April 4, 2013

Opening day: Dawes just saying 'thanks' for Dylan gig

The critically acclaimed Dawes will kick off the show for music icon Bob Dylan Wednesday in Lewiston.

Dawes performs "Hey Lover"

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Taylor Goldsmith has no idea why his band was picked to tour with Bob Dylan.

Dawes performs "From a Window Seat"

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Michael Fisher / Staff Graphic Artist

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Up-and-coming band Dawes performs at Bull Moose in Scarborough on March 27. The band opens for Bob Dylan on Wednesday.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below



WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Androscoggin Bank Colisee, 190 Birch St., Lewiston

HOW MUCH: $52; $32 with college ID

INFO: waterfrontconcerts.com; thecolisee.com

And he's not going to ask.

Because when you're a 27-year-old musician in an up-and-coming band and you get a chance to tour with a guy who is nothing less than a music icon, you just say "thanks."

In fact, Goldsmith and his mates in the band Dawes aren't even asking when, or if, they might meet Dylan.

"I'm fully expecting we won't meet him. And that's fine; he's a private person," said Goldsmith in the break room of the Bull Moose music store in Scarborough last week as Dawes prepared to perform a short set for about 200 fans. "But if we do meet him, that's great. When we heard we'd be doing this, we were over the moon."

When Dawes opens for Dylan Wednesday at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, it will be during the first week of three weeks on the road together. And even though Goldsmith doesn't know exactly why his band got this gig, it's easy to figure out what Dylan and Dawes have in common.

"If you play music and deal in words, if you care about lyrics, then there's no question you're influenced by him," said Goldsmith. "It's a prerequisite, I think, to listen to his work."

In addition to Goldsmith on lead vocals and guitar and his brother, Griffin, on drums, Dawes consists of Wylie Gelber on bass and Tay Strathairn on keyboards. They're a rock quartet with stripped-down instrumentation, thoughtful lyrics and complicated melodies and harmonies.

Besides earning a spot to play with Dylan, Dawes has also toured with the super-hot folk-rock act Mumford & Sons. In fact, it played before 15,000 people on Portland's Eastern Promenade last August as part of Mumford's "Gentlemen of the Road Stopover" show.

After performing nine shows at this year's South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, Dawes was back in the Portland area in late March on a promotional tour for its third album, "Stories Never End," which is scheduled to hit stores on Tuesday.

The single "From a Window Seat" was released in February, and quickly shot up to No. 18 on Billboard's adult alternative chart. Once the Dylan stint ends, the band is scheduled to perform on May 16 on the late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on ABC.

So it's hot right now, with a wide-ranging appeal. That was evidenced by the crowd of 200 or so at the Bull Moose show, which ranged from retirement-aged folks to a few pre-schoolers rocking back and fourth on their fathers' shoulders.

The band played "From a Window Seat" and three other tracks from the new album during its six-song, 30-minute set. One of the songs, "Someone Will," showed the passion for words and images that Goldsmith and his bandmates have while writing songs.

The song is about telling the object of your affection that you will be loved, even if it's not by her:

"It's the nights like this in the quieter parts of Los Angeles/ When you think you see the outline of the beast, up in the hills/ Well, you might be sitting beside the only person you could face it with/ But if you don't want me after tonight, someone will/ I have to believe that/ Someone will."

Taylor Pepper, 21, of Damariscotta, drove the hour or more to Scarborough and met with her friend, Elise Koomen, 21, who drove an hour more from Newburyport, Mass. They both went to the Mumford & Sons show in Portland last summer, and now share a passion for Dawes.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Taylor Goldsmith, Dawes frontman, sings at Bull Moose in Scarborough.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Dawes plays before a crowd of about 200 fans at Bull Moose in Scarborough. The band, which shares an emphasis on lyricism with Bob Dylan, opens for the musical icon Wednesday.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer


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