Who knows if Taylor Goldsmith’s lyrics on the in-progress Dawes album are going to be filled with as much vindictive anguish as the first two? Well, none of us yet, but we can hope. What we do know is that after touring for the first two albums, re-performing lyrics based around a pretty terrible-sounding breakup, Dawes might have entered the same world as Frightened Rabbit, the Antlers and Bon Iver. Tales of heartbreak and woe and sorrow retold live so many times that one might think they’d lose their emotional impact. While Dawes is less “For Emma” and more “Fuck you, Emma” in its folk-rock breakup jams, that’s what keeps the band entertaining and interesting live. Oh, and the good songs—that’ll do it too.
At various points, the audience reciprocation built, like when the instruments dropped off in “When My Time Comes.” Goldsmith hammed it up for the infectiously cheesy “A Little Bit Of Everything,” but it was that showmanship and arm-waving that reinvigorated the song. A cover of Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” is always welcome in Central Park, and although it might not have been as big of a crowd as the one Simon performed to, the audience/band magic was still there.