Review: Folk-rock group ‘Dawes’ puts on raw performance in The Caverns

Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes performs live at The Caverns on Oct. 6, 2019 (Sydney Cohn/ MTSU Sidelines)

Story and Photo by Sydney Cohn

On October 6th, scores of people traveled to The Caverns in Pelham, Tennessee, to enjoy a performance by Dawes, an American folk-rock band. The Caverns, which gets its name from being built inside a cave formation, is nestled in the beautiful Cumberland Mountains. The venue is best known for being home to the PBS show “Bluegrass Underground”.  However when visitors arrive, they are most awed by the natural setting and acoustics of the amphitheater.

Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, Wylie Gelber, and Lee Pardini, members of Dawes, are currently promoting their album, ‘Passwords’. They opened the show with “My Girl to Me”, which is dedicated to Taylor Goldsmith’s ex-girlfriend’s current partner. The group delivered a pristine sound and performed other well-known songs such as “Living in the Future”, “Crack the Case”, “Feed the Fire” and “Mistakes We Should Have Made”. 

After performing a total of 11 songs, Dawes gathered backstage for an intermission while fans were left to revel in the aftermath of the uplifting first half of the performance. Many were touched by how comfortable the band seemed to be, and the music and scenery meshed perfectly. A venue that represents the natural beauty of America, the cave walls perfectly represented Dawes’ folk roots. Goldsmith admitted, “We have been trying to play this venue for two years. We are very excited to be here!” 

Dawes concluded the intermission by introducing their newest song, “St. Augustine At Night”. Many members of the audience seemed to relate to the nostalgia of the single as it touched on memories of Goldsmith’s childhood. The crowd continued to enjoy the show as Dawes performed 13 other songs, ending the show with “Most People”, “When My Time Comes” and “All Your Favorite Bands”.

To conclude the show, Goldsmith sang, “I hope the world sees the same person that you’ve always been to me. And may all your favorite bands stay together.”

The closing lyrics left an impact on the audience as the authentic demeanor of Dawes resonated through the Caverns. As fans dispersed, they walked away with the legendary memory of a show, created with a sense of community, that brought many to tears.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Brandon Black, email

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