Dawes is quickly becoming one of our favorite bands.
Brian and I made the 90-minute trek to Kalamazoo, Mich. last night to see the Los Angeles-based indie folk rock quartet play two powerhouse sets at the State Theatre for about 1,000 fans.
Called “An Evening with Dawes,” the 2.5-hour show served as the band’s first headlining performance at Kalamazoo’s historic 90-year-old theater and included 25 songs that spanned their eight-year career.
The show is part of Dawes’ current 51-city North American tour and most recent album, “We’re All Gonna Die,” which came out in September.
My visit was brief – about four and a half hours – but I traveled through the shimmering, dreamy soft rock tunes of Denver-based indie pop band Tennis.
Tennis created a 1970s sonic feel by featuring pre-show music from Hall & Oates, Minnie Riperton, Bob Welch and other artists from my favorite decade.
Led by wife and husband duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, Tennis played a sold-out show to an energetic crowd of 400 at Ferndale, Mich.’s The Magic Bag, one of my favorite music venues in southeast Michigan.
In a sense, Friday’s show also served as an informal release party for Tennis’ fourth album, “Yours Unconditionally,” which dropped that day and features a 1970s-inspired pop sound. The album’s cover includes a faded close-up shot of the duo that’s reminiscent of 1970s era vinyl album covers.
While growing up, their name popped every time I read about my favorite artists’ musical influences, listened to “best of” musical countdowns on the radio or watched a documentary about the history of rock and roll on TV.
My parents raved about The Beatles during their early college days at Ohio University in 1964-1965. The songs “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Eight Days a Week” served as the soundtrack of their transition from youth to adulthood.
Anytime The Beatles were mentioned, my parents fondly recalled dancing to their songs at college mixers, watching them play on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and getting excited about the British Invasion.
Over the years, my dad and I would have this recurring conversation:
“Dad, Were The Beatles really that big of a deal?” I asked.
“L, They were a big deal. Everything changed overnight here when they played ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ Before The Beatles came here, all that boring folk music was popular. That stuff put me to sleep,” he said.
“I still don’t get it,” I said while shaking my head in disbelief. “I guess I had to be there.”
The Stratton Setlist will attend the third installment of Eaux Claires, a two-day music festival curated by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and The National’s Aaron Dessner.
Known as “Troix,” the Eau Claire, Wisc.-based music festival announced its eclectic lineup of musical legends, indie rockers and emerging artists Thursday for the June 16-17 event at Foster Farms along the Chippewa River.
The lineup includes Bon Iver presenting John Prine & The American Songbook, which will feature several special guests paying tribute to country/folk singer-songwriter.
Another festival highlight will include Paul Simon collaborating with chamber ensemble yMusic to reinterpret his iconic songs with contemporary classical music.
The lineup also features Feist, Sylvan Esso, Wilco, Tweedy, Chance The Rapper, Danny Brown, Perfume Genius, This Is The Kit and more.
My mom retreated to her bedroom to unearth a classic rock album from her 1970s era vinyl collection.
She flipped through the dusty Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon and Eagles albums to locate Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours.”
There it was. The original copy she had purchased when I was a baby.
She quickly grabbed the album and brought it downstairs to play during a family listening party one night in April 1987. She plopped the album down on my grandma’s large wooden stereo system, which featured a 1972 era record player inside and was adorned with large golden knobs.
My brother, Steve, and I requested the listening party after picking up a copy of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tango in the Night.” We wanted to hear the band’s mega hit album from a decade earlier in its entirety.