Gloria Estefan isn’t gigging in Seattle this weekend. It’s alright to cry. In fact, here’s a hankie. Really let the tears flow. Wail. Emote. She’ll return one day. The rhythm is gonna get you, eventually. I promise. But look: Dawes, quite possibly America’s finest rock band, is playing the Showbox on Friday. They’re fronted by Los Angeles’ groovy Goldsmith brothers, Taylor and Griffin, and there are several extremely compelling reasons to see the quartet perform in person, besides being the best imaginable stand-in for Estefan. Here are the top four:
1. Griffin Goldsmith has an amazing head of hair. Remember The Greatest American Hero? His doppelgänger, Griffin Goldsmith, plays drums for Dawes. Boasting a bushel of blonde, curly locks, Griff’s one of those drummers who bops and pops his body with every beat on the kit. His hair’s more than hair; it’s the fifth Beatle. He also takes over lead vocals from his brother on occasion, making for a mean Don Henley imitation. In fact, the Griff-fronted ballad “Roll Tide” is the best song off Dawes’ latest album, We’re All Gonna Die. (Listen below to the band's surprise live album, We're All Gonna Live, released last week.)
2. Taylor Goldsmith has an incredible personality. Lead guitarist and singer Taylor Goldsmith’s girlfriend, This Is Us actress Mandy Moore, is a hard 10. And while Taylor’s cute and extremely clever, he’s punching at least two classes above his weight in this pairing. But since it’s what's on the inside that counts, Taylor must have one of the most dynamic personalities ever known to man (and Mandy). Listening to his brilliant lyrics, it’s not hard to buy into that notion.
3. The Dawes and Jackson Browne bromance. Dawes’ detractors, of which there are few, like to claim the band sounds too much like Jackson Browne. And that’s supposed to be a bad thing? Browne is one of the greatest songwriters in American history; if you’re going to mimic someone, mimic him. Yes, Dawes’ “A Little Bit of Everything” and “All Your Favorite Bands” sound like Browne could have penned them. They also happen to be two of the best songs written in the 21st century.
4. Guitar solos, man. Taylor can shred axe, and lets everyone know it live. Skinny-jeansters may be too cool for stuff like long, meandering guitar solos that build to volcanic and orgasmic crescendos, but they’re the essence of a killer concert. Oh, baby, oh! Go, baby, go!