Despite their numerous individual stops through town over the years, Saturday night marked the first sold-out S.B. show for both L.A.’s Dawes and Portlanders Blitzen Trapper. And for the young, folk-rock loving set, the double bill proved itself well worthy of the hype — and the steep $20 cover charge.
A wave of loud and bass-heavy reverb ushered Blitzen Trapper onto the stage, announcing what would be the night’s harder rockin’ half. And without fail, the guys brought the thunder, with a set list that was heavily weighted toward 2008’s Furr and their newly released sixth album, American Goldwing. If Blitzen can be faulted for anything, it’s that their catalog tends to tread a lot of the same ground, and at times their hour-long set felt repetitive. Still, when frontman Eric Earley and guitarist Marty Marquis let loose, the effect was full-fledged classic-rock goodness.
As the night’s unofficial headliners, Dawes had the crowd on their side, taking to the stage to a swelling number of plaid-clad fanboys. And, as rumored, the band played harder and sounded tighter than either of their two studio recordings let on. To his credit, frontman Taylor Goldsmith showed himself to be as great at hitting the high notes as he is at shredding on guitar, and his impromptu solos made for some of the set’s more engaging moments. Still, it was the late-night, mostly drunk sing-along to “When My Time Comes” that proved to be Dawes’ crowning achievement, if not one of the more unabashedly fun-filled moments SOhO has seen of late.