First openers the Lone Bellow began their set with the title track from their latest album, Then Came The Morning. The Brooklyn-based band immediately seized the attention of their audience with a sound that felt like five fingers of country, folk, classic rock, indie, and gospel all curled into a fist. Lead singer Zach Williams cried out with so much emotion that he flung his sunglasses off the stage in the middle of the opening number. The performance was raw, even cathartic.
Lake Street Dive, formed at the New England Conservatory of Music, play a unique style of indie rock mixed with jazz. Bassist Bridget Kearney provides a groovy foundation for Mike Olsen, a Minneapolis native, to build upon with kinetic trumpet and guitar parts. Rachel Price’s versatile voice rounds out the sound while Mike Calabrese keeps the beat steady. The perfectly balanced ensemble turned the performance into a block party with a reworked cover of Van Halen’s “Jump.” They then finished out the set with their song “Seventeen,” using stark tempo changes to take listeners on a three-and-a-half minute adventure.
Taking the stage, Dawes opened with their popular single “Things Happen” from their new album, All Your Favorite Bands. The resonance and authenticity of the California-based band quickly rejuvenated the crowd—which was getting a little peaked in the evening sun—and by the second chorus, I found myself belting out the lyrics along with the rest of the audience. You don’t hear rip-roaring guitar solos all that often in indie rock these days, but frontman Taylor Goldsmith was unafraid to make his Telecaster sing. As was clear during songs like “Most People,” the band have a deep love and appreciation for the music and they shared that with the entire crowd.
Once their set ended, it took all of 30 seconds for the band to come back on stage. “We checked our watches and realized that we have a little more time before we have to stop,” confessed Goldsmith. Dawes launched into “Time Spent in Los Angeles,” and by the time they were finishing their encore with “All Your Favorite Bands,” Goldsmith was ten feet away from the microphone singing the last chorus as a part of the crowd.
To hear Dawes in a more intimate setting, check out their session in The Current’s studios with Bill DeVille.
Writer Phil Levine and photographer Bridget Bennett are both students at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities.
The Lone Bellow
Lake Street Dive