The dreamy Conor Oberst (from my vantage point, looking a lot like 30 Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto) returned to Columbus with Bright Eyes a few weeks ago, giving the young ladies in the crowd something to swoon about. The kid’s come a long way since starting the band as a precarious teen in the late ’90s and rumor is that Oberst is considering retiring the Bright Eyes name. While there were definitely a lot of college-aged kids in attendance, the LC wasn’t sold out (I thought it might be) which might explain while the show was held indoors even though the music seemed suited for the vast expanse of the starlit night.
Dawes opened the show with their Laurel Canyon, easy Southern California rock sound. The band’s Nothing is Wrong had been released the day before and the four-piece, led by Taylor Goldsmith (who looks – and even sounds a bit – like a Colin Gawel/Tim Easton hybrid), dedicated a majority of their set to songs from the sophomore album and holding out the big “hit” off the last album, “When My Time Comes”, until just before they ended.
Riding high on a wave of Southern California sunshine and smooth harmonies, Dawes is no stranger to Columbus having graced the Rumba and Basement stages a handful of time during the last 12-18 months. With a sophomore album set to hit stores and the internet the day before the band opens for Bright Eyes at The LC (indoor stage … BOO … this type of music is made to be heard under a starry sky), Dawes already has a summer full of touring plans including opening for the likes of My Morning Jacket, Brett Dennen, and Alison Krauss and Union Station.
Nothing is Wrong is a mature sounding album for a group that’s only been together for about five years. Already, comparisons to artists ranging from Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jackson Browne, and The Band have littered reviews in magazines and on the web and all are justifiable. Without a doubt, there’s been a lot of care put into crafting these folk-rock-inspired tracks and just as you could spot a grunge band from Seattle in the early ’90s after hearing a few guitar chords, you can tell that Dawes hails from the Laurel Canyon area of Southern California within moments of hearing the sweet and warm harmonies on Nothing is Wrong’s opening track, “Time Spent in Los Angeles”.
You can purchase it on the Waxploitation website or on iTunes, but only for 90 days. Tracklisting:
Animal Collective – Safer (Exclusive Live Version)
The Black Keys – Stay All Night (Exclusive Chulahoma Session)
Bloc Party – Rhododendrons
Bright Eyes – Coat Check Dream Song (Exclusive Live Version) [download mp3]
Cornelius – Wataridori 2 (Exclusive Version)
David Sylvian – Late Night Shopping (Exclusive Chris Vrenna Remix)
Death Cab For Cutie – World Shut Your Mouth (Rare Julian Cope Cover)
The (International) Noise Conspiracy – Washington Bullets
The Cure – The Walk (Exclusive Live Version)
The Shins – Turn On Me (Exclusive Clint Mansell Remix)
Spoon – Rhthm & Soul (Exclusive Middle Version)
Teargas & Plateglass – One Day Across the Valley
Thievery Corporation – The Passing Stars feat. Pam Bricker
Travis – Gimme Some Truth (Exclusive John Lennon Cover)