, all of whom sing backup. Their elaborate sound is so brilliantly layered and finely tuned that it isn’t just a wall of notes, but rather a beautifully crafted melody more complex than our ears have generally grown accustomed to.
Me with Taylor Goldsmith. More Pictures and Video from the front row to follow shortly.
When you go and see Dawes live in concert (which I suggest ALL of you do), you’re getting “A Little Bit of Everything.” With the release of their third album, Stories Don’t End, the band is continuing to produce the best music I’ve heard from a modern band (this coming from a radio DJ who’s seen a dozen concerts this summer thus far). There are amazing songs, there are amazing bands, there are amazing bands that put on amazing shows, and then there is Dawes. They truly are a category all their own, with a humble talent and energy that is so wonderful to see and is rarely experienced (The Lone Bellow is another band that comes to mind with this endearing quality).