Last Night: Dawes and Blitzen Trapper at Dada

Dawes, Blitzen Trapper
October 13, 2011

Better than: another Dawes show. Oh wait!

So: Another Dawes show.

"We've been looking forward to this one for a while," Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith revealed to his sold-out crowd of 600-plus on the outdoor, back patio stage at Dada last night, shortly after his band began their 70-minute offering at a little after 11 o'clock. "Dallas has been one of the good ones for us."

Well, no shit. Gotta wonder just how long the band's actually had this date circled on their calendar, though. The Los Angeles-based band was just in the region two weeks back, performing at the Fort Worth Music Festival. And in May before that.

Still, there's no doubting the fact that Dallas loves it some Dawes and vice versa.

Indeed: As Goldsmith revealed later in the night, this was actually the fifth time that Dawes has played Dallas in the past 12 months, which, let's face it, is an insane amount for a non-local.

The Old 97's haven't done that. Doug Burr hasn't done that. Telegraph Canyon? Maybe right around there. Point is: Everyone who has wanted to see Dawes in Dallas this year has had plenty of chances. What was remarkable about this show, then, was the fact that this crowd was still very much hungry for more.

That much was clear before the show even started. Spune Productions, who put on last night's show, announced shortly after noon yesterday that advanced tickets had been sold out and that only 100 tickets were to be sold at the door. By the time Blitzen Trapper began their set a little before 10 p.m., all tickets were long gone.

And though, clearly, they weren't they band everyone was there to see, Blitzen Trapper, themselves a vibrant Americana-dwelling act, did a capable job of setting the stage and keeping the crowds entertained for the headliners. The prolific Portland band, which has released three albums since signing to Sub Pop in 2008, culled equally from each of their last three releases on this night.

But, as mentioned, Dawes was the draw. Enjoying a warm welcome from the onset, Taylor Goldsmith and company enjoyed a rabid audience on this night, one that gleefully sang along to pretty much every song in the band's catalog, including 2009's breakthrough North Hills and this year's Nothing Is Wrong, which has found the band earning accolades from such mainstream entities as VH1.

This Dallas crowd has been around for far longer than these Johnny-come-latelies, though, and the band seemed well aware of as much, happily allowing the crowd to take over vocal parts throughout the night, and most emphatically on the band's first big single, "When My Time Comes," which local radio station KKXT-91.7 FM KXT has been playing ad nauseam in its rotation since launching.

Nodding at the new fans, the band ended their set with current single "Time Spent in Los Angeles," and the crowd ate that up, too. Not surprise there.

Deep Ellum, in a vast turn from its earlier years, embraces alt-country and Americana with a passion these days. Dawes, clearly, has picked up on as much. It's kind of adorable how much the two entities enjoy each other.

It's like puppy love. Here's hoping, for Dawes' sake, that it lasts.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I enjoy Dawes OK, but felt compelled to see them after their having played here so much. It was impressive, clearly, to see how adored this band is locally.

By The Way: This show, despite the same sized crowd that had been present at last weekend's Toro y Moi show, was handled way better by the Dada and Spune staffs. Better sound, better outside line management, better staff of the venue's various bars. Dada is really onto something special with its outdoor stage set-up, if it can keep this up.

Random Note: Poor Blitzen Trapper never stood a chance.

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