Middle Brother, Dawes, and Deer Tick at First Avenue, 3/14/11
Middle Brother, Dawes, and Deer Tick
March 14, 2011
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Sometimes writing a review of a show seems futile; like words won't do it the justice it deserves aside from "You had to be there." Monday night's three-parter at First Avenue was one of those shows.
Deer Tick was up first, and while they're described as indie-folk, it's too tight a box for them to fit into. The folk is definitely there but there are elements of the sun-drenched late-'60s hippie scene and southern-fried rock as well. They threw in a cover of Springsteen's "Racing in the Street" and an incredibly spot-on version of Nirvana's "Scentless Apprentice" with Middle Brother's (and Delta Spirit lead singer) Matt Vasquez on vocals and guitar for good measure -- and they turned in a set that seems like something The Boss himself would be delivering at the Stone Pony if he was 23 years old today.
After a fairly quick break, Dawes showed up to do what they do best: blow the doors off of whatever venue they might be playing that particular evening. They've been through Minneapolis four times in the last year and proved to be tighter on each occasion. They have professed to love this city in a way that seems to be genuine and this town loves them. To wit: the show here was nearly, if not as full as the one in Chicago on Saturday.
And then there was one. Middle Brother is comprised (properly, at least) of Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith, Deer Tick's McCauley and Delta Spirit's Vasquez, but Dawes' bassist, Wylie Gelber made an appearance on a few songs and by the end of the set it was just a big party with all the performers onstage.
Critic's Bias: Making my heart nearly burst with a song will make me love a band. All three bands are fully capable of doing so and all three did so on Monday.
The Crowd: Subdued. Owe it to the music or to it being Monday night, but it was as mellow a crowd as I had ever seen there.
Overheard In The Crowd: "What the hell? Why are these people leaving, do they get that Middle Brother is made up of the other bands? Because I don't think they do."
Random Notebook Dump: There is likely not a better band touring than Dawes right now.
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