The way the painted arches flowed into the midnight blue ceiling scattered with twinkling lights, coupled with the scaffolding’s tight embrace of the stage made Dawes’ performance at the Barrymore Theatre on Monday night feel like a night straight out of an indie film.
As the venue slowly filled up, it became abundantly clear to me how devoted and appreciative Dawes’ fans are. This band brought together people of all ages.
A young couple sat down behind me, and we started chatting to pass the time before the show began. One of them told me that this was his very first concert. His enthusiasm for the chance to see a group that he had been listening to for years came through with his joyful tone.
Shortly after, I stood up and walked to the pit near the front of the stage to look around at the crowd. In front of me was a bearded, elderly man wearing a hat with the phrase “Let’s Party!” printed on it. To my left was a middle-aged mother telling concert stories to her 12-year-old daughter. Behind me was a family of four, and one of the sons had his sleeves rolled up, showing off a Dawes-themed tattoo.
Love for Dawes was in the air.
The “An Evening With Dawes” tour stands out because of its lack of openers, an extended performance time and their two friends touring with them who brought the group’s intensity and showmanship to a completely unexpected level.
Playing songs new and old, Dawes did a phenomenal job of transitioning from original versions of songs into absolutely chilling solos on the keys, guitar, bass and drums. Every musician had a chance to shine. Whether it was the opening jam “One of Us,” subdued acoustic tracks after the intermission, or the mesmerizing title track “We’re All Gonna Die,” the audience shared a sense of camaraderie.
The show was expertly paced as well. Clocking in at over two-and-a-half hours, including a 15-minute intermission, the concert felt like a continuous bond between the band and the crowd. Not a single second was wasted.
Already a quarter of the way through their 50-date tour, Dawes proved to new and old fans alike that they are more than talented. Their performance was sublime and entrancing. If given the opportunity, see Dawes live. You won’t be disappointed.