Dawes and Lucius

Dawes • Lucius • March 19, 2024 • The Commonwealth Room

Reviewed by Kevin Rolfe

Photographed by Alisha Gregson

Dawes? Good!  Lucius?  So good! Dawes & Lucius??? Wow!  I was not prepared for how good this concert was going to be. We’ve had the privilege of covering Dawes several times over the years and last year we were excited to review Lucius.  These are some of the best live bands that come to Utah.  When I saw that they would be touring together and that they would be playing The Commonwealth Room I was really hoping that Utah Concert Review would be there to cover the show.  Fortune favored us and we were there!

The Commonwealth Room was packed.  Dedicated Dawes and Lucius fans lined up to get inside the venue in hopes of perching themselves along the front barricade to be as close as they could to these remarkable bands.  People traveled to see this show.  I talked to a person from Rancho Cucamonga, California.  They were determined not to miss this concert. I had a lengthy conversation with a man on a business trip. He was hellbent on having a great time while he was in Salt Lake City.  Well, look no further, traveling salesman. You chose the right situation to be entertained.  Because this concert was as good if not better than I hoped it would be.

The audience went as far back as the two hallways that lead to the main floor.  I stood at the very back for the first set of the show.  As people shuffled around before the second set, I found a great spot about to the far left of the stage and about the middle of the venue.  I had a perfect view of the stage and the sound was excellent.

This concert was not what I was expecting at all.  When you hear two bands are going to be on the bill, you figure one takes the stage and performs.  Then the crew comes out, moves away their gear, and brings out the next band’s instruments.  Then the headliner performs.  That was not the cast here.  There was no opener and no headliner.  Well, maybe that’s not true.  The headliner was Dawes and Lucius.  They took the stage together and performed a set of both of their songs along with some great covers.  Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith told us that they didn’t bring an opener with them because they wanted as much time as they could to perform for us. The crowd loved that.   

The bands perfectly weaved back and forth their best songs sprinkling in great covers like their set opener, Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-IV)”.  The concert felt very much in the musical style of Dawes.  Their songs sounded like their songs.  Lucius however sounded very different from the sound I’m used to.  There are typically synths or electronics in a lot of their music.  In this show, they performed many of their great songs like “Stranger Danger” or “Better Look Back” in more of a Folk Rock style.  While I’m a big fan of the original versions, I really enjoyed the way Lucius sounded with their songs in this style.  Goldsmith added vocals to many of the songs and I enjoyed that as well.  

Dawes had the crowd singing along to their anthemic songs like “When My Time Comes” and “All Your Favorite Bands”.  Having Lucius vocalists, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig contributing to Dawes songs was as amazing as you might expect.  These two bands combined together made for a sound I didn’t anticipate but absolutely loved.  I hope they make a habit of touring and performing together.  

They included a cover of Warren Zevon’s “Desperados Under The Eves”.  They performed it so well that I think most people in attendance thought it was an original of one of the bands.  I have to say the highlight for me was the show closer.  Dawes & Lucius performed a cover of The Beatles’ classic “With A Little Help From My Friends”.  As you might have anticipated, they performed this cover in the style of the great Joe Cocker.  I like most people believe this to be the signature version of the song.  I had seen this song covered just days before by another band.  It wasn’t as good as I would have liked.  And while no one can quite do it like the late great Joe Cocker, I loved this performance.  Taylor Goldsmith sounded great on lead. 

But what makes a cover of this song in this style so good is when the lead is joined by perfect backing vocals.  Well, that’s exactly what Lucius provided. The female vocals on this cover are what makes it so amazing.  It was an excellent way to end the night.  People were talking about the show and that cover well after the show was over. Dawes & Lucius combining forces was a concert I very much hope to see again.

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