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“Things Happen” at the Dawes Show in Charlotte, NC

“Things Happen” at the Dawes Show in Charlotte, NC

Wednesday night, fans braved the flash flood warning and found entertainment within Charlotte’s music scene, making a trek to the Underground to see the legendary Dawes. They were the perfect band to pick anyone up after multiple gloomy weather days as Charlotte was in need of a good time. Dawes returned to the queen city as their last stop on their Passwords Tour before picking back up in mid January after the holidays. Playing multiple songs off their new album, “Passwords”, Dawes pleased old and new fans.

Dawes is a band that is no stranger to the music industry, having released their sixth studio album back in June. It is crucial to appreciate how much they have evolved and improved since the release of their first album, North Hills, in 2009. Having toured with critically acclaimed artists like Bob Dylan, Kings of Leon, and played festivals such as Bonnaroo, Pilgrimage Music Festival, Hangout, and more, Dawes has endless amounts of live experience and have even admitted their addiction to touring. Dedicated to bringing music to the fans, they have collectively discovered the importance of promoting their music through shows. Falling loosely under the category of folk rock, Dawes tested the limits of being confined into one genre at their live show in Charlotte. Incorporating synths, an acoustic segment, and rock n roll, there was a little something for everyone. Not to mention, their perfectly crafted lyrics. For fans of bands like The Avett Brothers, Blind Pilot, or Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Dawes’ effortless musicality is likely to please all.

Hitting the stage at the early hour of 8:00pm, Dawes opened with “Living in the Future”. As the tour was aimed to be more intimate, there was no opening band and Dawes played two sets, separated by an intermission. Each set consisted of 11 songs and after the second set, a one song encore concluded the night. Being the first song off their recent release “Passwords”, “Living in the Future” acted as the perfect invitation to an evening with Dawes. Heavy bass undertones carried the song as electric guitar settled in joined by synths in the chorus.

Then diving straight into “If I Wanted Someone”, lead singer Taylor Goldsmith began to sing the oldie but goodie. A few songs in, Goldsmith spoke to the audience. As many crowd members thought the intimate venue and extensive setlist was too good to be true, Goldsmith assured them that it was real and they were going to play songs from every album. They even did a cover of Blake Mills’ “Hey Lover” during their second set.

Dawes saved the majority of their hits for their second set with the exception of “Things Happen”. Many excited screams and cheers came from the audience as the first chord was strummed. As their most streamed song on Spotify with over 26 million streams, every member in the audience knew the words and sang along.

Ending their first set with “A Little Bit Of Everything”, fans shouted out “So pile on those mashed potatoes, And an extra chicken wing, I’m having a little bit of everything”. The song reminded me of something Jackson Browne would sing. Dawes music has a sense of timelessness to it. It is something I could see myself listening to 10, 20, or even 30 years down the road. Dawes is no band to hop on a musical trend, they stick to their roots while testing new sounds to see what fits best for their band. The way they arrange their sounds for all ages to enjoy enhances their everlasting popularity.

Between sets, there was a 15 minute intermission. When it was the band’s time to come back out, just Goldsmith returned with an acoustic guitar and serenaded the audience with “I Still Feel Like a Kid”. Following this, he was joined by the piano player, Lee Pardini, to play “My Greatest Invention”.

The second set was dedicated to getting intimate with the crowd. Playing solo and then acoustic with the full band, Dawes made the large club feel as if we were in their living room with hundreds of our best friends. Their acoustic segment of the show consisted of tambourines, maracas, and softer guitar melodies. During the acoustic arrangement, fans were able to hear the raw power of Goldsmith’s voice and witness the musical genius conducted by the band.

Creating a large climax for the end of the show, Dawes played “When My Time Comes” and “All Your Favorite Bands” back to back before returning for an encore. As the band played the ever so famous ballad, “All Your Favorite Bands”, fans swayed back and forth admiring the moment. The energy from the crowd was bigger and better than at many shows I have seen at The Fillmore (the significantly larger venue next door). Even Goldsmith appeared amazed at the passion from the audience. Concluding the night with “Fire Away”, Dawes left fans content and with a memory that would last forever.

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