Bright Eyes photo courtesy of Wolf Trap.
We recruited Alexia Kauffman to hike out to Wolf Trap and cover this show for us.
Saturday night the audience at Wolf Trap heard three unique angles on American indie-folk music. Omaha, Nebraska’s Bright Eyes, currently on an international tour, brought along Portland’s M. Ward and Los Angeles’ Dawes for what was a spirited evening of Americana, indie-folk, rock, and just plain good music.
Up first were rockers Dawes.
photo by Guy Aroch.
The city is chock full of great live music options this weekend but there a few performances that we wanted to make sure show up on your radar. Rather than deluge you with Hot Ticket columns through-out the day, we decided we would round-up these concert recommendations for you here. Consider this your one-stop shop for weekend concert recommendations. (PS- Let us know if you like this idea in the comments section, if you dig it maybe we can turn this one-off feature into something a little more regular.)
For all your weekend concert needs…
All photos by Erin McCann
Wednesday night’s show at the 9:30 Club was the start of a high-profile tour for Middle Brother. It’s a side-project for its members, all of whom have highly respected bands on the cusp of greatness of their own to tend to. For less-talented musicians, gambling time away from their primary projects might kill the hard-won momentum they’d built up. For the members of Middle Brother—Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith, Deer Tick’s John McCaulay and Delta Spirit’s Matt Vasquez, all of them darlings of the indie music culture—the side project turned out to be a shot of adrenaline for a bunch of guys already riding pretty high on their own. Wednesday’s show took some seriously high-energy bands, tumbled their members together in a free-for-all of booze, musicianship and friendship, and spit out a rocket fuel concoction that propelled its members even higher. It ranked among the best I’ve seen on the 9:30 Club stage. So, first things first: Thank you, guys. That was a hell of a night.
Hey DC, ready for a bonus round of The Winning Ticket?
Today we have a pair of tickets to give away for tomorrow night’s Middle Brother, Dawes, Deer Tick super show. Middle Brother is a super-group composed of members of both Deer Tick and Dawes (as well as Matt Vazquez of Delta Spirit). These guys are keeping it all in the family with a night of music featuring rotating sets from Middle Brother and the bands that spawned him.
NOTE: This show is tomorrow night and the music begins promptly at 8pm.
For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between Noon and 4pm today. One entry per email address, please. We will notify the winner by email between 4 and 5 pm. The winner must respond to claim this prize by 10:30AM tomorrow. If today doesn’t turn out to be your lucky day, check back here each Wednesday for a chance to win tickets to other great concerts. Tickets for this concert are available on Ticketfly.
For the rules of this giveaway…
The “next big thing” is thrown around a lot in music culture. What you hear about less often is the next great thing, the next band that’ll knock your socks off not just because all the cool kids love them but because they are just that good. If there is a musical god out there doling out success to those most deserving, Dawes, a rock and roll quartet from Los Angeles who will be appearing at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday, will be just one such band. Their 2009 debut, “North Hills,” was praised by critics as wide-ranging as Rolling Stone and the Wall Street Journal (!); Daytrotter’s Sean Moeller calls lyricist Taylor Goldsmith “as magnificent of a songwriter as there is currently creating.” Goldsmith has a knack for crafting beautiful lyrics that make order out of the chaos of our lives, and the men sharing the stage with him — his brother, drummer Griffin Goldsmith; Wylie Gelber on bass; and Alex Casnoff on keyboards — excel at setting those lyrics to music. On stage, the result is an improbable blend of melodic folk and high-energy rock and roll.
And they need that energy to get through a tour schedule that seems endless. In the last year and a half, the band has appeared at such festivals as South By Southwest, Newport Folk Festival, Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, and opened for artists including (deep breath here): Josh Ritter, Corey Chisel and the Wandering Sons, Edward Sharpe, Langhorne Slim, She and Him, Jason Boesel, Deer Tick and Delta Spirit. Dawes has hit the road hard in support of “North Hills,” and the legwork has paid off. The tour that brings them back to D.C. for their fourth show in the area in a year is their first as headliners.
As a special thanks to We Love DC readers, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to Wednesday’s show. See the bottom of this post for rules of the giveaway.
I talked with Taylor Goldsmith about the band’s rising star, musical influences and future plans: