Thursday, December 8, 2011
Dawes @ Maxwell's 12/7/11
Last night I ventured over to Hoboken , NJ to meet up with some college buddies for the Dawes show at Maxwell’s. This was only my second time at this venue (last time was almost exactly eleven years ago, 12/9/00, for Evan Dando of the Lemonheads) and I had forgotten just how great this venue is. Maxwell’s is a bar/restaurant with a tiny performance space in the back, the type of room that actually feels like you’re hanging out with a bunch of friends in your parent’s basement. The room was packed but if I had to guess, it only holds about 200 to maybe 250 and we were jammed in there.
Dawes came on around 10pm and played a great mix of songs from both their albums, their debut “North Hills” and their latest release, “Nothing is Wrong”. Highlights for me were “Peace In the Valley” (which has quickly become my favorite live song to hear from these guys), “That Western Skyline”, “My Girl To Me” and the encore “Fire Away”. Kind of an interesting set in that “When My Time Comes” was actually played about halfway through with the crowd taking over the last verse. Pretty cool setting to have a couple hundred people singing together while the band played along.
Instead of leaving for the encore, the guys stayed on stage with lead singer Taylor Goldsmith saying something like, "this is where we usually leave for a few minutes, and then you all cheer and we all come back up...... but we're just going to stay right here." He then went right into "Fire Away" and let all of us take over the vocals at end as he stepped off the stage and made his way through the crowd while the band finished playing, a really cool way to end the show. The only disappointed fan was probably the guy in the back that kept yelling, "Werewolves", obviously referring to Warren Zevon, someone Dawes has been known to cover.
This was my third time seeing the band this year and I seem to become a bigger fan each time. I think there’s a unique quality to their live show in that they seem to really play their tails off every time they hit the stage, probably the biggest reason I’m always recommending people to see them. I’m sure like anybody else they have an occasional off night but I’ve been impressed with their ability to perform at a high level every time I’ve seen them, in a variety of venues (large/small, indoor/outdoor, etc.)
Definitely try to catch these guys if they’re coming your way, you won't be disappointed. Below you'll find a few pictures I took from last night, enjoy!