“Tonight it’s okay to have your phone out at a Dawes show.” So indicated Taylor Goldsmith, frontman and guitarist for the Dawes just prior to “We’re All Going to Die”. On this evening of the 2018 midterm elections, Goldsmith was likely wise to permit this concession, as many national and local state races were quickly being announced. Not that it seems people need an excuse to constantly check their phones these days, nonetheless, permission was granted.
The Los Angeles band graced the stage of Oklahoma City’s Jones Assembly this Tuesday night as part of their “Passwords” tour in support of the album of the same name released back in June via HUB Records. As they have since the release, the evening was billed as “An Evening with the Dawes”. There was no opening support, rather an evening featuring the band playing about 2 ½ hours of music, broken up by a short intermission. As much as I love the opportunity to discover new artists via the opening slot, I found this format rewarding on this night. It allowed Goldsmith and the Dawes to dig deeper into their catalog, and present a more retrospective full performance. It also allows the band to shuffle the song order around a bit. This is something that I wish far more artists took a chance with. All too often, artists fall into setlist complacency, so it was fully refreshing to see a band willing to take a few chances.
Opening the evening with a robust rendition of “Living In The Future,” Goldsmith took full control of the stage, utilizing every inch in true showman fervor. Goldsmith is about as fair with an audience as I’ve seen, making sure to spend equal amounts of time engaging with the left, right and center. Much to the crowd’s delight, I might add. The Dawes are brothers Taylor and Griffin (drums) and Wylie Gelber on the bass. Lee Pardini has resided behind the keys since 2015, but the creative core remains to be the Taylors and Gelber. They are touring with a second guitarist, Trevor Menear, and as a live band, they are a well-oiled machine, with a honed stage performance that either comes naturally, or is very well rehearsed. Perhaps it’s both.
The band did a fine job presenting the new material throughout the night, while also nailing all the fan favorites. Again, I would insist that this is a benefit of the two set format, as it allows fans the opportunity to absorb one after another of the new songs, such as “Feed the Fire,” or “Never Say Goodbye,” while knowing and even anticipating that their favorite just might be the next one played. Songs like, “Punches” or “All Your Favorite Bands” all made the cut. Don’t worry, they’ve got you covered. The Dawes Passwords tour continues the remainder of this year, and well into February of 2019, so you should have plenty of opportunities to check them out, and I recommend that you do. Find out where they’ll be right here: https://dawestheband.com/tour
On a side note, this was I believe, my fourth show I’ve caught at Jones Assembly and I certainly look forward to more. It’s a really beautiful venue with super sightlines, an outstanding sound presentation and a warm welcoming environment. They’re really making a buzz in a growing OKC music scene. Each show I’ve attended has had an incredibly diverse audience in attendance no matter what band is playing on the stage. You can find out more information on the venue, their event calendar, as well as their food a spirits menu here: http://www.thejonesassembly.com/