Justin Townes Earle - Dada - 5/5/12

Categories: Last Night

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Doug Davis
Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle
Dada
Saturday, May 5

Justin Townes Earle looked dapper as he took the stage alone Saturday night at Dada. Whippet-thin, with a cleft chin that would make Travolta envious, he started the evening with nods to Woody Guthrie, first with "They Killed John Henry" and then with "Wanderin'," immediately establishing the tone. The audience was mixed with young and old, hipster and country, all representing the broad appeal Earle has established in just a few short years.

After the solo start, he was joined by his excellent band, anchored by Paul Niehaus (Lambchop, Calexico) on electric and steel guitar, an acoustic bassist and a drummer. With the full band queued, Earle kicked off "Memphis in the Rain," from latest album Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now. And while that album is fat horns and keys, the songs didn't suffer from the pared down treatment.

The set ran nearly 90 minutes and pulled generously from his entire catalog. In the middle of the set, the band left Earle alone for a second set of solo performances, furthering the noisy crowd's adoration. The band rejoined him for a half dozen songs before ending the show at 11:45 p.m.

Opening the evening was Tristen, a fresh-faced girl with Nashville twang and a kick-ass band. She delivered a great set of songs featured on 2011's debut, Charlatans at the Garden Gate.

Personal bias: Earle obviously has a name to open some doors, but his playing and songwriting demonstrate a devotion to the craft.

Random note: As he left the stage for the final time, the crowd bolted for the door as if to catch the last train to Memphis (or maybe Plano). I rode the train and there were almost no concertgoers on it. It's a shame DART doesn't cater more to a late-night weekend crowd.

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5 comments
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Greenlee
Greenlee

sought out this post. bad job by the Observer to just let it fade with all this new found garbage of shitty picture sets, top 10 lists and whatnot.

I was at the show and agree with all that's being said. He was great, so was Tristen. What wasn't so great were the assclowns who just talked in the back. Dada sound is AWFUL and has been since it reopened. I still love it b/c there's room to walk, the patio and the acts. But the fact that it's a bar with music shoved in the corner is only going to make people think they can talk. Since it's not all "here's the stage".

It's not a Dallas thing. I've lived in Seattle and Chicago and plenty of people talk during shows there too. Don't be a self-hating Dallasite.

Jim Bob
Jim Bob

The sound was atrocious.  Dada consistently has shitty sound but this show took the cake.  The crowd was largely "loud" because the sound was super muddy and muted. Production was on a tragic level but such I suppose is Dada. While they still have that hard rock vibe I would have loved to see this show at Trees as their sound / lights are excellent!  

BlackCat
BlackCat

Sound was awful.  A good 15 seconds of feedback during the opening act and Justin's volume was so low you could barely hear it above all the hipsters talking.  I've never understood why you'd pay $20 to go to a bar and talk through a show.

Douglas
Douglas

I agree, it was INCREDIBLY noisy with people chatting during any and all songs.  And it baffles me too, why people go to a show to talk.  That said, as long as the drinks are flowing and the tickets are selling, promoter, artists (excluding a few like Bruce Springsteen and Hope Sandoval that are only too happy to tell people to shut the fuck up) and venue are happy.  Its just the real fans that are annoyed.  And real fans are in a clear minority as opposed to people that are just out to have a good time and using a show as their evening launch pad.

Lance_Lester
Lance_Lester

I was surprised he didn't say something about the noise coming from the bar area.  Initially I thought it was the Dallas crowd being how they always are and talking through musicians sets.  But, then I realized all the noise was coming from the bar area.  But, the show was good.

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