Who was more excited on Tuesday at First Avenue – the 1,600 fans or Dawes, headlining the first of two sold-out nights?
It was probably a toss-up as to who had a better time. The Twin Cities is Dawes’ biggest market (thank you, 89.3 the Current), and Taylor Goldsmith sounded like he was having the time of his life. He was thrilled the first time Dawes played First Ave, but to sell out two nights – he was verklampt.
The Los Angeles quartet focused on material from its 2013 release, "Stories Don’t End," a well-crafted collection with echoes of the Los Angeles rock scene, circa 1971. Elements of Jackson Browne, the Eagles and the Flying Burrito Brothers could be heard.
The 90-minute set wasn’t Dawes’ most energetic effort in the Twin Cities, which meant that Goldsmith was probably more like Gary Louris than Bruce Springsteen this time around. There were ample guitar passages of eloquence and emotion from Goldsmith and a full-on jam between his guitar and Tay Strathairn’s keyboards during "Peace in the Valley."
Other highlights were the anthemic "When My Time Comes," the twangy/jangly "Time Spent in Los Angeles," the jaunty "Someone Will" and "It’s a Little Bit of Everything," which may be the only song ever to mention a dead dog, mashed potatoes and shirt sizes.
"Who’s coming tomorrow, as well?" Goldsmith asked in mid-set. "We promise to make it worth your while to come twice."
Here is what Dawes played on Tuesday:
From a Window Seat/ If I Wanted Someone/ Most People/ Fire Away/ If You Let Me Be Your Anchor/Bear Witness/ From the Right Angle/ Moon in the Water/ Coming Back to a Man/ Just Beneath the Surface/ Time Spent in Los Angeles/ Peace in the Valley/ We’ve Got Tonight (Bob Seger cover sung by Griffin Goldsmith)/ Someone Will/ It’s a Little Bit of Everything ENCORE Hey Lover/ End of the Line (Traveling Wilburys, featuring both of Dawes opening acts, as well)