Dawes + Langhorne Slim and The Law at The Pageant in St. Louis | Photos + Words


Words by Jason Gonulsen

Dawes’ new album tells it like it is. Things happen. Sometimes it’s too late and it’s just too bad. Even the title track, “All Your Favorite Bands,” is just a hope that things will stay like you want them to. There’s even a track named, “To Be Completely Honest.”

But you knew this from Dawes already. You knew it from “A Little Bit of Everything” when Taylor Goldsmith sings, “it is getting up before you so I could watch you as you wake.” There is no time for tomorrow, no time for taking love for granted. It could all be gone at dusk.

To see Dawes play these songs live is further revelation that our hearts beat, they don’t rest. I realize that live music is many things these days, and when the tempo slows down it’s now a horrid social cue to find your smart phone or order another drink. I get it: you want it louder, faster, harder. But when Dawes broke into the 9+ minute “Now That It’s Too Late, Maria,” it was the perfect time to block every status, like, and grainy Instagram out of your brain. Funny how that works.

The show at The Pageant was anchored by Dawes touring member and guitarist Duane Betts, son of Dickey Betts, who absolutely made a song like “I Can’t Think About It Now” splinter into an atmospheric wonder. The guy can play, and Dawes’ live show is better off because of the simple fact that you know he could go off at any time. And he did plenty of times.

After two hours, it didn’t have to end, but it did, and the landing was perfect. Goldsmith sang these words:

I hope that life without a chaperone is what you thought it’d be
I hope your brother’s El Camino runs forever
I hope the world sees the same person that you’ve always been to me
And may all your favorite bands stay together

Once again,we were reminded: Not giving up can be beautiful.


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