Dawes brings ‘All Your Favorite Bands’ to The Vic


G-Jun Yam

Taylor Goldsmith, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the folk-rock Los Angeles-based group Dawes, led the rest of the all-male quartet in high spirits at The Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave.

By Arts & Culture Reporter

The audience waited eagerly with drinks in hand to “raise a glass,” a mantra  the folk band Dawes sings in its song “Things Happen.” The group performed April 27 at The Vic Theatre.

The Los Angeles-based band performed a sold-out show at the concert hall, located at 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., bringing songs of lost love to the stage.

Taylor Goldsmith, the passionate frontman who plays both lead guitar and vocals, and the rest of the quartet led the crowd into a spiral of emotions, ranging from post-break-up sorrows to a “life goes on” mantra, leaving the crowd elated.

“I feel connected,” Goldsmith told his fans at towards the end of the show.

Songs from All Your Favorite Bands, the group’s fourth studio album, released last June, created a sonically pleasing vibe for the crowd, which was swept up in the inspirational lyrics.

Dawes opened the concert with “Things Happen,” a song from the band’s most recent album that discusses all of the unpredictable circumstances life throws at everyone.

Goldsmith belted out the chorus, “Let’s make a list of all the things the world has put you through / Let’s raise a glass to all the people you’re not speaking to / I don’t know what else you wanted me to say to you / Things happen, that’s all they ever do.”

For the last four weeks, Dawes has toured with opening act Hiss Golden Messenger, an American folk solo act from North Carolina, but Goldsmith said performing in Chicago was a highlight of the group’s tour.

“This is pretty unbelievable for us,” Goldsmith gushed. “We’ve been coming to Chicago since we opened for Delta Spirit at Schubas [Tavern], so a night like this is really special for us.” 

The band prides itself on its live performances, which was evident at the show. Dawes dragged out many of its songs, switching from banging riffs on electric guitars to soft acoustic sounds.

The band excelled with “Now That It’s Too Late, Maria,” a ballad nearly 10 minutes long ballad about letting go of recurring memories of a past lover. Guitarist Duane Betts, son of Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts,  rocked a country vibe and nailed his solo as the spotlight illuminated him. He closed his eyes and smiled, feeling the music.

Playing for nearly two hours, Goldsmith led the crowd in the closing song and the album’s title track, “All Your Favorite Bands.”  It was a satisfying closer, as it is one of the songs on the album that is more optimistic than melancholy.

“I hope that life without a chaperone is what you thought it’d be / I hope your brother’s El Camino runs forever,” Goldsmith sang. “I hope the world sees the same person that you’ve always been to me / And may all your favorite bands stay together.”

Having heard a satisfying 16 songs, Dawes fans were not able to get enough of the tender, yet rock ‘n’ roll all-male group, and rightfully so.