Live at Ryman Auditorium

March 6th, 2023 Review by Traci Turner
Los Angeles’ own Dawes launched their Misadventures of Doomscroller Tour and night number three found them in Nashville at the world famous Ryman Auditorium for an emotional night of crowd favorites, new tracks, and a surprise guest.
Known as The Mother Church, the Ryman is an intimate venue that many artists say makes them feel like they have finally “made it.” Dawes has graced the Ryman stage more than once, but as front-man Taylor Goldsmith stated during the show, it would be their last time with bassist Wylie Gelber.

The sold-out show had the room filled ahead of the start time, and fans of all ages waited for Dawes to begin as there was no opener.
When the lights dimmed and the band walked out, the cheers filled the room and the bass drum began thumping, making the wooden pew seats vibrate in response. Starting off set one (the band has been doing two sets on this tour) with “Everything is Permanent,” the band got the lower level audience on their feet at once, and the head bopping was mirrored by the balcony members.

During a mid-song jam, Goldsmith greeted the audience with, “Hello everybody! It’s going to be a good night, I can already tell. We’re in The Mother Church!” He asked fans to help sing the ending of “Everything is Permanent” and the room willingly obliged.
Moving into “Coming Back to a Man,” I was reminded just how amazing of a singer you have to be at Ryman. The landmark location will show your flaws and you cannot hide your voice at the former home of the Grand Ole Opry. Thankfully Goldsmith showed no fear and sounded fantastic all night.

Through the 22-song show, Dawes would draw from old favorites, share tracks from last year’s “Misadventures of Doomscroller,” and even slip in newer material. There were multiple moments of the guys just jamming together. Goldsmith showed off his guitar prowess, his brother Griffin had a couple of pew-shaking drum solos, Gelber often took a knee while playing his bass and didn’t miss a note, and Lee Pardini rocked the keys, making it look easy.
As the first notes of their hit “Things Happen” began, the crowd let out a loud cheer and any pauses in the song were met with additional yells of approval. Gelber would receive several chants throughout the night. Just days before the show, Dawes announced after this tour wraps up, Gelber will be leaving the band to pursue his other passion – building basses, guitars, and pedal boards.

They took us through “Less Than Five Miles Away” and “Something in Common” and I adored Goldsmith’s dancing and hopping skills as he played. I don’t think he stood still at all… he scooted, jumped, and shuffled across the stage throughout the show. He started to sing “Still Feel Like a Kid” and stopped, laughed, and restarted. The band really seemed to have a blast during this song, as did Goldsmith, then he sang at the end, “I forget the words to my own songs, but I still feel like a kid.”
After “Never Gonna Say Goodbye,” Dawes did “Someone Else’s Café/Doomscroller Tries to Relax” and Goldsmith had the crowd sing the ending chorus. Hopefully he was pleased when he said, “We’ve never done that like that before!”

Goldsmith said he wanted to bring out a “dear, dear friend” to perform a song they wrote together, and welcomed country music superstar, Brad Paisley, to the stage. Paisley said the new song is about the “epidemic after the epidemic.” Titled “Raining Inside,” it began with “I have friends that I can’t talk to, doctors that I don’t trust.” They lightened the mood with a customized version of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” as “Werewolves of Nashville” that had the crowd howling in appreciation at mentions of Jack White, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, and the city’s beloved Dolly Parton.

After a brief intermission, Goldsmith was back to the stage, alone with an acoustic guitar and said, “I’m going to sing a new song for you. It’s about a lot of people,” and began with “The Game.” The appreciative crowd was once again excited when Paisley walked out to join Goldsmith. The two joked about writing songs together (“We have been writing together now for a year. Every day. We’ve got three songs.”) and started a humorous song they dubbed “Margaritas in Nashville.” They got serious and said they wrote the next song “when the world went all to hell and we wanted to make a statement about human beings,” the song being “Same Here.” It earned them a standing ovation from the crowd.

The band returned to the stage and jammed through “Ghost in the Machine,” “Living in the Future,” and “From the Right Angle,” then slowed it down for “Waiting for Your Call” and “Didn’t Fix Me.”
Goldsmith – who seemed to be having a great time, yet understanding the “last time we do this” of the tour – said “This is our last Ryman show with our man, Wylie” and once again the crowd yelled for Gelber, including several shouting, “We love you Wylie!!”

I was selfishly pleased my three Dawes favorites were up next: “Comes in Waves” (seriously, such a fun, up song, musically), “When My Time Comes,” and the mega-hit the audience sang along to, “All Your Favorite Bands.” The crowd even continued to sing the chorus after the band stopped playing. Gelber got a chanting farewell, which seemed to get him a bit choked up, and the band departed the stage.
Goldsmith returned for an acoustic rendition of “A Little Bit of Everything” to close the night, and that’s what we got… rock, alternative, Americana, funk, even a little of country. It was a nice blend of music with a band that actually enjoys what they do, has the musical ability deserving of sold-out shows, appreciates the audience, and does not rely on lights, pyro, or gimmicks to entertain.

Dawes is traveling across the US and will end the jaunt in SoCal. The April 28th show at Belly Up Tavern (Solana Beach) is sold out, but tickets remain for the April 27th show. The closing night hometown show takes place May 5th at The Theatre at Ace Hotel (Los Angeles).


by Stephanie Pepper Photography



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