Stir Cove does such an amazing job of lining up talent to fill their bowl for the summer concert series, that when people ask me what my favorite show is, I am hard pressed to find a single night that is better than another. On Friday night when Dawes and Hozier brought their shows to the amphitheater, I have to say this show ranked in my top 10 of all time….and mighty near to that very top. It was not only a beautiful night, it was a great show.
The last time Dawes came to the Midwest, I missed them. What a horrible mistake that was. Their 45 minute opener on Friday could not have been better if I had written the set list myself. They opened with their new single “Things Happen” and it just escalated from there. Dawes is a story-telling band, and one of my absolute favorite acts in the indie rock genre. Each and every one of their tunes is insightful and meaningful and their folk rock delivery is perfection. They have done some amazing collaborations, including time with Conner Oberst (alas, the show I missed) and for a band that has only really been established for about 6 years, their harmonies and instrumental technique touches every fabric in my being. If you don’t know Dawes, shame on you, it’s time to get with it and grab a CD. Just listen to the words of Most People, and you’ll say – aha – that Music Maven knows her stuff!
When a new artist starts touring, and you have the good fortune to attend a show, you often keep your fingers crossed that the performer will: a) sound like the CD; b) not hit a sour note that makes you cringe; and c) provide the attendees with a sense of appreciation. Well, my readers, Hozier delivered on every one of those items. His voice was brilliant, and his supporting players were incredibly gifted. It was a professional performance from beginning to end, we heard all of the tunes that we were desiring, which completely provided that sense of appreciation and gratification. Whether singing acoustically or in full band mode, Hozier was precise and true to his original album cuts, but hearing it live made me love this Irish guy even more. For such a new artist, he certainly has it figured out. He was genial and gracious and the love was flowing from the top of the amphitheater hill to the back of the simple stage. Yeah, this guy is the real deal.
I have been so fortunate to have traveled all over to listen to music – some is good, some is not so good, but Stir Cove seems to have it all figured out. Without a doubt, most of my favorite shows happened right here in my hood. I couldn’t appreciate those opportunities more. Though summertime is winding down, there is still much to be seen and appreciated in that very bowl. You absolutely need to share an evening with your friends and family at the greatest venue in the Midwest – and, it’s an all-ages venue! Go to www.stircove.com quickly, and catch some of the talent that will be heading our way.